The 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation    

NCDD 2006 Video

The 2008 NCDD conference took place in Austin, Texas October 3-5, 2008, with some great pre-conference trainings on Thursday, October 2nd.

Another amazing event has come and gone and we want to thank everyone who participated, every supporter, every volunteer, every amazing, wonderful person who made this conference a great event. Although we are removing a lot of the general information relevant to the event itself, you will still find a considerable amount of information about the conference here… and there’s more to come!

You can still…

Use the NCDD Events Blog to stay informed and share feedback as we look back on NCDD 2008, and to share your ideas and feedback with the team! We encourage you to visit regularly over the next few weeks as we continue to add material from the conference, subscribe to our RSS feed, or get new posts sent to you via email (see the bottom of the sidebar). We’ll continue to add updates, pose questions and post material from the conference as we work to share with you the best NCDD conference yet. Be sure to check the Feedback Wanted category to let the planning team know what you think about the ideas we come up with or the challenges we’re tackled.

NCDD 2006

More About NCDD Austin

NCDD conferences provide people who are committed to helping dialogue and deliberation flourish in the world with the opportunity to increase their skills and knowledge in these processes, share their own learnings and innovations with others, and develop supportive, collaborative relationships with their peers. Perhaps most importantly, NCDD conferences leave you feeling more motivated, energized, supported and prepared to do this vital work.

NCDD conferences are chock-full of opportunities to network with colleagues, learn about and experience innovative group methods, explore key issues together, and hear from leaders in the field. Our conferences are not your typical panel/keynote-riddled conventions that leave you wandering the lobby. Some people say they’ve never attended better conferences.

At NCDD Austin, participants experienced…

Highly participative plenary sessions that allowed participants to experience large-group dialogue and deliberation methods while enabling the community to explore issues relevant to the field.

Our Reflective Panel, for example, featured figureheads in our field (David Campt, Bill Isaacs and Carolyn Lukensmeyer) engaging in dialogue with each other about our field’s greatest challenges and what needs to be done to address them. More about our featured speakers.

And in our D&D Marketplace, conference-goers visited with dozens of the most exciting tools, programs, and new innovations in the field, and meet the people behind them.

They also got to choose from dozens of innovative workshops offered by leaders in dialogue and deliberation, addressing the issues, challenges and questions most relevant to your work; Learned how War on Terror veterans are using dialogue for healing and empowerment. Help the U.S. Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution design a long-range citizen engagement process to restore the ecosystem of one of America’s great rivers;  Learned how to attract more conservatives to dialogue events; Explored with change experts how D&D contributes to social change; Learned about Deaf Culture and how to work with interpreters and Deaf participants. And that’s just a taste of the great workshops there.

There were numerous opportunities to network with some of the most accomplished, innovative, and inspiring people in the field – NCDD attendees! We offered structured networking sessions that enable you to meet others who share your interests, as well as plenty of time and space for informal networking.

Our participants enjoyed experiencing how the arts can enhance dialogue and deliberation, by watching and interacting with our graphic facilitators, listening to slam poetry performed by local young people, and taking part in a conference-wide experiment to compose a musical composition based on what we’re learning and experiencing.

More About Our Events

NCDD gatherings are not your run-of-the-mill conferences. Instead of parading endless speakers in front of you in the hope that you will absorb some of their knowledge, we acknowledge and tap into every participant’s expertise and unique perspectives, and ask you to play an active role in shaping the future of this burgeoning field. At NCDD Austin, we had the opportunity to help make progress on 5 major challenges facing our field identified by participants at previous NCDD conferences…

  1. How can we make the values and practices of D&D integral to our public and private systems (government, schools, organizations, etc.)?
  2. How can we frame this work in a more accessible and compelling way, so that people of all income levels, education levels and political perspectives are drawn to D&D?
  3. How can we demonstrate to powerholders that dialogue and deliberation really do work?
  4. How can we strengthen the link between D&D and community action and policy change?
  5. How can we address issues of oppression and bias both within the D&D community itself, and throughout society through the use of dialogue and deliberation?

NCDD conferences are known for being innovative, highly participatory, and high energy. Here is what Dave Joseph, Director of Project Development at the Public Conversations Project, wrote to us after he attended the 2006 NCDD conference:

“I have gone to many, many, many conferences, workshops etc. over the past 30 years. NCDD was by far the best conference I have ever attended. It was 100% isomorphic and congruent with our practices, with a focus on developing a sense of relationship, connection and community. The activities all contributed to making it extremely easy for participants to get to know each other by focusing on shared purposes, interests and goals. Plus, you had a wonderful mix of people, of course. The structure really contributed greatly to getting to meet a large number of very diverse people and have fun doing it.”

And Avril Orloff, Project Manager for Canada’s Philia Dialogue on Caring Citizenship, had these kind words for us:

“I’m still coming back to earth after the amazing NCDD conference! It was packed so full of wonderful information, ideas, resources and people that I came away utterly inspired and energized. My heartiest congratulations to your team for pulling it off.

What a monumental effort – and what tremendous results! Thank you for every minute…. You’ve created something that’s going to leave a big legacy, and whose effects will just keep rippling further and further out into the world. To say nothing of a great community of practice – one that I’m honoured to associate myself with.”

See more comments from people who have attended NCDD conferences.

NCDD 2006

Need More?

Look over our Frequently Asked Questions page to get answers to typical questions about costs, workshops, the conference venue, and more.


And download the conference guidebook to check out the final schedule, lists of workshops, marketplace programs and descriptions of our many plenaries.

Also, if you want to get a better sense of what NCDD conferences are like, look over the blog post at, where we list some of the typical elements of NCDD conferences and link to the schedules for all three past conferences. You can also check out the schedule for NCDD Austin at

We also welcome you to look over the conference blog (there’s a lot there already, since we’ve been using the blog to help the planning team work together) and check out the photos taken by 2006 conference participants.

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