Criteria/Principles/Values for the 2004 NCDD Conference Design

At the outset of their conversations about the 2004 conference, the members of the Design Team asked themselves the following question: What are the values upon which we are building? The foundation for the response was relatively straightforward if not simple - the essence of the learning experience?i.e. individuals and the collective taking responsibility for learning.

The Design Team then agreed on a set of criteria, values or principles for the conference design to direct their efforts and choices. They were:


We strive to achieve balance between action and reflection; among the head, heart and feet; between the fixed and emergent design; between the task and the relationship; between large groups and small groups?


We want the conference to be as participatory as possible. Equality of participation is also desired ? we all have something to learn from each other.


We want to have some continuous space available to meet people's needs - a quiet space, a hang-out space, a conflict resolution space, and an "open" space.


We want to integrate all levels of our being, the various learning approaches, the arts (not leave them to the end of a day or conference). We will want theorists working with practitioners. ?How will I see that integration?? is the guiding question.

Clarity and Order

We want to give people a sense of clarity and order. Participants will want to see the logic of the conference program, how the various pieces fit together.

Openness to Outcome

Tension between emergent design and design that's already in place?we want to provide permanent open space in case some ideas emerge during the conference.


We provide participants with the maximum opportunity to walk out of the conference with other people with whom they connected over the life of the conference.


We will provide participants with the opportunity to learn together; to follow the principle that we are all learners and teachers?building it as we go?describe the design process and thus some transparency?

Weaving the Collective

Weaving the learnings together in home base-small groups ? integration groups. Small groups will be the thread. They should be a place where people might weave together what they are learning throughout the conference and a place to vent, share and been seen by others in a more intimate setting. The plenaries will also allow the full conference community to come together as a whole to reinforce what we are learning and experiencing as a community. Each plenary may address one of the three theme questions.


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