Most Highly Recommended Resources
These resources are recommended highly by NCDD for many reasons. Some are highly regarded by practitioners or scholars. Some have caused a buzz in the field. Some have proven themselves to be highly effective when put into practice. And some are just the best resources of their kind. As these distinctions are highly subjective, we are open to your feedback and ideas for other resources we should recommend.
- Interest Areas (338)
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- Collaborative Problem-Solving & Governance (76)
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- Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding (86)
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- Public Participation / Civic Engagement (97)
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- Spirituality & Religion (4)
Too many choices? Narrow your results
Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving
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.
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.
John Gastil. University of California Press, 2000.
Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public.
By the People: America in the World, an initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, aims to energize and enhance the national conversation on America's role in the world through a series of national and local broadcasts and events that demonstrate the relevance of foreign policy issues to local concerns. The project includes three national PBS specials, two cycles of local programming to be produced by PBS stations in cooperation with community organizations, national and local forums for civic dialogue, and an interactive web site.
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.
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.
The NCDD-inspired 2005 Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation has been transformed into the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation. Mirroring the growth of this exciting field of practice, C2D2's website will also grow and reflect the different emergent streams of the Canadian dialogue and deliberation community from coast to coast.
CPRN creates knowledge and leads public debate on social and economic issues important to the well-being of Canadians. The birth of CPRN's Public Involvement Network (PIN) in 2002 reflects the growing conviction in policy circles that effective public policy requires effective public engagement.
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.
The Center is a joint program of California State University, Sacramento and the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. The mission of the Center is to build the capacity of public agencies, stakeholder groups, and the public to use collaborative strategies to improve policy outcomes. The Center produces a quarterly newsletter called The Collaborative Edge.
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.
Launched in February 2007, Change.org is a community platform that creates a social network for over 1 million nonprofit organizations. Each organization has free access to an online dashboard through which they can review activity on their network and directly engage with their supporters by posting fundraising projects, events, photos, videos, news stories and blog entries. Change.org enables nonprofit organizations to harness the power of social networking technology to build community around their organization and extend their reach and social impact.
National League of Cities, 2006.
Drawing on case studies of successful projects, this guide: explains how to educate, involve, and mobilize citizens in a variety of events and initiatives; describes how communities have used democratic governance approaches to address key issues; builds on city strategies for accomplishing key tasks using shorter-term mechanisms; and describes some of the more permanent, structural forms of democratic governance that have emerged recently. Changing the Way We Govern is an essential tool for anyone who is tired of the conflict and apathy created by old-fashioned citizen involvement methods ? and who wants to tap into the full potential of citizens and public life.
Charrettes are typically a potent combination of modern design studio and town meeting, with a dash of the teamwork from an old-fashioned barnraising mixed in. Most start with a hands-on session for citizens and continue in an around-the-clock, energetic push until a plan is finished about a week later. A charrette can be a breakthrough event that helps overcome inertia and creates a meaningful master plan. Properly executed, this technique can produce a master plan that is more useful, better understood, and more quickly produced than one formed by other methods.
The Choices Program at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies offers deliberation-focused supplemental curriculum units for U.S. History, World History and Global Studies. Choices units feature historical background, a role play centered on alternative policies, primary source materials, detailed lesson plans and study guides. Units are affordable.
Christine Valenza has been illustrating the thoughts and processes of groups for over 20 years. Through her deep listening she creates a rapid in-real time visual synthesis of ideas. This work has taken her to Russia, Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, Nairobi, Jerusalem and Barcelona.
Produced and directed by Jane Regan and Daniel Morel/Wozo Productions in collaboration with Beyond Borders.
Learn how Beyond Borders promotes participatory learning and leadership by viewing Circles of Change, a 20-minute DVD/VHS video documentary about the grassroots movement that is transforming notions and practices in education and leadership in Haiti and beyond. Through Open Space and Touchstones Discussions (Reflection Circles), the seeds of change are being planted among a new generation of Haitian leaders.
In the summer of 2006, the Case Foundation published Cynthia Gibson's groundbreaking paper "Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement." The publication generated much discussion and debate, and this blog was created to allow the conversation to continue. Focused on all things "citizen-centered" (a term which includes not only citizens, but also those who aspire to be citizens, including immigrants), the blog attempts to dig down into how we can make civic engagement, civic discourse, political involvement, volunteering, and other good practices part and parcel of everyday life rather than something people do in their spare time or occasionally.
Cynthia M. Gibson, PhD. The Case Foundation, 2006.
The central claims of this noteworthy 31-page white paper are that "public service" is a more powerful frame around which to rally Americans for democratic renewal than "civic engagement" and the encouragement of public deliberation should be at the center of renewal efforts. Scholar Peter Levine of the University of Maryland has written that he considers the paper a breakthrough. Cynthia Gibson makes deliberation-linked-to-action the heart of civic engagement, instead of voting and/or service.
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.
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