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Attn Canadians: ABCD seeks Project Lead    

NCDD member David Kahane from the University of Alberta asked me to share this job opening with the network…

Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD) seeks a Project Lead to guide an ambitious citizen engagement initiative that will operate first in municipalities across Alberta, Canada and then scale up to the provincial level.

ABCD is a five-year project premised on the conviction that well-designed citizen deliberations can play a crucial role in creating effective Albertan responses to climate change, by shaping the policies of participating municipal and provincial governments and motivating individual and community action. The project currently has $1 million in funding from the Community-University Research Alliance program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as $2 million in matching cash and in-kind support from community organizations and partners; the Project Lead will work with partners to develop further funding from public, private, and not-for profit sources. (more…)

E.D. search for new advocacy organization for renewing democracy    

NCDD member Steven Kull asked me to share this interesting job description with the NCDD community, for Executive Director of a new advocacy organization for renewing democracy.  If you are interested in this position, send your resume and cover letter to Steven at [email protected]. (more…)

Research positions open at Kettering    

Amelia Law asked me to share this important announcement with NCDDers.  If you have questions, you can contact her at 800-221-3657 or [email protected].

The Charles F. Kettering Foundation offers one-year research positions at their Dayton, Ohio offices to undergraduate, doctoral candidates and recent Ph.D.’s.  Research Assistants and Associates receive excellent full-time compensation and benefits including medical insurance.

As an operating research foundation, Kettering explores practical ways that democracy can be strengthened. The research, done in collaboration with people and organizations around the world, emphasizes the roles of citizens and the qualities of their interactions as decision-making actors in public life.  We especially encourage applications from scholars who have interests in topics such as deliberative democracy, civic engagement, social capital, civic education, civil society, and social movements, regardless of discipline or methodology.

For more information on the positions, including the application guidelines, visit  Note:  the application cut-off date for research fellowships is March 15th!

Heading to Sydney for R&P meeting-and welcome your thoughts    

Hi, everyone!  I’m leaving for Sydney, Australia on Monday for an exciting 3-day workshop Lyn Carson at the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy (UWS) is holding-as well as an IAP2 summit I’ll also blog about and 3 days of actual vacation!

The workshop, titled Deliberative Democracy: Connecting Research and Practice, is an “invited workshop for leading researchers and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North America.”  I believe there will be about 70 attendees, most from Australia but a few coming from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

We will be working together to achieve five workshop outcomes, including “build mutual understanding between researchers and public participation practitioners” and “determine priorities for further research and recommend proposals for funding” (and yes, there is some funding in place).

I wish I could take the whole NCDD network with me to this meeting!  In order to help me do the best job I can representing you, please consider responding here to either of these questions.  I’d really appreciate your suggestions, ideas, and stories!  I’ll also be posting these questions in the NCDD facebook group in the “discussions” section, in case you’re more comfortable participating there.

1.  What are the most recent developments (exciting or disappointing) in deliberative democracy?

2.  What are the most important unanswered / underexplored questions in our field?

RFQ for help creating public engagement policy    

I was contacted today by Sonam Shah of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (based in San Francisco, CA), who wanted to share an RFQ with NCDDers.  I think some of you will be very interested in this opportunity to help create a comprehensive district-wide policy and plan for public engagement.

Importantly, one of the qualifications they’re seeking is “experience developing and drafting Public Engagement Policies and Plans for public agencies with multi-county jurisdictions and regulatory authority.” This 9-month project (estimated for March through October) is budgeted for up to and may not exceed $200,000. Qualifications are due January 21.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District requests a statement of qualifications from qualified entities to assist in the creation of a district-wide Public Engagement Policy and Plan aimed at laying out guidance and tools for engaging stakeholders in District actions. The Air District intends to develop a Public Engagement Policy and a Public Engagement Plan to help provide the agency with consistency when working with the public.  The RFQ can be found at the following link: (Note: ashx files can be opened in Adobe Reader.)

They’re looking forward to your response.  For more information on the BAAQMD’s open RFP/RFQs, visit

IAP2 seeks Professional Development Manager for 2011    

I just heard about this new contract position from Moira Deslandes, executive director of IAP2.  It is anticipated that this role will be equivalent to three days a week for 2011.  Full details can be downloaded here, but here are the basics…

IAP2 is a professional association for individuals, groups and businesses working in the field of public participation.  Members exist in over 20 countries and the Association is currently expanding its reach as public participation grows in value through the democratization of decision-making.

For the past ten years the Association has offered a program of professional development to its members and to others interested in learning more about the practice.  The foundation of this program has been a five day Certificate in Public Participation.  In 2009 a further two-day course was developed in Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation. These courses have been held throughout North America, Australasia, UK and Africa.  There are plans to extend these offerings in Europe, Asia, and South America in line with the growth of membership.

IAP2 is poised to grow the practice of public participation and is now seeking to hire a Professional Development Manager for the training program.

Expressions of Interest are being sought from interested individuals and must be received by January 7th  20115:00pm Australian Central Summer Time (ACST) to [email protected] marked Professional Development Manager CONFIDENTIAL.

Responsibilities of the Professional Development Manager will include:

  • Convene the training committee which is an elected body of trainers licensed to IAP2 and led by a Board member who provides advice to the Board.
  • Maintain and manage invoices, database records and all data related to course participants and the trainers who deliver the training.
  • Provide support, advice and resources for professional development to IAP2 Licensed Trainers.
  • Coordinate initiatives as determined by the Association for new professional development products and services for members of the Association that have the capacity to generate income for the Association.
  • Manage the program for training new trainers. Provide leadership for assessment panels and all other necessary supports to conduct the T3s and meet budget expectations.

SDCN’s Amy Lazarus receives USA “Characters Unite” award    

Wow - this is too cool!  Congratulations to Amy Lazarus, executive director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (an NCDD organizational member) for being named one of 8 of the USA Network’s 2010 Characters Unite award recipients.  Amy receives a grant of $5,000 for SDCN.  This year’s award winners were chosen from online nominations open to public.

Chris Wagner of SDCN told me they’re “excited to represent the dialogue and deliberation community,” and that “they recognized our work/this ‘field’ as fighting prejudice and discrimination, and increasing tolerance, respect and acceptance.” Learn more about the award at, and see how Amy is recognized here.

Apps due Dec. 18 for Ed Baker Fellowship in Democratic Values    

This may be of interest to those of you with a strong background on writing and research on democracy issues (note: applications are due by Dec. 18)…

With a generous gift from the estate of renowned media scholar C. Edwin Baker, Demos has established the Ed Baker Fellowship in Democratic Values. As part of their Emerging Voices Initiative, the fellowship provides:

  • Two-three years of financial support;
  • Editorial assistance and publishing connections;
  • Media training and a professional communications platform, and
  • Support for events and travel to promote fellowship work.

Based in Demos’ New York offices, Ed Baker Fellows will give voice to strong democratic values within a wide range of potential issues, including voting rights, citizen engagement, immigration policy and civic inclusion, campaign finance reform and money in politics, and media reform, among others.

Applications are now being accepted for fellowships beginning in February 2011. Candidates should have a strong writing background on democracy issues-including policy journalism, feature writing, social criticism, blogging and commentary, or documentary media work. Well-defined research and writing plans, promising to bring new information and arguments into the arena of democracy concerns, will stand out in the application process. Candidates with diverse social backgrounds and active concern to bring change in under-represented communities are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply, send an email indicating “Ed Baker Fellowship” in the subject line, and attach as separate documents your resume or CV, a 2-3 page overview of your research interests and writing plans, and a writing sample. Send to Fellows Director Lew Daly at ldaly AT demos DOT org. Please no calls. Candidates selected as finalists will be interviewed in January.

Alberta Climate Dialogue hiring a Project Manager    

I just heard from NCDD member David Kahane today that the groundbreaking Alberta Climate Dialogue project is looking to hire a Project Manager to be based in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada).

They will begin considering applications on August 27, 2010 and continue until the position is filled. The Project Manager will support the activities of a new and innovative project—the Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD) —in the areas of financial and budget management, organizational and event planning, research coordination, fund development, and communication and outreach. Download the full position description here: ABCD-ProjectMgrDescription. (more…)

NCoC Seeks Director of Civic Health Index (apps due Aug. 6)    

Sorry for the late posting on this one, but it’s a great job opportunity for someone in our field. NCoC is looking for a DC-based entrepreneurial leader who can help expand their groundbreaking Civic Health Index program into all 50 states and over 100 cities within the next few years.

National Conference on Citizenship Seeking Director of the Civic Health Index

Please send resume/CV and cover letter to David B. Smith at dsmith(at)ncoc(dot)net
All applications due by August 6, 2010

Founded in 1946 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1953, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is a leader in promoting our nation’s civic life. We track, measure and promote civic participation and engage in partnership with other organizations on a bipartisan, collaborative basis. We focus on ways to enhance history and civics education, encourage national and community service, and promote greater participation in the political process. Through our programs, research, and reports, NCoC defines modern citizenship. (more…)

Announcing CommunityMatters10 conference and Strong Communities competition    

NCDD member Ariana McBride asked me to extend an invitation to all NCDD members to consider attending the Orton Family Foundation‘s upcoming conference, CommunityMatters10, which is taking place October 5th – 8th in Denver, Colorado. The event is shaping up to bring together an exciting coalition of leaders, thinkers and doers committed to building strong, vibrant communities from the ground up.

CommunityMatters is an interactive exchange for individuals and organizations working to engage citizens and build strong, vibrant communities from the ground up. CommunityMatters fuels a growing network of leaders, thinkers and doers in a variety of disciplines—planning, sustainability, health, democracy, education, economic development and the arts. CommunityMatters is a project of the Orton Family Foundation, in collaboration with other partners. Register before August 27 and benefit from Early Bird Rates. You’ll also get first pick of our Workshops and Mobile Tours and reserve your place to take part in a unique innovation-action experience with our Strong Communities competition finalists and hundreds of other community innovators.

In addition to registering for the CommunityMatters10 conference, consider submitting an entry in the Strong Communities Competition. Finalists will be showcased at CommunityMatters10, and the top 3 entries will win $5,000 each.

Submissions will be accepted from June 16 to August 11, 2010 at  Here’s a bit more info about the Strong Communities competition… (more…)

Job opening at Public Agenda for Public & Stakeholder Engagement Associate    

Public Agenda, a national non-profit, non-partisan research and civic engagement organization, and an NCDD organizational member, is seeking a public & stakeholder engagement associate. Public Agenda ( is at the forefront of the vibrant field of public & stakeholder deliberation/collaborative problem solving and is pleased to offer this opportunity for a confident, motivated professional.

Public Agenda’s public and stakeholder engagement methodologies and practices include issue framing, community forums, leadership dialogues, and on-line engagement strategies. Current projects involve work with community-based organizations and leaders at all levels across the United States to build capacity for engaging critical stakeholders in problem solving on issues around K-12 and higher education reform, economic development/regional planning, the environment/energy use, health care and others. The engagement associate will work on a variety of research and writing tasks, on field–based work on diverse projects, and will assist with organizational tasks in support of a busy department.

Public Agenda is looking for a highly motivated, collaborative fully bi-lingual (Spanish/English) individual who is interested in joining their team in New York City and developing into a project leader over time. (more…)

Submit your nominations for Vitalizing Democracy through Participation award    

Hi, everyone!  I’ve announced before that the 2011 Reinhard Mohn Prize is focused on the work that many of you do:  “Vitalizing Democracy through Participation.”  The prize carries a value of €150,000.  NCDD member Hans-Peter Meister is one of the leads on the research team for this award, and I know he would like to see more submissions from NCDD members.  Matt Leighninger (another NCDDer) is also on the research team. (Note: the deadline for nominations is August 22nd.)

Nominees should be governmental institutions (departments, administrations, towns, etc.) that have shown innovative democratic leadership by making a strong and lasting contribution to vitalizing democracy through participatory projects, program or structural measures. The prize will be awarded to a governmental institution - possibly in cooperation with a non-governmental actor - which has initiated successful projects (or programs) to vitalize democracy, to integrate underrepresented citizens and to establish new forms of democratic problem-solving capacities through participation. It is crucial that the projects and actions can be adapted to the German context, as the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to draw on these examples of international best practice as inspiration for possible future projects.

At this point it looks like there are about a dozen nominations posted, so the odds are not too shabby if you submit a new nomination.  The current nominations (which you can vote and comment on now) including Roger Bernier’s Public Engagement Project on Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Priorities, CaliforniaSpeaks, Bridgeport, CT Community Conversations, and a few others you might recognize.

Below is the full announcement I received this morning… (more…)

Job Opening: Director of Online Engagement & Participation at AmericaSpeaks    

There’s a great job opening at AmericaSpeaks for those looking…

The Director of Online Engagement and Participation will lead AmericaSpeaks’ initiatives to design, facilitate and organize online participatory processes that provide citizens and stakeholders with a greater voice in governance processes. The Director will be responsible for generating new projects through which AmericaSpeaks may engage the public online, representing AmericaSpeaks in discussions with federal agencies about how to use online methods to create a more open government, managing a group of online associates and partners to deliver online engagement programs, and forming and nurturing partnerships with other online innovators. The Director will also oversee the organization’s online and social media presence. Full job description below. (more…)

Facilitators needed on June 26 for national town meeting on the economy    

On June 26, 2010, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in the AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy National Town Meeting, an unprecedented national discussion on finding solutions for the budget and deficit. The National Town Meeting will take place in locations all across the country, connected live via satellite video, webcast and interactive technologies.

The purpose of this national discussion is to find common ground on tough choices about our budget. Throughout the day, Americans across the country will weigh-in on strategies to ensure a sustainable fiscal future and a strong economic recovery. The national discussion will be a chance to demonstrate that the American public can find common ground across demographic, geographic and political divides and that we as a nation can govern ourselves in a new way.

Skilled volunteer table facilitators are crucial to the success of the meeting and the work is varied, challenging, and fun. Facilitators are responsible for drawing out equal participation from their table of ten participants, focusing the group’s conversation, and holding respectful space for differences of opinion and communication styles.

AmericaSpeaks is currently recruiting table facilitators for the following Town Meeting locations: (more…)

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