73 Ocean Street, New South Wales 2000, SYDNEY

Contact Person: Callum S Ansell
E: [email protected]
P: (02) 8252 5319


22 Guild Street, NW8 2UP,

Contact Person: Matilda O Dunn
E: [email protected]
P: 070 8652 7276


Genslerstraße 9, Berlin Schöneberg 10829, BERLIN

Contact Person: Thorsten S Kohl
E: [email protected]
P: 030 62 91 92

A region-by-region breakdown of where the economy stands right now

 Fed: Slower growth, less optimism in some regions   Wednesday, 31 May 2017 | 2:00 PM ET | 01:14

The U.S. economy continued to grow at a steady, if sluggish, pace from early April through late May, according to the Federal Reserve‘s latest survey of regional economic conditions.

That slow pace also helped keep inflation in check, according to comments from the businesses polled by the central bank’s 12 regional districts.

“On balance, pricing pressures were little changed from the prior report,” the central bank said in its Beige Book report on the economy.


Post a comment

Working with the Province of Ontario – Open Government

The Province of Ontario joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2016 as part of the first cohort of subnational governments. Don was closely involved in Ontario’s program from the start:

Engagement and deliberation can transform how decision-makers carry out critical tasks, shedding new light on issues and leading to new solutions. Middle Ground uses Informed Participation to transform:

Much of this work focuses on stakeholders and/or citizens outside an organization. However, the concerns of staff members within a government department or hospital often resemble those of citizens and stakeholders. For example, they may feel they have no voice in organizational changes that affect them; or in defining a vision for the future. Informed Participation can be an effective tool for solving issuesinsidethe walls of an organization, as well as outside of them, from policy making to culture change.

Hands-on learning is the best way to build skills and capacity in public deliberation. Middle Ground often uses actual engagement projects as a tool for knowledge-transfer to the client’s organization. Typically, Don will serve as the principal advisor, working closely with a team from the client’s firm, and advising them on how to design and implement the process. In addition, he may act as a facilitator and/or writer and analyst. These roles can be specially designed to create mentorship opportunities for the team and to build capacity within the client’s organization.

Middle Ground offers workshops and training courses on Informed Participation. These can extend from a half- to two days and will equip participants with the concepts, skills, and tools they need to design and implement deliberative processes. As an accomplished trainer, Don’s sessions are highly interactive and use lots of practical examples to illustrate the approach, along with group exercises to deepen the grasp of key concepts. Workshops can be custom designed to meet the specific needs of the client.


Every situation is different, and every engagement process should be designed to match the task at hand. This is about more than choosing between big and small processes, or online vs. face-to-face meetings. Informed Participation distinguishes between three differentstylesof public deliberation, each of which engages the participants in a different way:

These deliberative “styles” are natural patterns that discussion follows in daily life. For example, sometimes people use lots of narrative or storytelling, while at others they are far more focused on facts and analysis. If the goal is to solve a difficult technical problem, facts and analysis will matter. If the goal is to solve a deep values conflict, narrative may be the better option. We build features like these into a process to shape it in ways that ensure the process always matches the task.


Public deliberation should be led by an experienced, impartial facilitator. Informed Participation relies on approach that combines three different roles:



Over the years, Don has developed a distinctive style of report-writing that is widely recognized for clarity, accessibility, and its simple narrative style, especially when dealing with complex and often technical issues. Middle Ground uses a variety of document types to support our processes. These include short discussion papers, analyses of issues, comprehensive syntheses of ideas and options, summary reports, and case studies.

Don also regularly takes on writing and analysis tasks independently of his work on engagement processes

Middle Ground is more than a consulting firm. We provide thought leadership in public engagement. Our practice over the years has been to build learning opportunities into our consulting projects. These often include the production of “ideas” papers based on the learning from challenging projects that raise difficult issues and require innovative solutions. Some of these papers can be found on the Ideas page of our Access Publications page.