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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 September 2009

10% NCDD Discount for National MultiCultural Institute Conference    

In our continuing efforts to reach new audiences and provide greater benefits to our members, NCDD has been strengthening its relationship to the longstanding National MultiCultural Institute. NMCI is welcoming NCDD members with open arms to its 2009 annual conference/training event, offering a 10% discount to dues-paying NCDD members on its Diversity Leadership Institute and Emerging Issues Forum. Depending on what you are interested in attending, that’s a savings of up to $97 for nonprofits and individuals, or $145 for corporate attendees.

NMCI’s 2009 conference, “Forging New Pathways for Diversity and Inclusion: Building Skills for Collaboration and Dialogue,” takes place November 18-21 at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. If you are interested in professional development and dialogue on cutting-edge diversity and inclusion issues, the NMCI conference is for you. NCDD is an official sponsor of the conference.

Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s Director, helped design and organize the innovative Emerging Issues Forum on November 18th, a day-long event designed to convene engage leaders from different sectors and disciplines in thoughtful dialogue on controversial diversity and equity issues they face in their organizations, communities, and greater society. NCDD members David Campt and Leilani Henry will help this session succeed, using electronic keypads and Playback Theatre techniques (respectively) to enable top thought leaders in diversity and inclusion to identify and explore the major challenges they face, now and in the future, in achieving their goals of a truly equitable and inclusive society.

Learn more about NMCI and this year’s training program at or download the PDF program at

New Post by Noelle McAfee on Town Hall Democracy    

Noelle McAfee posted to her blog, GonePublic, yesterday about the need for more deliberative town halls. Noelle is a professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. View Town Hall Democracy on Noelle’s site, or read over the re-post here.

You can see a list of other articles, posts, etc. people in our field have published in response to the recent health care town halls at

Noelle concludes her post with:

We need to find ways to start deliberating together, to ask ourselves, what should we do and what are we willing to give up to get what we want. We need to think about the myriad consequences and effects of various courses of action. There are people trying to do this, including folks with the National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation and with the National Issues Forums.  Be we need more spaces for deliberation, especially online. (more…)

Must-Read NY Times Article on Civic Participation, Open Gov’t and Social Media    

There was a fantastic article (‘Athens’ on the Net) by Anand Giridharadas in Sunday’s New York Times, on the relationship between civic participation, open government and social media.  This is a must-read for everyone involved in public dialogue and deliberation.  (Congratulations NCDD member Jim Fishkin, who is quoted several times in the article!)

Part of the article is below; read the full article at

‘Athens’ on the Net

September 13, 2009, New York Times


Perhaps the biggest big idea to gather speed during the last millennium was that we humans might govern ourselves. But no one really meant it.

What was really meant in most places was that we would elect people to govern us and sporadically renew or revoke their contracts. It was enough. There was no practicable way to involve all of us, all the time.

The headlines from Washington today blare of bailouts, stimulus, clunkers, Afpak, health care. But it is possible that future historians, looking back, will fixate on a quieter project of Barack Obama’s White House: its exploration of how government might be opened to greater public participation in the digital age, of how to make self-government more than a metaphor.

President Obama declared during the campaign that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” That messianic phrase held the promise of a new style of politics in this time of tweets and pokes. But it was vague, a paradigm slipped casually into our drinks. To date, the taste has proven bittersweet. (more…)

NCDD’s Twitter Stream & More    

NewNCDDLogoJust made two cool changes to the NCDD blog…

(1) Thanks to a WordTwit plug-in, all new posts should now be automatically announced on NCDD’s Twitter stream (at in case you want to follow us!). They already automatically go to my Facebook wall and the NCDD LinkedIn group.

(2) We also added a new “share” button that appears below each post, that allows you to easily share any post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Delicious, Ping, and a bunch of other social media sites.  (We had gotten rid of the ‘share’ links on our blog a while back because so few of you were on these sites, but that’s no longer the case.)  It also allows you to email a blog post to a colleague, and to bookmark posts.

Please consider following NCDD on Twitter, and when you see a blog post you think it particularly interesting or useful, please share it on your social networks!  That kind of exposure is not only a great help to NCDD, but it also helps increase awareness about dialogue and deliberation in general.

Find similar posts: NCDD Stuff,projects & goings-on

Free Nat’l Civic Review issue on decision-making in local government    

I received the following announcement from PACE (Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement) a few days ago.  A special issue of the National Civic Review (the National Civic League‘s quarterly journal) was just released that focuses on cutting edge forms of dialogue, deliberation and public decision-making at the local government level.  NCL teamed up with PACE to create this special issue, which is based on the recent PACE white paper by Mike McGrath, “The New Laboratories of Democracy: How Local Government is Reinventing Civic Engagement.”

To receive a complimentary print edition of this issue (NCR 98:2), contact Kristin Seavey, .  Full details below. (more…)

Inroads Made in Mormon-Evangelical Relations    

Thanks to my Google news alerts, I spotted an article that appeared in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News on Friday, September 4th. Those of you who attended the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in Austin may remember Reverend Greg Johnson. I found him to be extremely personable, and was inspired (to say the least) by his workshop with Jacob Hess called “Attracting Conservative Citizens to Dialogue Events: Liberal-Conservative Campus Dialogue & Mormon-Evangelical Interfaith Initiatives.” (Look over a great summary of the workshop here.)

Rev. Johnson is continuing his groundbreaking work bridging Evangelical Christian and Latter-day Saint faith leaders, and his latest accomplishment is outlined in the article by Carrie A. Moore, titled “Evangelicals plan Salt Lake meeting in ’11.” Look over the article, and be sure to also check out the video at in which Rev. Johnson and Dr. Robert Millet discuss the importance of real dialogue between the Evangelical & Latter-day Saint faith. (more…)

Watch It Again… The Gorgeous Photo Journal from the Austin NCDD Conference    

Everyone who attended the closing remembers fondly the gorgeous, moving photo journal produced by photographer Tim Thomas, which we played at the beginning of the closing plenary session. Many, many thanks to Tim, and to our friends Philip Thomas and Bettye Pruitt at the Generative Change Community, who made this photo journal possible.

NCDD Townhall Article Re-Posted Around the Net    

Below are some of the places where my recent article, Upgrading the Way We Do Politics, was posted.  The article, which was featured on the Yes! Magazine website, was picked up by The Media Consortium, a network of the country’s leading independent journalism organizations. I believe that’s what led to the article being posted and linked to on so many sites.

Thanks to Lucas Cioffi, I also found out that the article is quoted in “Health Care Reform Without Kennedy” by Lindsay E. Beyerstein, at

Check out all three versions of the article (the shorter ones are meant for NCDDers to use for op-eds, letters to congressmembers, etc.) and the one-page hand-out Andy designed:

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