Fun Stuff

Posts about things we consider fun – like the arts, (some) technology, and other cool stuff.

NCDD Austin Video Journal by Tim Thomas    

Everyone who attended the closing remembers fondly the gorgeous, moving photo journal produced by photographer Tim Thomas, which we played at the beginning of the closing plenary session. Many, many thanks to Tim, and to our friends at the Generative Change Community, who made this photo journal possible.

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, NCDD2008, PR & Outreach

Free Conversation Café and Host Training on October 2nd    

We’re holding a free Conversation Café and host training the night before the conference begins, open to conference participants and anyone else in Austin that wants to join us. If you’re in Austin or know people who are, please send them a link to this post, or give them this Conversation Cafe flyer.

Are you curious to learn how ‘the other guys’ are thinking?  Have you wondered how to talk to others who hold very different points of view?  Come experience a FREE Conversation Café at the Renaissance Austin Hotel (Ballroom B) on October 2, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. when we will explore the theme of learning from differences.

Conversation Café is a simple but powerful process that fosters fascinating and lively conversation with a diverse group. It offers an easy-to-use format that helps people feel at ease, speak with sincerity and listen with respect. The result is a shift from small talk to “big talk” about questions that matter.

You can also learn how to be a conversation host by attending the FREE workshop from 6:15-7:30 p.m. offered by Conversation Café co-founder Susan Partnow. You will be joined by others from around the U.S. (and a dozen other countries!) attending the National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.

You’ll have fun, get inspired and leave with an empowering tool that can help you create more satisfying and meaningful conversations in your community, workplace, neighborhood or just at your kitchen table. Be sure to invite your friends, family and co-workers to join you for this special event!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

FREE Workshop for Volunteer Hosts
6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

FREE Public Conversation Café (ages 16 and up)
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Renaissance Austin Hotel
9721 Arboretum Boulevard, Austin
Ballroom B

For more about Conversation Café go to www.conversationcafe.org. You are also encouraged to review the Volunteer Host training guide at www.conversationcafe.org/Hosting%20Resources.htm.

NCDD Austin’s 5-Person Graphic Recording Team    

The Graphic Recording Team at NCDD 2008 included Sunni Brown, Julie Gieseke, Mariah Howard, Marilyn Martin and team leader Avril Orloff. NCDD owes each of these women a huge debt of gratitude for the incredible contributions they made to  the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation!

Graphic recording has long been a feature of NCDD conferences, but for the 2008 conference we took it up a few notches. Instead of just one or two graphic recorders, we had a whole team — and rather than having them record quietly in the back of the room, we closely integrated the graphics with the rest of the program.

In addition to recording the plenaries and sub-plenaries, the graphic recording team created mural-size posters for each of the five challenge areas we focused on at the conference. The posters were displayed throughout the conference, and the graphic recorders worked with our challenge leaders to add to the posters each day as new thoughts, insights and ideas emerged related to the challenges.

Conference participants were also urged to contribute ideas to the posters, and many did. And to help people along, our Graphic Recording Team offered a graphic recording demo/session at the D&D marketplace on the first day of the conference, giving dozens of conference attendees the opportunity to try their hand at graphic recording and learn some basic graphic recording skills.

Avril Orloff created the mural that captured themes related to the Framing Challenge, which explored the question “How can we talk about and present dialogue and deliberation work in ways that are accessible to a broader audience?” At the 2008 conference, we focused on the need to attract more conservatives to D&D work in particular. Click on the image below to see a larger version of this mural on Avril’s website. You can learn more about Avril’s work at www.avrilorloff.com.

Many more images of the graphic recordings created at NCDD Austin have been uploaded to Flickr by conference participants. Be sure to check them out at www.flickr.com/search/?q=ncdd2008&w=all.

What are Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation anyway?

According to graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck (www.loosetooth.com), graphic facilitation is the practice of using words and images to create a conceptual map of a conversation. A graphic facilitator is the visual, usually silent partner to the traditional, verbal facilitator, drawing a large scale image at the front of the room in real-time.

Agerbeck describes graphic facilitation as both a process and product. Watching the graphic facilitator create the map as the group speaks is highly experiential and immediate. It focuses the group as they work, aiding concentration by capturing and organizing their ideas. Everyone can watch their ideas take shape; the manifestation is most resonant with the visual, spatial and systematic thinkers in the group, but it’s a powerful tool of recognition for everyone. After the event, the map becomes a document; evidence of the meeting’s progress and direction. This resulting conceptual map is an engaging and meaningful tool, because the audience watched its creation in relationship to their experience. Images being emotional and subjective, participants can interpret the image and recall their own ‘Aha!’ moments.

According to visualpractitioner.org, graphic facilitators (or ‘visual practitioners’) use visual methods to assist learning and communication between groups and individuals. Graphic facilitators tap into the power of ‘visual thinking’-they literally draw information out of people, functioning as facilitators and scribes to get the wisdom of groups into a tangible form. Some use visual presentations to ‘PUSH’ information to people. Other use a ‘PULL’ approach, gathering the information that is pulled out of people, into graphic displays or renderings. Whatever approach is used, the artifacts that are created have a very graphic or visual nature.

What Are the Benefits of Working Visually?

As human beings our world is speeding up and the amount of information that we are forced to digest is growing exponentially. One of the prime benefits of working visually is that it is humane! The human brain processes information visually – pictures help convey reams of data efficiently. Visual Practitioners know and use the efficiencies of visuals. We know how to extract and distill the key messages, wisdom and knowledge held within an individual or group.

Working graphically is efficient and effective – as such it saves time, money and much aggravation. Comprehension increases, participation increases, the quality of decision-making tends to increase; all in all, working visually helps people more effectively see their circumstances, understand themselves and one another, and results in smoother decisions and agreements.

The ease of reproduction is another large benefit of working visually, particularly in the case of business meetings or settings where meeting minutes and summary notes are of prime importance. No longer does someone have to slave over the transcription of an important meeting – most of the approaches that visual practitioners use do not require additional writing work; the minutes are literally created as we go (particularly in graphic recording and graphic facilitation venues).

Benefits of interactive, highly facilitated approaches to graphic recording:
Increases Clarity And Comprehension (People Literally See What They Mean); Boosts Learning For Visual And Kinesthetic Learners (Over 88% Of People); Heightens Thinking Levels (Enables Higher Level Of Dialogue And Discussion); Saves Time And Increases Efficiency By Reducing Repetition And Redundancy; Lowers Misunderstandings And Helps Resolve Conflict; Increases Quality Of Decisions And Understanding Of Commitments And Accountabilities; Shrinks The Need For Traditional Meeting Minutes And Reports (The Charts Become The Report).

Benefits of passive, off-on-the-side scribing approaches:
Collects Key Information Without Invasive Questioning Or Interruption; Expands Retention And Understanding Of Key Themes And Main Ideas; Increases The ROI For Speakers & Presenters (Documents Their Crucial Points); Builds A Graphic Summary That Leaders Can Use To Summarize/Interact With; Equips Participants With A Unique ‘Takeaway’ Of Their Experience (Paper Or Digital); Makes For Easy Sharing And Communication Of The ‘Gestalt’ Of The Event. 

Resources on Graphic Facilitation

Grove Consultants International, a well-established group of graphic facilitators based in the San Francisco Bay area, feature a number of video demos on their website.  The short videos walk users through using their most popular planning templates.  At grove.com, you’ll find a number of other great resources on graphic facilitation.  A great place to start is at the resources section of their online learning center.

The International Forum of Visual Practitioners website, at visualpractitioner.org, features a nice database of graphic facilitators you can hire. For over 25 years, business people, artists, communities, governments, educators, and individuals have been leveraging the power of their Visual Practitioner community of graphic recorders and graphic facilitators.

This introductory text about graphic recording and graphic facilitation was excerpted from www.visualpractitioner.org and www.loosetooth.com.

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, NCDD2008, Program & Content

Saturday’s Poetry Slam at NCDD Austin    

Thought I’d add a quick post about this… Our thanks to Central Texas Team member and NCDD Board member Taylor Willingham for coordinating this performance!

Austin City-Wide Youth Poetry Slam

This performance during Saturday’s lunch is sponsored by the Texas Youth Word Collective (TYWC) – a nonprofit youth literacy program that encourages middle school and high school students’ interest in writing through youth poetry slams, open mics and online anthologies. It is our hope that the performance will inspire you and get your minds all warmed up for the sub-plenaries taking place after lunch.

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, NCDD2008, Program & Content, Texas

Books by Conference Attendees for the Bookstore?    

I wanted to give all conference attendees the chance to recommend books we should include in the NCDD 2008 conference bookstore. I already provided the folks organizing our bookstore with a list of suggestions, but I’m sure I’ve missed some books you guys would recommend we include. I’m especially interested in books YOU folks (conference attendees) have published recently.

Phil Neisser, who will be joining us in Austin, just sent a message out to the NCDD discussion list about his new book, United We Fall, which posits that ordinary political conversations, neighborhood encounters, and public debates need to include the “extreme” points of view that are often hidden on the sidelines, considered to be too “radical,” or dismissed as the work of “the enemy.” It sounds like a great book, and I think we should have it at the conference bookstore if possible.

Phil’s message made me think our conference presenters and attendees have probably written a bunch of other books we should consider for the bookstore.

Now, I can’t guarantee that your book will end up being sold, but local planning team member Sherry Lowry will certainly ask the bookstore folks to consider it. So please use the comment field below to submit your suggestions. Include the title, author, year published, and publisher if possible.

I’d like to have any additional book suggestions submitted to the bookstore folks by Friday, August 29th at the latest, so don’t delay!

Eric Haltmeier to Create Original Musical Composition at NCDD Austin    

We’re very excited to announce the special role that musician and educator Eric Haltmeier will be playing at the 2008 NCDD conference. Using a variety of acoustic and digital instruments, and collecting sound samples throughout the 3-day conference, Eric will create and perform music that will serve to reflectively represent conference themes in sound.  Eric will work with our graphic recording team, and conference attendees will have the opportunity to become a part of the musical creation.

Eric has worked with D&D practitioner Don Proffit in the past. In fact, we learned about Eric because in his workshop titled “Cafe U,” Don plans to have Eric create a “real-time, improvised musical score documenting our journey through the U, providing an authentic example of co-sensing, co-presencing and co-creating during this session.” (Read more about this and other workshops that will be offered at NCDD Austin.) Needless to say, we were intrigued and wanted to learn more.

You can see an incredible example of Eric’s improvised musical composing at http://emhmusic.blogspot.com/2008/05/cafe-concerto.html, where the process for creating Cafe Concerto is outlined.  You can listen to a number of MP3’s to see how the piece evolved. The piece begins with ambient sounds of street noises, leading to the sounds typically found in a cafe (clinking glasses, cash registers, conversations). The ambient sounds lead into a layer of music inspired by a Peruvian percussion rhythm. “Vision Statements” were collected from participants and recorded as sound clips which, when heard in the musical composition, represent the array of ideas heard and overheard in conversation.

As the cafe process evolved at this event, participants wrote important individual “notes” (or thoughts) on circular pieces of paper which a graphic recorder then placed on a wall mural that looked like a musical staff. These ‘notes’ ended up forming three different ‘melodies’ that were to become the integral musical material of the Cafe Concerto. Each cafe participant held onto one of their written ‘notes’ and was then asked to read the note into a microphone. Every person attending the cafe recorded their own ’sound note’. These ‘human notes’ were incorporated in the Cafe Concerto in between each of the melodic phrases.

The Cafe Concerto was performed in real-time at the end of the cafe, as we plan to do on the last day of the 2008 NCDD conference, using a combination of keyboard controllers, laptop software, and saxophone. The performance acted as a reflective summary of the entire cafe. The final composition, bringing together all of the above elements, can be heard at www.box.net/shared/9ec612l0c0.

Eric Haltmeier is an active performing musician and educator.  For twelve years he taught and developed the Instrumental Music Program at Lawrence High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.  Eric has also been on the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University since 2000, teaching courses in music education and technology.  He performs regularly with his experimental-jazz trio and with Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter (and former student) Matt Cranstoun.  Eric’s current research interest focuses on the development of critical media literacy through the arts, education, and technology.

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, NCDD2008, Program & Content

Announcing the “D&D Marketplace”    

Friday, October 3rd, 4:00-5:30 pm

We’ve decided to try something new on the first day of this year’s conference, before the reception – a D&D Marketplace.  We’re really excited about this session, and the associated posters, because we think they provide a way for people to expose their work and their ideas to the majority of conference participants. Here’s how this high-energy session will work…

Conference planners will select people to present during the D&D Marketplace who are passionate about sharing tools, concepts, and success stories. These presenters will strike up conversations with participants who are strolling around the room, perusing the wares. No timers or buzzers are involved.

Presenters may choose to display “posters” during the Marketplace (more on this below), and they will be expected to provide handouts for participants and to be able to succinctly express what’s important for conference participants to know about their resource, method, research, case study, program, etc. and to elaborate and answer any questions people may have.

During the D&D Marketplace, most of the tables will be removed from the ballroom so people have room to move about.  Marketplace presenters will be stationed throughout the room, standing at a cafe-sized table where they can display information and handouts. We will provide every Marketplace presenter with a sign with their topic on it. For those Marketplace presenters who prepare posters, we will also provide tabletop easels if you need them.

During this 90-minute session, conference participants will stroll around the ballroom, looking over posters, picking up resources, and talking with Marketplace presenters – people who want to tell others about a particular tool, concept or case they’re excited about.

About the Posters…

D&D Marketplace presenters are invited to also prepare posters, which will be displayed at their Marketplace table and then moved to a prominent location in or near the main ballroom for the rest of the three-day conference. To display your poster, you can choose to do one of three things:

  1. Purchase a tri-fold foam display board like the one here at Staples for $15 and prepare your poster in advance of the conference on the display board. You’ll need to bring the board or ship it to yourself at the hotel so it arrives no later than the morning of October 3rd. These display boards are 36″ tall by 48″ wide.
  2. Prepare your poster on posterboard (standard size is 22”x 28”) and bring that with you to the conference. We will provide you with a tabletop easel, but make sure Logistics Coordinator Polly Riddims knows that you will need it ([email protected]).
  3. Prepare the elements of your poster (large titles, graphs, pictures, text, etc.) and bring them with you to the conference – or bring a rolled up completed poster. We will provide a tabletop easel and 22″ x 28″ posterboard for you to paste your elements onto, but you will need to let Polly know you will need those things ([email protected]).

After the D&D Marketplace, your easel or display board will be placed on a table where you can (and should) also leave handouts, resources and business cards for people to pick up. You may choose to also stand at your poster during high-traffic times such as during breaks and answer questions about your poster.

Posters are a great way to introduce a large percentage of conference participants to your work or your idea. A workshop about a method, resource or program people aren’t familiar with may attract only a few people, while a poster on something new and innovative is likely to be seen by the majority of attendees. Posters are also a great way for those without strong English skills or much presenting experience to share their work in a more comfortable setting.

Your poster may consist of one large sheet of paper, or you can tack up multiple sheets of smaller paper. Your poster should take people through a process, program, concept or story. The type is large and wording is simple, and diagrams and pictures bring the poster to life. People should be able to quickly discern your message and determine whether they need to read more or move on. Although you will be able to walk people through the story/process/concept depicted on your poster during the marketplace and perhaps at other times as well, the poster should be able to clearly present the concept on its own. Your poster should NOT consist mainly of pasted-up pages of small type!

Up to three co-authors can be named for each poster, and up to three people may present the poster during the D&D Marketplace. Everyone presenting a poster must register for the conference.

Are you presenting in the Marketplace?  Here’s what you’ll need to prepare…

  • A quick spiel or “elevator speech” about your case, program, tool, etc. that will get people interested in learning more. Practice it until it comes out naturally!  We suggest you prepare several spiels of different lengths (30 seconds, 1 minute, etc.).
  • Handouts about your program, tool, case, event, etc. that include further details.  Include your contact information and web address on your handouts, or also provide a stack of your business cards.
  • And if you are presenting a poster, you will need to prepare a visually interesting poster.  See specs and suggestions for posters above.

Networking Topics for Opening Session    

Table topics during our Opening Session at NCDD Austin will allow you to meet others who share your interests and affinities right off the bat. We’ve been asking conference participants to submit “networking topics” if they are passionate about a topic, process, venue, etc. and they’d like to meet others who feel the same.

Below are the topics we’re going forward with so far (and the people who submitted them and will be hosting the tables) and some more details about what we’ll be doing and why. Send a quick email to NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at [email protected] if you’d like to host a table on a particular topic!

You’re coming to the conference, in large part, to meet people who share your interests. At NCDD conferences, people tend to leave knowing that they’ve built a slew of new supportive, collaborative relationships.

To help this along at NCDD Austin, we’re holding a structured networking session during the very first plenary session of the conference. This networking session will allow participants, at the start of the conference, to meet people with similar interests as them. Maybe you’re passionate about a particular issue, like climate change, racism or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps you focus on a specific area of D&D work like restorative justice or deliberative democracy. Maybe you’d like to meet other researchers who are at the conference, other college students, others from outside the U.S., or others who teach at universities? This networking session will give you the chance to meet people during the opening session who you can connect with again and again over the next few days.

All conference participants are invited to suggest topics — especially if you are willing to serve as the “table host” for that topic and move the conversation forward with some light facilitation. The point of this session is networking – meeting and starting to get to know others who share your interests, so hosts will ensure people have the chance to introduce themselves and share how their work relates to the topic.

There won’t be time for in-depth conversations about the topic; this is about meeting people you can connect with again later on.  So focus broadly, like the topics suggested above (”using D&D to address climate change” rather than “using D&D to encourage high school students to recycle”).

Here are the topics we’ve got so far…

Rooting D&D in Government Structures

Submitted by: John Spady (willing to host)

Dialogue across the Partisan Divide

Table host: Jacob Hess

Encouraging Dialogue in Higher Ed

Encouraging the values and processes of dialogue within the academy, including pedagogy, student life, administrative and faculty culture — it’s challenges and its possibilities. (We are have been doing this at Clark University over the last three years, initially with support from the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues initiative.)

Table host: Sarah Buie

Bridging the Sacred/Secular Divide

Many social change efforts could benefit from alliances between secular and faith-based networks. Effective alliances are often prevented or hampered by lack of contact or mutual stereotyping. In some secular contexts people “of faith” have felt have felt marginalized and “trashed”. The converse is also true. In some religious contexts, people who have a secular world view have felt silenced and dismissed.

I am interested to brainstorm with people who have participated in efforts to bridge this difference as well as people who would like to convene such conversations in the future.

Table host: Laura Chasin

Dialogue on Structural Racism

I work with a number of community based programs in Baltimore and we struggle with the structural racism that exists in education, foundation giving, prison system, etc. and how it plays out as we work together in unity for change. We continue to strive to dialogue about racial disparities in these systems while promoting change. I would like to meet others who work in the community who face these issues and want to find tools and opportunities to having honest, truthful dialogue about race and class.

Table host: Polly Riddims

D&D on Environmental / Land Use Issues

Table host: Steve Zikman

Public Health

I am consulting with some senior leaders in the field of public health. It is my hope that I can connect with others who are also focused in this area.

 Table host: Robert Corman

Using the Arts in Dialogue

As a graphic recorder/facilitator I’m always asking myself how I can most effectively use visuals to assist & enhance the dialogue process. And my interest goes beyond the visual arts – I also see the value and impact of theatre, song, movement, poetry and so on. Would love to connect with others who are also exploring the role of the arts in dialogue, to swap stories, questions, ideas, and maybe try out some stuff together!

Table host: Avril Orloff

Building State Networks to Support Deliberation

We have a statewide network in Oklahoma that we are trying to expand and we’d like to brainstorm with others to find out what they have tried in their states.  We are also thinking of creating a business plan for our state network and would like to discuss this with others as well to see if they have tried something similar.

Table host: Kimberly Williams and Renee Daugherty

Online Facilitation / Deliberation Tools

Table host: Tom Murray

Applying Adult Developmental Psychology to D&D

Table host: Jan Inglis

Critical Social Theory and Dialogue

You love to read Foucault, Habermas, Kristeva, Butler, Adorno, Gadamer, Deleuze & Guattari … but don’t have anybody to talk to about their work? Here’s the chance. Basically, we’re interested in exploring how critical theory can inform dialogue practice more fully.

Table host: Tod Sloan

Gender / Gender Identity and Dialogue

This topic refers to the complexity and tension around roles and power sharing in business and personal life and the leadership demands for a sustainable planet in the 21st century. This topic potentially runs the gamut of processes for gender reconciliation (most commonly related to instances/places of extreme women’s oppression) to processes that address the “undiscussibles” of mate selection and expectations in romantic/sexual relationships.

Table host: Steven Fearing

Conversation Cafes

Table host: Tobin Quereau

Online Dialogue

Table host: Ken Bausch

Embodied Dialogue and Aikido

Embodied dialogue is a term I am experimenting with, and refers (in my thinking, at this time) to the integration of the basic princples and practices of Aikido into deep listening and clear speaking. I have been training in Aikido for six years.

Table host: Laurie McCann

Social Media and D&D

What are all these people talking about online? How are people engaged in dialog and deliberation using social media? What are the big trends?

Table host: Chris Heuer

Intergenerational Dialogue at Work

We have seen the Art of Dialogue used effectively within a social justice context, and we believe we are missing an enormous opportunity to change the quality of people’s lives where they spend most of their time – at work. Whether a for profit coporation, non profit or government organization, dialogue offers employers and employees the chance to create and sustain positive work relationships. Baby Boomers, Generations “X,”, “Y,” and upcoming “Z” need to work together effectively in teams and in one-on-one relationships. We are interested in gathering a table from different generations to explore this exciting topic.

Table co-hosts: Paul Weismn and Michele Simos-Weisman

Assessing the Impact of Race Dialogues

I would like to host a table to bring together others interested in doing research to show the impact on a community of dialogue about race relations.  The opportunities for funding such dialogues are great, but we need to show that we are making an impact.  I am not a researcher, but would love to hear from those who have the research knowledge and skills how they have approached this problem.

Table host:  Kathryn Liss

Capturing Knowledge

Table host:  Kevin Leahy

Int’l Association of Facilitators Members

Table host:  Linda Mather

Interfaith Dialogue with Traditionalists

Table host:  Imam Abubakar Abdul

DIY D&D for the Masses

There simply aren’t enough practitioners nor large enough budgets to create initiatives to help citizens and communities address all of the issues they face. How can we scale the role of D&D in society by putting tools and best practices directly in the hands of citizen stakeholders.

Table host: Brian Sullivan

Building Community by Networking Neighbors

Table host: Cheryl Honey

Call for Artists for NCDD 2008    

Art can be a powerful catalyst for and component of dialogue. Visual and performing arts can bring meaning or elicit feeling that can’t always be easily expressed in words, bringing us to a deeper level more quickly than discussion alone. Since our first conference in 2002, NCDD has experimented with the arts at our events, and our attendees have thanked us for the experiences and new ideas they have gained because of it.

NCDD is now looking for artists, arts groups, and arts organizations who may be interested in playing a role at our next conference. The 4th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation will take place October 3-5, 2008 in Austin, Texas, and we are primarily looking for artists whose work involves or stimulates dialogue or engagement in innovative ways.

We are open to many different types of arts, in different venues at the conference (plenary session performances, art activity stations, art displays, concurrent workshops, etc.). And although our funds are tight as this is a nonprofit conference, we will work with artists to cover expenses and make sure they benefit from the exposure they receive from playing a role at the conference. And for special circumstances, we will consider providing a stipend to the artist or group.

This is a great opportunity for artists who want their work to be exposed to over 400 community leaders, activists and thought leaders in communication and collaboration, and who want to learn more about this field.

Here are some examples of things we’ve experimented with in the past:

  • graphic recording (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • workshops on digital storytelling, dialogue and dance, using film as a stimulus for dialogue, using the arts to promote youth dialogue, etc. (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • spoken word poetry (2006)
  • drumming (2006)
  • Unconditional Theatre (2006) and playback theatre (2004)

You can read more specifics about how we’ve utilized the arts at NCDD conferences at www.thataway.org/events/?page_id=8

If you are an artist interested in pursuing the possibility of performing or playing a role at NCDD Austin – or if you want to suggest an artist you know about – please contact NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at [email protected]. And you can learn more about the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation at www.thataway.org/events if you’re interested.

Lessons, Insights & Reflections from Central Texas D&Ders    

Sunni Brown image

The text and images below were originally posted to the Texas Forums blog by Taylor Willingham, and can also be found here. I wanted to include them on the conference blog as well since the main organizers of this gathering are members of the 2008 conference planning team and, in part, they held this meeting to raise awareness of NCDD Austin. I also wanted to show off these fabulous graphic recordings by Sunni Brown and summit participants!

The “Central Texas D&D Summit” held last Saturday (April 19th) brought together 30 advocates of dialogue, deliberation and community engagement in the Central Texas region at the LBJ Library. Participants represented a range of sectors – civic, government, business, non-profit/NGO, education – with a myriad of expertise and knowledge both on issues and approaches, from smaller-scale group dialogues to large, multi-stakeholder initiatives.

While the NCDD 2008 conference was an incentive to convene this group (as well as a capstone project of University of Texas student Jenny Meigs and her professor Patricia Wilson), the ultimate goal is to develop a learning community in Central Texas that can build on the wisdom of so many creative people dedicated to D&D and community engagement. The group hopes to “build a community of practice where we can share our insights, apply what we have learned and deepen the conversation.”

Check out Taylor’s other two Texas Forums blog posts about the Summit: What’s New and Good in Central Texas? and Central Texas D&D Summit.

Much, much more after the break… (more…)

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, Planning Team, Texas

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