What People Say About NCDD Conferences
People do seem to enjoy our National Conferences on Dialogue & Deliberation. Here's what some attendees told us after each conference...
Some quotes from participants at NCDD 2006 in San Francisco, California:
"There we were, a bunch of process geeks, and some others, and we were invited into a living exhibition of process, in which we were participants who brought life to the processes with our words, gestures, and images, and in that living made wonderful personal and professional connections."
"What a great conference! ... The people were amazing ... the organization was flawless ... the location was great fun ... the plenaries really worked! ... etc. etc. Plus, the concepts of Dynamic Facilitation, choice-creating, the Wisdom Council and even Society's Breakthrough made HUGE strides. There's really good energy for a Wisdom Council in San Francisco, now, as well as in Reuniting America. ... How fun."
"The format was once again tremendous. Having most of the sessions be an actual laboratory of the D&D techniques is such a good way to structure of conference. I especially enjoyed the unconditional theatre and the other many untraditional methods."
"What I appreciated most was the spirit of openness during and between the sessions. I didn't get a sense of a pecking order with regards to whose opinions should be considered and whose would be ignored. Since this was my first D&D conference and I came expecting that openness, I heard from many that this conference was more open than any they had ever attended."
"This was one of the most compelling and engaging events in which I have ever participated. It modeled the values that I associate with dialogue and deliberation. It made me feel connected to a whole movement--a diverse movement--but definitely a whole movement. THANK YOU."
"I know you worked really hard to pull it together and it certainly paid off! Best conference I have been to. I came home feeling inspired, by your creativity and hopefulness."
"I loved the people at the conference and the backdrop of importance that this work has ... that we all know is there ... seeking a transformation of democracy, culture, and self."
"This may be the very finest conference we've ever attended. It was professional, personal, relevant, esthetic, colorful. We lived Dialogue. Thank you so much."
"I hardly every attend a conference where everyone is present for every plenary session and so engaged. This was very stimulating."
"Thank you for a wonderful experience. This is a group of extraordinary people, and I was grateful to be a part of the gathering. This was my first NCDD conference, and I am very grateful for the work you have done to create this community, and look forward to participating more in the future!"
"You folks do a phenomenal job on many different dimensions, and the conference is an unusually enjoyable one."
"I was very impressed with the way the schedule was organized to allow for as much varied experience as possible. It showed lots of learning and lots of experience."
"This conference has some of the best minds in the country behind it and my congratulations go to all involved. It had a masterful flow."
Some quotes from participants at NCDD 2004 in Denver, Colorado:
"I wanted to thank you and all the organizers of the NCCD conference for a great event, very well organized and especially sensitive to everybody's needs and concerns. It was a great experience for me and it benefited greatly our work. I hope to continue building these relationships and learn from all those extraordinary experiences and people involved in dialogue."
"I have been raving about the conference ever since I got back home to Durango. I have been attending professional conferences for over 20 years and this was the most fulfilling of any of them to me! Thanks for all your work to organize such a stellar event."
"I've been involved in blitzes of meetings before, but never came away with so many ideas buzzing in my head. Even the diversity issues that arose were a huge learning tool for me about how as a member of a dominant culture it is easy to make assumptions. I hope that is in context as well -- it was visionary to have made the space available for people to talk about being marginalized."
"I must say that my attending the national conference this past fall was life altering. The conference really gave me a sense of direction and purpose for the work I'd like to do as well as the vision I have for a more just and sustainable world."
"It was indeed a wonderful conference.... I made so many great connections that are continuing on .... many significant ones...."
"Congratulations on a conference that provided knowledge, heart wisdom, true challenges and great food. Mino and I felt so supported in our work and truly believe we have found a home, a community of those who can cherish the fragile connections and strong ties of dialogue."
"You all were amazing -- I've never had a more exhilarating experience at a conference. Nourishing to mind, body and soul!"
"The setting was beautiful, the range of speakers impressive and the care for the diversity of participants was sincere?. Attending the conference was very replenishing for me. What a gift!"
"We were able to connect with many people working on similar types of engagement, share experiences and learn from each other. It was also very stimulating to see the broad range of interests in the field of dialogue and deliberation, and better understand the connections between them."
"I just wanted to let you know what an amazing conference it was in Denver. It deepened my understanding of D&D and I met many wonderful people. I believe events like this help strengthen and grow, not only the D&D community, but the work of conflict resolution and democracy world-wide. It was the best organized conference I have ever attended. You and those that helped you did an amazing job."
"Up until [I attended the 2004 NCDD conference], I had felt alone in this and discovered for the first time that there are so many of you out there doing these types of dialoguing and deliberation in so many ways."
"NCDD is about belonging to something really big that will have a profound impact on the world. Big doesn't mean many people. It means mythically big -- big in meaning and potential to call forth what is best in people and in our planetary potentials."
"Thank you for putting on such an amazing conference. I thought the conference was absolutely phenomenal. I learned a lot, and I think even more importantly, realized that I am / we are part of a community!"
"I met more people that I will follow up with at this conference than any in my 30 years of professional experience."
"Thank you for the incredible work you are doing in creating opportunities for those of us involved in this work to meet, communicate and inspire one another in so many ways."
And some quotes from participants at NCDD 2002 (our first conference) in Alexandria, Virginia:
"As I told you at the time of the conference, I really thought it was wonderful. Thought-provoking, inspiring, and filled with new and interesting people. What a service you've done for the dialogue field!"
"I was just thinking this morning what a wonderful resource I have now in the book that was prepared ... just having such a detailed description of the attendees with how to contact them. Just that alone must've took a lot of work and is so good."
"You did an amazing job with the conference, and brought together such gifted, beautiful people. I truly enjoyed re-connecting with the passion around dialogue, and felt a return in myself as to WHY I do dialogue work... An ancient Maori Indian saying: Nature matters, people matter, nothing else matters."
"The rich conversations and new contacts have led to several opportunities for future collaboration that we are pursuing."
"You should be so proud of what you "orchestrated"...It took me a couple days to decompress from information and relationship building overload. It was a great experience!"
"It is a truly special experience to participate in the very first conference on dialogue. Personally I have been actively using dialogue for over 5 years know its value, but many many times have felt like a lone wolf in the forest working with people who demand quick fixes for everything. Dialogue takes time but provides great benefit."
"I want to thank you for the extraordinary conference that you and your team produced. It was a monumental effort and one that brought great value to many people. Certainly we will use the information, experience, lessons and contacts many times in the future."
"I revisited with colleagues, made some new contacts, and was inspired and encouraged to continue promoting the process of dialogue in my work place and in my community."
"Congratulations on the conference. It was definitely worthwhile, a gratifying setting to which to bring our work, and the source of lots of useful new ideas. Thanks for affording art a significant role."
"I wrote on the conference evaluation how wonderful I thoughthat the conference binders were, but on my way home from the conference, I just couldn't get over much more valuable they are then I had noticed at the conference. On my way home, I read the biographies of folks that I didn't have the chance to meet and have a list of folks that I plan to contact and speak with. I used this resource to help me remember who I did meet and who I might be able to collaborate with in the future. I forgot many names and didn't get business cards, but the directory made it possible to figure out who they were and how to get in touch with them. I also greatly enjoyed reading the definitions and resources. At the conference, I didn't have time to fully appreciate what a valuable packet of resources that you had included."
"I just want to thank you for an outstanding conference. This past weekend was truly amazing. I left DC feeling extremely invigorated. It was truly superb."