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Our regional NCDD events brought together over 700 people total this October and November. A huge shout-out to all the members of our local planning teams!

Archives for December 2007

Learning Democracy by Doing Conference Calls for Proposals    

The Transfomative Leadership Centre logo.

We have just received a reminder from Melissa Abramovitz that the call for workshop proposals for the Learning Democracy by Doing conference closes at the end of this month. This international conference organized by the Transformative Learning Centre (TLC) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT) focuses on alternative practices in citizenship learning and participatory democracy and will be held October 16-18, 2008 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

From the Transformative Learning Centre website:

We are interested in attracting presentations that examine past or present innovative  and progressive practices of transformative citizenship learning and participatory democracy in different settings including formal and  non-formal educational institutions, civil society organizations, municipal governments and workplaces. We encourage presentations  that pay attention to the strengths as well as to the weaknesses of those initiatives, placing them in their particular social and  historical contexts.

Deadline for submissions of proposals is December 31, 2007. Please submit your abstract by email in the body of the message to Nelson Rosales, TLC 2008 conference coordinator [email protected]. More information about the event can be found at their website,

Louise Diamond Offering Change Agent Master Class in 2008    

Louise Diamond will be offering a year-long master class for social change agents called How to Change the World. Beginning in January, this course covers the Four Wisdom Ways, or four areas of knowledge and skill essential to effective change leadership. Each Wisdom Way is explored in a three-month session that combines a 4-day intensive workshop with distance learning. You can take any session separately, or all of them for an integrated program. The fee for this first session of How to Change the World is $950; less if you register for more than one session. This includes tuition plus lunches and snacks during the intensive. The Home Study option costs $350. Limited scholarship assistance is available. For more information, and to register, go to Keep reading for a description of the first session…

Early Registration Open for Tools For Participation Conference    

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and the UC Berkeley School of Information have opened up early bird registration for their upcoming conference on online deliberation, with the theme of “Tools for Participation: Collaboration, Deliberation, and Decision Support, Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing Symposium” ( The conference will be held June 26 – 29, 2008.

DIAC-08 combines CPSR’s 11th DIAC symposium with the third Conference on Online Deliberation. The joint conference is intended to provide a platform and a forum for highlighting socio-technological opportunities, challenges, and pitfalls in the area of community and civic action. Technology enhanced community action ranges from informal communities of practice to democratic governance of formal organizations to large social movements.

They are still interested in receiving submissions including: (more…)

Young Scholars Invited to Apply for Youth Purpose Research Awards    

Here’s another grant opportunity that aims to fund research on youth and “purpose,” which sounds a lot like civic engagement to me: The Stanford Center on Adolescence supports young scholars pursuing research related to youth purpose. The program defines “purpose” as “a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at once meaningful to the self and of intended consequence beyond the self.” Up to four awards of no more than $10,000 each will be given in 2008 and 2009 for dissertation, postdoctoral, and early faculty career research that sheds light on adolescent intention, involvement with beyond-the-self causes, and topics that lead to the development of purpose, function of purpose in a youth’s life, and supports for and challenges to purpose.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., and must be affiliated with an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants may be from any discipline that may inform youth purpose scholarship. Complete program information is available at the Stanford Center on Adolescence Website ( Deadline: January 17, 2008.

Applications Open for Phillips Fund Grant for Native American Research    

Here’s a small research grant opportunity for younger scholars doing work with Native Americans: Based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, The Phillips Fund of the American Philosophical Society ( ) provides grants for research in Native American linguistics, ethnohistory, and the history of studies of Native Americans, in the continental United States and Canada. Grants are not made for projects in archaeology, ethnography, psycholinguistics, or for the preparation of pedagogical materials. The committee distinguishes ethnohistory from contemporary ethnography as the study of cultures and culture change through time.

The committee prefers to support the work of younger scholars who have received the doctorate. Applications are also accepted from graduate students for research on masters theses or doctoral dissertations. The fund’s one-year grants are intended for such costs as travel, tapes, films, and consultants’ fees but not for the purchase of books or permanent equipment. The average award is for approximately $2,500; grants do not exceed $3,500 each. Guidelines and application materials are available at the American Philosophical Society Web site. The deadline for applications is March 3, 2008.

California Council for the Humanities Announces Guidelines for Story Fund    

Here’s a grant that aims to promote public storytelling and reflection – what a lovely idea!

The California Story Fund is an ongoing grant program of the California Council for the Humanities ( The council will award competitive grants to public humanities programs that bring to light compelling stories from California’s
diverse communities and provide opportunities for collective reflection and public discussion. The Story Fund is intended to encourage Californians from many communities to share their stories, thus promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the richness and complexity of the state. The council is especially interested in projects that will engage California youth in interpreting and reflecting on their experience through humanities-based programming. Organizations serving youth are strongly encouraged to apply. (more…)

Call for Conference Proposals on Service Learning and Civic Engagement    

The Community College National Center for Community Engagement (CCNCCE) is now inviting proposal submissions to present at its 17th national annual conference, Recipes for Student Retention through Service Learning and Civic Engagement, to be held on May 21-23, 2008. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 4th, 2008.

Conference presentations are 1-hour or 90-minute sessions, which should be designed to be highly interactive. Proposals to present at the conference must be submitted in electronic form. In keeping with the conference theme, some of the issues you may wish to address in your workshop are: (more…)

Seeking Center Director for the Downtown Education Collaborative    

The Downtown Education Collaborative (DEC)—a community education partnership between Andover College, Bates College, Central Maine Community College, and University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn—seeks an experienced, creative, dynamic leader to coordinate a unique initiative: the launch of a storefront center dedicated to joint, community-based educational work in and with Lewiston’s downtown residential neighborhood.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled collaborator, an able organizer, and a social entrepreneur with an ability to work comfortably in both academic and community settings. S/he will be skilled and knowledgeable at working with faculty and students from diverse academic settings and skilled and knowledgeable at working with diverse community perspectives and interests. The ideal candidate will be open, resourceful, and flexible, earning trust and offering good judgment as s/he sets the Center’s agenda, fosters collaboration, and nurtures DEC’s practice of consensus governance. S/he will possess a working knowledge of, or good instincts about, community issues, non-profit management, and academic culture.

The position is temporary, with a three-year commitment and the possibility of longer tenure if further funding is secured. The position offers an annual salary of $40,000 combined with an outstanding benefit package. Tentative start date for this position is January 9, 2007. (more…)

Call for Papers on the Global Convergence of Civil and Human Rights    

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute ( has put out a call for papers on the theme of “A Single Struggle: The Global Convergence of Civil and Human Rights” for its upcoming conference May 1-2, 2008 in Birmingham Alabama. If you are interested in presenting, submit a 1-2 page abstract and curriculum vita to Dr. Horace Huntley at by December 15, 2007. Papers should be no more than twenty minutes in length. You can expect a response to your submission no later than January 15, 2008. Read on to see the themes of the conference: (more…)

Registration Now Open for Authentic Leadership Institute    

The Shambhala Institute has just announced that registration is now open for the eighth annual Authentic Leadership Summer Institute, June 22-28 2008 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Institute features ten parallel modules led by internationally recognized thought leaders, researchers, and practitioners working at the edge of emerging new fields. Participants can choose one module as a five-day focus and learn practical skills for creating a culture of authenticity while navigating complex challenges. Participants will also strengthen their leadership presence and capacity through meditation and creative process, as well as engaging in dialogue with 300 other innovative executives, change agents, and entrepreneurs from across sectors and around the world.

Module leaders include Margaret Wheatley, Bill Torbert, Tom Hurley, Wendy Palmer, James Flaherty, Adam Kahane and others. A complete list of modules and descriptions is now available online. For a full description of the 2008 Authentic Leadership in Action Summer Institute, visit the program page: Register now and receive a $490 discount off the full fee.

CPRN Reports Highlight Contributions of Citizens to Fiscal Balance Policy    

Despite recent funding cuts, the Canadian Policy Research Networks ( continues to produce important research on the impact that citizen engagement can have on public policy processes. In the presentation “Complexity, Politics, Policy and People,” former CPRN Civic Engagement Director Mary Pat MacKinnon offers insights on how a process of deliberative dialogue was used by the Canadian Advisory Panel on Fiscal Imbalance as part of its consultative process on how to better share funds between governments. I saw Mary Pat present this very interesting work at the C2D2 Conference in November. Her presentation describes the dialogue process and the resulting roadmap citizens provided to decision-makers in working through how to address this politicized issue of sharing funds. It shows how engagement can be effective in identifying citizen solutions on an issue that most policy makers consider to be beyond citizen understanding or interest. To access or download her presentation, go to (more…)

Planning Process for NCDD 2008    

Here is an outline of the planning process for NCDD’s 2008 conference. Click here to look over the existing planning team.

  1. Structure of the 2008 Planning Team
  2. How does the Planning Team function?
  3. What’s next in the planning process?
  4. What Planning Team members should do
  5. Not yet part of the Planning Team?

Structure of the 2008 Planning Team

Conference Director: Sandy Heierbacher (secures funding, galvanizes involvement and support from community, manages budget, provides overall direction, ensures continuity, supports Core Team, etc.)

Conference Manager: TDB (facilitates core team calls, manages new volunteers, checks in with team facilitators, serves as go-to person at the conference for design issues)

Core Team: conference director, conference manager, facilitators of the following teams, as well as Katie Howard, John Spady, and Dave Joseph (responsible for overall theme, direction and design of the conference and for ensuring that all teams remain in communication and collaborate when appropriate)

Central Texas Team: led by Diane Miller (responsible for ensuring that D&D programs and innovations in/around Austin are highlighted meaningfully at the conference; determining how Austin can benefit from the conference coming to the city; overseeing local PR and outreach efforts; handling Austin-specific logistics like homestays, entertainment, and a list of local restaurants)

Tech Team: led by Andy Fluke (responsible for coordinating the use of online tools to help people connect before and after the conference; blogging on the NCDD 2008 blog before and during the conference; ensuring that photos, video, and audio are handled well at and after the conference; overseeing internet access at the venue; coordinating a workshop on technology and D&D)

Logistics Team: led by Polly Riddims (responsible for venue logistics, coordinating a conference bookstore, improving the atmosphere at the conference with decorations, flowers, etc., coordinating evening activities and options, creating a list of local restaurants and map to show people where they are, identifying where people can make copies, send packages, etc.)

Small Task Groups: a number of smaller task groups will be formed to focus on specific vital areas of conference planning (to reach out to underrepresented groups, to manage conference “threads,” to coordinate the arts component of the conference, etc.)

Shorter-Term Task Groups: various shorter-term task groups will be formed throughout the planning process (to review workshop proposals, to design specific plenary sessions, to coordinate conference Listeners, to design networking sessions)

The 2008 NCDD “Planning Team” consists of everyone serving in these teams and task groups.

How does the Planning Team function?

All members of the planning team for the 2008 conference are subscribed to a main discussion list for the whole team. If you are not yet a member of NCDD, you will be added as a new member so you can get a better feel for the NCDD community, and so you can have a page on the NCDD Members Network and be easily reached.

You may be asked to serve on one of the sub-teams or task groups depending on what you expressed an interest in doing. If you agree to serve on one of the sub-teams (Central TX, Logistics, Tech), you will most likely be subscribed to a discussion list that your team’s facilitator will use to explore issues, generate ideas, and get a sense of how their team feels about different options. They may also ask you to participate in periodic conference calls (or face-to-face meetings, if you are part of the Central Texas Team). If you are part of the Central Texas Team, which is quite large, fewer calls/meetings will involve your entire team.

If you agree to be part of a particular task group (rather than a larger sub-team), you can use email, phone calls and conference calls as needed – and we can set up a discussion list for your group if you think that would be helpful. You will be asked to provide regular updates on your progress to the Conference Manager.

Planning team members will also be asked to visit NCDD’s Events blog regularly so they can see what’s happening, add comments on various ideas and issues, and look over input from the greater NCDD community. Let us know if you are interested in blogging (adding your own blog posts rather than just adding comments to existing posts) about your area of the planning process, and we’ll set you up on the blog.

If you are not-so-comfortable with web technology, hopefully this process will help you to see the value in it and help you to become more comfortable. Planning team members will be from all across the country – and from outside of the U.S. as well, so it is necessary for us to communicate primarily via email and the web. If you find that you need help or advice with anything technology-oriented, we strongly encourage you to email Andy Fluke, NCDD’s Creative Director, at .

What’s next in the Planning Process?

In early 2008, we scheduled several all-team calls for planning team members. On the first set of calls, Sandy provided an overview of NCDD’s conferences (their basic purpose, typical structure, role in the field, etc.), and team members introduced themselves shared why they joined the planning team and what they hoped to contribute the planning. We then held an all-team visioning/brainstorming call, during which everyone who participated shared their hopes and ideas for the conference.

The Core Team processed what we learned from these initial calls, and made some decisions about the conference theme (“Creating Cultures of Collaboration”), goals for NCDD 2008, and challenge areas we hope to focus on at the event. Sandy and Polly visited Austin in February, and many great ideas emerged from meetings with members of the Central Texas Team during that trip, such as the “Call for Innovations“.

Some sub-teams and task groups have since formed as well. Currently, the planning team is engaged in an innovative online dialogue at CivicEvolution to explore how we can leverage NCDD Austin to make some real progress on some of the major challenges facing the D&D community. Members of the greater NCDD community are welcome to join us at Information about how the online dialogue process will work, as well as tips and instructions, are posted at

What Planning Team members should do

Here are some things that all planning team members should consider doing. Feel free to email Sandy Heierbacher, conference director, anytime if you have questions about your role on the planning team ().

  1. If you haven’t already, give some thought to what aspect (or aspects) of the planning process you’d like to help with. Read over this page and read about previous NCDD conferences to help give you ideas. On the main page of the Events section you’ll find reports, summaries, blogs, audio, and more on our past three national conferences.
  2. Talk to Sandy or Diane about what you’d like to do. Most planning team members who live in Central Texas are connecting with Central Texas Team leader Diane Miller about their role in the planning process. Many others have spoken to or emailed Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s director. We encourage you do this as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.
  3. Look over the list of planning team members and connect with those who share your interests or want to work on similar areas of the conference. Each of their names click into their members page in the NCDD Members Network, where you can find their email address and phone number, or leave comments for them on their page.
  4. Look over your page in the NCDD Members Network and see what needs added/updated. We’d like all planning team members to have photos of themselves on their pages, and have their full contact info, personal bios and organizational descriptions up as well. To get to your page, click on your name on the planning team page or click on “members” in the menu at the top of the page and then search for yourself. If you need help logging in, uploading photos, or anything else, email NCDD office manager Joy Garman at .
  5. Send a message to the Planning Team discussion list and introduce yourself, talk about what your hopes are for the conference or what you hope to contribute, or ask a question of the planning team. Email to send a message out to everyone on the planning team. The email address for the Central Texas Team list is .
  6. Look over the 2008 conference blog and see if there are any blog posts you can contribute to by adding comments. We’ll be using the blog to pose questions to planning team members and members of the broader D&D community to help inform our decisions and give us new ideas. Just click on the title of the blog post and then add a comment using the short form below the post; it’s super-easy.

Not yet part of the Planning Team?

Interested in contributing your knowledge, time and talents to help ensure the Austin conference is our best event yet? We’d love to have you on the Planning Team!

NCDD’s biennial conferences are unique experiments in collaborative planning, and we have managed dynamic planning teams of about 60 people for each of our three previous conferences. Potential planning team members should complete this short survey asap so we can find out what you’re interested in doing.

Find similar posts: NCDD2008,ncdd events

New Report: Citizenship as Wealth    

NCDD member Cynthia Gibson sent us a link to a new online study that argues we should think of a country’s wealth in terms of social capital and citizenship practices. The study called “Where is the Wealth of Nations? Measuring Capital in the 21st Century” reports that the true wealth of a nation is not its natural resources or its built capital but instead is its intangible capital: trust among people, an efficient judicial system, clear property rights, and effective government. For developed countries, 80% of a nation’s wealth is intangible capital. Visit to download a copy.

Obama Tech Plan Aims for Connected Democracy    

NCDD member Beth Noveck wrote to us recently about the Obama Technology Plan, announced in mid November. In addition to taking a stand on such issues as net neutrality, media cross-ownership and patent reform, the plan contains an extensive proposal to create a “transparent and connected democracy” and includes a commitment to establish “pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry to help government make more informed decisions.” In addition, the Senator proposes to establish a CTO whose responsibilities would include implementation of the E-Government Act.

Beth blogged the key open government proposals here, where you can also find a copy of the plan in its entirety.

Online Resources for Dialogue    

NCDD Member Juli Fellows wrote to us recently with some amazing resources to inspire our own conversations about media, technology, science and other pressing issues and concerns of the day. These video excerpts come from conferences on these issues and are available free online. The list was compiled by Denise Lalonde of Lalonde Consulting and Coaching.

1) TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. Almost 150 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. Visit (more…)

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