Rich Harwood, the President of the highly respected Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, launched a web log last month aimed at encouraging people to imagine and act for the public good. The blog, called “Redeeming Hope,” will allow Rich to share his ideas about where we are as a nation and how to get to where we want to be. Each week, Rich will write about public life and how we can place it on an alternative path. Rich believes public life is about the relationships between and among people and how we individually and collectively can act to overcome divisions facing our society. You are invited to not only read the blog, but to post comments on the blog.
Archives for June 2004
Inspired by an email that Lars Torres of AmericaSpeaks wrote to the main NCDD discussion list a couple of days ago, in which he suggested that Let’s Talk America take advantage of the popularity and punch of Michael Moore’s new movie Farenheit 911 to foster genuine dialogue on the state of our country and the partisan divide, the core Let’s Talk America team emailed their growing list of convenors, facilitators and dialogue participants this morning. This pleases me greatly; this is just the kind of thing NCDD was created to encourage. Click below to see a copy of the message I received.
John Stephens, of the Public Dispute Resolution Program at the University of North Carolina, posted a message on our Thataway Forum this weekend about the Greensboro Truth & Community Reconciliation Commission. Since we haven’t yet seeded and launched the Forum, I thought I’d share his message via the blog so more people see it.
My friend Tom Atlee, President of the Co-Intelligence Institute, emailed his list today with descriptions of four maps of transformational realms, plus some questions about this whole approach to mapping. According to Tom, “mapping domains of knowledge, inquiry and activity is an important aspect of our developing collective intelligence.” This message expands on an earlier piece about knowledge mapping currently posted here on the NCDD wiki (collaborative workspace). Click below to read his message.
Patricia Wilson of the University of Texas sent me an email the other day suggesting that I bring two articles that oppose Deliberation Day to the attention of people in the D&D community. As Patricia says, “it’s important for our community of practice to see how others perceive us, and to see if we can find the grains of truth in their views.”
Some of you have heard of Deliberation Day, a proposed national holiday that would take place two weeks before election day (and will, this year, be run in conjunction with MacNeil/Lehrer’s By the People project). The Day is being spearheaded by Jim Fishkin and Bruce Ackerman, who recently published a book on the subject. On Deliberation Day, registered voters would be called together in neighborhood meeting places, in small groups of 15 and larger groups of 500, to discuss the central issues raised by the campaign. Each deliberator would be paid $150 for the day’s work of citizenship…
Marshall Rosenberg, creator of Nonviolent Communication, received the 2004 Man of Peace Award today. The award was given by the Peace Prayer Organization in New Mexico, and the award interview can be heard at www.transradio.com (Show #1059). To learn more about Nonviolent Communication, go to the website of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC).
David Booher, Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for Collaborative Policy, asked me to spread the word about the Center’s stellar e-newsletter, The Collaborative Edge. This free quarterly newsletter provides timely information on collaborative strategies and methods to public agencies, civic organizations, and the public. Click below for more details.
Here’s a summary of a long, fascinating email I found in my inbox this morning from Tom Atlee, President of the Co-Intelligence Institute (to be added to Tom’s e-mailing list, email :
Collective intelligence, as a field of study and practice, is taking off. Some really interesting work is being done, quite beyond the dialogue and deliberative democracy realms we focus on at the Co-Intelligence Institute. It turns out that even when thousands of people don’t talk to each other at all, they can still be (somewhat mysteriously) collectively brilliant in solving problems. All told, there seem to be at least eight different — and often mutually reinforcing — types of collective intelligence, which are briefly described here. Some of the most interesting explorations of this field come from five sources we’ve recently bumped into�
I received a call from the Council for Excellence in Government on Thursday, asking if I could announce their new report “We the People: Homeland Security from Citizens� Perspective” to the NCDD network. The report includes recommended action gleaned, in part, from citizen suggestions at seven town hall meetings for all levels of government, first responders, private sector and individuals. The recommendations were presented to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and will be distributed to governors, mayors, members of Congress, industry leaders, trade and professional organizations and civic groups immediately.
Click here to read Ridge’s remarks about the project. Among other things, Ridge endorses citizen engagement by saying, “…Homeland Security officials – including myself – were able to hear first hand the concerns and questions on the minds of many Americans. That dialogue has provided an important and useful resource that will help guide our continued efforts at Homeland Security to engage and empower citizens.” Click below to read the announcement, read more on the Council’s website, or download the report.
I saw this announcement in Friday’s newsletter from CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation:
CIVICUS, as part of a group of civil society, research, corporate sector and various levels of international government representatives, is finalizing a report for the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy on new approaches to global problem-solving. This Process, initiated by the Finnish Government in cooperation with the government of Tanzania, aims to develop innovative solutions to the dilemmas of global governance, especially where they affect the most vulnerable sections of the world�s population. Three track groups will be addressing the areas of human security; financing development; and new approaches to global problem solving.
The latter track, of which CIVICUS is a member, is tasked with starting an international dialogue on the goals and methods of global problem-solving. In its second meeting in London in March, the group concluded that a global governance gap existed because of deficits in democracy, coherence and compliance. The group�s final report will include proposals on new coalitions for global problem-solving, accountability of global institutions, voices of vulnerable groups in global governance and efficient implementation of global agreements. For more information on the Helsinki Process, visit www.helsinkiprocess.fi.
As a new Iraqi government forms amid continued violence, openDemocracy.net hosts a heartfelt discussion among six Iraqis about what is best for their country. Their views are diverse, but they are unified by an avoidance of simplistic platitudes (no calls for immediate US withdrawal, for example), and a serious concern for the future of their country. As over-heated arguments about Iraq swirl around us, shouldn’t we all find out what Iraqis think? You can join in on this roundtable weighing the prospects for democracy, the role of Kurds, Shi’a and Sunni, the USA’s part in the process and what lies ahead.
An art exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, Washington, inspired a June 4 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called “Wing Luke exhibit fosters dialogue about racial differences.” Author Regina Hackett writes: “‘Beyond Talk: Redrawing Race’ at the Wing Luke Museum features 12 different approaches to race. In spite of the title, it’s successful because of the talk it generates. This exhibit manages a feat rare in the museum world: It encourages dialogue without patronizing the audience.” Click below to read the full article.
Laurie Maak sent me this announcement the other day: Next week, June 7-10, USCharterschools.org is hosting an online dialogue about key issues facing the nation’s charter schools. This is a good venue for school leaders and faculty, parents, policymakers, researchers, and other interested community members to share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences about topics related to Growing the Charter School Movement, Federal Policies, Resources & Responsibilities, and Teaching & Learning.
Joining the dialogue are seasoned, knowledgeable and enthusiastic panelists who will help frame the conversation each day. USCharterschools.org hopes that you will take this opportunity to contribute your experiences and perspectives as well as ask questions on any topics that interest you. To learn more about the invited panelists, the Dialogue Agenda, and to register, visit www.uscharterschools.org/dialogue.
I just received a press release from the groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. The Assembly is an independent, representative, non-partisan group of 160 randomly selected British Columbians. They must decide by December 15 whether to propose a change to BC�s electoral system. If they recommend a change, it will be the subject of a referendum for all voters in the May 2005 provincial election. Click below to read the entire press release about last week’s public hearings in Port McNeill, Courtenay, Nanaimo and Vancouver.
I received an email from my NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee yesterday that I wanted to share on the Happenings blog. After reading a speech by Bob Horn yesterday, Tom posted the following on NCDD’s Wiki (at www.wiki-www.thataway.org/index.php?page=KnowledgeMapping) and the Collective Intelligence blog. Tom believes that Bob Horn’s work became the seed crystal for making sense of a lot of other cognitive mapping technologies, he feels that this is a key area to add to our understanding of tools for high-quality deliberation and collective intelligence. Click below for Tom’s message.