The Compassionate Listenting Project is dedicated to teaching and practicing the art of listening with a “spiritual ear,” to discern and acknowledge the partial truth in everyone – particularly those with whom we disagree. They have just announced their summer and fall lineup of training sessions. Trainings include introductory and advanced courses in compassionate listening, as well as training delegations to Israel/Palestine and South Africa. To learn more about CLP, go to www.compassionatelistening.org. To see a list of upcoming trainings and workshops, including cost and registration information, click on the link below.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) has announced the creation of the Center for Public Conflict Solutions. As the first university center of its type in Arkansas, it will support inclusive and consensus-based public conflict resolution processes. The university has recently launched a graduate certificate in Conflict Mediation in cooperation with the William H. Bowen School of Law. The Center will be part of the Institute of Government and will operate in collaboration with the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. It will coordinate UALR�s interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Conflict Mediation. Ruth Craw has been named Center Director. For more information about the Center, contact Ruth Craw at .
Public engagement is a priority for Denver�s Mayor John Hickenlooper. Two years ago his office organized Denver Listens, an outreach campaign through which over 600 residents prioritized services in preparation for the budget process. Last month the Mayor launched Partnership Denver: Neighbors Building Solutions, an effort seeking to connect public discussion with citizen action. The Mayor�s team decided to use the Oregon Solutions model to engage citizens in actually working toward solutions they first identify through discussion. As with Oregon Solutions, Partnership Denver is founded on the premise that partnership among citizens and government creates better and more lasting solutions than any one sector could achieve by itself. In March and April six community meetings were held throughout Denver. The meetings were centered around the question, �How can I work in partnership to make Denver neighborhoods better places to live, work and play?� Over 400 community members attended the meetings along with the Mayor, City Council members, and City staff. Using keypad voting tools, they identified their most important topics and issues. To read about further civic action in Denver, click on the link below.
This year the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary conference. The conference on the theme of �Complexity, Democracy & Sustainability” is happening from July 9-14, 2006 at Sonoma State University, 50 miles north of San Francisco. The ISSS is unique among systems-oriented institutions in the breadth of its scope, bringing together scholars and practitioners from academic, business, government, and non-profit communities to explore what Gregory Bateson has called the �pattern that connects.� To submit proposals, or for more information on registration, visit www.isss.org/conferences/sonoma2006.
Public Conversations Project (PCP) organizes high quality conversations on publicly divisive issues. They provide some of the highest-quality trainings in the field of dialogue and deliberation, aimed at mediators, HR managers, educators, therapists, parents, social workers, clergy, students, and anyone else who might like to participate in the work of dialogue facilitation. PCP has just announced its 2006 workshop line-up, with meetings taking place throughout the country staring May 5 through November. To register, call Manda at 888-PCP-TEAM x13 or email . To learn more, visit www.publicconversations.org. And to see a list of workshop dates, locations and descriptions, click on the link below.
The Harwood Institute, in collaboration with Fast Company magazine, has just announced an ambitious project – the first Annual Public Innovators Summit. The Summit, set for Aug. 18-20 at the Zermatt Resort & Spa, in Midway, Utah, is an invitation-only event of America�s best and brightest public innovators. These individuals � a collection of nonprofit leaders, major philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, public officials, educators, and faith leaders, will come together to wrestle with some of the most challenging issues facing our society. The format itself will be innovative, with invited guests leading discussions, speaking, and in some cases, driving the agenda itself. To keep up to date with this exciting project, visit www.theharwoodinstitute.org/summit/index.html.
The Center for Healthcare Reform at St. Joseph Health System is planning to convene folks from around the country who are actively engaged in healthcare reform issues using a public dialogue model. The meeting is set for 12-4 p.m. Oct. 16, 2006, preceding the third American Health Care Congress at the Ontario (California) Convention Center on Oct. 17. The gathering will give participants an opportunity to consider the basis of social change, share their strategic directions and plans to build this foundation, and look at specific materials/processes used to affect such change. An example of this approach is www.ourhealthcarefuture.org. For more information contact .
The American Association of Community Justice Professionals (AACJP) will be holding a conference from June 10-14 in Miami Florida. The conference will be organized around three series of workshops. One set of workshops will focus on treatment and assessment strategies that can be used by professionals in human services, community corrections, juvenile justice or other settings when the desired result is changing behaviors or policies supportive of behavioral change. A second set of workshops will address best practices for victims of crime. These workshops will look at practices that range from understanding how to work with an individual victim to implementing systemic change in communities. A third set of workshops will help participants gain an understanding of the diversity of restorative justice practices and how these practices intertwine with treatment and services for victims of crime. The conference will also offer training sessions on various restorative justice topics. To see the conference brochure, visit www.meridian-corp.com/aacjp/brochure.php?button=vw. To register, go to www.meridian-corp.com/aacjp/[email protected]. The early bird registration deadline is May 15.
Susan Partnow will be in Toronto to present �The Fundamentals of Compassion Listening� on April 27. In Compassionate Listening, the emphasis is on strengthening the influence of the heart through cultivating compassion for ourselves and others, and learning to listen and speak from the heart � even in the heat of conflict. Susan is a consultant in Seattle Washington. She serves on the Steering Committee of National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation, Advisory Board to The Radical Middle Newsletter (a project of the Center for Visionary Law, Business, and Public Policy ), co-founded Conversation Cafe and Let’s Talk America, and founded Global Citizen Journey. Metro-Toronto Central YMCA; 20 Grosvenor St (near Yonge and College); 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. The fee for this workshop is $155 including GST and materials. To learn more (or register on-line) see www.leadingedgeseminars.org. For information or instant registration phone 416-964-1133 (outside of Toronto 1-888-291-1133).
Established in 1997 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (www.wkkf.org), the Mid South Delta Initiative (www.msdi.org) is a long-term economic, community, and leadership development effort focused on fifty-five contiguous counties and parishes along the Mississippi River in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. As part of this effort, the Mid South Delta Leadership program is building a network of diverse leaders willing to work across economic, social, and racial divides to shape policies and strategies for education and economic development in the Delta Region. MSDL is currently accepting applications for its third class. MSDL consists of three eighteen-month classes, which include a series of three-day learning retreats, study-travel tours to each of the three state capitals, a Delta Heritage Tour, and meetings of issue-based teams. Forty-five class members, fifteen from each state, will participate in a curriculum that is designed to improve the leadership, management, and communication skills of its participants. MSDL class members represent a wide variety of fields and sectors, including K-12 education, higher education, the nonprofit sector, the public and private sectors, the self-employed, and community volunteers. This policy, in turn, ensures the inclusion of a broad range of stakeholders, particularly those traditionally under-represented in community and economic development efforts. For complete program information and application procedures, visit the MSDI Web site. Deadline: July 21, 2006.
Starting Monday April 24, Rich Harwood will be blogging about the important insights and lessons from a recent convening the Harwood Institute led in Las Vegas. He will be joined by three guest bloggers who attended the convening: David Hooker, vice president of community building, Center for Working Families, Inc. (Atlanta, GA); Reggie Lewis, executive vice president for community impact, United Way of Essex and West Hudson (Newark, NJ); and Nancy Wilson, director and associate dean, University College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University (Medford, MA). Their thoughts will post on Tuesday. Rich will respond again, and our hope is that this conversation will continue throughout the week, with other guests of the convening and all people in our online community joining in to share their thoughts and ideas. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. Vist Rich’s blog at www.theharwoodinstitute.org/rcharwood/weblog/index.html.
The Environment and Public Policy Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution has announced that registration is now open for its conference to be held at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology in Cambridge, MA June 28 – 30, 2006. Chaired by Professor Lawrence Susskind, Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program and Harry Manasewich, President of Human Factor Dispute Resolutions, “Deliberative Democracy: New Directions in Public Policy Dispute Resolution” will offer participants the opportunity to network with each other while learning from top theorists and practitioners of Public Policy Dispute Resolution and Deliberative Democracy (democratic civic engagement). Keynote addresses and workshops will focus on the intersection of theory and practice in resolving public disputes as a means of deepening civic engagement, the role of practitioners in resolving intractable disputes around social and moral issues such as abortion and rebuilding the Gulf Coast, and work that goes on in other countries to resolve conflicts. The conference will also examine public dispute resolution as a business, leveraging financial and other data gathered from surveys of the top dispute resolution individuals and firms. For more information or to register, go to the website www.eppconference.org. Or, you can also contact Anne Mansfield with your questions at 802-831-1338 or .
The Fetzer Institute (www.fetzer.org) is currently seeking a”Senior Program Officer” position for the area of “Individual and Community Transformation.” Fetzer is looking for someone who will work out of their offices in Kalamazoo, MI. To see an extended discussion of the job responsibilities and expected qualifications, please visit www.fetzer.org/WhatsNew.aspx?PageID=WhatsNew&NavID=1. Applications are due by April 30, 2006, but this date is not firm and submissions will be accepted after that date until the position is filled. Please direct questions to or call Fetzer’s Department of Human Relations at 269-375-2000.
The annual Educators for Community Engagement National Gathering is a conference for faculty, staff, students, and community leaders committed to service-learning/community-based learning and civic engagement. The heart of the National Gathering is the learning circle, a powerful form of democratic dialogue. In an era of polarized political debate, widespread distrust, and far too much isolation, this event offers a space for people to share their stories, knowledge, and perspectives as equals. On the first day of the conference, participants will choose among site visits and workshops, including one led by the recipient of Campus Compact’s 2006 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. Participants then join a learning circle for the rest of the event, exploring one issue in greater depth. Most learning circle topics will focus on particular community issues, such as housing and homelessness, environmental sustainability, community and economic development, racism and classism, and youth issues; a few will focus on broader philosophical themes. This year, the conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside from June 15-17. Please visit www.e4ce.org/NG2006 to register for the National Gathering and view updates on the program, registration, and scholarship opportunities. More information about Learning Circles is available at www.e4ce.org/LearningCircles/LearningCircles.htm. If you have questions, please contact Dan Neumann, /262-595-2002, or Heather Vallejos, /262-595-2637.
Both the National Charrette Institute (NCI) Charrette Planner� and Public Meeting Facilitator� Certification trainings will be offered in Alexandria, VA in conjunction with Virginia Tech’s Academy for the New Urbanism, this May 8-12 in Alexandria, VA. For more information about these certification trainings, visit NCI’s programs page: www.charretteinstitute.org/programs.html. To register for the Alexandria trainings, please visit: www.conted.vt.edu/newurbanism/charrette. Got questions? E-mail: