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Interviews with major players in the Maclean's 1991 "People's Verdict" experiment


Note: These interviews are one facet of the Maclean's initiative further detailed here.


One weekend in June, 1991, a dozen extremely diverse Canadians were convened at a resort north of Toronto under the auspices of Maclean's, Canada's leading newsweekly. Their mission: to generate a consensus vision for Canada. This thoughtful and intensely emotional event and its remarkable results were reported in Maclean's July 1, 1991 issue under the heading "The People's Verdict".

PDFs of the 40 pages of coverage in that print issue, videos of the accompanying Canadian TV public affairs program, and some further commentary and research are all archived here.

In June 1999 the Co-Intelligence Institute - curious about how the event came about, how it was handled, and what happened afterwards - hired investigative reporter Larry Shook to interview some key players in that initiative. Those interviews are posted here (in both mp3 and PDF form) for the information of those who wish to investigate this effort at greater depth. The interviews provide considerable insight into the workings of the process and its impact on participants, observers, and Canadian society at large.

The mp3s are electronic versions of the original interview tapes. The PDFs are 2014 transcripts by Tom Atlee (with help from Joyce Olmsted), lightly edited by Atlee for readability.

  • Interview with Maclean's editor Bruce Wallace. After reviewing all the Canadian TV video footage of the two-and-a-half day event, Wallace wrote "A Weekend of Candor", the extensive blow-by-blow account of what happened. ... mp3 (29 minutes) ... pdf
  • Interview with Robert Marshall, assistant managing editor of Maclean's at the time of "The People's Verdict" initiative. He wrote the introductory overview at the beginning of the issue and worked extensively with the polling firm choosing the participants. ... mp3 (38 minutes) ... pdf
  • Interview with Bob Lewis, Maclean's managing editor at the time of "The People's Verdict" initiative, who oversaw the whole operation. ... mp3 (16 minutes) ... pdf
  • Interview with Roger Fisher, Harvard negotiation expert and co-author of Getting to Yes, who led the team facilitating the proceedings. ... mp3 (56 minutes)... pdf ... (Note: The original tape of this interview has a break in the middle and some content has been lost.)
  • Summary Report: Larry Shook's report on the Wallace, Marshall, and Fisher interviews and Tom Atlee's report on the Bob Lewis interview. ... pdf


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