Best Resources for Beginners

NCDD recommends these resources for people who are new to dialogue and deliberation (or new to a specific D&D; stream or method). These resources provide the background you need to understand the basics or to get started, and we consider many of them the “must-have” resources for this work.

Here are all of the resources in this category that NCDD recommends most highly for beginners. Too many choices? Narrow your results

Showing 1 – 20 of 138     Next Page >>

A Community Builder’s Tool Kit: 15 Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Anti-Racism Initiative of the Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change, 2001.

This primer for revitalizing democracy from the ground up can be downloaded for free or ordered for $1.50 per copy.

Resource Link: http://www.race-democracy.org

A Manual for Group Facilitators Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Brian Auvine. Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, 1981.

The role of group facilitator is often pivotal to good results for groups making the transition to consensus. The Manual is a great introduction to the concept of approaching the role of facilitator as someone who welcomes both rational and emotional input. The staff of the Center for Conflict Resolution put their experience in working with groups into A Manual for Group Facilitators. This is an informal outline detailing useful and effective techniques to help groups work well. More than a simple ‘how to,’ the manual contains a discussion of the values, dynamics, and common sense behind group process that have been verified by our own experience.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

A Model for an Introductory Dialogue on Abortion Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Public Conversations Project.

The model described here was developed for the single session introductory dialogues on abortion that Public Conversations Project conducted in 1990-1992 (eighteen sessions) and 1995-1998 (ten sessions). Most of these dialogues took place on weekday evenings between 6:00 and 9:30 and involved four to eight participants who did not know one another ahead of time. Several participants were activists but few were highly visible leaders. All groups were evenly balanced with people who described themselves as “prochoice” or “prolife.”

A Resource Guide for Hosting Conversations That Matter at the World Cafe Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

 

The World Café is an easy-to-use method for creating a living network of collaborative dialogue around questions that matter to the real-life situations of your organizations or community. In this beautifully illustrated booklet, Juanita Brown collaborates with Nancy Margulies and the World Café Community to articulate seven guiding principles for people to use to host their own Café. Learn about the thousands of people on five continents who have experienced the World Café, a model for setting up the ideal Café for your group, the roles of the hosts, crafting powerful questions, Café assumptions and etiquette, and more.

Resource Link: http://www.theworldcafe.com

Addressing Language-Related Challenges in the Practice of Dialogue and Deliberation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Sandy Heierbacher (Director of NCDD). Unpublished manuscript, 2006.

The true power of dialogue and deliberation lies in their ability to surface new insights and innovative solutions when all voices are brought to the table. But while diversity is an asset to these programs, it brings with it a unique set of challenges. This paper addresses four broad challenges related to language and culture that dialogue and deliberation practitioners regularly face. These are: (1) the challenge of getting culturally diverse participants in the door; (2) the logistics involved in having multiple languages spoken in the room; (3) creating a safe space for those with other language/speech needs or differences; and (4) dealing with participants’ existing preconceptions, assumptions and stereotypes related to language/cultural differences.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Heierbacher_language_paper.doc

Animating Democracy Initiative Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, fosters arts and cultural activity that encourages and enhances civic engagement and dialogue. It is based on the premise that democracy is animated when an informed public is engaged in the issues affecting people’s daily lives. Launched in fall 1999, ADI is a four-year programmatic initiative of Americans for the Arts which fosters artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue on important contemporary issues.

Resource Link: http://www.artsusa.org/animatingdemocracy

Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force in Civic Dialogue Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Cheryl Yuen and Pam Korza, Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts, 1999.

This report reveals pivotal and innovating roles that the arts can play in the renewal of civic dialogue as well as challenges faced by arts and cultural organizations as they engage in this work.

Resource Link: http://www.artsusa.org/animatingdemocracy

Appreciative Inquiry Commons Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The AI Commons is devoted to the sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change. The site is hosted by Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Appreciative Inquiry is the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations and the relevant world around them.

Resource Link: http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu

Arizona State University – Intergroup Relations Center Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The IRC provides education and training opportunities to students, faculty, and staff as well as intergroup conflict prevention and mediation services. It sponsors retreats, workshops, seminars, and institutes for faculty, staff and students, and collects, develops, and disseminates educational resources and data on discrimination, hate crimes, and intergroup conflict incidents at ASU.

Resource Link: http://www.asu.edu/provost/intergroup/

Beginning With the End in Mind Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Julie Pratt. West Virginia Center for Civic Life, with support from the Kettering Foundation.

Issue framing is rooted in the belief that democracy depends upon people making choices together about how to deal with problems in their communities. Framing an issue for public deliberation requires us to examine a problem from many angles. It encourages us to be curious about – and even compassionate toward – ideas that differ from our own, so that our deliberations may help us discover common ground for action. A well-framed issue will be inclusive of differing perspectives and will be framed in public terms that citizens can relate to. This great 22-page workbook takes you through the various components or steps of framing an issue for public deliberation.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Pratt-IssueFramingWorkbook.doc

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Robert D. Putnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and our democratic structures – and how we may reconnect. Putnam warns that our stock of social capital – the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities. But America has civicly reinvented itself before, and can do it again.

Resource Link: http://www.bowlingalone.com

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

John P Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). Evanston, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, 1993.

This book includes a step-by-step description of asset-based community development, a strengths-based approach for identifying and building upon the human resources that are already present in any community.

Resource Link: http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd.html

Building Democratic Governance: Tools and Structures for Engaging Citizens Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

National League of Cities, 2005.

As the role of local officials in reforming public involvement increases, the National League of Cities (NLC) believes there is a need to assist them as they choose how to get citizens involved and at what level of engagement. This 84-page report from NLC’s CityFutures Program provides principles, suggestions, and ideas for local elected leadership on citizen involvement.

Resource Link: http://www.nlc.org/ASSETS/6B83BE044C544D4AA963D48B884434FF/demgov.pdf

Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.

A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.

Resource Link: http://www.studycircles.org/en/DiscussionGuides.aspx

Building United Judgment: A Handbook for Consensus Decision-Making Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Michael Avery, Brian Auvine, Barbara Streible and Lonnie Weiss. Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, 1981.

Consensus decision making in groups can maximize cooperation and participation of all group members. Consensus brings together the needs, resources, and ideas of every group member by means of a supportive creative structure. This classic introduction to secular consensus was recently brought back into print by the Fellowship for Intentional Community. It is an excellent explanation of what it means to make the switch from voting to consensus, and how to unlock the potential of groups working with the whole person. Highly recommended, it is the companion publication to A Manual for Group Facilitators.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

Café to Go! A Quick Reference Guide for Putting Conversations to Work Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The World Cafe Community Foundation, 2002.

This concise 7-page guide to the World Café covers the basics of the process. It includes brief outlines of each principle, a description of Café Etiquette, an outline of key elements of the World Café conversations, and tips for creating Café ambiance.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/cafetogo.pdf

Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Christina Baldwin, Peer Spirit. Bantam, 1998.

The original small-press edition of Calling the Circle has become one of the key resources for the rapidly-growing ‘circle’ movement. This newly revised edition brings Baldwin’s work to an even broader audience ranging from women’s spirituality groups to corporate development teams. Includes detailed instructions and suggestions for getting started, setting goals, and solving disagreements safely and respectfully.

Resource Link: http://www.peerspirit.com

Categorizing the Dialogue & Deliberation Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, 2002.

The following is a working document developed in 2002 to ensure that members of the planning team for the first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation were aware of the various streams of dialogic and deliberative practice. The 2002 conference was the first major event to bring people together from the entire spectrum of D&D; practice, and it was important to us that all of these streams felt welcomed to the conference, and were represented in all aspects of the conference – from the handbook to the break-out sessions.

Change Management Toolbook Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The Change Management Toolbook includes a broad range of tools, methods and strategies which you can apply during different stages of personal, team and organizational development, in training, facilitation and consulting. It is based on the wealth of tools and principles that have been provided by Kurt Lewin, Edgar Schein, Peter Senge, Arie de Geus, Robert Dilts, Virgina Satir, Bert Hellinger, Harrison Owen, David Cooperrider, Marvin Weisbord, Steve de Shazer – just to name a few – and many other great teachers.

Resource Link: http://www.change-management-toolbook.com

Citizens Building Communities: The ABCs of Public Dialogue Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

League of Women Voters Education Fund, Pub #2070, 2005.

This League of Women Voters booklet is designed to share some of the basic principles involved in public dialogue processes and to acquaint the reader with what is needed to organize various types of gatherings, from small- and large-group interactions to online formats. Included are some basic planning questions as well as resources to help the reader conduct citizen engagement through dialogue at the community level. Citizens Building Communities is designed to help users understand some of the basics and guide them to resources so that they can foster dialogues at the community level.

Resource Link: http://www.lwv.org

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