Conference Overview

Here we will describe the bulk of what was accomplished at and directly because of the 2002 conference. Read the summaries below, or use these four links to go right to any of these pages for more comprehensive information.

56 Break-Out Sessions

3 Plenary (Large-Group) Sessions

12 Next Steps Groups

Additional Conference Outcomes

Conference Break-Out Sessions

A photo from one of the break-out sessions.

Harris Sokoloff of the University of Pennsylvania speaking at one of the break-out sessions, while Christian Saade, Libby Traubman and others listen.

Participants were able to choose from 56 break-out sessions during the conference (8 choices at 7 different times). When selecting from the excellent session proposals, one of the most important factors for us was ensuring that the break-out sessions represented the entire spectrum of practice. We also placed a high value on the amount of participation planned for, the level and type of experience of the presenters, the level of preparedness evident in the proposal, and other factors such as racial and age diversity of presenters.

We wanted to provide conference attendees with opportunities to experience a variety of dialogue and deliberation models and techniques, to build their skills in organizing and facilitating D&D programs, to learn about other communities of practice and to consider what needs to be done to strengthen and unite our community of practitioners and scholars.

This page outlines the various models and techniques that were covered in the break-out sessions, the specific issues and outcomes that were focused on, and the various dialogue and deliberation audiences and venues that were discussed. It lists the sessions that focused on movement-building, on clarifying or understanding D&D, on developing skills, and on integrating the arts into our dialogue & deliberation work.

The Plenary Sessions

The three plenary (large-group) sessions ? one each day ? put participants through a dialogic, deliberative process to help them decide how we, as a community, could encourage action and networks dedicated to strengthening and uniting dialogue & deliberation practice ? and the emerging D&D community.

A photo taken at one of the plenary sessions.

Katie Howard of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center speaks to her group during one of the plenary sessions.

This page includes a synopsis of the three sessions and their findings. Friday's plenary, which was designed and administered by members of the Conference Organizing Team, used a simple large-group dialogue process ? a series of facilitated, small group dialogues. In facilitated small-group dialogues, conference participants introduced themselves and shared their reasons for coming to the conference. They shared what dialogue and deliberation mean to them ? both literally (what do those words mean?) and figuratively (what meaning do they have for you personally?). They moved on to talk about what their individual needs are as dialogue and deliberation professionals. And they concluded by discussing what their hopes are for the practices of dialogue and deliberation, and for the dialogue and deliberation community.

Saturday's plenary, which was designed and administered by AmericaSpeaks, utilized AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Hall model. In facilitated small groups, and equipped with electronic, wireless keypads for each individual and wireless laptops for each table, participants were asked to identify opportunities and challenges that have the potential to effect our ability to move our field of practice forward. Throughout this session, participants were polled (via the keypads) on various questions and issues, and notes that were typed into the laptops were compiled by a volunteer Theme Team.

A photo taken at a plenary session.

Ratnesh Nagda of the University of Washington speaking to his group during the plenary session run by AmericaSpeaks.

Sunday's plenary, which was designed and administered by the Study Circles Resource Center, was modeled after SCRC's Action Forums. At our ?Next Steps Forum,? conference participants were asked to choose a ?Next Steps group? (gleaned from Saturday's plenary) to join based on their interests. After meeting in these newly-formed groups and discussing their different and shared perspectives regarding their particular Next Step, participants reported out creatively (there was some singing involved, and lots of energy) about the main themes of their discussion. The new groups then discussed how to proceed with the next steps, and reported out again.

The Next Steps Groups

A photo of one of the Next Steps groups.

A snapshot of one of the Next Steps groups at work at the conference.

Twelve ?Next Steps groups? formed on the last day of the 2002 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation to address various needs and issues and/or make recommendations that are vital to the dialogue and deliberation community. This page includes summaries of the groups' plans or recommendations, a list of the initial participants in each group, and a summary of NCDD's activities and progress (as of June, 2003) which relate to each group.

The twelve ?Next Steps Groups? that developed focused on: Connecting dialogue and deliberation to the arts; Creating a shared dialogue and deliberation toolbox; Integrating dialogue and deliberation into educational environments; Advancing diversity and expanding connections; International networking; Marketing dialogue to the media and the public; Meeting practitioners' funding needs; Developing our mission and vision; Convening national dialogues (starting with Iraq); Networking and communications within D&D; Networking and collaboration among online D&D practitioners; and Research & development.


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