2004 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation

The second National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation brought together over 300 leaders in the dialogue & deliberation community from October 23rd through 26th, 2004 at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. The conference built on the success of the first NCDD conference, which took place in Alexandria, Virginia in October 2002.

We will soon replace what's on these conference pages with summaries, evaluation results and next steps. For now, you can look over the conference schedule or read about the fabulous workshops and plenary sessions that were offered. We encourage you to also read some of the papers presented at this year's conference, and to look over the design criteria and principles our fabulous Design Team used to guide their decisions.

You can also look over conference participants' bios on the Ncdd Wiki (collaborative workspace), and post your own if you didn't get a chance to before the conference, or learn more about the people behind the conference.

New! Conference Guidebook

For a complete look at the conference, download a copy of the conference guidebook. Note, this is a 1.4MB .pdf file. If you don't have it, you'll need Acrobat Reader.

Sponsors and Supporters

The 2004 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation was funded, in part, by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Along with the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, the conference was Co-Sponsored by The Forum Foundation, the International Association for Public Participation, and by Regis University's Institute on the Common Good. Partners of the conference include the Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts, the Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver, the Jefferson Center, the Pennsylvania Center for Civic Life, the Public Conversations Project, the Study Circles Resource Center, and the Western Justice Center. Learn more about our sponsors and supporters.

Introduction & Overview

The 2002 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation introduced practitioners and scholars to the vast array of models, tools and techniques that are being used by their colleagues; surfaced key issues facing the dialogue and deliberation community; made many participants feel ? for the first time ? that they are part of an important, growing field of practice; and developed a blueprint for action for strengthening this emerging field.

A picture from the 2002 conference.

A snapshot taken during the Jewish-Palestinian dialogue leaders' gathering held in conjunction with the 2002 NCDD conference.

Since the 2002 event, the dialogue and deliberation community has become more aware of itself; more familiar with all of its appendages and their various uses. The 2004 conference reflected this growth in our field of practice. It was a more strategic event, actively building collective knowledge in order to address key questions and needs in the field; questions like ?What are the long-term effects of our efforts?,? ?How can we determine which processes work best in specific circumstances?,? and ?Where are we going as a field or community of practice, and where should we be going??

With ample time for networking, skill-building, hearing from some of the key leaders in the field, and (of course!) engaging in dialogue and deliberation, participants in the 2004 conference enjoyed a one-of-a-kind gathering.

The conference focused on three broad questions: "How can we have a greater collective impact on the challenging issues of our time?", "How can we develop intelligently and wholeheartedly as a community of practice?", and "What do we need to know and do individually to enhance our capacity to do this work?"

How can we have a greater collective impact on the challenging issues of our time?

Together, we will think broadly about the purpose and importance of our work. What is our overall vision? How can we contribute to reawakening the spirit of democracy? What is our vision for the kind of impact we would like to have on the ?big issues? facing society? How can dialogue and deliberation inspire and empower people to find commonality and work through their differences in order to build collective wisdom, foster justice and improve decision-making?

How can we develop intelligently and wholeheartedly as a community of practice?

We will take a careful look at the emerging dialogue & deliberation community. Where are our strengths, and what are our challenges? What does it mean for us to ?walk our talk? as a community, and what is needed for us to uphold our values? What needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of D&D ? to funders, to decision-makers, to the world? How can we nurture and sustain this community?

What do we need to know and do individually to enhance our capacity to do this work?

In an environment designed for self-reflection and renewal, we will explore our own unique contributions to this work while taking an honest look at our personal edges and challenges. Through experiencing the latest innovations and best practices, each of us will also build our competence in and knowledge of dialogue and deliberation.


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