Our Vision

To give people a voice and enable them to influence decisions that affect their lives

Our Mission

To help decision-makers cut through the noise and better understand what their community values

Our Ethics

To observe the highest standards of professional conduct and the IAP2 Code of Ethics

Our story

Years before James Surowiecki wrote The Wisdom of Crowds, I was committed to engaging people to understand their perspectives and improve outcomes.

Luckily all my work – whether in industrial relations, children’s rights, consumer protection, community development, regional development, workplace safety or road safety – has had engaging people front and centre. I’ve engaged community members, businesses, stakeholders and employees to discover what people really value to enable organisations to make better decisions and deliver better outcomes.

I’m also a bit of a technology nerd and love using technology to do things quicker, smarter and more effectively. And whilst I was initially sceptical about the applications for online engagement, since discovering Synthetron, a truly unique online platform from Europe which provides dynamic real-time engagement, I’m a convert.

Add my interest in understanding how and why things work (and don’t work) – which led me to undertaking a PhD on the impact of democratic innovations – and my experience with deliberative processes as Project Director at the newDemocracy Foundation, and here I am!

Deliberately Engaging brings together my engagement experience with my commitment to democratic innovations and love of technology.

At Deliberately Engaging we partner governments, member organisations, industry, and research institutions to help you cut through the noise and better understand what your community (be they citizens, customers, members, employees or stakeholders) really value by:

  • Providing advice on the design of your next engagement project;
  • Recruiting participants for deliberative processes;
  • Moderating online engagement sessions using Synthetron; and
  • Facilitating engagement processes.

We can also manage your entire engagement project (end-to-end).

When I’m not supporting decision-makers to discover what people really value, I’m researching the impact of democratic innovations.

I look forward to partnering with you – Let’s chat!

Warm regards,

Nivek Thompson

Our team

Daren McDonald

Daren McDonald


Nivek Thompson

Nivek Thompson

Executive Director

Ruairidh MacDonald

Ruairidh MacDonald

Research Assistant

Part of a global team

Deliberately Engaging is the Australian and New Zealand partner of the unique online crowdsourcing platform Synthetron and part of Synthetron’s global team of engagement experts

Our principles

We provide engagement solutions designed in accordance with the core values of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) that participation should:

    • be based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process;
    • include the promise that the participant’s contribution will influence the decision;
    • promote sustainable decisions by recognising and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers;
    • seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision;
    • seek input from participants in designing how they participate;
    • provide participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way; and
    • communicate to participants how their input affected the decision.

    Our impact

    Deliberately Engaging partners with clients to:

    • Increase the ownership of participants in their engagement process;
    • Improve the return on investment from their engagement budget;
    • Strengthen their capability and effectiveness in engaging their communities;
    • Enhance their reputation for inclusiveness, transparency and accountability;
    • Provide them with deeper and more actionable insights; and
    • Produce better outcomes for the people impacted by their decisions.

    IAP2 Award Recipient

    Deliberative mini-publics recruited by Deliberately Engaging have been recognized in awards bestowed by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) for “engagement innovation and social impact”.


    Nivek Thompson, Executive Director of Deliberately Engaging and a recipient of the 2019 IAP2 awards for “A Creative Way of Engaging the Community: What does dying well look like and how can we help people achieve this?” – an initiative of the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.

    We seek to build the capabilities of government, business and civil society to realise the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 to:

    “Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” and

    “Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”