We recently heard about an intriguing new video documentary Circles of Change: a quiet revolution in Haiti - a 20 minute DVD/VHS video about the grassroots movement that is transforming notions and practices in education and leadership in Haiti and beyond. To learn more about it go to www.circlesofchange.com.
Archives for May 2005
The special issue of IAF’s Group Facilitation journal entitled “Listening to the City: Public Participation and Group Facilitation in Redeveloping the WTC” is now available in print for $14.95 at Amazon.com and virtualbookworm.com. The size and visibility of “Listening to the City,” the largest face-to-face public participation event ever held, and the political, social, and emotional needs that it responded to, provide an attractive opportunity to draw attention to broader issues regarding public engagement, group facilitation, and the future of democracy. This issue provides an in-depth case study of “Listening to the City” and uses it as a departure point for broader discussions of the practice of public participation. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds and experience of the 25 contributing authors, which include both academics and practitioners, the content is descriptive, evaluative, and speculative. Click below for more details.
We just receieved a report from AmericaSpeaks about its recent project “San Francisco Listens.” In April 2005 AmericaSpeaks assisted Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to hold three meetings around the city that engaged 500 residents in discussions on budget priorities. The meetings addressed the current San Francisco budget crisis and offered participants the opprtunity to prioritize key issues, provide feedback on strategies to address these issues, and suggest additional strategies. The prioritization of policy issues varied by community, but several emerged as issues of common concern across the meetings, including: public safety; accountable and responsive government; jobs and economic development; homelessness; and housing. Mayor Newsom, who kicked off all of the meetings, acknowledged that the longer he is in office, the more difficult it is to stay in touch with residents, and made a commitment to continue to use innovative mechanisms to connect with constituents on shaping policy decisions. Mayor Newsom plans to submit the Final Report from SF Listens along with his budget to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June.
Fielding Graduate University just announced its second certificate course in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement. Several NCDD members participated last year, and I heard some great things about the course. I�m hoping to participate this year myself, since this is a non-conference year. There is an information conference call about the course scheduled for May 11, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This 16-week primarily online course begins on August 29. Click below for the full announcement.