The Corporation for Positive Change (www.positivechange.org) is sponsoring the upcoming conference Appreciative Inquiry: Creating Dynamic Destinies, to be held in Vancouver, B.C. on February 15 and 16, 2007. CPCers Diana Whitney, Jim Ludema, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Nila Rienhart will be making presentations and leading workshops. The book store will have some of the newest books on AI and change management available, including the “just hot off the presses” Change Handbook. There are 200 like-minded people registered to date. It is sure to be a great learning opportunity, and Vancouver is a beautiful place to visit! For the latest information and to register, go to www.tcf-ti.com.
Archives for January 2007
Leadership Strategies (www.leadstrat.com) is rolling out their flagship Effective Facilitator 4-day class in Dallas, TX February 5-8, 2007. The course is designed to help meeting leaders transform their sessions, giving them the ability to engage and excite their group. The 4th day of the course includes a videotaping session where course participants will be filmed facilitating. For more information, visit www.leadstrat.com/effectivefacilitator.shtml. Or contact Jamie Kaye at 1-800-824-2850 ext 27.
[From Steven Mather at Venezuelanalysis.com]
Caracas, January 10, 2007 — The Venezuelan government announced Monday that $5 billion dollars will be available for the new participatory democratic institutions the Communal Councils in 2007. The Intergovernmental Fund for Decentralisation (Fides) will be responsible for distributing the money.
The additional money means the funds available to the Communal Councils will more than triple the $1.5 billion of 2006. Part of the increase can be accounted for due to the expected increase in the number of Communal Councils in Venezuela. (more…)
On October 25th, the NPR radio show Open Source featured a special show on “Experiments in Democracy” (www.radioopensource.org/experiments-in-democracy), with participation from Lani Guinier, Shoni Field (of the BC Citizens’ Assembly), Daniel Kemmis (former mayor of Mizzoula, Montana), and Gianpaolo Baiocchi. The show’s producers write:
Back in September we introduced the idea of doing a show about race, class and voting with Harvard Law professor and voting rights activist Lani Guinier. While prepping for that show, I had an amazing conversation with Professor Guinier. A conversation that, as it turned out, had almost nothing to do with race and class. Instead, we spent an hour talking about “experiments in democracy” — small but radical, hyper-local examples of people re-defining democracy to be more about civic participation and less about a few minutes in a voting booth. Specific examples she cited included a citizen assembly in Vancouver that redesigned British Columbia’s election system, deliberative citizen roundtables in Los Angeles, and participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil. So as the election approaches and we near the end of our midterms series, we’re taking a break to focus on the nature of democracy and civic engagement beyond the ballot box. How are people trying to re-invent democracy in small but significant ways? How are their efforts important or different — successful or not? And could these case studies in LA or Porto Allegre be applied on a wider scale?
[from ParticipatoryBudgeting.org] Terence Woods has recently defended his masters’ thesis on participatory democracy in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre. It is a very accessible and clear piece that many readers will find useful. The thesis is available at www.dev-zone.org/downloads/Porto%20Alegre%20thesis.pdf.
The British Sociological Association’s Youth Study Group in association with the University of Surrey’s Institute of Advanced Studies and The Social Policy Association are calling for papers on the theme of “Young People, New Technologies and Political Engagement” for a conference at the University of Surrey, 24-25 July 2007. The conference intends to contribute to the development of research and theory in this crucial area by providing a forum for scholars from across the world to share the findings of empirical and theoretical work, discuss the policy implications of their research, and strengthen their international and inter-disciplinary ties. (more…)
Globalisation for the Common Good is calling for papers for its sixth annual conference at Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey, 5-9 July, 2007. They seek papers that explore the contributions of various spiritual and ethical perspectives on peace and justice, education for global peace and non-violent conflict resolution, and other political, economic, social, cultural, and spiritual themes pertaining to the theme of globalisation for the common good. Please submit your abstract and join us for this timely international conference in Istanbul, the venerable and inspirational capital at the crossroads of East and West. They also invite observers and delegates to join the conference in Istanbul. For more information, visit www.globalisationforthecommongood.info.
The Co-Founding a Wise Democracy Conference will be held April 13-15 in Port Townsend, WA. This is a new and unique opportunity to observe Dynamic Facilitation and experience the Wisdom Council! Wise Democracy (www.wisedemocracy.org) is looking for “social investors” who might like to hear more and participate. The conference will allow those interested in supporting Wisdom Councils to witness the process by a) viewing a randomly selected group of citizens choose a hot issue from town and be Dynamically Facilitated to reach “co-sensus.” b) “participating” in the Community Meeting on Saturday afternoon; and c) meeting together on Sunday to learn more about what we saw, the potential, and how you can support our growing movement. Registration for this event will be limited to 30 people. Details will be available soon. RSVP to DeAnna if you want to be included in follow up correspondence about this event. If interested, you can also join an email discussion list where we’ll talk about Wisdom Council-related issues – share updates on projects, ask questions and engage in conversation about how to implement them, and maintain our growing network. To subscribe, send an email to DeAnna with “subscribe” in the subject line.
Deanna Martin just sent us word about several Dynamic Facilitation seminars planned for this year. They include February 27 – March 1, 2007 and September 25-27, 2007 in Port Townsend, WA and a 2-day introduction from May 17-18, 2007 in Helsinki, Finland. Visit www.tobe.net/info/general.html for more information or to register. If you are interested in connecting, sharing, networking, and continuing your learning about Dynamic Facilitation online, you can join a DF webforum and discussion list. You can learn more about the group at: http://groups.google.com/group/DynamicFacilitation. To join the discussion list, send an email to with “DF discussion list subscribe” in the subject line.
NYSERDA is seeking proposals for facilitation services to work with a community advisory group (the West Valley Citizen Task Force) near the Western New York Nuclear Service Center in West Valley, NY. The Task Force has been meeting for ten years, providing advice to NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding cleanup and long-term management of facilities located at the Center. The Center is home to the West Valley Demonstration Project, a large nuclear waste cleanup project being conducted by DOE, and a shut-down radioactive waste disposal facility managed solely by NYSERDA.
The initial term of the contract is two years, with the option to renew annually for up to three additional years at NYSERDA’s discretion. The contract is expected to start no later than April 1, 2007. Total not to exceed program budget allocation is $160,000 for the initial term. Click here for more details and instructions.
Many of you know that AmericaSpeaks has been working with the Unified New Orleans Plan (www.unifiedneworleansplan.com) to organize the Community Congress efforts to discuss rebuilding New Orleans. For Community Congress II held on December 2, 2006, more than 2600 New Orleanians gathered in five primary sites linked by satellite and 16 community sites via webcast joined in a unified voice to state their priorities for recovery and rebuilding New Orleans. Last week, over 1300 New Orlenians gathered again for Community Congress III. The Congresses have generated a new sense of will both for the people of New Orleans and for their leadership to take a unified voice back to Congress to make the case for the additional federal investment that is necessary for flood protection, schools, affordable housing and healthcare.
Reports and videos generated by the process are now available on the Web. To see the preliminary report on last week’s Congress III event, visit : www.unifiedneworleansplan.com/uploads/CC3-Preliminary-Report-to-PRINT-32599.pdf. To see videos of the process, go to UNOP’s main website and click on the word “Media.” To hear an NPR story on Community Congress III, click here.
Just a reminder of a rare opportunity — Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD and John Kinyon, M.S. will be leading a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Training Retreat the weekend of Feb. 2–4, 2007 in Atlanta, GA. Marshall Rosenberg is the founder and an international teacher of Nonviolent Communication. NVC is sometimes referred to as compassionate communication — its purpose is to strengthen our ability to inspire compassion from others and to respond compassionately to others and to ourselves. This three-day weekend retreat has daytime and evening components. Participants may choose to register for either or both types of sessions. A Children’s Nonviolent Communication Program will be concurrently offered at the retreat. (more…)
Our friends at OrangeBand, Conversation Café and dropping knowledge (with help from Skype) are hosting a global Conversation Week at the end of March, celebrating the power of conversation to change the world and the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Conversation Cafes. I encourage you to participate during that week as Conversation Cafe hosts or guests. Click on “more” for a message from the organizers for members of the NCDD community.
Last Monday (Jan. 15th), I sent a message out to all NCDD members announcing that NCDD is transitioning from a free membership structure to a paid membership structure (with a pay-what-you-can option). We are giving free copies of the newly-released 2nd edition of The Change Handbook to the first 200 members to pay the full annual fee (it’s not too bad – only $50 for individuals or $100 for organizations).
The checks have been pouring in, which is wonderful, but we still have plenty of books left, so it’s not too late. This original offer was meant only for people who had already joined NCDD when the membership was free, but others have heard about it and have started sending in their membership dues as well. Click “more” for the full details – including how to join while we still have books left!
Riverhouse ePress recently announced the release of free review copies of Style Matters: The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory. A recently developed five-styles-of-conflict inventory used by business managers, organizational consultants, and conflict resolution trainers worldwide to teach personal conflict management skills, Style Matters is based on the Mouton-Blake Grid with the addition of a unique feature making the instrument culturally sensitive. Users as diverse as the Canadian Defense Force, a law school in Australia, and numerous state and federal agencies have adopted Style Matters.
Trainers and consultants may request a free review copy in PDF form by sending a note indicating their organizational affiliation to . Riverhouse ePress is a print and web publisher based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, specializing in resources for conflict resolution.