National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation's

Local, Regional and National Events

bringing the growing dialogue & deliberation community together

Skip to main content.

upcoming events & trainings

Votes and hosts needed for Conversation Week 2011    

The next Conversation Week is just around the corner: March 24-31 2011!

In late 2009, Bob and Jacquelyn Pogue were offered the stewardship of Conversation Café by Vicki Robin and Susan Partnow, and the stewardship of Conversation Cafe has been transferred to Community Action Dialogues, which now serves as an umbrella for Conversation Café and Richmond Action Dialogues.

Community Action Dialogues invites you to vote on your favorite questions that have been submitted for Conversation Week. Select up to ten of your favorite questions (download them here) and write their numbers down and email them to [email protected] by Tuesday, February 22, 2011.  The votes will be tabulated to determine the final Top-10 Conversation Week Questions.

Regarding the importance of selecting questions, it’s helpful to note Einstein’s approach to problem solving. He said that if given one hour to come up with a solution, he would spend 59 minutes figuring out the right question to ask and then it would probably take about a minute after that to solve the problem.

Host a Conversation During Conversation Week

You are also invited to host a conversation during Conversation Week 2011.  Visit for more details.  Let them know if you are holding a Cafe and if you would like your Cafe posted on the Conversation Cafe website. If you any questions about a hosting a cafe, please feel free to email or call Conversation Cafe at:

P.O. Box 276
Crozier, Virginia 23039
(804) 257-0010 (Leave a message and we will reply within a week.)
[email protected]

The Citizens’ Toolbox: What’s in Yours?    

NCDD is a proud sponsor of The Citizens’ Toolbox: What’s In Yours? — a conference aimed at connecting students with those engaged in a broad and varied set of experiments and projects in Dialogue and Deliberation and other tenets of civic and democratic life. Join us March 16-19 at Miami University of Ohio in Oxford, Ohio, as we all ask what’s in our own toolboxes, and open those up for each other to explore and engage.

Join us in this opportunity to share and gain skills related to:

  • Dialogue and Deliberation;
  • Campus and Community;
  • Action Plans and Problem Solving, and
  • Practical Application of Skills.

The conference is aimed at connecting students to professionals, academics, and everyday citizens who are eager to gain new tools, build on the ones we have, and use these tools for action. Find out more at

Call for Proposals: We are accepting proposals for poster sessions, workshops, and learning exchanges until Friday, February 4th (honorariums may be available for you!). Learn more and submit yours today!

Early Bird specials- Don’t Delay!
We are offering Early Bird pricing for all conference participants that register before February 11th. Learn more at register at

Ideas for improving the IAP2 certificate program?    

Another thing I’ve been invited to do in Sydney is to attend the 2-day IAP2 Summit 2011, which is focused on improving IAP2′s certificate program in public participation.  About 18 of us will be exploring these questions on February 6th and 7th:

What would a world-class certificate program look like? What will make it the best in the world? What will make it unique to IAP2?

I’d love to hear from some NCDDers who have gone through the certificate program about what worked really well about the training, and what do you think should have been different?

And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the certificate program or haven’t participated yet, I’d love to hear what types of specific content, skills, etc. you feel are the most valuable to cover in a training on engaging the public in policy-making.

Also, who are the very best trainers you have ever worked with?  We’ll be discussing who can/should be approached to develop materials based on their expertise and capacity to deliver.

Other “summitteers” are Lyn Carson, Moira Deslandes, Jan Elliott, Michelle Feenan, Teresa Forest, John Gastil, Janette Hartz-Karp, David Kahane, Lars Kluver, Matt Leighninger, Rodolfo Lewanski, Ron Lubensky, Stephani Roy McCallum, Doug Sarno, Vivien Twyford, Mark Warren, and Kimbra White-so it’s quite the impressive group!

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?

Join Richard Dreyfuss on Monday for “It’s Time for a Talk”    

NCDD has been invited by The Dreyfuss Initiative to be a participating sponsor of “It’s Time for a Talk,” a series of unique National Conversations on revitalizing America’s civic culture-the first of which is on MONDAY.  You can participate online on Monday at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific by visiting

I encourage NCDDers to participate and help spread the word!  I’m not sure what to expect on Monday, but this may be a good opportunity to share your work with a broader audience.

Here is the latest press release for the project…

Actor Richard Dreyfuss Hosts Bi-Coastal Event to Initiate ‘It’s Time for a Talk’

NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A partnership of organizations, led by American activist and Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, is hosting live simultaneous events on the East and West coasts to open a National Conversation in cyberspace regarding America’s civics crisis on Monday, January 17, 2011. Entitled, “It’s Time for a Talk; The National Conversation on Revitalizing America’s Civic Culture”, the discussion will address the unprecedented anxiety felt by U.S. citizens regarding our nation’s future accompanied by the lack of comprehension surrounding the cultural meaning and heritage of America.

The East coast event will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C. from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The West coast event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the University of San Diego. Panelists will include Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Romer, John Fund, Diane Ravitch, Richard Shenkman, and Admiral Bruce Boland. The public is encouraged to participate by attending the events in person or logging onto; observers may watch the real-time simulcast covered by C-SPAN.

The two-way discussion open to public participation via Internet will pose the question: “Are you comfortable, confident and at ease, or uncomfortable and uneasy, when you think of the future of the Nation in 30 years?” The organizations that are participating as of this printing are: The American Bar Association, the National PTA, AARP, The Dreyfuss Initiative, The Grauer School, San Diego Rotary and Vote iQ, with endorsements from the National Association of Secondary School Principles, The Girl Scouts of America, and others. (more…)

Opportunity for NCDDers to help shape No Labels’ activities    

An appeal to NCDD colleagues, from leadership at NCDD and the Public Conversations Project:

As some of you will have noticed, No Labels has been the subject of lively discussion on the NCDD listserv in recent weeks.  This month-old effort has Democratic, Republican and Independent leadership and aims to counter what it calls ‘hyper-partisanship” in national, particularly Congressional, politics. The founders’ consistent message has been that they are not about issues but about shifting the “attitudes and behaviors” of elected leaders towards civility and cooperative problem-solving.

No Labels has started rolling out a media strategy and is encouraging concerned citizens of all political stripes to come together to organize in every Congressional district and act together to hold their leaders accountable for civil conduct and for working across labels to find solutions to critical issues.

Beyond using the meet-up technology, there was not much up-front thinking about what kind of local grass roots organizing would best model the initiative’s values. This is not surprising. The No Labels folks are political professionals. Observing this weakness/ gap, some NCDD members have been exploring how members of our field might bring our expertise to bear to enhance the community mobilization piece of this rapidly developing and potentially constructive political movement.

Laura Chasin and Mary Jacksteit of the Public Conversations Project (PCP) have been in regular contact with No Labels about how to enhance the public involvement resources being made available to citizen organizers. They have met with receptiveness – for example, to the meet-up site ground rules and other tips were quickly added due to their recommendations (see

There are various worthwhile, parallel efforts that have been shared within the NCDD community. NoLabels is one with a national reach that may provide the chance to introduce group process principles that make a constructive difference. Especially after the shootings in Arizona, more Americans may be looking for places to go to talk about their distress with the political culture and because of its media outreach, NoLabels groups may provide one important place. Our field has something powerful to contribute.

PCP is prepared to maintain contact with the No Labels leadership and to serve as a conduit for feedback and suggestions from NCDD members who organize or participate in no Labels events. Below is information about how to find out what these events are (this week the first local meet-ups are taking place), and ideas for bipartisan viewing parties for the President’s State of the Union speech on January 25. These “unity watch parties” are NoLabels’ most recent push. (more…)

Call for proposals for D&D student conference in March 2011    

New NCDD member Jack Becker shared this announcement with the NCDD Discussion List yesterday, and I thought I’d share it here.  I attended the first student conference (“Connecting the Dots”) in Alabama last spring, and it was a great event.  I gave a workshop on NCDD’s Engagement Streams, which was a big hit!  This year, all presenters are asked to cover their travel, lodging and registration expenses, though I’m not sure how much registration will be (it was very reasonable for the first conference).

The Citizens’ Toolbox: What’s in Yours?

This is a call for proposals for our second annual national student conference in Oxford, Ohio, March 16-19, 2011. Proposals due Friday, February 4, 2011.

Please save the date and join us at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for the second annual national student conference on:

  • Dialogue and Deliberation
  • Campus and Community
  • Action Plans and Problem Solving and
  • Practical Application of Skills

This year’s conference theme is “The Citizens’ Toolbox: What’s in Yours?”. Continuing from last year’s successful Connect the Dots conference at Point Clear, Alabama, this conference already has a wonderful schedule planned with an exciting group of students, academics, and practitioners in attendance. Please consider hosting a workshop or learning exchange, or traveling with a poster to informally present your work!

For detailed information about the conference, please see our website at and please be sure to navigate the “call for proposals” section:

For more information please contact our steering committee at: [email protected] (more…)

Friday’s Denver event was a hit!    

Our Denver event was on Friday, and it was a smashing success! Attendee reviews are coming in now, and include:

  • “The collection of people was great. Many different sectors of public life.”
  • “I gained some new connections and reconnected with others, but above all for me, it always reenergizes me to get together with people passionate about this work.”
  • “The energy was high, and I thought the event was a big success.”

Boston is full and NorCal is about to be capped, but you can still join us in Austin (Nov. 5) and Portland (Nov. 13) if you’d like! More details about all of NCDD’s fall regional events is posted at

A huge THANK-YOU to our all-volunteer Denver Planning Team for pulling off the event with grace:

And THANK YOU to our local sponsors (below) as well as all our national sponsors!

NCDDers are invited to upcoming GovLoop/GSA events    

Steve Ressler (GovLoop Founder and President) and I have a little arrangement.  He recently featured our 5 upcoming regional events on GovLoop, and I want to make sure NCDDers know about the GovUp events. In conjunction with GSA, GovLoop has been doing a nationwide (12) city GovUp tour this fall.

GovUps are free “MeetUp-style” evening networking events of fed/state/local/university govies (and future govies) with a great speaker (such as NYC Deputy Mayor, San Fran CIO).  They’re a great way to network and meet government practitioners.

I know many NCDDers are already on, but for those not familiar with it, GovLoop is a hopping social network that connects 35,000+ federal, state, local government innovators. I’m a big fan of GovLoop.

NCDD members are all invited to attend, and I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities:

Click on the links above to RSVP for these free evening meetups.

20% NCDD discount for Appreciative Inquiry Summits Workshop    

Register now for a top-notch 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Summits Workshop held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina next month (November 8-11).  Dues-paying NCDD members get a 20% discount on registration! (Call 303.972.5155 for instructions on how to register with the discount - which saves you over $300).

Join Appreciative Inquiry pioneer Diana Whitney and master practitioners Barbara Lewis and Ralph Weickel as you learn to design and conduct an Appreciative Inquiry Summit. Summits accelerate organizational creativity and change by enabling groups of 50 to 3,000 people to discover their strengths and chart their collective future.

Trainers Barbara Lewis and Ralph Weickel showcase how to apply Appreciative Inquiry Summits to non-profits, communities, businesses and government initiatives. The lead for the internationally award-winning Focus on Longmont strategic planning process, Barbara Lewis will share her insights on exceptional community engagement through Appreciative Inquiry while innovative practitioner Ralph Weickel brings his entrepreneurial passion to forging exceptional organizational results. Appreciative Inquiry thought leader Diana Whitney, co-author of the best-seller The Power of Appreciative Inquiry (now in its second edition), and Appreciative Leadership will make a special presentation highlighting leading-edge Appreciative Inquiry practices. You are sure to be inspired by the many ways in which you can apply this innovative change process.

The Corporation for Positive Change (CPC) is the premier international consulting firm dedicated to the design and development of appreciative organizations and communities – those capable of sustaining innovation, financial well-being and leadership by inspiring the best in human beings. Learn more about CPC and upcoming workshops at

Register today for NCDD regionals!    

Don’t wait much longer to register for NCDD’s regional events!  Boston is almost full (and we will have to close registration very soon), and Denver is a little over a week away!  All 5 events are attracting some impressive participants, and you can see the attendee list on each of the registration pages. Altogether, we have about 350 attendees so far!

Like all NCDD events, these events are member-led, highly participatory, and highly creative, and they are bringing together extraordinary people you’ll enjoy meeting and networking with.

Register today or to look over the attendee list by clicking on the event near you at this link:

And if you’re not able to join us and haven’t signed on as a sponsor or partner, consider showing your support by making a small donation to the event of your choice.  We’ll use it to help students and others attend, and contributions of $20 or more will be acknowledged on the NCDD site.

Free Civic Engagement for Rivers webinar on Oct 20    

NCDD is partnering with the Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF) to promote its upcoming webinars.  SSF hosts free monthly webinars featuring decision makers who share the status and direction of programs that protect the environment, promote clean energy and address the integrity of the nation’s borders and infrastructure.

SSF welcomes NCDDers to register for the free webinar Civic Engagement for Rivers, which will take place October 20 from 2:15 to 3:15, and features two NCDD members:  Carolyn Lukensmeyer (AmericaSpeaks) and Tim Bonnemann (Intellitics).

I encourage you to participate!  You will join government officials, contractors and vendors, business services firms, financial and investment firms, law firms, researchers, and specialty companies to hear from leaders in civic engagement. View a preview of the webinar here.

Civic Engagement for Rivers: Build Success into your Sustainability Projects, led by Founder, America’s Waterway, Anne Lewis will include panel members: Robyn Colosimo, The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), White House; Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Founder and President of AmericaSpeaks; and Tim Bonnemann, founder and CEO of Intellitics, Inc.

Online: October 20, 2010 2:15 – 3:45pm EDT, Registration Open Now! (more…)

A big thank-you to our event sponsors!    

We’re bringing the much-loved National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation to you this year, with NCDD members stepping up to organize regional one-day events in Austin, Boston, Denver, Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area this fall. The events will connect community leaders, public managers and practitioners to help build knowledge and capacity in solving tough community problems regionally through dialogue, deliberation and action.

The events are quite the community effort, with dozens of people donating their time and expertise to put on valuable events, and with numerous national, regional and local organizations showing their support of the events by becoming sponsors.  We created this post to acknowledge and thank our amazing national (All-Star) and local sponsors.

It’s not too late to add your own organization (or yourself) to the list of Sponsors and Partners!  All-Star Sponsors contribute $1500, Sponsors contribute $500, and Partners contribute $250 to help offset event costs and foster local and national networking and knowledge-sharing (more info on sponsorship).

Our All-Star Sponsors for all 5 upcoming NCDD regional events:

Learn more about our amazing All-Star Sponsors.

Our Sponsors for the Northern California event:

  • De Anza College’s Institute for Community & Civic Engagement (our co-host)
  • City of Cupertino (our co-host)
  • BayNVC
  • California Forward
  • Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
  • The Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance program
  • Public Dialogue Consortium

Our Partners for the Northern California event:

  • Cohousing California
  • Common Knowledge
  • Community At Work
  • Institute for Conflict Analysis and Engagement at Antioch University Midwest
  • Municipal Management Association of Northern California
  • San Francisco Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN)
  • SEEDS Community Resolution Center
  • Deborah Goldblatt of Wiser Together

Learn more about our NorCal Sponsors and Partners.

Our Sponsor for the Denver event:

  • Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver

Our Partners for the Denver event:

  • Co-Intelligence Institute
  • Corporation for Positive Change

Learn more about our Denver Sponsors.

Our Sponsors for the Austin event:

  • St. Edward’s University, New College (our host)
  • The City of Austin
  • Bluebonnet Hills Christian Church
  • Capital Metro
  • E3 Alliance
  • Lower Colorado River Authority

Our Partners for the Austin event:

  • American Planning Association, Central Texas Section
  • Civic Engagement Initiative of the UT Center for Sustainable Development
  • Community Action Network
  • Conflict Resolution Center at the University of Texas in Austin
  • Greenlights
  • Liveable City
  • Omega Point International, Inc.
  • United Way Capital Area
  • Juli Fellows, Ph.D.
  • Linda Anderson Welsh, Ph.D.

Learn more about our Austin Sponsors and Partners.

Our Sponsors for the Boston event:

  • University of Mass. Boston’s Office of Public Collaboration (our host)
  • Clark University Difficult Dialogues Initiative
  • Consensus Building Institute
  • The Democracy Imperative
  • Englewood Area Community Foundation
  • Meister Consultants Group

Our Partners for the Boston event:

  • Diapraxis
  • New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University
  • Orton Family Foundation

Learn more about our Boston Sponsors and Partners.

Our Sponsors for the Portland event:

  • City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Involvement (our host)
  • Healthy Democracy Oregon

Our Partners for the Portland event:

  • Co-Intelligence Institute
  • Countywide Community Forums of King County
  • IAP2 Cascade Chapter
  • Policy Consensus Initiative (PCI)

Learn more about our Portland Sponsors and Partners.

Thank you, so much, to all our Sponsors and Partners, for helping NCDD make these events successful!

Update on Oct 22 networking luncheon in Denver    

If you’re based in Colorado, please plan to join us at the networking luncheon and dialogue we’re holding in Denver on Friday, October 22nd at The Wellshire Inn.  We will meet at 10:30am at the Wellshire, and enjoy lunch and group discussions until 3:30pm. After 3:30, you are welcome to stick around for additional networking and an early happy hour!

The planning team is putting together a great program, with impressive leaders in public engagement playing various roles:

  • Peggy Kerns, Director of the Center for Ethics in Government of the National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Peter Adler, President of the Keystone Center
  • Martin Carcasson, Director of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University
  • Stan Deetz, Director of the CU Center for the Study of Conflict, Collaboration and Creative Governance
  • Paul Alexander, Director of the Regis University Institute for the Common Good
  • Amanda Roman, Executive Director of the Citizens in Charge Foundation
  • Steve Konieczka, Doctoral Candidate in UC Boulder Communication Department
  • Drew O’Connor, Co-Director of the Civic Canopy

Register now at  Registration is just $30 for dues-paying NCDD members and students ($40 for others).

Our amazing All-Star Sponsors (for all 5 upcoming events) include the National Conference of State Legislatures, AmericaSpeaks, the Public Conversations Project, Everyday Democracy, the Citizens in Charge Foundation and the University of Mass. Boston Office of Public Collaboration.

We’re excited to say that the Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver has stepped up as a sponsor of the Denver event, but they could use some company so let me know ([email protected]) if you’d like more info about sponsorship!

Register now for NorCal event in Cupertino    

I hope those of you in Northern California are planning to join us for the NCDD regional event on Friday, October 29th at De Anza College in Cupertino! Please register for “Making Tough Decisions Together” soon so we know you’re coming.

This is quite the community effort, with numerous local organizations sponsoring (listed below) and the following regional leaders involved in guiding the planning process and leading learning sessions at the event:

  • Dave Knapp, City Manager of Cupertino, CA
  • Ed Everett, City Manager of Redwood City, CA
  • Pete Petersen, Executive Director, Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership/Common Sense California
  • Terry Amsler, Program Director, Collaborative Governance Initiative
  • Daniel Homsey, Director, Neighborhood Empowerment Network

These leaders have been actively involved in making sure this event addresses the real-world issues you face in your communities. You’ll be able to interact with them in a hands-on workshop environment to learn successful ways to engage and mobilize people around difficult issues.

Making Tough Decisions Together is co-hosted by De Anza’s Institute for Community and Civic Engagement (ICCE) and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD).

This conference will bring together elected officials, local government managers and staff, community leaders, students and public engagement practitioners from across Northern California for a day-long conference and workshop to explore practical and innovative strategies for working together to make the tough choices communities face today.

The day is designed to be highly interactive, focusing on best practices in public engagement and community building taking place in various communities in Northern California, and it’s a good value—registration is just $85 ($70 for NCDD members, $42 for students). Lunch is included.

Download the event flyer, or visit for more info on the event, our sponsors, and our amazing planning team. Registration is live at

Shout-0ut to our All-Star Sponsors for all 5 upcoming NCDD regional events:

  • AmericaSpeaks
  • Citizens in Charge Foundation
  • Everyday Democracy
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Public Conversations Project
  • University of Mass. Boston’s Office of Public Collaboration (MODR)

Our Sponsors for the Northern California event:

  • California Forward
  • Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
  • Public Dialogue Consortium
  • The Institute for Local Government

Our Partners for the Northern California event:

  • San Francisco Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN)
  • Community At Work
  • SEEDS Community Resolution Center
  • Common Knowledge
  • Deborah Goldblatt of Wiser Together

Learn more about all our sponsors at — and feel free to join their ranks! All-Star Sponsors contribute $1500, Sponsors contribute $500, and Partners contribute $250 to help offset event costs and foster local and national networking and knowledge-sharing (more info on sponsorship).

© 2003-2010 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.
Learn more about us or explore this site.