This Friday is National Caucus Day, a day devoted to promoting citizen discussion and deliberation prior to to some really important decisions we’ll be making about the future of our country. If you’re not living in NH or IA or a state that is holding their primary on February 5th (aka “National Primary Day”) — this is your chance for your voice to be heard, both locally — and nationally!
Born out of the energy and power of the thousands of Internet enabled face-to-face gatherings of the 2003/2004 election season — House Parties, Townhall meetings, Meetups — the National Presidential Caucus has announced an “Open Call to Participate” for anyone and everyone to partake in local, self-organized, web-enabled face-to-face gatherings (Open, Republican, Democratic Caucuses) across the country on December 7, 2007 in preparation for the highly compressed national primary schedule. Caucus members are encouraged to report back to www.nationalcaucus.com about what is important to them in advance of the Presidential Primary season.
You can find or start a Caucus on December 7th at www.nationalcaucus.com/caucus_search.
UPDATE 11/12: Joshua Hersh from Kansas State U’s Institute for Civic Discourse & Democracy (www.k-state.edu/icdd) wrote to tell us about the Institute’s event hosting a Republican and Democrat caucus. Check out footage from their event up on You Tube: www.youtube.com/icddlive.
Next week, the Centers for Disease Control are convening a Web dialogue with citizens who are not health care practitioners and who are not involved in planning for pandemic flu. The chance of a deadly worldwide outbreak of influenza (a pandemic) is increasing, according to experts. Early in such an outbreak, the United States will lack an adequate supply of vaccine. This will be no one’s fault. Rather, it will be because developing and making an effective vaccine will take months. The regular flu vaccine we have now probably won’t work against any new flu virus powerful enough to cause a pandemic. The dialogue will provide clear information about what an influenza pandemic is and it will cover details about the draft guidelines. Participants will be asked for their feedback on these vaccination goals.
The web dialogue to discuss these guidelines, Vaccination Prioritization for Pandemic Influenza, will take place for three days, from Tuesday, December 4 through Thursday, December 6, 2007. If you are have the time to participate, visit the dialogue website www.webdialogues.net/panflu/engage and register. The instructions to participate on-line are easy to understand and follow. Please share this announcement with your friends and others in your community who might be interested in this important topic.
The Perspectives Group is offering its final IAP2 Certificate Traning course for 2007 next week in Alexandria VA. This five-day course is geared to anyone in the public, private or non-profit sectors who is required to manage public issues no matter what level of complexity or how potentially contentious. The Perspectives Group has taught thousands of participants on four continents this world-renowned certification program and it is a must-attend for anyone involved in Public Participation; next week’s course will be taught by Douglas Sarno, an International Master Trainer in Public Participation. Upon completion of the full week of training, participants will receive a certificate from IAP2, the world’s leading association for public participation.
The full week of training is $1,575, or $315 per day. The Course is presented in 3 sections: Planning for Effective Public Participation (two days), Effective Communication for Public Participation (one day), and Techniques for Public Participation (two days). Please note that the Planning course is a prerequisite to the Communications and Techniques courses. Register now by calling 703-837-1197, or by going to www.theperspectivesgroup.com/capabilities/training and downloading a registration form.
Sandy blogged recently about the many activities that Lars Torres has organized with his Peace Tiles project (www.peacetiles.net). For World Aids Day, coming up December 1st, Lars wrote to us to ask for help and feedback on three parts of the Peace Tiles project. Lars writes:
1) Would you have a look at our AIDS discussion guide, “A Triumph of the Spirit” and provide some feedback? The aim here is to use the Peace Tiles created by children as an entry-point into discussions that illuminate various dimensions of the pandemic. The guide is available online: www.mixedmedia.us/files/peacetiles_wad2007_guide.pdf (more…)
NCDD member Rosa Zubizarreta sent us word of a workshop she’ll be leading called DiaPraxis: Transformational Approaches to Creative and Effective Group Collaboration. The workshop will be held from December 7 - 9, 2007 at the Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, Craryville, NY. This work offers an experiential introduction to new and powerful approaches in the field of practical group creativity. If you already have good listening skills — whether from Focusing, or NVC, or peer counseling, or community mediation practice — you will learn how those skills can be used to help practical, task-oriented groups work together with greater synergy, wholeness, and spirit. If you are already an experienced group facilitator, you will learn how to “manage less” and help the group accomplish more.
This work is grounded in Dynamic Facilitation, a transformational approach to group collaboration developed by Jim Rough. It also includes insights from Gene Gendlin’s Focusing work, and from Jeff Conklin’s Dialogue Mapping. Rosa Zubizarreta brings training and experience in organization development, focusing, social change, and diversity to her work with groups. The cost is a sliding-scale fee of $300 - $500 includes two nights lodging and meals, starting with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Sunday. The workshop will begin at 4 pm on Friday, and end at 2pm on Sunday. $150 deposit due by Nov 16.
To register: e-mail Beatrice Blake at [email protected]. Learn more about Diapraxis at www.diapraxis.com/materials.html and about Dynamic Facilitation at www.dynamicfacilitation.com. To learn about the retreat center, visit Pumpkin Hollow’s website is www.pumpkinhollow.org.
On October 3, 2007, 47 youth leaders ages 16 to 30 gathered in Washington, D.C to participate in Mobilize.org’s Democracy 2.0 Summit—part of a national movement known as “Democracy 2.0,” which was launched to upgrade and renew our political process in America by providing guidelines for positive social change that take advantage of both the tremendous passion of today’s youth leaders, and the powerful social networking and technological tools they are using to create communities.
The text at the bottom of this post is the Declaration that emerged out of the Summit. The “Democracy 2.0 Declaration” is a visionary document, designed to call attention to the ways that our democratic process and institutions are properly serving - and failing to serve - the interests of young Americans. The Declaration was written by youth leaders with the sincere belief that America’s youth are a major source of untapped political power, energy, and innovative ideas. Democracy 2.0 is designed to address the civic participation needs and interests of the Millennial Generation (targeting the 16-30 age group).
You can support the Democracy 2.0 campaign by signing on to the Declaration at www.petitiononline.com/Mobilize/petition.html. If you are interested in getting further involved in creating the final version of this Declaration and/or play a role in the local action plans that will organize around the Democracy 2.0 ideals, you can apply to attend the Party for the Presidency in Hollywood, CA on December 29-31, 2007. Learn more at: http://www.mobilize.org/index.php?tray=content&tid=top360&cid=255. (more…)
Christine Sanchez just sent us word of a workshop she’s organizing this December in Arizona. Methods For Strategic Collaboration is a unique experiential learning workshop that provides foundational theory and practice to utilize Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Café and Polarity Management™. Participants will:
- Gain a working knowledge of the principles, steps and practices of Appreciative Inquiry, World Café and Open Space Technology
- Craft appreciative questions and provocative propositions in your own language and for your environment.
- Design a large group project to take home.
- Participate in two follow-up coaching sessions. (more…)
The National Presidential Caucus today announced today that it has garnered the endorsements of former U.S. Senators William Rudman (R-NH) and Bill Bradley (D-NJ), co-chairs of Americans for Campaign Finance Reform; GOP donor and esteemed venture capitalist Tim Draper of the firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com; David All, Principal of the David All Group and founder of TechRepublican.com; among others. The National Presidential Caucus also announces there is an open invitation to all organizations and individuals to participate in National Caucus Day on Friday, December 7, 2007.
The National Presidential Caucus was created by a consortium of partisan, bipartisan and non-partisan interests to help Americans prepare for the onrush of a de facto “National Primary” slated for February 5, 2008, when two presidential candidates may suddenly emerge as “finalists” based on the front-loading of state primaries. If there is going to be a National Primary, there ought to be a National Caucus first….
This fall, Simon Fraser University’s Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue is organized around the theme of “Adaptations to Human Environmental Impact.” This dialogue program focuses on how human beings adapt to the profound impact we are having on our planet. Environmental disruption threatens overwhelming consequences for our social and economic systems, but too often we are overwhelmed by the problems and lose sight of viable solutions. Citizens require thoughtful, confident planning and analysis to enable effective adaptation to these challenges. The Semester in Dialogue will address three major and connected themes: Climate Change, Energy, and Biodiversity, probing local to global solutions involving policy, enterprise, innovation, and life styles. For more information on the course and registration, visit www.sfu.ca/dialogue/undergrad/index.htm.
Most practitioners who are experienced in the charrette process will have heard this news from the National Charrette Institute, but it’s interesting news for the field and I thought I’d share it.
Today’s e-newsletter from the National Charrette Institute included an invitation for experienced charrette practitioners to participate in the Kiryat-Shmona, Israel charrette this December (the 2nd through 6th). This is the first full 5-day charrette in Israel, and experienced practitioners are needed to give the Israeli participants, both professionals and the public, confidence in the charrette process. This charrette is sponsored by the Movement for Israeli Urbanism.
Charrettes, in case you aren’t familiar with them, are used to involve citizens in community planning efforts. They are multi-day intensive planning workshops that include all stakeholders in a community and result in a plan that can be implemented and built. If you’re interested in getting trained to run charrettes, we’ve negotiated some great discounts with NCI for paid NCDD members.
For more info on this opportunity, contact or email NCI at .
Mobilize.org’s Party for the Presidency Conference is coming up in Hollywood, CA on December 29 - 31, 2007. The Party for the Presidency is a leadership development conference that will bring together the 435 individuals (one from each Congressional district) to learn from one another and unite behind a common vision - Democracy 2.0. Each individual will be nominated as a top young activist demonstrating a citizen-centered approach to engagement in their community. They will be given the opportunity to present their best practices, learn from organizing experts, and leave as a commission Democracy 2.0 Ambassador. The Party for the Presidency will focus on encouraging young people to identify the key issues in their communities and helping build advocacy strategies to not only become part of the solution, but create the solution.
They are looking to recruit young people between the ages of 16 and 30, who are:
- Working to make a difference in your community by being politically involved
- Advocating for the issues they feel are most important in their communities, or informing people on the importance of civic engagement and volunteerism
- Who have helped involve your fellow citizens in community service, public policy development, or identifying and solving local problems
Check out Mobilize.org for more information on applying, or download the application from our website. If you have any questions, or would like any additional information contact Maya Enista, Mobilize.org’s Chief Operating Officer at or 202.736.5744.
Mobilize.org is an all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase civic engagement and political participation. They work to show young people how public policy impacts their lives, and conversely, how they can impact public policy. They are currently looking to hire a Program Director for the Party for the Presidency, a national conference to be held on December 29-31, 2007 (more…)