Public engagement and deliberation play key roles in democratic society. Yet, there are significant problems in both of these areas at present in America. Civic engagement is uneven at best, and thoughtful public deliberation about major issues is often displaced either by apathy or shrill and extreme voices.

The Engage Project was a collaboration among faculty and students in the departments of Communication, Computer Science and Human Centered Design, funded by NSF grant #0966929, Socio-Computational Systems to Support Public Engagement and Deliberation, and by a Google Research Award. Our purpose has been to investigate the design, implementation, deployment, and testing of innovative ways for citizens and government to communicate. The overall aim is to achieve measurable improvements in citizen engagement, participation, and deliberation.

The project itself has wound down, but produced a set of papers, three Ph.D. dissertations, and software that is now supported by a social venture startup.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.