I received a packet in the mail the other day from Angus Reid, who I was privileged to meet in November at the North American Summit on Citizen Engagement. Reid, a famous Canadian pollster, is launching a new division of Angus Reid Consultants called “Dialogue Networks.” Headed by Dr. Alexandra Samuel, an expert on electronic engagement, Dialogue Networks will offer software and services in support of publication and dialogue. In his letter, Angus said “organizations are hungry for new tools and approaches to public dialogue, both on and offline,” and Dialogue Networks will focus on internet solutions and other technology-enabled tools. Go to www.dialoguenetworks.com to learn more.
Archives for March 2005
The Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies recently published “Cultivating Interdependence: A Guide for Race Relations and Racial Justice Organizations.” Maggie Potapchuk authored the guide, which is based on work in four communities and shares insights on ways race relations and racial justice organizations from across the spectrum of approaches can collaborate to address community issues of common concern. The publication includes workshop design and handouts, replication tips and lessons learned, and identifies stages of readiness for organizations to work together interdependently. Click here to purchase the book for $15 (or download it for free). You can also email Maggie Potapchuk at for more info.
Today’s issue of Policy Consensus E-News included an inspiring excerpt from a speech by William Ruckelshaus, the first Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In February, Ruckelshaus gave this year’s Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science and the Environment, which he titled �Choosing our Common Future: Democracy’s True Test.� In the lecture, he addresses how collaborative processes serve as important tools for democratic decision making. The full speech can be downloaded at www.policyconsensus.org/pubs/pci_pubs/Ruckelshaus_Full_Text.pdf
The Taos Institute just announced two new publications: Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge: Leveraging Knowledge Management for Strategic Change (2005)
by Tojo Thatchenkery, and Experiential Learning Exercises In Social Construction: A Field Book for Creating Change (2004) by various authors at the Institute for Creative Change. Click below for more details on these books.
Sandy Schuman of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) sent me a copy of the brand new “IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation” and I encourage all of you to go out and get a copy for yourselves! Edited by Schuman and sponsored by the IAF, the Handbook is not only an overview of the facilitation field but also a reliable reference for experience group facilitators. Written by 50 leading practitioners and scholars, the chapters cover such things as building trust and improving communications, developing a collaborative environment, designing and facilitating dialogue (by NCDD member Steve Pyser!), working with multicultural groups, and assessing group decision processes. You also get a CD-ROM with the complete collection of articles published in the first five issues of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal. You can buy it at Amazon.com.
NCDD is conducting research to assess the extent to which a National Dialogue Bureau would be valued by the dialogue & deliberation community and by journalists (learn more about the Dialogue Bureau at www.thataway.org/projects/index.html). Part of the study will involve interviews with journalists to better understand current practices for gathering the views of informed citizens on current events and the value of a service like the National Dialogue Bureau in their work.
We would like to request your assistance in this effort by sharing with us a few of your press contacts for the purpose of arranging interviews. Email Karla Andreu at if you have contacts you can share, and please be sure to include the reporter’s name, journal, city, their �beat� (if appropriate), phone number and/or e-mail.
I wanted to post today’s Let’s Talk America update since I haven’t posted anything about LTA in a while. LTA is still going strong, and I encourage those of you who haven’t yet gotten involved to participate in the March 16th or April 9th phone trainings for hosts.
“As Africa enters the twenty-first century, finding more practical approaches to the HIV/AIDS situation in the countries in sub-Saharan Africa now seems to be one of the greatest promises and greatest challenges for the future. How do we make use of resources in our countries to tackle this health problem without losing sight of other national problems?”
This is an excerpt from a new guide for deliberation about the AIDS pandemic entitled “HIV/AIDS in Africa: What Should Be Done?” The guide was written by former Kettering Foundation international fellows, Mpho Putu of South Africa and Tokunbo Awoshakin of Nigeria. Learn more and download a free copy on the NIFI website.
Nancy Kranich, past President of the American Library Association, sent an interesting message to the NCDD Discussion list today about “Sunshine Week,” a March 13-19, 2005 event that generates editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons and news stories about the importance of open government. Begun in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Sunday and Sunshine Week spawned similar initiatives in several other states. Click below for the full announcement.
Click below for a powerful message from Tom Atlee, Founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute. In this message, Tom points to the substance of our looming economic crisis in the context of other crises, emphasizing the need for dialogue and deliberation to generate the collective intelligence to deal with the emerging “Age of Consequences.”
As Tom says, “Now is the time to invest in widespread, high quality dialogue — and for the dialogue-promoting community (e.g., members of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation) to plan on how to meet the demand — now, while time and resources may still be on our side.”
I just received this inspiring announcement from the September Project – the highly successful project that got hundreds of public libraries to hold events on democracy, citizenship and patriotism on and around September 11, 2004. The message announced that the September Project is going forward again in 2005, and it is my hope that the dialogue & deliberation community can make a real splash in the program this year.
This is a great opportunity for D&D activists, organizers and facilitators to build ongoing relationships with their local public libraries in order to introduce more people in their area to dialogue and deliberation. If you are interested in helping NCDD mobilize the D&D community around the 2005 September Project, please email me at [email protected] right away to let me know. Click below to read the September Project’s announcement.
In its March 2 newsletter, the elite World Security Network Foundation put out a strong call for Muslims and Christians to engage in dialogue. According to the Foundation, there are a lot of well-intentioned Muslim-Christian dialogue initiatives, “but progress is close to zero.” Click below for their reasoning, and for the rest of the message.
The aim of the World Security Network is to rouse people out of their apathy, to raise awareness of trouble spots before wars break out, to outline proposed solutions and to draw media attention to security issues at an early stage. Above all, however, it aims to network the “strategic community” – politicians, journalists, academics and opinion-leaders around the world – and to convey new creative ideas and policy recommendations to decision-makers at lightening speed via the Internet. Their weekly newsletter goes out to over 160,000 members of the global information elite all over the world.