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Local, Regional and National Events

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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 May 2008

Networking Topics for Opening Session    

Table topics during our Opening Session at NCDD Austin will allow you to meet others who share your interests and affinities right off the bat. We’ve been asking conference participants to submit “networking topics” if they are passionate about a topic, process, venue, etc. and they’d like to meet others who feel the same.

Below are the topics we’re going forward with so far (and the people who submitted them and will be hosting the tables) and some more details about what we’ll be doing and why. Send a quick email to NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at if you’d like to host a table on a particular topic!

You’re coming to the conference, in large part, to meet people who share your interests. At NCDD conferences, people tend to leave knowing that they’ve built a slew of new supportive, collaborative relationships.

To help this along at NCDD Austin, we’re holding a structured networking session during the very first plenary session of the conference. This networking session will allow participants, at the start of the conference, to meet people with similar interests as them. Maybe you’re passionate about a particular issue, like climate change, racism or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps you focus on a specific area of D&D work like restorative justice or deliberative democracy. Maybe you’d like to meet other researchers who are at the conference, other college students, others from outside the U.S., or others who teach at universities? This networking session will give you the chance to meet people during the opening session who you can connect with again and again over the next few days.

All conference participants are invited to suggest topics — especially if you are willing to serve as the “table host” for that topic and move the conversation forward with some light facilitation. The point of this session is networking – meeting and starting to get to know others who share your interests, so hosts will ensure people have the chance to introduce themselves and share how their work relates to the topic.

There won’t be time for in-depth conversations about the topic; this is about meeting people you can connect with again later on.  So focus broadly, like the topics suggested above (”using D&D to address climate change” rather than “using D&D to encourage high school students to recycle”).

Here are the topics we’ve got so far…

Rooting D&D in Government Structures

Submitted by: John Spady (willing to host)

Dialogue across the Partisan Divide

Table host: Jacob Hess

Encouraging Dialogue in Higher Ed

Encouraging the values and processes of dialogue within the academy, including pedagogy, student life, administrative and faculty culture — it’s challenges and its possibilities. (We are have been doing this at Clark University over the last three years, initially with support from the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues initiative.)

Table host: Sarah Buie

Bridging the Sacred/Secular Divide

Many social change efforts could benefit from alliances between secular and faith-based networks. Effective alliances are often prevented or hampered by lack of contact or mutual stereotyping. In some secular contexts people “of faith” have felt have felt marginalized and “trashed”. The converse is also true. In some religious contexts, people who have a secular world view have felt silenced and dismissed.

I am interested to brainstorm with people who have participated in efforts to bridge this difference as well as people who would like to convene such conversations in the future.

Table host: Laura Chasin

Dialogue on Structural Racism

I work with a number of community based programs in Baltimore and we struggle with the structural racism that exists in education, foundation giving, prison system, etc. and how it plays out as we work together in unity for change. We continue to strive to dialogue about racial disparities in these systems while promoting change. I would like to meet others who work in the community who face these issues and want to find tools and opportunities to having honest, truthful dialogue about race and class.

Table host: Polly Riddims

D&D on Environmental / Land Use Issues

Table host: Steve Zikman

Public Health

I am consulting with some senior leaders in the field of public health. It is my hope that I can connect with others who are also focused in this area.

 Table host: Robert Corman

Using the Arts in Dialogue

As a graphic recorder/facilitator I’m always asking myself how I can most effectively use visuals to assist & enhance the dialogue process. And my interest goes beyond the visual arts – I also see the value and impact of theatre, song, movement, poetry and so on. Would love to connect with others who are also exploring the role of the arts in dialogue, to swap stories, questions, ideas, and maybe try out some stuff together!

Table host: Avril Orloff

Building State Networks to Support Deliberation

We have a statewide network in Oklahoma that we are trying to expand and we’d like to brainstorm with others to find out what they have tried in their states.  We are also thinking of creating a business plan for our state network and would like to discuss this with others as well to see if they have tried something similar.

Table host: Kimberly Williams and Renee Daugherty

Online Facilitation / Deliberation Tools

Table host: Tom Murray

Applying Adult Developmental Psychology to D&D

Table host: Jan Inglis

Critical Social Theory and Dialogue

You love to read Foucault, Habermas, Kristeva, Butler, Adorno, Gadamer, Deleuze & Guattari … but don’t have anybody to talk to about their work? Here’s the chance. Basically, we’re interested in exploring how critical theory can inform dialogue practice more fully.

Table host: Tod Sloan

Gender / Gender Identity and Dialogue

This topic refers to the complexity and tension around roles and power sharing in business and personal life and the leadership demands for a sustainable planet in the 21st century. This topic potentially runs the gamut of processes for gender reconciliation (most commonly related to instances/places of extreme women’s oppression) to processes that address the “undiscussibles” of mate selection and expectations in romantic/sexual relationships.

Table host: Steven Fearing

Conversation Cafes

Table host: Tobin Quereau

Online Dialogue

Table host: Ken Bausch

Embodied Dialogue and Aikido

Embodied dialogue is a term I am experimenting with, and refers (in my thinking, at this time) to the integration of the basic princples and practices of Aikido into deep listening and clear speaking. I have been training in Aikido for six years.

Table host: Laurie McCann

Social Media and D&D

What are all these people talking about online? How are people engaged in dialog and deliberation using social media? What are the big trends?

Table host: Chris Heuer

Intergenerational Dialogue at Work

We have seen the Art of Dialogue used effectively within a social justice context, and we believe we are missing an enormous opportunity to change the quality of people’s lives where they spend most of their time – at work. Whether a for profit coporation, non profit or government organization, dialogue offers employers and employees the chance to create and sustain positive work relationships. Baby Boomers, Generations “X,”, “Y,” and upcoming “Z” need to work together effectively in teams and in one-on-one relationships. We are interested in gathering a table from different generations to explore this exciting topic.

Table co-hosts: Paul Weismn and Michele Simos-Weisman

Assessing the Impact of Race Dialogues

I would like to host a table to bring together others interested in doing research to show the impact on a community of dialogue about race relations.  The opportunities for funding such dialogues are great, but we need to show that we are making an impact.  I am not a researcher, but would love to hear from those who have the research knowledge and skills how they have approached this problem.

Table host:  Kathryn Liss

Capturing Knowledge

Table host:  Kevin Leahy

Int’l Association of Facilitators Members

Table host:  Linda Mather

Interfaith Dialogue with Traditionalists

Table host:  Imam Abubakar Abdul

DIY D&D for the Masses

There simply aren’t enough practitioners nor large enough budgets to create initiatives to help citizens and communities address all of the issues they face. How can we scale the role of D&D in society by putting tools and best practices directly in the hands of citizen stakeholders.

Table host: Brian Sullivan

Building Community by Networking Neighbors

Table host: Cheryl Honey

Find similar posts: NCDD2008

Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Seeks Executive Director    

The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (, a project of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (, is currently looking for an Executive Director…

Colleges and universities increasingly pledge an institutional commitment to diversity; yet, relations among diverse student communities are often dominated by racial and cultural tensions. Young people across the country frustrated with campus tensions have been drawn to a process called Sustained Dialogue (SD), first used to improve campus climate at Princeton University in 1999. Formed in 2003, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) trains, mentors, and connects students seeking to build more cohesive, diverse, engaged campus communities through dialogue. A project of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, SDCN seeks a passionate self-starter to serve as Executive Director and to lead its expansion nationally while building a strong and sustainable organization.

For more information please visit the SDNC Job Openings page on the SDCN website.

Co-Creating What’s Next    

Mitch Saunders, a past presenter at our conferences, is presenting a new Learning Lab with Craig Fleck entitled Co-Creating What’s Next at the University of California at Berkeley on July 16-18, 2008 along with guests Rod Bacon and Mathew Frazer, CEO’s from Silicon Valley. At the workshop, you will experience new perspectives on previously hidden forces acting on individuals and the organizations in which they work, engage at a deeper level and learn repeatable ways to influence personal and organizational change. Join fellow leaders and practitioners exploring how the principles of living systems and dynamic, co-creative practices are used for sensing and influencing the development of people, innovations, and organizations. While working on real issues, you will learn principles, practices, and practical tools for discovering and influencing what’s emerging and needed next. Learn more at or register at

Connecting with Canadians Policy Research and Dialogue Program    

from the Canadian Policy Research Networks ( press release…

Connecting with Canadians, a new five-year public policy research and dialogue program that will engage Canadians to address key issues such as citizenship, diversity and skills barriers, has been launched by Canadian Policy Research Networks. A unique feature of Connecting with Canadians is its commitment to greater engagement of young Canadians in policy issues, says Manson Singer. Young people will participate in the research and dialogue. “We want to leave our young leaders with a legacy of skills and interest in Canada’s public affairs.”

Connecting with Canadians draws on a framework of expectations and obligations: what Canadians say they expect from government, business and community organizations and what they believe, as citizens, we should give back to society. Together, this set of expectations and obligations represents a vision of the Canada that Canadians want. CPRN identified from its deliberative dialogues and research five challenges to address in public policy research that are critical to achieving this vision: citizenship; diversity; productivity and skills; health and our aging population; and the environment. Connecting with Canadians will address these challenges to find innovative policy ideas to move Canada forward.

The policy challenges were discussed with leaders from across Canada and reviewed at CPRN’s Leadership Summit 2008 in Ottawa in February. Summit participants, community, business, government and young leaders confirmed their importance and identified key barriers and opportunities to address them.

You can read Connecting with Canadians, Shaping Our Future on the CPRN website, where you can also find more information about the Connecting with Canadians research and dialogue program.

More on’s Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Grant Summit

from the latest press release on the event… has announced the application launch for its Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Grant Summit, Money in Politics, to be held July 18-21, 2008, in Denver, Colorado. In partnership with The Sunlight Foundation and Common Cause, is seeking innovative projects focused towards clean election practices at the local, state, and national level. is focusing efforts on empowering members of the Millennial Generation to develop innovative clean elections practices, emphasizing the creation of public finance reforms at the local and state level. These types of reforms are intended to give voters more control over the government by making politicians accountable to voters rather than wealthy campaign contributors. Their Money in Politics Grant Summit presents members of the Millennial Generation with the opportunity to identify a need for clean elections practices, and through the use of interactive key pad voting technology and peer to peer dialogue, develop an idea or solution that would address that need, and present a proposal for funding at the summit in Denver in July 2008.

Their grant summit winners will each receive a grant, between $3,000 and $5,000 and more importantly, will receive the support of and its extensive partner network to champion their proposal and create systemic and long lasting change in the way elections are run.

Please see the Democracy 2.0 Issues Brief “Money in Politics” and the Grant Summit Rules and Application form (deadline is June 15th) for more information (both pdf files).

You’ll find all relevant information related to the Summit on the website.

Designing Peacebuilding Programmes    

The International Peace and Development Training Center (, working in cooperation with the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and PATRIR, has announced that their Designing Peacebuilding Programmes (DPP), a five day international training program for practitioners, policy makers, international and national agency staff and NGOs working in peacebuilding, gender, development, conflict transformation, violence prevention and post-war recovery, will be held September 22 – 26, 2008 in Cluj – Napoca, Romania. A complete and detailed guide in PDF format is available and more information can be found on their website.

Find similar posts: educational opportunities

Zen and the Art of Conflict    

We just received a press release for an interesting course offered by Brooklyn Nonviolent Communication ( that I’d like to share (full press release after the break)…

Shifting Conflict to Compassion

Mindful Communication: Zen and the Art of Conflict
A Course in Compassionate Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

Beginning June 1st at the Breathing Project in Manhattan

Who doesn’t encounter conflict at some point? While most of us have found ways to “deal” with conflict, it is truly an art to find the opportunities for connection and compassion hidden within conflict. By learning to listen to our own needs and the core concerns of others we can come up with solutions and strategies that foster a mutual sense of understanding.

This is the focus of an upcoming course, “Zen and the Art of Conflict,” offered by Brooklyn Nonviolent Communication on 3 Sundays beginning June 1st at the Breathing Project in Manhattan.


Notes from Conference Call on Bias and Inclusion at NCDD Conferences    

Here is a summary of ideas generated on our 5/12/08 call on inclusion and bias at NCDD conferences, and what we may do differently this year. Our thanks to Judith Mowry for putting these notes together!

On the call: Steven Fearing, Deborah Goldblatt, Rogier Gregoire, Sandy Heierbacher, Jacob Hess, Dave Joseph, Erin Kreeger, Lauren Kucera, Windy Lawrence, PJ Longoni, Diane Miller, Judith Mowry, Leanne Nurse, Catherine Orland, Nancy Polk, Polly Riddims, Landon Shultz, John Spady, Carrie Stewart, Brian Sullivan, Mary Thompson, Madeleine van Hecke

Not on the call, but want to be involved: Barbara Heffernan, J. Allen Johnson, Avril Orloff

Addressing issues of inclusion, bias, racism, social justice, etc. at NCDD conferences happens on three main levels…

  1. Interpersonal: Creating a safe space at the conference for everyone (People of Color, white folks, conservatives, young people, etc.) by balancing opportunities to be heard and to speak up with a sense that you won’t be attacked for saying the wrong thing
  2. Field/Community/NCDD: Walking our talk when it comes to issues of inclusion, through recruitment of underrepresented groups, diverse speakers and facilitators, and workshops on these issues
  3. Societal Level: Addressing issues of bias and inclusion in society by using dialogue and deliberation, through workshops, best practices, networking, etc. (more…)

Find similar posts: NCDD2008

$125,000 Grant Program for Citizen Engagement in California    

CSC LogoHere’s some great news for D&Ders in California…

Common Sense California is offering $125,000 total to municipalities, school districts, and non-profits that wish to engage the public in policy decisions through their new “Citizen Engagement Grant Program.” The grants are divided into two levels and will be awarded in two timeframes. CSC is offering four “Common Sense Grants” up to $25,000.00 each for use in developing campaigns that involve the public around issues pertaining to city/regional and/or K12 policy. Applications for these grants will be received through September 12, 2008, with recipients notified in early October. “Catalyst Grants” in amounts up to $7,500.00 will be awarded on a rolling basis, beginning in late June. Click on “more” for the full press release. (more…)

Registration Opens for the August 2008 IAP2 Conference    


As previously covered here, this summer’s IAP2 conference in Glascow, UK will be held from August 27th to 29th. Registration is now open, and their early bird rate will be available until May 29th. More details on registration can be found online here.

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) conference will be held in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Sustainable Development (SCSCD) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Keynote Speakers will address topics such as community empowerment and what it means to government; international law and CSR; oil-peak and community survival; new business models and CSR and ISO 26000. Delegates from 25 different countries will offer 70 presentations on a range of topics associated with CSR, community development, new business models, stakeholder engagement techniques, the very latest research into public engagement, CSR and the UN compact, cyber polling, participation in planning – and many, many more.

Catalogue of Approaches to Peacebuilding Now Online    

Global Peacebuilders

Global Peacebuilders (, an international network of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding initiatives, has recently made their Peacebuilding Approaches Catalogue freely available to visitors to their website. The catalogue is “a brief glimpse of the peacebuilding activity currently taking place, and offers an insight into just some of the many important approaches to peacebuilding currently being implemented locally and worldwide, at a grassroots, community, national or international level”. Also available as a full-colour glossy publication (to order email ), the catalogue describes 18 approaches from the fields of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding around the world.

from their website

In late 2007, we made an open call to individuals and organisations involved in creating the conditions for sustainable peace in their communities to tell us of their approaches to peacebuilding. We wanted to create a publication that might offer peacebuilders working in areas of conflict across the world an opportunity to learn and inform their own work, building up their international networks along the way. We brought together a selection panel of experienced peacebuilders working in Northern Ireland to consider each of the submissions we received, and to select 18 for publication.

Upcoming Events of the Compassionate Listening Project    

The Compassionate Listening Project

Along with several trainings this summer, the Compassionate Listening Project ( has announced their 5th Annual Summer Gathering at Camp Brotherhood, a beautiful 200-acre retreat center one hour north of Seattle, Washington, August 1-3, 2008 beginning Friday at noon and ending Sunday at 3:00. Day rates are available for one or more days for those who cannot attend the whole Gathering or do not need on-site sleeping accommodations. No prior experience with the Compassionate Listening Project is necessary; this is an opportunity to come together, drink from the well of spirit and community, and deepen our practices to cultivate compassion in our daily lives. For more information about the Gathering, please visit the event’s webpage.

The Compassionate Listening Project will also be hosting several trainings over the next few months, including programs in Seattle, Washington, Abiquiu, New Mexico and Ashland, Oregon. Specific details can be found on the Compassionate Listening Project website.

Call for Artists for NCDD 2008    

Art can be a powerful catalyst for and component of dialogue. Visual and performing arts can bring meaning or elicit feeling that can’t always be easily expressed in words, bringing us to a deeper level more quickly than discussion alone. Since our first conference in 2002, NCDD has experimented with the arts at our events, and our attendees have thanked us for the experiences and new ideas they have gained because of it.

NCDD is now looking for artists, arts groups, and arts organizations who may be interested in playing a role at our next conference. The 4th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation will take place October 3-5, 2008 in Austin, Texas, and we are primarily looking for artists whose work involves or stimulates dialogue or engagement in innovative ways.

We are open to many different types of arts, in different venues at the conference (plenary session performances, art activity stations, art displays, concurrent workshops, etc.). And although our funds are tight as this is a nonprofit conference, we will work with artists to cover expenses and make sure they benefit from the exposure they receive from playing a role at the conference. And for special circumstances, we will consider providing a stipend to the artist or group.

This is a great opportunity for artists who want their work to be exposed to over 400 community leaders, activists and thought leaders in communication and collaboration, and who want to learn more about this field.

Here are some examples of things we’ve experimented with in the past:

  • graphic recording (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • workshops on digital storytelling, dialogue and dance, using film as a stimulus for dialogue, using the arts to promote youth dialogue, etc. (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • spoken word poetry (2006)
  • drumming (2006)
  • Unconditional Theatre (2006) and playback theatre (2004)

You can read more specifics about how we’ve utilized the arts at NCDD conferences at

If you are an artist interested in pursuing the possibility of performing or playing a role at NCDD Austin – or if you want to suggest an artist you know about – please contact NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at . And you can learn more about the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation at if you’re interested.

Find similar posts: NCDD2008 Reaches Out to Millennial Generation Entrepreneurs

from a recent press release…

National youth civic engagement organization released the first report in its series of Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Issue Briefs, Money in Politics. The organization, dedicated to Millennial-generated ideas and projects to tackle critical national issues, has adopted a unique strategy to getting Millennial plans into action: give them the information and the financial support necessary to make their ideas a reality. is focusing its efforts on empowering members of the Millennial Generation to develop innovative clean election practices, emphasizing the exploration of public finance reforms at the local and state level. While clean election reform benefits our democracy and society as a whole, the Millennial Generation in particular stands to gain considerably from such reform. By changing the system, not only does society have a better ability to reengage young people in politics, but also stands to find solutions to many issues affecting the Millennial Generation that are being inhibited by the current system.

The brief serves as a precursor to the Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Money in Politics Grant Summit, which will take place July 18-21, 2008, in Denver, Colorado, focusing upon the impact of special interest-funded campaigns on citizen-centered democracy. Emphasizing the problem at the national level,, Sunlight Foundation, and Common Cause will challenge Millennials from across the nation to compete for grant monies to support projects working to promote clean elections practices. The call for projects will address campaign finance reform, focusing particular on clean election practices like the public financing of elections, targeting the eighteen states that Common Cause is currently working on public financing within.

Ellen Miller, Executive Director and co-founder of the Sunlight Foundation, commented on the change potential of the Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Initiative: is involved with the most Internet-savvy, network generation of our time. We cannot wait to learn how these young entrepreneurs use the new technologies, the trillions of bytes of information about lobbying, political contributions, and the spending of our tax dollars, and social networks to confront the power of big money in our democracy.”

Application materials for the Money in Politics Summit were also released today and are available on the website.

For questions or to request copies of the issue brief, please contact Christina Gagnier,’s Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Communications, via phone at (510) 717-3022 or via email at .

Find similar posts: higher ed,online & hi-tech

A “National Peace Academy” In The Works    

A consortium comprised of Case Western Reserve University, Peace Partnership International and The Biosophical Institute convened a Vision Meeting, held April 22-23, 2008, at Case, at which a process was launched to design and found a National Peace Academy. Vision Meeting attendees included educators, business leaders, armed services personnel, journalists, community representatives and policy-makers from around the world. A Global Stakeholder Summit is planned for early 2009 as part of an inclusive process to design the National Peace Academy.

The objective of the National Peace Academy is to advance and support: 1. existing peace education and peacebuilding efforts; 2. the study of the phenomena of peace; 3. research, program development, training, and education for professional and citizen practice of peace and peacebuilding; 4. a worldwide network of peace academies; 5. structures and programs in government, military, business, and civil society for a culture of peace. Along with the initial meeting, a website was launched to help further the effort. You can visit it at to learn more about future plans.

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