Najeeba Sayeed-Miller sent us word that the Western Justice Center Foundation (www.westernjustice.org) has been in the news recently. The Pasadena Star-News reported on the WJCF’s work facilitating community-police dialogue around a recent wave of violence in Pasadena. We’ve included the text of the article below: (more…)
Archives for May 2007
If you have been thinking about attending the Taos Institute’s first ever Summer Workshop Series on Transformative Dialogues, now is the time to register. The workshop will be held from June 24-29, 2007 on the beautiful campus of the University of New Hampshire. Registration includes five days of workshops, plenaries, guest speakers, breakfast and lunch as well as time to meet others who want to explore how dialogic practices transform lives, communities, organizations, and families. Regular Registration (until June 1st) is $800; Student and Senior registration (until June 1st) is $700. Lodging is available in the university dorm rooms for a reasonable rate of $30 per night – double, $35/person for a single. Visit www.taosinstitute.net/upcoming/c200706.html for details and registration information or contact . (more…)
Leadership Strategies will be offering its course “The Effective Facilitator” from June 18-20 in Irvine, CA. Participants will learn 10 Principles of Facilitation and 90+ Implementation Strategies! This course specifically trains to facilitate sessions where participants aren’t acting or reacting the way you’d like them to. The cost of the workshop is $1495. Register by June 8th and receive a 20% discount. Two registrations get 25% off and 3 registrations receive 30% off. The location of the Workshop is Inforte, 4 Park Plaza, Suite 700, Irvine, CA 92614. For more information, contact Olivia Cash at 800-824-2850 ext. 77, or visit Leadership Strategies’ website: www.leadstrat.com.
The just-concluded 2007 Nigerian general elections mark the first civilian transfer of power in Nigeria since its independence from Britain in 1960. Civic Life International (www.civiclifeint.org) has initiated talks with the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, to host a 2-day summit in Washington D.C , Fall 2007. The summit will consider the prospects for this aspiring democracy to become a strategic, democratic partner for the United States and a stabilizing influence in the region.
The proposed summit will be an opportunity to engage and interact with key Nigerian leaders (governors, bureaucrats, diplomats, media owners and policy researchers who have granted their consent). The conference organizers believe that democratic aspirations require a transparent, fertile and dynamic seed bed of peaceful dialogue and deliberation to grow and flourish. Together, the conference organizers hope to better understand and assist Nigeria to effect positive change, reducing chances for corruption, increasing profits and fairness from oil and other natural resources, and improving cooperation on concerns of terrorism, among other issues. Counterparts from the State Department, World Bank, and relevant Non-Government Organizations have been invited to participate in this mutually beneficial exchange. For more information on joining the summit as a partner, please contact Tokunbo Awoshakin at 937-259-9889 or Amy Jones at 937- 241-8213.
Civic Life International (www.civiclifeint.org) and the Charles F. Kettering Foundation (www.kettering.org) have entered into a learning agreement to focus on how citizens are engaging the in the Dayton area on the issue of race and violence. This work will consist of public engagement processes involving dialogue and deliberation; learning from reflective journals, facilitator reports, and participant interviews, including quotes describing participant’s experiences, so that other communities across the country can learn from their personal experiences as they attempt to improve race relations and reduce violence in their communities. Along with the online series, Civic Life International will observe, evaluate and report on:
- How participants approach the issues at the forum
- The challenges in connecting to the public
- How did participants avoid simply talking to themselves and dimensions that emerged, outside of the original framing of issues
- The usefulness of media tool and story telling techniques in creating space for deliberating
We’re very much looking forward to hearing about the results of this research!
It’s been out for two days and it’s already #3 on Amazon.com. Al Gore’s new book “The Assault on Reason” focuses on the way we debate and decide on the critical issues of the day. This a major opportunity for our field…are we ready to respond? Here’s an excerpt from Gore’s note to Amazon readers:
Reasoned, focused discourse is vital to our democracy to ensure a well-informed citizenry. But this is difficult in an environment in which we are experiencing a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time–from the O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson trials to Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith.
Never has it been more vital for us to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from the climate crisis to the war in Iraq to the deficits and health and social welfare. Today, reason is under assault by forces using sophisticated techniques such as propaganda, psychology, and electronic mass media. Yet, democracy’s advocates are beginning to use their own sophisticated techniques: the Internet, online organizing, blogs, and wikis. Although the challenges we face are great, I am more confident than ever before that democracy will prevail and that the American people are rising to the challenge of reinvigorating self-government. It is my great hope that those who read my book will choose to become part of a new movement to rekindle the true spirit of America.
Thanks for having me at NCDD! I’m pretty excited to be here and share ideas with all of you around the ways the arts can be used to improve and amplify the level of dialogue in our communities. I’ll also be sharing ideas and innovations from dialogue and deliberation on the ‘net. Finally, I’ll be very interested to explore how we can use tools like this blog and NCDD discussion boards to promote collaboration with the NCDD network.
I thought I’d use my first post to introduce a few things I’m pretty excited about these days – so here goes!
First is Netsquared’s upcoming conference May 29-30 in San Jose, California. The aim of this meeting is to bring together 21 awardees of this year’s Technology Innovation Fund and spur collaboration among these groups and their supporters. There are still some conference invitations available that can be requested online. If you are in the Bay area and interested in discovering ways the web can be used to advance the work of mission-driven organizations I recommend that you become a member of N2 and try and make this year’s meeting.
Something else that is new and on the horizon comes from Howard Rheingold, the visionary culture observer who brought us Smart Mobs. Howard is starting a new effort along with some of his colleagues from the Institute for the Future called “New Commons.” The idea Howard is working on, and I think it relates very closely to the D&D field (eg how we “govern” the commons) is to track and interpret emerging examples, practices, and principles of New Commons – resources identified as “commons” including the Internet, health care, urban space, the atmosphere, etc. For this exercise, Howard and his colleagues are viewing themselves as “naturalists” in the emerging landscape of new commons, collecting “specimens” and using them to understand this phenomenon from the bottom up. Check in at the ITF website or here for news when the project goes public.
Finally, this 9min video came in a copy of Wired Magazine this week. I liked the idea – that innovation can be found in the most unlikely places, and dialogue is at the center of exploration – and have been wondering how to scale it? Shell obviously has been pouring millions into scenarios and other methods for organizational learning, and some of this work has paid off. While its nice to see the rose-colored picture of humaneness and dedication reflected in this film, it also makes it a little too easy to forget about what is happening in terms of justice to our friends and family in places like Nigeria. What are your reactions to the video?
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The Perspectives Group is presenting the IAP2 Course in Public Participation three more times this year in Alexandria, VA. This training is designed for professionals working in the fields of community development, nonprofit and government public services, and public understanding and outreach. It is also designed for industry communications and public affairs or public relations, advocacy and lobbying organizations, private and government groups, and any individual/organization required to deal with the public about complex or potentially contentious issues. Upon completion of the full week of training, participants will receive a certificate from IAP2, the world’s leading association for public participation. (more…)
The Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network has created a “Find-a-Facilitator” Listing Service. The Listing service is for independent or small business professional facilitators, who can join the list for a small annual fee. The list is free for clients to search, and organizes facilitators by broad categories (e.g. government or business) and by specialty (e.g. strategic planning, bilingual facilitation, etc.). MAFN also provides a matching service between clients and facilitators. To find out more about the list, or to register, click here.
Those of you studying dialogue and deliberation at the level of international politics may be interested in the Fulbright-Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Research Award in International Politics in Germany, sponsored by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. (This is CIES Award #8259). The award will be offered to one junior or senior scholar in the field of international politics to spend 2 to 10 months performing research and occasional lectures in Berlin in the areas of European integration and enlargement, European and Atlantic security and global issues. (more…)
Diana Whitney will be hosting the annual “Being AI: A Spiritual Retreat for Change Agents” this July 18 – 21 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This 4-day retreat is an opportunity for anyone who seeks to live consciously in relation to spirit, to reconnect, reaffirm and deepen their beliefs and practices. It is an opportunity to explore with others multiple ways to live positively and to create healthy organizations and communities and to enhance your capacity to live the principles and practices of appreciative inquiry. For more information or to register, visit the Corporation for Positive Change (CPC) website www.positivechange.org where you can also download a printable brochure and registration form. For more information or questions about registration, contact Suzanne at , phone (303) 972-5155.
The “Mapping Dialogue” report put together in 2006 by Pioneers of Change associates for GTZ is being turned into a book in collaboration with the Taos Institute. The book will map out over 20 different dialogue approaches as well as foundations for a healthy dialogue process and ways of assessing which methods to use in different situations. Learn more on the Mapping Dialogue page on NCDD’s Learning Exchange, and download the report from http://pioneersofchange.net/library/dialogue/.
Pioneers of Change welcomes your feedback on the document, so they can incorporate your ideas. Email them at if you have comments or contributions to make.
The Council for the International Exchange of Scholars has announced several Fulbright program funding opportunities to lecture and/or conduct research in Asia and Central Asia through the Fulbright Scholar program in the 2008-09 academic year. They include the following:
** Korea has a dedicated award in peace studies at Kyung Hee University to teach graduate-level courses. For more information, see www.cies.org/award_book/award2008/award/Pea8151.htm
** Malaysia offers the unique chance to train junior diplomats from Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries while conducting independent research on international relations. Or, be affiliated with a key Islamic institution around Kuala Lumpur to lecture and/or conduct research on Islamic Studies. (more…)
A program of the Proteus Fund (www.proteusfund.org), the Colombe Foundation seeks to create a peaceful world through changes in American policy. The fund support efforts working toward the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, a shift from war to conflict prevention and resolution, and a shift from military spending to investments in programs addressing poverty, environmental degradation, and other root causes of violence. The foundation currently makes grants to organizations in the United States that share its mission and use the following strategies: grassroots organizations working to educate the public and influence decision makers; peace advocacy organizations promoting alternative policies; and organizations initiating media coverage.
Proposals to the foundation must include a copy of the applicant organization’s IRS determination letter indicating status as a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit the program’s Web page for further information and application procedures. The deadline for applications is September 3, 2007.
Juanita Brown emailed me yesterday and told me that she just came back from Dresden, Germany from the first World Cafe European gathering. They had participants from over 15 countries, representing local Community Cafes on business, arts, sustainability, youth, education, etc. Juanita was truly humbled to to see what is unfolding with World Cafe work around the world.