photo: La Citta Vita. CC BY-SA license (see about page for links)


Our approach synthesizes traditional public opinion research with cognitive science perspectives and methodological innovations.

Building Consensus for Change

The goal of a Topos project is to create the kind of simple but profound shift in perspective that helps advocates promote new engagement, better understandings, and more constructive action on an issue.

Achieving this goal means re-thinking an issue from the ground up, uncovering the hidden patterns of understanding that undermine citizen action, identifying new possibilities and refining a course of action.

Our innovative approach synthesizes traditional public opinion research with state-of-the-art cognitive science perspectives and methodological innovations.

The unique skills, probing insight and creative approaches Topos brings to myriad public issues is unparalleled. The research methodology and the recommendations and strategies they have helped us develop have been both remarkably insightful and pragmatically applicable.
Patrick Bresette
Executive Director of Public Works

Mapping the Terrain

Exploratory Research

Topos uses empirical tools like Cognitive Elicitations, Focus Groups, Ethnographic Observation, Media Analysis and Public Opinion Surveys to map the current landscape of public understanding and discourse on an issue.

Discovering New Directions

Identifying Strategic Opportunities

A Topos project creates a prism of new possibilities for communications on an issue, using tools from TalkBack testing to Focus Groups to guided conferrals with clients to Cognitive Analysis.

Changing the Landscape

Development and Testing of Tools

Topos uses tools like TalkBack testing, Focus Groups and Message Experiment Surveys to test and refine the language, images and other elements that will ultimately shift perspectives on an issue.

Following the New Path

Dissemination and Ongoing Learning

Topos believes in the critical importance of partnering with organizations as they move out into the world with new approaches to an issue. Strategy memos are supplemented with videos, workshops and other dissemination tools. Learning on the issue continues through follow-up surveys and other empirical investigations.