This husband-and-wife, and now daughter too, team have dedicated their professional lives to making organizations with important missions -- especially public agencies -- better at accomplishing their missions.
They are devoted to helping make public-sector agencies more effective, thereby improving the lives of both the citizens of their students and the bureaucrats/technocrats they train. Their Consent-Building methodology is both cutting-edge and entirely unique to their research.
Dr. Hans Bleiker, Lead Instructor
Hans has a Ph.D. in Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a B.A. in Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati. Once he had his doctorate, Hans worked as the Planning Director for the City of Lynn, Massachusetts (population 100,000), as Project Manager for MIT's Transportation Systems Division, and as Director of the Planning Department for a large Environmental Engineering Consulting firm, ARIX, that works in the entire Rocky Mountain region.
Hans began his last "real job" as a tenured professor at the University of Wyoming in 1975, where he was recruited to create - and then administer - its Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning. For twelve years he served as Director of that program. It was at the University that Hans first began teaching his unique approach to Citizen Participation, in a series of courses: Leadership, Professional Ethics, Citizen Participation by Objectives, and Dealing with Domestic Terrorists and Extremists, etc. In 1987, he devoted his full-time attention to developing and teaching these leadership and consent-building skills to public-sector professionals nation-wide.
The Bleikers' Consent-Building methodology to Public Involvement actually began in the mid-1960s while Hans was doing Public-Sector Decision-Making research as part of his Doctoral Thesis. His thesis focused on a practical management strategy that would allow public agencies to be both responsible to their mission and responsive to their diverse publics. i.e. How to be responsive to the conflicting demands of the various publics without compromising the agency's mission. As part of his thesis, Hans did case studies on four of the most complex transportation problems in the United States. Since retiring from the University, Hans and Annemarie have worked solely on teaching their methodology to tens of thousands of students around the country, and at times internationally.
Annemarie Bleiker, President
Annemarie has a B.A. in Anthropology from Boston University, and a M.A. in Urban Anthropology from Brandeis University. Within Urban Anthropology, Annemarie honed her focus on what happens to community conflict when people who are at each other's throats -- because they have very different values, even diametrically opposed and offensive values. She discovered that in every case, commonground could be found, even when everyone was convinced none existed.
In 1977 Annemarie created the Institute for Participatory Management & Planning (IPMP). The mission of IPMP is to make government agencies more effective by making them better at accomplishing their (legitimate) missions. IPMP was based on, and over the years has built upon, what she discovered in her Masters Thesis at Brandeis, and what Hans discovered in his Doctoral Thesis at MIT. What Annemarie uncovered in her work is that even when there appears to be no common ground, one simply has to work harder to find it because it does indeed exist. In his research, Hans had discovered that if a legitimate public agency proposes a reasonably well-thought out solution to a legitimate problem, the typical scenario of "all hell breaking loose" (i.e. political decision-making gridlock) actually is avoidable -- provided the professionals work diligently and systematically to develop consent on their technical work.
The combined research and professional experiences of Annemarie and Hans has led to the development of their powerful approach for public-sector professionals to systematically develop the informed consent of their various publics. This has enabled professionals within communities, agencies, organizations, and consulting firms, who have important and legitimate missions to get their work accomplished, rather than become victims of controversy (such as NIMBY), “politics,” and even some budget cuts. Over the course of nearly four decades, Hans and Annemarie have worked, and continue to work, at helping people with public-sector missions (hired professionals, as well as elected and appointed officials) be consistently effective at accomplishing their mission. By using the Bleikers' consent-building methods and process, these professionals improve their effectiveness by developing viable solutions to problems it is their responsibility to address, and then get those solutions implemented in spite of fierce opposition and/or controversy.
Jennifer Bleiker, Assistant Instructor & Online Content Developer
A graduate of Smith College, Jennifer originally intended on pursuing a career in internal medicine. While studying for medical school, Jennifer began work for her parents. To her surprise, she found working for her parents enormously fulfilling as it proved to have immediate positive effects on a community. As a result, Jennifer decided to depart from her original career plans and continue working for IPMP; she has been doing so full-time since 1999.
To complement the work she has done with Hans and Annemarie in Consent-Building over the past twelve years, Jennifer rounded out her education with a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from New England College. Her thesis was on the use of Social Media by public-sector agencies as a means of creating a more informed public (particularly opponents).
Today, the primary scope of her work is in developing an online training modules as taught by Hans and Annemarie. Jennifer also works as a hands-on coach to students of IPMP, giving advice on:
We can help you and your team get your mission accomplished when others can't. We offer management training in each of these several skills areas. These skills-areas will rather quickly set you apart from the average manager. Most often clients have us conduct these management seminars as In-House training sessions strictly for their staff. Once or twice a year we offer these same courses as Open-House training sessions. . . mostly in Monterey, CA, Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; and Olympia, WA. Dates of the open-enrollment courses are shown only for the next year or so . . . See the listing of Courses Open to the Public we currently offer.
Together we will discuss a more detailed description of the training session(s) that you are interested in, for additional dates, for a fee schedule, for references of public officials who are using our methods, etc . . . We will help you become more effective . . . better at accomplishing your mission. . . We have done the research, and we have developed several tools that can help you do just that!
Systematic Development of Informed Consent (SDIC)
Citizen Participation-by-Objectives (CPO)
Upcoming Brownbag Sessions
Recorded Brownbag Sessions