Here you’ll find all of the posts specifically about Texas or fabulous Central Texas planning team. If you’re in Central Texas and you’d like to join our local planning group, contact team leader Diane Miller at [email protected].

Things To Do Around Austin    

Diane Miller and her fantastic team put together a great list of restaurants, music venues and local attractions:

Some Things To Do in Austin…

Here’s a quick PDF version of the list for attendees to put on their mobile devices…
Austin Attractions PDF (124k)

Find similar posts: Fun Stuff, NCDD2008, Texas

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.

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

New Outreach Pieces for NCDD Austin    

Here are some great new outreach pieces that members of our Central Texas Team created recently. Please use them to tell your networks and colleagues about NCDD Austin! There is a piece geared towards general audiences, and one geared towards practitioners.

Please also feel free to send people – as an attachment or link – the one-page flyer that’s up at http://thataway.org/files/Austin_Flyer_print.pdf. (more…)

Transportation in Austin    

Here is some info that Polly Riddims, our Logistics Coordinator, gathered about transportation in Austin…

From the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), you’ll want to either grab a taxi (approx. $40 to $45 for the trip), rent a car, take the SuperShuttle (recommended), or take the Capital Metro (bus). The address of the Renaissance Austin hotel is 9721 Arboretum Blvd, Austin, Texas. Tell the driver it’s in the Arboretum, and they’ll know where to go.


512-258-3826 or 1-800-BLUE-VAN or www.supershuttle.com

Take the SuperShuttle for a budget-friendly ride to and from the Austin airport and the Renaissance Austin hotel. Like at many airports, SuperShuttle provides you with a shared ride in a chauffeured van. It’s cheaper than a taxi, and more convenient than public transportation.

You do not need a reservation to take the SuperShuttle, but you can get a $2 discount if you reserve a round-trip SuperShuttle ride on at www.supershuttle.com using the NCDD group discount code “DYZJ5.” (The discount code is only available for roundtrip reservations made on the website, for travel between October 1st and October 6th.)

One-way shuttles from the airport to the hotel are $17 per person. Roundtrip tickets are $30, or $28 with the NCDD discount.

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, follow signs to the SuperShuttle ticket counter, which is inside the airport just past baggage carousel 1. Purchase your ticket to the hotel with cash or credit card, or get instructions if you’ve already purchased your ticket online. You can schedule your return shuttle from the ticket counter or later by calling 512-258-3826 or 1-800-BLUE-VAN; 24-hour advance notice is recommended.

Expect to also pay a $2 fuel surcharge, and we encourage you to tip the driver a couple of dollars as well.

Capital Metro (bus)

If your funds are super-tight, you can take the metro from the airport to the Arboretum Mall for just $1, but you will need to transfer buses and the trip takes about 90 minutes. The Capital Metro website is www.capmetro.org and you’ll need to check the bus schedule there. You may also want to use the bus system during the conference to explore downtown Austin. They have a nice trip planner tool to help you figure out which buses to take to get to where you’re going (enter “Arboretum” rather than the hotel’s address.

Taxicab Companies

In case there are no taxis waiting at the hotel, or you find yourself downtown with no transportation back to the hotel, here are some numbers and websites for local cab companies…  And just so you know, a taxi ride to the hotel from the Austin airport (and vice versa) is about $40 to $45. We’ll make sure there’s a place near the registration/info table where you can schedule and coordinate taxi ride shares back to the hotel.

American Yellow Checker Cab

512-452-9999 or 800-874-0278

Austin Cab


Lone Star Cab Co.


Find similar posts: Logistics, NCDD2008, Texas

HomeStays in Austin    

We want NCDD Austin to be an accessible conference. Young people, people from developing countries, and people who have lower incomes add so much to the conference, and we want to do all we can to make sure they are able to join us in October. That’s why we only charge $375 for registration, when comparable conferences often charge twice that.

One of the biggest expenses for people coming from out of town is lodging. We negotiated a discounted rate of $149 for our attendees at the Renaissance Austin, where we are holding the conference. But we know that several nights at that rate can be a major expense.

That’s why, in addition to helping people share rooms at the Renaissance, we are trying to secure as many homestays as possible for conference attendees. The Central Texas team is busy locating as many homes as possible where people are open to conference participants using their guest room, or even just their comfortable couch, for several nights.

If you do not have the funds to cover lodging, add a comment below letting us know you need a homestay. Tell us your name, email, and phone, where you’re from, your gender, the dates you’ll be in Austin, and whether you need a guest room or you’re comfortable sleeping on a couch.

We’ll do our best to find you a homestay, and we’ll let you know one way or the other as soon as possible. If we do arrange a homestay for you, we’ll work on making sure you’ll have transportation to and from the conference hotel each day.

If you have questions about homestays or you’d like to host someone yourself during the conference, please contact planning team member Rod Reyna at [email protected].

Find similar posts: Logistics, NCDD2008, Texas

First Set of Publicity Banners    

Over the summer I’m going to create a couple sets of banners we all can use to publicize the conference. Here’s my first. A homage to the famous sign. Simply use the url provided below the image to add the image to a webpage or html email. If you can, have the image link to http://thataway.org/events or include this link in the text near the image.

Leaderboard Size:

NCDD 2008 Conference in Austin, TX, October 2nd - 5th.


NCDD Sidebar Size:

NCDD 2008 Conference in Austin, TX, October 2nd - 5th.


Half Banner Size:

NCDD 2008 Conference in Austin, TX, October 2nd - 5th.


Find similar posts: NCDD2008, PR & Outreach, Texas

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

Central Texas D&D Summit on Saturday    

State of Texas shapeThe Central Texas Team for the 2008 NCDD Conference is co-hosting an innovative gathering at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin this Saturday (April 19th) called the “Central Texas Dialogue & Deliberation Summit: Learning from Practice.” The half-day, highly interactive event will bring together people from Central Texas who use dialogic and deliberative group processes to solve tough problems and build relationships in the region.

The University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development’s Civic Engagement Initiative, The UT Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, Texas Forums and the NCDD 2008 Central Texas Planning Team are hosting the summit. Their aim is to bring together the talented and diverse array of individuals throughout the community who focus on the “process” side of the equation when working with groups on difficult issues so that they can reflect together on our various experiences with this work, examine key learning, insights and challenges, and strengthen their connections and relationships with each other. The Summit will also provide an opportunity for local D&D leaders explore some of the issues and challenges we will focus on at NCDD Austin this October.

A small group of practitioners has been invited to attend from 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.

The convening committee consists of the following people:

  • Patricia Wilson, Director of the Civic Engagement Initiative of the UT Center for Sustainable Development
  • Taylor Willingham, Coordinator, Texas Forums, an initiative of the LBJ Presidential Library
  • Jen Meigs, M.P.Aff Candidate 2008, LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Diane Miller, Chair, Central Texas 2008 NCDD Conference Planning Team
  • Steven Fearing, Erin Kreeger, Charles Knickerbocker, and Landon Shultz: members of the Central Texas 2008 NCDD Conference Planning Team
  • Susan Schultz, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution

Find similar posts: NCDD2008, Planning Team, Texas

March Updates on CenTX NCDD Team Activities    

The next CenTX team meeting is Saturday, March 22, 4-6 p.m. at the offices of Leadership Austin, 1609 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 202, Austin. Please go to http://www.leadershipaustin.org/contact/ for detailed directions and a map.

We had a very productive visit with Sandy and Polly in late February. Here are the notes from our February 23 meeting and the notes for the subsequent conference program sub-team meeting.

Thanks to Anoek for hosting our social gathering on Feb. 22 at her home and to Sandy for lining up the meeting at the hotel on the 23rd. Here’s some fun pic’s from those gatherings!

Sandy Austin PicCenTX Social Pic

Find similar posts: NCDD2008, Planning Team, Texas

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