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Interest Areas

The D&D community is quite diverse. Some people are mainly interested in arts-based dialogue and deliberation. Others are interested in youth D&D, or D&D on college campuses, or online D&D. Hit your back button and select one of the subcategories of “Interest Areas” to hone in on what most interests you - or what you want to learn more about.

Today’s NCDD Confab Call: “Online Engagement” Using Maestro    

Visual recording by Teresa Bidlake.

Nearly 80 people joined us today for our latest NCDD Confab call where we discussed online engagement through a World Cafe-style conversation using Maestro, a conference call / online tool that provides both traditional conference call features with the ability to create small group conversations amongst the participants of the same call.  Teresa Bidlake, of Concepts Captured, was kind enough to offer her services as graphic facilitator and provided us with the visual recording above.  The conversation is being continued online at the newly re-activated NCDD Forum where we will be assembling stories and information about online dialogue & deliberation in conjunction with our Fall 2010 events.

Don’t forget to register for tomorrow’s NCDD Confab on online engagement    

Lots of people have signed up for tomorrow’s “NCDD Confab” (June 30th, 12 noon to 1:45pm EST), but it’s not too late to register! Our confabs provide members and potential members of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) a chance to network with one another while delving into an important issue in our field.

Register at the following link (once you register, you’ll receive call-in details):

Tomorrow, we’ll be using Maestro conference call software to run a World Cafe on the topic of online engagement. World Cafe is an easy-to-use method for fostering collaborative dialogue, particularly in large groups.

Our host for this Confab is new NCDD member Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe Community. The call is co-sponsored by the World Cafe Community and Maestro Conference. NCDD member Ben Roberts will be co-facilitating, and members Greg Keidan and Lynn Adams helped us design the call.

I’m particularly excited about the Maestro conference call system, which is a new technology that provides hosts with some unique, exciting options that are really appropriate for our community — like breaking people up into small groups in separate virtual rooms (for small group dialogue) and setting up polls that people can participate in just by pressing numbers on their phone (like keypad polling).

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the technology yet; aside from registering for the call, you just need to call in with the phone number and access code on the 30th like any other conference call (there’s nothing to download and no site to visit during the call). Though unlike typical conference calls and webinars, you can’t get away with much multitasking because you’ll be actively engaged and involved throughout the call.

Note: “NCDD Confabs” are conference calls and webinars for NCDD members where we explore key issues in the dialogue & deliberation community and encourage new connections among members. (Potential NCDD members and members of the World Cafe Community are welcome to join us for this call.)

Keep track of today’s national town hall on the budget    

As you hopefully know because we’ve posted about this numerous times, today is AmericaSpeaks’ national town hall on “Our Budget, Our Economy.”  NCDD has served as a promotional partner for the event, and many NCDDers are involved in various capacities (I’d be there myself, but tonight is my 20-year high school reunion).

Across the U.S., thousands of people have come together to take part in this national discussion.  I’ve been following the day’s events off and on today, by watching the live feed at http://ht.ly/23CXB (which is showing real small-group discussions happening in different cities; it’s pretty cool and fascinating to watch) and following what people are posting on twitter today with the hash tag #usabudget.  Thought some of you might want to check out these links, too!

An Experiment in Blending Dialogue Media    

Picture of the US flag on a political button.What’s working in our political system? What isn’t? Our company is OnlineTownhalls and we are passionate about improving the quality of our national dialogue. We recently joined the Open Model for Citizen Engagement Working Group here in Washington, DC which inspired us to give this a shot.

From June 23-27, 2010 we are conducting an experiment called the American Townhall on National Politics. Our mission is to find deeper ways to discuss critical issues facing our democracy combining tools for discussion online, in-person, and over the phone.  The target audience is not the general public; we’re testing these tools on our own communities: opengov, NCDD, e-democracy, transparency, etc.  When we learn what works and what doesn’t, then we’ll repeat the experiment with the general public and publicize the method for others to replicate.

Image of a hand-held camera.Join Us In-Person:

We’ve kick-started the townhall by conducting video interviews on the National Mall in Washington, DC. We’ll be asking visitors to our nation’s capital what they think is broken and what they think is working well in our national politic system. All the videos are available here and are included in the OnlineTownhall mentioned below where others participants can build on these ideas.

Image of a phone receiver.Join Us on the Phone:

The central question for the three-day show is, “What is working in our national political system, and what isn’t?” We’ll be joined by Wayne Burke of the Open Forum Foundation and the lead organizer of the Open Model for Citizen Engagement, key staff in the Sunlight Foundation, and members of the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (if you’d like to be interviewed about your dialogue work, 6:30pm EST is open on Thursday and Friday; email [email protected] if you’re interested).

We have three live call-in radio shows:

  • Wednesday, June 23 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • Thursday, June 24 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • Friday, June 25 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • From June 23-27, join this OnlineTownhall to discuss the ideas raised in the radio shows.

Want to call into the radio show? Dial (917) 889-2510 to join the discussion during the times listed above. You can also add your thoughts via email to [email protected] or through Twitter using the tag #ATHNP (for American Townhall on National Politics). We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

A quill and paper.Join Us Online:

Using this conversation at OnlineTownhalls, participants will be able to take the conversation started on the videos and the radio show deeper from June 23-27.

OnlineTownhalls is different than standard commenting software; it helps participants visualize all the branches in a conversation and see which issues are controversial and which are common ground.

For those that would like a brief orientation to the software, we will be available over the phone. The dial-in number for the live walk-through is 605-715-4920 with an access code of 616033 from 7pm-9pm EST on June 23-25. The online discussion will be open through June 27.

If you’re comfortable with online tools, you’ll probably be able to figure out the townhall technology after watching this three minute intro video.

Final chance to sign up for national deliberation on Our Budget, Our Economy    

I wanted to remind everyone that on June 26th, thousands of concerned citizens — and a whole bunch of NCDDers — are coming together for an unprecedented national conversation on our budget and economy hosted by NCDD organizational member AmericaSpeaks. (NCDD is a promotional partner for this event.)

Together, we’ll find common ground on the tough choices our nation will have to make in the years ahead in order to ensure that growing debt payments don’t crowd out our national priorities, like education, healthcare, national defense, and transportation infrastructure.  Learn more about Our Budget, Our Economy at http://usabudgetdiscussion.org/.

If you’re not already signed up (or facilitating!), I encourage you to participate in the event nearest you this Saturday (June 26) - and help spread the word by sharing this message with others in your networks.

Can you participate in a meeting near you on June 26?

The event you attend will link you to thousands of other Americans around the country via satellite video, webcasts, and interactive technologies. Experts will brief us on the basic budget challenges we’re facing, and then we’ll work together to identify shared priorities and discuss options we have to reduce the national debt. Most importantly: the results of all the meetings across the US will be compiled into a report that will be submitted to the White House and Congress later this summer.

We are working to have this non-partisan citizen discussion reflect the political, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity of the United States. So, please invite your friends — and I hope to see you there.

Also- for those interested, the issue guide for Our Budget, Our Economy, titled Federal Budget 101: An Introduction to the Federal Budget and our Fiscal Chalelnges, can now be downloaded here.

OpenGov and the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan (July 16th)    

I just got an invitation from NCDD member Lucas Cioffi for July’s Open Government Community Summit (July 16 from 9-12 EST, location in D.C. TBD).  Previous summits and workshops have been hosted by the Department of Transportation, the General Services Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Treasury.

Who: This workshop is open to federal, state, and local officials involved in restoring our nation’s Gulf Coast.  Members of the Open Gov Community from the private sector and non-profit organizations are also welcome to participate. RSVP here by July 14th: http://gulf-coast-restoration.eventbrite.com/

What: The summit will focus on the intersection of open government and the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan which President Obama assigned to the Secretary of the Navy on June 15th. (more…)

Registration open for NCDD Confab on online D&D - June 30 at noon EST    

Our next “NCDD Confab” is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30th from 12:00 noon to 1:45 pm Eastern (9am Pacific), and I invite everyone interested in the topic (and connecting with NCDDers) to join us!  We’ll be using Maestro conference call software to run a World Cafe on the topic of online engagement.

Registration is open at this link, and I recommend you register today (once you register, you’ll receive call-in details):

Our host for this Confab is new NCDD member Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe Community.  The call is co-sponsored by the World Cafe Community and Maestro Conference.  NCDD member Ben Roberts will be co-facilitating, and members Greg Keidan and Lynn Adams helped us design the call.

I’m particularly excited about the Maestro conference call system, which is a new technology that provides hosts with some unique, exciting options that are really appropriate for our community — like breaking people up into small groups in separate virtual rooms (for small group dialogue) and setting up polls that people can participate in just by pressing numbers on their phone (like keypad polling).

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the technology yet; aside from registering for the call, you just need to call in with the phone number and access code on the 30th like any other conference call (there’s nothing to download and no site to visit during the call).  Though unlike typical conference calls and webinars, you can’t get away with much multitasking because you’ll be actively engaged and involved throughout the call.

Note: “NCDD Confabs” are conference calls and webinars for NCDD members where we explore key issues in the dialogue & deliberation community and encourage new connections among members. (Potential NCDD members and members of the World Cafe Community are welcome to join us for this call.)

New report by Barnett & Kim Pearce on public managers’ views of public engagement    

The February 2010 report to the Kettering Foundation, “Aligning the Work of Government to Strengthen the Work of Citizens: A Study of Public Administrators in Local and Regional Government,” was written by my friends (and NCDD members) Barnett Pearce (pictured here) and Kimberly A. Pearce. The Pearces’ report surveys California administrative leaders from cities and counties, noting their changing views of “public engagement.” The main research question for the study was “What do public administrators need to know and to do in order to promote and respond constructively to an engaged community?” Downloadable here from the NCDD site.

The primary research method was participatory action research. The Pearces took advantage of an opportunity to work with Common Sense California (CSC), a multi-party, nonprofit organization founded in 2005 whose purpose is “to help solve California’s public problems by promoting citizens’ participation in governance.” They offered their services in helping design and evaluate a series of seminars for public administrators in exchange for access to those seminars and contacts and information gathered in other CSC projects.

The report is chock-full of useful quotes from public managers like this one:

“It is part of our job to get the public engaged to give a meaningful voice and ultimately have control over their government…[civic engagement] is not in addition to, but it is the work…if we are going to be as good as we can be in serving the community.”

- David Bosch, Manager, San Mateo County

Here are the sections included in the must-read conclusion of this paper:

  • Public administrators question the public’s will or ability to communicate responsibly in civic engagement.
  • Public administrators think of civic engagement in the context of their professional responsibilities.
  • Public administrators are reassured by the experience of their peers and adaptable examples.
  • Civic engagement involves “culture change” and “authenticity.”
  • Public administrators have powerful motivations to support civic engagement.
  • Public administrators know that they need to develop new skills for supporting civic engagement, but are not sure what those skills are.

About the Authors: Barnett Pearce is Professor Emeritus at Fielding Graduate University; Kim Pearce is Professor at De Anza College. Both are Principals of Pearce Associates, Inc. and Founding Members of the Public Dialogue Consortium

Neighbors Online Report Issued Today    

NCDD member Steven Clift of e-democracy.org just sent a message about this to the main NCDD Discussion list

A very important report came out today called the Neighbors Online Report. The report shows that Americans use a range of approaches to keep informed about what is happening in their communities and online activities have been added to the mix. Face-to-face encounters and phone calls remain the most frequent methods of interaction with neighbors, while internet tools are gaining ground in community-oriented communications.

Be sure to check out Steven’s blog post on the report, titled Neighbors Online – What have 27% of Internet Users Discovered? Women Lead the Way. Need More Inclusion, at http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/858.  Steven also let us know you can join the “hosts” of neighborhood online hosts in a Q&A with the report author at: http://e-democracy.org/locals.

In short:

  • 27% of American adult Internet users (or 20% of adults overall) use “digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.” - Steve’s spin: Very exciting.
  • Lower income, rural, and Latino Internet users are being left out -Steve’s spin: We need to fix this.

Save the date: next NCDD Confab on June 30th at noon EST    

Our next “NCDD Confab” is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30th from noon to 1:30 pm Eastern (9am Pacific), and I wanted to encourage you to add it to your calendars now if you’re interested.  The Confab calls are free (you pay your regular long-distance phone charges) and open to all NCDD members.

Our host for this Confab is Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe Community (and a new NCDD member!), and we’ll be using Amy’s Maestro account to organize a virtual World Cafe to further examine a question we’ve been exploring on the NCDD listserv lately:  What constitutes quality online/virtual engagement?

We’ll be using the Maestro conference call system, which is a new technology that provides hosts with some unique, exciting options that are perfect for our community — like breaking people up into small groups in separate virtual rooms (for small group dialogue) and setting up polls that people can participate in just by clicking numbers on their phone (like keypad polling).  The good news:  all YOU need to do is call in to the conference call, like any of the conference calls we’ve done in the past!  Well, you’ll also need to register for the call, but we’ll include all the details you need in future announcements.

Please save the date in your calendars if this Confab interests you!

By the way, our last “Confab” of sorts was our May 14th webinar with PublicDecisions featuring Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta.  A bunch of you participated, and it was a great webinar.  The presentation and audio recording are available for download at http://www.publicdecisions.com/publicforum_2010May14_recording.html.

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…)

Call For Papers - 3rd issue of eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Gov    

Thought some of you might be interested in this announcement I saw in one of the Democracies Online groups I’m part of. In collaboration with the European Network for eParticipation, the Centre for E-Government at the Danube University Krems invites you to submit an article for the third issue of the eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government (JeDEM). The eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government addresses the theory and practice in the areas of eDemocracy and Open Government as well as eGovernment, eParticipation, eDeliberation and eSociety. The aim is to impact the quality, visibility, efficiency and use of research and work in eDemocracy, Open Government and related fields. (more…)

Intergroup Dialogue National Institute, June 16-19, 2010    

NCDD member Adrienne Dessel has asked us to invite all NCDD members to the Intergroup Dialogue National Institute from June 16-19, 2010 at the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosted by the University of Michigan’s Program on Intergroup Relations. The Institute is designed for faculty and staff who are interested in expanding and assessing intergroup dialogue programs already in place or are interested in starting one at their institutions. We hope that you and/or others from your institution or program can participate in the upcoming institute. The goals of the Institute are to:

  • Participate in engaging activities commonly used in intergroup dialogue settings
  • Explore the overall dialogue framework and The Michigan Model
  • Strategize the development and support of academic and co-curricular programs

While we will engage in interactive activities, the purpose of this Institute is to demonstrate the curriculum and structure of intergroup dialogue. Facilitator and “train the trainer” workshops are not included as part of this Institute.

In addition to the Institute, we will be offering a pre-Institute workshop focusing on religion dialogues. This workshop is recommended for campuses considering focusing on this specific dialogue topic area. It is also recommended for those campuses with a religious base and/or campuses that are currently experiencing tension between academia and faith perspectives.  The pre-Institute workshop is free to registered Institute participants and will include the following highlights:

  • A keynote speaker who will discuss interfaith issues and dialogues
  • A panel of diverse, local interfaith leaders engaged in interfaith dialogue
  • Exposure to various experiential activities unique to religion dialogues

When you register, you will have the option to register for the pre-Institute workshop as well.

Registration, as well as, housing information can be found at http://www.conferences.housing.umich.edu/igr/.  More information about the national institute is available at http://www.igr.umich.edu/about/institute.

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…)

Coffee Party Mvmt looking for good videos for training moderators    

Update on this post: We compiled the most relevant suggestions we received from the NCDD community (videos and books) in this PDF document. It may be easier to go through than looking through all the comments added to this post. Thank you to NCDD intern Cait Kershner for compiling everyone’s recommendations!

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I’m sure most of you have heard of the Coffee Party Movement (CPM) by now; launched early this year on Facebook by Annabel Park, it quickly gained over 100,000 fans and initiated hundreds of face-to-face “coffee parties” across the country (fans now exceed 212,000!).  A left-leaning alternative to the Tea Party Movement, CPM The Coffee Party Movement is embracing civil discussion and collaboration as a means to impacting public policy.

I had a great conversation with Annabel Park a couple of days ago, and she felt that CPM’s coffee party moderators could really benefit from the expertise in our community of practice.  For starters, she wondered if we could help identify some great videos on group facilitation they could encourage their moderators to watch. (In my opinion, any group that is bringing so many people together for civil political discourse - from any side of the political spectrum - deserves our help with process.)

What training videos would you recommend? Videos/films/clips that are freely available for online viewing - or could be made so - are highly preferred!

Knowing the dialogue & deliberation community, you guys will recommend all kinds of resources that are great for new facilitators, and that’s fine (just please include titles, brief descriptions, and links).  I’ll compile everything here on the NCDD blog as it comes in (I’ll be sending this request to various listservs, LinkedIn groups, facebook groups, etc.).  Let’s show Annabel and other civic pioneers how responsive and generous our community can be!

Learn more about the Coffee Party Movement at www.coffeepartyusa.com or www.facebook.com/coffeeparty?ref=ts if you’re on Facebook. And check out this February post on the CPM site, which talks about how they “want the political process broken down into three steps: 1) open and respectful dialogue, 2) thoughtful and informed deliberation, 3) competent and decisive execution.”

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