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Craig Freshley

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Craig Freshley (born November 20, 1961 in Washington, D.C.) is a professional facilitator, author, speaker, and founder of Make Shift Coffee House, a civil discourse grassroots organization.

Life and Career[edit]

Craig received Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Maine and a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School for Public Service. He has worked for the Maine State Planning Office and for the Maine Development Foundation as the Founding Director of the Maine Downtown Center. In 2003, Freshley started the company Good Group Decisions, Inc., and in 2017, he founded the non-profit organization Make Shift Coffee House. Craig is a Quaker and lives with his wife in a co-housing community.

Good Group Decisions[edit]

Good Group Decisions Inc. provides meeting facilitation, keynotes, endnotes, training seminars, mediation, and strategic planning. The company has facilitated over 3,000 meetings and workshops helping groups function better, set goals, create strategic plans, resolve conflicts, and plan for the future. As the president of Good Group Decisions, Inc., Freshley has been invited to speak about good group decision making, including at the University of Southern Maine [1] and the Association for Talent Development [2]. Good Group Decisions is based in Brunswick, Maine.

Make Shift Coffee House[edit]

In January 2017, Freshley founded Make Shift Coffee House, an organization that holds events where attendees have respectful and civil political conversations.[3] [4] Freshley, the primary facilitator, leads these events all across Maine.[5] [6]A Make Shift Coffee House is a public event designed to help people with differing political views understand and learn from each other, through respectful conversation guided by a neutral facilitator. [7] As of July 2019, there have been over 40 Make Shift Coffee House events in communities throughout the state of Maine. [8] Topics have included the political divide, guns, patriotism, the constitution, and the role of government in America. As the founder of Make Shift Coffee House, Craig Freshley has been invited to speak publicly about civil discourse and the Make Shift Coffee House project, including at libraries, on radio programs, the Nevola Symposium, community centers and Rotary Clubs.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

Make Shift Coffee House was a finalist for an American Civic Collaboration Award (Civvy) in 2017 and 2018 and in 2019, Make Shift Coffee House was the winner of the committee's choice Civvy Award. [9] Civvy awards are given to programs that emphasize using communication techniques for real world results that strengthen civility in the United States.


Freshley has authored over 50 publications. His first book, Tips for Group Decisions, is published digitally on (The Cohousing Association of the United States). From 2011-2014 Craig's Group Decision Tips were published on the blog (The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation).

Selected Works[edit]

  • The Wisdom of Group Decisions: 100 Principles and Practical Tips for Collaboration, 2010
  • Tips to Make Good Group Decisions, Volume 1: The First Sixty, 2006
  • Measures of Growth In Focus: Performance Measures and Benchmarks to Achieve Maine’s Long Term Economic Goals, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
  • Maine’s Natural Resource-based Industries – 2004 Indicators of Health, 2004
  • Maximizing Shared Assets in Western Maine, 2004
  • Indicators of Livable Communities: A Report on Smart Growth and the Impact of Land Use Decisions on Maine’s Communities, Environment, and Countryside, 2002
  • Maine Marks – Indicators of Child Well-Being, 2001
  • The Cost of Healthcare in Maine, 2000
  • Maine’s Transportation System – Status and Trend Indicators of Economic Growth and Quality of Life, 1999
  • Maine Science and Technology Report Card, 1999
  • Indicators of Sustainable Development for Franklin County, 1998
  • Measuring Maine’s Economic Performance, 1997
  • Sustainable Maine – A Primer; Integrating Economy, Environment, and Community, 1996
  • Assessing Corporate Social Performance: An Overview and a Model for Maine Companies, 1995
  • Sustainable Development: A Maine Look at What, How and Why, 1993
  • Funding the Gulf of Maine Program, 1992


  1. Litwiller, Sara (October 27, 2011). "Good Group Decisions President to Kick Off USM "November Nights" Lecture Series". University of Southern Maine Office of Public Affairs.
  2. "Group Decisions Done Right – Bring more benefits than you can imagine". Association for Talent Development - Maine Chapter.
  3. NemitzColumnist, Bill (2019-11-08). "Bill Nemitz: Grassroots effort brings people together to talk – and listen – across the political divide". Press Herald. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  4. "College Students Discuss Politics with Rural Mainers (Spoiler Alert: It Went Well) | Bowdoin College". Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  5. School, Event Location: Troy Howard Middle. "First Waldo County Make Shift Coffee House planned for Belfast". PenBay Pilot. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  6. Nelson, Deb. "Labels are Powerful. Use Them Wisely". Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  7. Journal, Sam ShepherdKennebec (2020-01-09). "Make Shift Coffee House hopes to bridge divisions in Hallowell". Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  8. Journal, Sam ShepherdKennebec (2020-01-19). "Political opposites converse at Make Shift Coffee House in Hallowell". Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  9. December 23, brian clancy 42sc on; 2019. "Meet a Civvys Winner: Make Shift Coffee House". Big Tent Nation. Retrieved 2020-01-06.

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