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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!

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…)

Four new regional listservs for D&Ders in DC, Boston, Cascadia and Austin    

People involved in dialogue and deliberation work in the following regions can take advantage of NCDD’s free (of course!) discussion lists:

  • In and around Boston, Massachusetts
  • Cascadia region (Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia)
  • Washington, DC metro area
  • Central Texas (Austin and beyond)
  • Colorado
  • Northern California (Bay Area and beyond)

Four of the listservs are brand new (the Colorado and Northern California lists have been around for a while), and we encourage you to subscribe and send a quick introductory message to the list. NCDD members are always telling us they want more opportunities for regional and local networking, so we’ve gone ahead and subscribed NCDD members in those regions (just email me to opt out).  If you’re not an NCDD member, follow the links below to subscribe.

These are the 6 areas we are planning one-day NCDD gatherings in October and November (Austin, Boston, Portland, DC, Denver and San Francisco), so we’ll definitely use the lists to keep people informed of our Fall events and to encourage regional networking before and after the events!

Note: I’m also looking for official “moderators” for all of the lists, so if you live in one of these regions and want to take on the challenge of initiating conversations on the lists once in a while, please let me know ([email protected]).

(more…)

Introducing our newest summer intern: Allyson Gasdaska    

I’m excited to introduce Allyson Gasdaska to the NCDD community, as our second part-time summer intern here at NCDD.  Allyson is joining the ranks of Cait Kershner, our other summer intern.  She’ll be working on our online Resource Center and other projects.

Allyson Gasdaska is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She is from Marysville, PA and will be spending the summer at home. She is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major, tentatively minoring in Modern Middle Eastern Studies or international development. Allyson hopes to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector and is specifically interested in women’s and children’s issues, particularly at the international level.

At school, Allyson is involved in the campus chapters of Amnesty International, UNICEF, and Nourish International. She also works as a research assistant with Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She will be spending the fall semester in Washington, DC in order to take classes and intern, most likely with a nonprofit organization.

In her spare time, Allyson enjoys listening to music, playing clarinet and saxophone, reading, keeping up with the news, and spending time with friends and family, particularly her three younger siblings.

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

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.)

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.

Introducing NCDD’s summer intern, Cait Kershner    

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce Caitlin Kershner to the NCDD community. Cait will be serving as NCDD’s part-time summer intern, working on our fall events and other projects. We’re very excited to have her!

Cait is a senior at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. She was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (just a short drive from NCDD World Headquarters!), where she will spending her summer.  Cait, whose interests include knitting, painting, and serving others, will be turning 21 this month.

Cait is currently studying Psychology but after she graduates hopes to be able to do some work in the nonprofit sector, specifically in human rights.

At Mansfield, Cait is part of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, which works with Adopt-a-Highway, Habitat for Humanity, and Pine Mountain Settlement School. She hopes to get involved in the Student Government Association next year, to be able to have a larger influence on campus. She is interested in getting an internship with Student Peace Alliance next summer.

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

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…)

Last day to register for Friday’s joint PublicDecisions/NCDD webinar    

I wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to register for Friday’s 1pm EST joint PublicDecisions/NCDD webinar titled “Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Dialogue & Deliberation: What Are the Implications for Practice?” with guests Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta.  Over 80 people have registered so far, and it’s quite an amazing group of people.

Here is the registration link:  http://www.publicdecisions.com/publicforum_2010May14.html (don’t worry – the form is super-short!)

Note: you’ll receive an email from PublicDecisions that includes instructions for participating in the webinar.  I suggest looking that over and preparing (doing any downloading required, etc.) the day before the webinar if you can.  We’ll be using Microsoft Live Meeting.

Full details on the webinar can be found in the original blog post at www.thataway.org/?p=2535.

NCDD-PublicDecisions free May 14th webinar: join us!    

Join us for a free webinar titled “Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Dialogue & Deliberation: What Are the Implications for Practice?” on Friday, May 14 from 1pm to 2:30 Eastern (10am Pacific) with NCDD members Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta. The webinar is jointly sponsored by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) and PublicDecisions.

The field of public dialogue and deliberation (D&D) is growing dramatically—so dramatically, in fact, that no one fully knows what the field looks like: who is doing public dialogue and deliberation work, what forms their work is taking, what common challenges they face. This webinar will use the results of a recent survey of dialogue and deliberation practitioners as a jumping off point for a wide-ranging discussion of current and future issues in the public engagement practitioner community.

We’ll discuss results that shed light on topics such as how people get started in D&D practice, the role of gender in deliberation, and how best to measure and market D&D outcomes. In this interactive program, webinar participants will be invited to identify the emerging challenges they see and to share steps they are taking to chart the course of 21st Century public engagement. Come prepared to engage and be engaged!

Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta, the sociologists who conducted the survey, will join hosts Sandy Heierbacher of NCDD and Beth Offenbacker of PublicDecisions in a highly interactive, dynamic discussion that will delve into tough issues and exciting possibilities.

Register by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 12th at http://www.publicdecisions.com/publicforum_2010May14.html . This webinar uses Microsoft Live Meeting, an online meeting platform. You will click on a unique weblink we send you to view the slides, etc., and you can either plug in a computer headset or call a U.S. telephone line (long distance charges apply, but you can always use Skype) to hear/speak.

I encourage you also to check out the survey results before the webinar at http://sites.lafayette.edu/ddps/. (more…)

NCDD’s 2010 Events…    

As many of you know, since 2002 NCDD has been holding biennial national conferences on the even years. We wanted to formally announce that in 2010, rather than holding a single National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, we are in the process of mobilizing our members to organize a number of smaller one-day NCDD events.

We are looking into holding events in fall 2010 in the locations we feel best equipped to mobilize our members: Austin, San Francisco, Washington DC and Denver, where we’ve held past NCDD conferences, as well as cities like Boston and Portland where dialogue and deliberation are thriving.

We feel that holding regional, largely self-organized events in 2010 has the potential to move NCDD and the field forward in vital ways.  We hope the events will position members of the D&D community to successfully navigate new opportunities that are emerging in open government and online engagement so they can make a greater impact in their communities. (Learn more about our concept for the 2010 events.)

At this point, we are looking for dedicated people to help move things forward in most of the locations mentioned above. Our first priorities are (1) to find and secure affordable venues so we can set the dates and (2) to start identifying partners and co-sponsors who share our goals.  Please contact me (Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s Director) at [email protected] if you are interested in getting involved.

Three Great OpenGov/Participation Events in DC    

As federal agencies near the April 7th deadline to release their implementation plans, there’s no shortage of energy surrounding the Open Government Directive.

There are two great events in DC that you won’t want to miss if you’re within driving distance: ParticipationCamp on April 17th and 18, and the half-day April Open Government Directive Workshop on April 28th.  Both events are using the Open Space method.  You’ll also see information below about a significant discount to the Politics Online Conference on April 19-20th.

(more…)

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