Some things you might want to check out before perusing the latest news below… the collaboratively-created Core Principles for Public Engagement; the flyer for public managers on how to upgrade the typical ‘town hall’ meeting – and the related articles; and our plans for NCDD’s fall 2010 events.

Job opening at Public Agenda for Public & Stakeholder Engagement Associate    

Public Agenda, a national non-profit, non-partisan research and civic engagement organization, and an NCDD organizational member, is seeking a public & stakeholder engagement associate. Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org) is at the forefront of the vibrant field of public & stakeholder deliberation/collaborative problem solving and is pleased to offer this opportunity for a confident, motivated professional.

Public Agenda’s public and stakeholder engagement methodologies and practices include issue framing, community forums, leadership dialogues, and on-line engagement strategies. Current projects involve work with community-based organizations and leaders at all levels across the United States to build capacity for engaging critical stakeholders in problem solving on issues around K-12 and higher education reform, economic development/regional planning, the environment/energy use, health care and others. The engagement associate will work on a variety of research and writing tasks, on field–based work on diverse projects, and will assist with organizational tasks in support of a busy department.

Public Agenda is looking for a highly motivated, collaborative fully bi-lingual (Spanish/English) individual who is interested in joining their team in New York City and developing into a project leader over time. (more…)

Today’s NCDD Confab Call: “Online Engagement” Using Maestro    

Visual recording by Teresa Bidlake.

Nearly 80 people joined us today for our latest NCDD Confab call where we discussed online engagement through a World Cafe-style conversation using Maestro, a conference call / online tool that provides both traditional conference call features with the ability to create small group conversations amongst the participants of the same call.  Teresa Bidlake, of Concepts Captured, was kind enough to offer her services as graphic facilitator and provided us with the visual recording above.  The conversation is being continued online at the newly re-activated NCDD Forum where we will be assembling stories and information about online dialogue & deliberation in conjunction with our Fall 2010 events.

Don’t forget to register for tomorrow’s NCDD Confab on online engagement    

Lots of people have signed up for tomorrow’s “NCDD Confab” (June 30th, 12 noon to 1:45pm EST), but it’s not too late to register! Our confabs provide members and potential members of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) a chance to network with one another while delving into an important issue in our field.

Register at the following link (once you register, you’ll receive call-in details):

Tomorrow, we’ll be using Maestro conference call software to run a World Cafe on the topic of online engagement. World Cafe is an easy-to-use method for fostering collaborative dialogue, particularly in large groups.

Our host for this Confab is new NCDD member Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe Community. The call is co-sponsored by the World Cafe Community and Maestro Conference. NCDD member Ben Roberts will be co-facilitating, and members Greg Keidan and Lynn Adams helped us design the call.

I’m particularly excited about the Maestro conference call system, which is a new technology that provides hosts with some unique, exciting options that are really appropriate for our community — like breaking people up into small groups in separate virtual rooms (for small group dialogue) and setting up polls that people can participate in just by pressing numbers on their phone (like keypad polling).

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the technology yet; aside from registering for the call, you just need to call in with the phone number and access code on the 30th like any other conference call (there’s nothing to download and no site to visit during the call). Though unlike typical conference calls and webinars, you can’t get away with much multitasking because you’ll be actively engaged and involved throughout the call.

Note: “NCDD Confabs” are conference calls and webinars for NCDD members where we explore key issues in the dialogue & deliberation community and encourage new connections among members. (Potential NCDD members and members of the World Cafe Community are welcome to join us for this call.)

NCDD Discount for Art of Convening Core TeleTraining    

Patricia Neal of Heartland, Inc. has asked us to let our community know about the special summer rate (for July-September 2010) of $495 (regularly $550-595) they are offering to NCDD members for their next “Art of Convening” teletraining.

The Art of Convening - Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings & Conversations

In an age of reduced travel budgets and reliance on effective, virtual communication, the AoC adds crucial capacities to leaders who are conveners/facilitators of conversations and meetings that matter and work. Not just another meeting methodology, the Art of Convening Core TeleTraining (AoC Core) provides the practices, tools and skills that create the conditions for authentic engagement to transform your meetings, gatherings and conversations. As you meet with, convene, facilitate and gather people (virtually or in person), The Art of Convening will expand your capacity and thought leadership in depth and breadth.

You can learn more or register at the program’s website.  NCDD members should use the following discount code at checkout while registering:  DSC-HeartCom

The next 3-month AoC Core Series begins July 13. The series meets via teleconference for 2 hours every other Tuesday morning.

For more information about the teleconference or the discount contact Patricia Neal ([email protected]) or visit their website at http://heartlandcircle.com/.

Submit your nominations for Vitalizing Democracy through Participation award    

Hi, everyone!  I’ve announced before that the 2011 Reinhard Mohn Prize is focused on the work that many of you do:  “Vitalizing Democracy through Participation.”  The prize carries a value of €150,000.  NCDD member Hans-Peter Meister is one of the leads on the research team for this award, and I know he would like to see more submissions from NCDD members.  Matt Leighninger (another NCDDer) is also on the research team. (Note: the deadline for nominations is August 22nd.)

Nominees should be governmental institutions (departments, administrations, towns, etc.) that have shown innovative democratic leadership by making a strong and lasting contribution to vitalizing democracy through participatory projects, program or structural measures. The prize will be awarded to a governmental institution – possibly in cooperation with a non-governmental actor – which has initiated successful projects (or programs) to vitalize democracy, to integrate underrepresented citizens and to establish new forms of democratic problem-solving capacities through participation. It is crucial that the projects and actions can be adapted to the German context, as the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to draw on these examples of international best practice as inspiration for possible future projects.

At this point it looks like there are about a dozen nominations posted, so the odds are not too shabby if you submit a new nomination.  The current nominations (which you can vote and comment on now) including Roger Bernier’s Public Engagement Project on Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Priorities, CaliforniaSpeaks, Bridgeport, CT Community Conversations, and a few others you might recognize.

Below is the full announcement I received this morning… (more…)

Keep track of today’s national town hall on the budget    

As you hopefully know because we’ve posted about this numerous times, today is AmericaSpeaks’ national town hall on “Our Budget, Our Economy.”  NCDD has served as a promotional partner for the event, and many NCDDers are involved in various capacities (I’d be there myself, but tonight is my 20-year high school reunion).

Across the U.S., thousands of people have come together to take part in this national discussion.  I’ve been following the day’s events off and on today, by watching the live feed at http://ht.ly/23CXB (which is showing real small-group discussions happening in different cities; it’s pretty cool and fascinating to watch) and following what people are posting on twitter today with the hash tag #usabudget.  Thought some of you might want to check out these links, too!

An Experiment in Blending Dialogue Media    

Picture of the US flag on a political button.What’s working in our political system? What isn’t? Our company is OnlineTownhalls and we are passionate about improving the quality of our national dialogue. We recently joined the Open Model for Citizen Engagement Working Group here in Washington, DC which inspired us to give this a shot.

From June 23-27, 2010 we are conducting an experiment called the American Townhall on National Politics. Our mission is to find deeper ways to discuss critical issues facing our democracy combining tools for discussion online, in-person, and over the phone.  The target audience is not the general public; we’re testing these tools on our own communities: opengov, NCDD, e-democracy, transparency, etc.  When we learn what works and what doesn’t, then we’ll repeat the experiment with the general public and publicize the method for others to replicate.

Image of a hand-held camera.Join Us In-Person:

We’ve kick-started the townhall by conducting video interviews on the National Mall in Washington, DC. We’ll be asking visitors to our nation’s capital what they think is broken and what they think is working well in our national politic system. All the videos are available here and are included in the OnlineTownhall mentioned below where others participants can build on these ideas.

Image of a phone receiver.Join Us on the Phone:

The central question for the three-day show is, “What is working in our national political system, and what isn’t?” We’ll be joined by Wayne Burke of the Open Forum Foundation and the lead organizer of the Open Model for Citizen Engagement, key staff in the Sunlight Foundation, and members of the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (if you’d like to be interviewed about your dialogue work, 6:30pm EST is open on Thursday and Friday; email [email protected] if you’re interested).

We have three live call-in radio shows:

  • Wednesday, June 23 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • Thursday, June 24 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • Friday, June 25 from 5pm-7pm EST. Click HERE to listen.
  • From June 23-27, join this OnlineTownhall to discuss the ideas raised in the radio shows.

Want to call into the radio show? Dial (917) 889-2510 to join the discussion during the times listed above. You can also add your thoughts via email to [email protected] or through Twitter using the tag #ATHNP (for American Townhall on National Politics). We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

A quill and paper.Join Us Online:

Using this conversation at OnlineTownhalls, participants will be able to take the conversation started on the videos and the radio show deeper from June 23-27.

OnlineTownhalls is different than standard commenting software; it helps participants visualize all the branches in a conversation and see which issues are controversial and which are common ground.

For those that would like a brief orientation to the software, we will be available over the phone. The dial-in number for the live walk-through is 605-715-4920 with an access code of 616033 from 7pm-9pm EST on June 23-25. The online discussion will be open through June 27.

If you’re comfortable with online tools, you’ll probably be able to figure out the townhall technology after watching this three minute intro video.

Final chance to sign up for national deliberation on Our Budget, Our Economy    

I wanted to remind everyone that on June 26th, thousands of concerned citizens — and a whole bunch of NCDDers — are coming together for an unprecedented national conversation on our budget and economy hosted by NCDD organizational member AmericaSpeaks. (NCDD is a promotional partner for this event.)

Together, we’ll find common ground on the tough choices our nation will have to make in the years ahead in order to ensure that growing debt payments don’t crowd out our national priorities, like education, healthcare, national defense, and transportation infrastructure.  Learn more about Our Budget, Our Economy at http://usabudgetdiscussion.org/.

If you’re not already signed up (or facilitating!), I encourage you to participate in the event nearest you this Saturday (June 26) – and help spread the word by sharing this message with others in your networks.

Can you participate in a meeting near you on June 26?

The event you attend will link you to thousands of other Americans around the country via satellite video, webcasts, and interactive technologies. Experts will brief us on the basic budget challenges we’re facing, and then we’ll work together to identify shared priorities and discuss options we have to reduce the national debt. Most importantly: the results of all the meetings across the US will be compiled into a report that will be submitted to the White House and Congress later this summer.

We are working to have this non-partisan citizen discussion reflect the political, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity of the United States. So, please invite your friends — and I hope to see you there.

Also- for those interested, the issue guide for Our Budget, Our Economy, titled Federal Budget 101: An Introduction to the Federal Budget and our Fiscal Chalelnges, can now be downloaded here.

OpenGov and the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan (July 16th)    

I just got an invitation from NCDD member Lucas Cioffi for July’s Open Government Community Summit (July 16 from 9-12 EST, location in D.C. TBD).  Previous summits and workshops have been hosted by the Department of Transportation, the General Services Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Treasury.

Who: This workshop is open to federal, state, and local officials involved in restoring our nation’s Gulf Coast.  Members of the Open Gov Community from the private sector and non-profit organizations are also welcome to participate. RSVP here by July 14th: http://gulf-coast-restoration.eventbrite.com/

What: The summit will focus on the intersection of open government and the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan which President Obama assigned to the Secretary of the Navy on June 15th. (more…)

App Deadline Extended to July 2 for Fielding DDPE Certificate Pgm    

If you’ve been thinking about enrolling in Fielding’s award-winning Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate program, now may be a good time. They’ve just extended the deadline to apply for sponsorships to July 2nd and wanted to invite all NCDD members to apply!

Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate (DDPE)
August 16, 2010 – January 18, 2011

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY

Deadline Extended to July 2, 2010

The dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement certificate helps you build mastery by working with a scholar-practitioner model of collaborative learning and reflective practice. An exceptional faculty of scholar-practitioners who do real world work in diverse contexts and cultures, will support your learning and provide coaching for a culminating capstone project over 19 weeks of online, telephone, and 2 face to face workshops. (more…)

Four new regional listservs for D&Ders in DC, Boston, Cascadia and Austin    

People involved in dialogue and deliberation work in the following regions can take advantage of NCDD’s free (of course!) discussion lists:

  • In and around Boston, Massachusetts
  • Cascadia region (Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia)
  • Washington, DC metro area
  • Central Texas (Austin and beyond)
  • Colorado
  • Northern California (Bay Area and beyond)

Four of the listservs are brand new (the Colorado and Northern California lists have been around for a while), and we encourage you to subscribe and send a quick introductory message to the list. NCDD members are always telling us they want more opportunities for regional and local networking, so we’ve gone ahead and subscribed NCDD members in those regions (just email me to opt out).  If you’re not an NCDD member, follow the links below to subscribe.

These are the 6 areas we are planning one-day NCDD gatherings in October and November (Austin, Boston, Portland, DC, Denver and San Francisco), so we’ll definitely use the lists to keep people informed of our Fall events and to encourage regional networking before and after the events!

Note: I’m also looking for official “moderators” for all of the lists, so if you live in one of these regions and want to take on the challenge of initiating conversations on the lists once in a while, please let me know ([email protected]).

(more…)

Introducing our newest summer intern: Allyson Gasdaska    

I’m excited to introduce Allyson Gasdaska to the NCDD community, as our second part-time summer intern here at NCDD.  Allyson is joining the ranks of Cait Kershner, our other summer intern.  She’ll be working on our online Resource Center and other projects.

Allyson Gasdaska is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She is from Marysville, PA and will be spending the summer at home. She is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major, tentatively minoring in Modern Middle Eastern Studies or international development. Allyson hopes to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector and is specifically interested in women’s and children’s issues, particularly at the international level.

At school, Allyson is involved in the campus chapters of Amnesty International, UNICEF, and Nourish International. She also works as a research assistant with Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She will be spending the fall semester in Washington, DC in order to take classes and intern, most likely with a nonprofit organization.

In her spare time, Allyson enjoys listening to music, playing clarinet and saxophone, reading, keeping up with the news, and spending time with friends and family, particularly her three younger siblings.

Find similar posts: NCDD Stuff, projects & goings-on

Registration open for NCDD Confab on online D&D – June 30 at noon EST    

Our next “NCDD Confab” is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30th from 12:00 noon to 1:45 pm Eastern (9am Pacific), and I invite everyone interested in the topic (and connecting with NCDDers) to join us!  We’ll be using Maestro conference call software to run a World Cafe on the topic of online engagement.

Registration is open at this link, and I recommend you register today (once you register, you’ll receive call-in details):

Our host for this Confab is new NCDD member Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe Community.  The call is co-sponsored by the World Cafe Community and Maestro Conference.  NCDD member Ben Roberts will be co-facilitating, and members Greg Keidan and Lynn Adams helped us design the call.

I’m particularly excited about the Maestro conference call system, which is a new technology that provides hosts with some unique, exciting options that are really appropriate for our community — like breaking people up into small groups in separate virtual rooms (for small group dialogue) and setting up polls that people can participate in just by pressing numbers on their phone (like keypad polling).

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the technology yet; aside from registering for the call, you just need to call in with the phone number and access code on the 30th like any other conference call (there’s nothing to download and no site to visit during the call).  Though unlike typical conference calls and webinars, you can’t get away with much multitasking because you’ll be actively engaged and involved throughout the call.

Note: “NCDD Confabs” are conference calls and webinars for NCDD members where we explore key issues in the dialogue & deliberation community and encourage new connections among members. (Potential NCDD members and members of the World Cafe Community are welcome to join us for this call.)

New report by Barnett & Kim Pearce on public managers’ views of public engagement    

The February 2010 report to the Kettering Foundation, “Aligning the Work of Government to Strengthen the Work of Citizens: A Study of Public Administrators in Local and Regional Government,” was written by my friends (and NCDD members) Barnett Pearce (pictured here) and Kimberly A. Pearce. The Pearces’ report surveys California administrative leaders from cities and counties, noting their changing views of “public engagement.” The main research question for the study was “What do public administrators need to know and to do in order to promote and respond constructively to an engaged community?” Downloadable here from the NCDD site.

The primary research method was participatory action research. The Pearces took advantage of an opportunity to work with Common Sense California (CSC), a multi-party, nonprofit organization founded in 2005 whose purpose is “to help solve California’s public problems by promoting citizens’ participation in governance.” They offered their services in helping design and evaluate a series of seminars for public administrators in exchange for access to those seminars and contacts and information gathered in other CSC projects.

The report is chock-full of useful quotes from public managers like this one:

“It is part of our job to get the public engaged to give a meaningful voice and ultimately have control over their government…[civic engagement] is not in addition to, but it is the work…if we are going to be as good as we can be in serving the community.”

 – David Bosch, Manager, San Mateo County

Here are the sections included in the must-read conclusion of this paper:

  • Public administrators question the public’s will or ability to communicate responsibly in civic engagement.
  • Public administrators think of civic engagement in the context of their professional responsibilities.
  • Public administrators are reassured by the experience of their peers and adaptable examples.
  • Civic engagement involves “culture change” and “authenticity.”
  • Public administrators have powerful motivations to support civic engagement.
  • Public administrators know that they need to develop new skills for supporting civic engagement, but are not sure what those skills are.

About the Authors: Barnett Pearce is Professor Emeritus at Fielding Graduate University; Kim Pearce is Professor at De Anza College. Both are Principals of Pearce Associates, Inc. and Founding Members of the Public Dialogue Consortium

Neighbors Online Report Issued Today    

NCDD member Steven Clift of e-democracy.org just sent a message about this to the main NCDD Discussion list

A very important report came out today called the Neighbors Online Report. The report shows that Americans use a range of approaches to keep informed about what is happening in their communities and online activities have been added to the mix. Face-to-face encounters and phone calls remain the most frequent methods of interaction with neighbors, while internet tools are gaining ground in community-oriented communications.

Be sure to check out Steven’s blog post on the report, titled Neighbors Online – What have 27% of Internet Users Discovered? Women Lead the Way. Need More Inclusion, at http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/858.  Steven also let us know you can join the “hosts” of neighborhood online hosts in a Q&A with the report author at: http://e-democracy.org/locals.

In short:

  • 27% of American adult Internet users (or 20% of adults overall) use “digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.” – Steve’s spin: Very exciting.
  • Lower income, rural, and Latino Internet users are being left out -Steve’s spin: We need to fix this.

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