Why Dialogue

In a diverse society, innovative, and efficient environmental solutions require support from diverse interests.

To develop innovations and broad support, we engage diverse interests in a rigorous dialogue—a process of listening for common ground. Dialogue does not hide conflict. It is listening and speaking in ways that encourage understanding, new thinking, and cooperation.

Members of the California Environmental Dialogue (CED) collaborate and build consensus through dialogue. It is a unique way for people to speak and to listen for common ground. Fundamentally, dialogue is based on the belief that our collective intelligence is greater than the sum of individual perspectives.

By engaging in a formal dialogue, CED builds relationships and trust, which allow its members to pursue public and private policies leading to enhanced environmental outcomes and economic efficiencies.

Dialogue is a way of…

  • Speaking and listening to help participants understand other’s points of view, develop a common understanding of interests and issues, define and clarify the nature of disagreements, and identify alternative approaches to dealing with conflict
  • Building trust between business, governmental, and environmental communities
  • Developing relationships on which to build progress
  • Heightening the quality of relationships and shared meaning to encourage novel and productive thinking, and new and aligned action
  • Suspending, but not hiding, beliefs to allow examination of their rationale

Ground Rules for CED Dialogue

  • Participation is non-partisan
  • Comments are not to be attributed publicly to individuals and discussions are confidential
  • Listening, and how one is listening, are as important as speaking
  • Reasoning and assumptions are to be explicit
  • Other’s assumptions are explored without personal criticism
  • Commitment to the process is ongoing

Learn more about our work

Working Groups

Working groups engage members in dialogue and develop trust and understanding


Members have to opportunity to network, dialogue, and address current and emerging policy issues


Dialogue provides the foundation for reports and other publications that advance CED’s mission

Join CED’s work today