D&D Community News

Looking for educational opportunities? Funding announcements? Job openings? Go back and click on one of the subcategories of the “D&D Community News” category in order to find what you’re looking for. To stay on top of field-related news, such as who’s receiving awards or getting press coverage, who’s breaking new ground in the field, etc., click on the “headlines & inspiration” subcategory.

Deliberative democracy master class and workshop with John Dryzek    

Susanna Haas-Lyons just shared this with the NCDD Discussion list, and I thought it was worth posting here for those of you in the U.K…

Deliberative Democracy Master-class and Workshop, John Dryzek, 30 June – 2 July 2010

John Dryzek will be leading a one-day master-class in deliberative democracy at the London School of Economics on 30 June 2010. Immediately following the master-class (1 and 2 July) there will be a two-day workshop of presentations on the theme ‘The epistemic potential and empirical realities of deliberative democracy’. (more…)

Intergroup Dialogue National Institute, June 16-19, 2010    

NCDD member Adrienne Dessel has asked us to invite all NCDD members to the Intergroup Dialogue National Institute from June 16-19, 2010 at the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosted by the University of Michigan’s Program on Intergroup Relations. The Institute is designed for faculty and staff who are interested in expanding and assessing intergroup dialogue programs already in place or are interested in starting one at their institutions. We hope that you and/or others from your institution or program can participate in the upcoming institute. The goals of the Institute are to:

  • Participate in engaging activities commonly used in intergroup dialogue settings
  • Explore the overall dialogue framework and The Michigan Model
  • Strategize the development and support of academic and co-curricular programs

While we will engage in interactive activities, the purpose of this Institute is to demonstrate the curriculum and structure of intergroup dialogue. Facilitator and “train the trainer” workshops are not included as part of this Institute.

In addition to the Institute, we will be offering a pre-Institute workshop focusing on religion dialogues. This workshop is recommended for campuses considering focusing on this specific dialogue topic area. It is also recommended for those campuses with a religious base and/or campuses that are currently experiencing tension between academia and faith perspectives.  The pre-Institute workshop is free to registered Institute participants and will include the following highlights:

  • A keynote speaker who will discuss interfaith issues and dialogues
  • A panel of diverse, local interfaith leaders engaged in interfaith dialogue
  • Exposure to various experiential activities unique to religion dialogues

When you register, you will have the option to register for the pre-Institute workshop as well.

Registration, as well as, housing information can be found at http://www.conferences.housing.umich.edu/igr/.  More information about the national institute is available at http://www.igr.umich.edu/about/institute.

2010 Fielding Graduate Level Certificate Program Announced    

Our friends at Fielding wanted us to make sure NCDD’ers saw the announcement for this year’s Dialogue, Deliberation & Public Engagement certificate program (NCDD members get a 10% discount) running from August 16, 2010 until January 18, 2011.

Fielding Graduate University has announced the seventh year of their award-winning graduate level certificate program in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement.  2010’s DDPE Certificate Program will be held in partnership with the University of Western Sydney, Australia. This distinctive program strives for the development of mastery through building the skills, knowledge and intuitive sensibility that are needed to make wise choices about how to bring forms of dialogue, deliberation, and engagement into situations where they are most effective.

Designed and delivered in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, the Kettering Foundation, and the Public Dialogue Consortium, the DDPE program focuses on foundations and innovations in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. It features outstanding faculty (Hal Saunders, Barnett Pearce, Phil Stewart, Jan Elliott, Lyn Carson, Keith Melville, John Dedrick and Linda Blong) as well as widely recognized scholars and innovative practitioners who join us as guests in Phone Dialogues. Previous featured guests have included: Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Juanita Brown, Martha McCoy, Bob Stains, Shawn Spano, Rich Harwood, Janette Hartz-Karp, Matt Leighninger, Joseph Peters, and Adam Kahane.

Tuition & Registration:

Tuition is US$ 3,740 if you register by July 16, 2010.  NCDD and IAP2 members will receive a 10% discount. A late registration fee  of $250 applies to all registrations after July 16th.  There are a limited number of sponsorships available for up to $1,300. Selected applicants must be based in the United States and working with a community or organization to build capacity for and through dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. The application process for these sponsorships closes June 25, 2010. For more information, contact Dr. Katrina Rogers, Fielding Graduate University, (805) 898-2924 or email:  [email protected].

Information Calls:

You can get more information about the program by joining one of the DDPE’s Teleconferences.  The first is May 18 at 5 pm EDT.  To register for information calls, contact Amy Boutell at [email protected]. For a program description and registration visit  http://www.fielding.edu/programs/ce/ddpe.

Facilitators needed on June 26 for national town meeting on the economy    

On June 26, 2010, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in the AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy National Town Meeting, an unprecedented national discussion on finding solutions for the budget and deficit. The National Town Meeting will take place in locations all across the country, connected live via satellite video, webcast and interactive technologies.

The purpose of this national discussion is to find common ground on tough choices about our budget. Throughout the day, Americans across the country will weigh-in on strategies to ensure a sustainable fiscal future and a strong economic recovery. The national discussion will be a chance to demonstrate that the American public can find common ground across demographic, geographic and political divides and that we as a nation can govern ourselves in a new way.

Skilled volunteer table facilitators are crucial to the success of the meeting and the work is varied, challenging, and fun. Facilitators are responsible for drawing out equal participation from their table of ten participants, focusing the group’s conversation, and holding respectful space for differences of opinion and communication styles.

AmericaSpeaks is currently recruiting table facilitators for the following Town Meeting locations: (more…)

Last day to register for Friday’s joint PublicDecisions/NCDD webinar    

I wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to register for Friday’s 1pm EST joint PublicDecisions/NCDD webinar titled “Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Dialogue & Deliberation: What Are the Implications for Practice?” with guests Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta.  Over 80 people have registered so far, and it’s quite an amazing group of people.

Here is the registration link:  http://www.publicdecisions.com/publicforum_2010May14.html (don’t worry – the form is super-short!)

Note: you’ll receive an email from PublicDecisions that includes instructions for participating in the webinar.  I suggest looking that over and preparing (doing any downloading required, etc.) the day before the webinar if you can.  We’ll be using Microsoft Live Meeting.

Full details on the webinar can be found in the original blog post at www.thataway.org/?p=2535.

Coffee Party Mvmt looking for good videos for training moderators    

Update on this post: We compiled the most relevant suggestions we received from the NCDD community (videos and books) in this PDF document. It may be easier to go through than looking through all the comments added to this post. Thank you to NCDD intern Cait Kershner for compiling everyone’s recommendations!

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Coffee Party Movement (CPM) by now; launched early this year on Facebook by Annabel Park, it quickly gained over 100,000 fans and initiated hundreds of face-to-face “coffee parties” across the country (fans now exceed 212,000!).  A left-leaning alternative to the Tea Party Movement, CPM The Coffee Party Movement is embracing civil discussion and collaboration as a means to impacting public policy.

I had a great conversation with Annabel Park a couple of days ago, and she felt that CPM’s coffee party moderators could really benefit from the expertise in our community of practice.  For starters, she wondered if we could help identify some great videos on group facilitation they could encourage their moderators to watch. (In my opinion, any group that is bringing so many people together for civil political discourse – from any side of the political spectrum – deserves our help with process.)

What training videos would you recommend? Videos/films/clips that are freely available for online viewing – or could be made so – are highly preferred!

Knowing the dialogue & deliberation community, you guys will recommend all kinds of resources that are great for new facilitators, and that’s fine (just please include titles, brief descriptions, and links).  I’ll compile everything here on the NCDD blog as it comes in (I’ll be sending this request to various listservs, LinkedIn groups, facebook groups, etc.).  Let’s show Annabel and other civic pioneers how responsive and generous our community can be!

Learn more about the Coffee Party Movement at www.coffeepartyusa.com or www.facebook.com/coffeeparty?ref=ts if you’re on Facebook. And check out this February post on the CPM site, which talks about how they “want the political process broken down into three steps: 1) open and respectful dialogue, 2) thoughtful and informed deliberation, 3) competent and decisive execution.”

Article on Deliberative Polling published in The Economist    

NCDD member Jim Fishkin was just featured in an article in The Economist print edition. If you aren’t familiar with Jim yet, he’s Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford and creator of the Deliberative Poll.

The article, titled “Ancient Athens online: Democracy is about discussion, not just voting” can be viewed in full at this link. It begins with a bit of history about the use of random selection for public deliberation…

REFLECTION and representation are not an easy fit. For an individual voter, being well-informed about every twist of public policy is an irrational use of time. But leaving a self-selecting elite of wonks and careerists in charge of policy-making is unappealing. In ancient Athens, which invented both democracy and the dilemma, a machine called a kleroterion picked a random 500 people to make policy from the 50,000-odd polity. The jury excluded women and slaves and the decisions it reached were sometimes dodgy (condemning Socrates was probably a mistake). But the approach is returning in a modern guise, under the label of “deliberative democracy”.

It also included some helpful stats about the impact of deliberative polls in participants’ opinions…

Discussions and briefing often lead to a shift away from populist viewpoints. In a recent poll in Britain support for making party manifesto promises legally binding plunged from 41% to 18%. In recession-hit Michigan a discussion raised support for bigger taxes (from 27% to 45% for income tax, for example). By contrast, support for cuts in corporate taxes rocketed 27 points to 67%: the more people thought about the issue, the more they wanted a better business environment and a lower deficit. But some results are discomfiting (at least for those with this newspaper’s views). A pan-European poll in October 2007 found that support for European Union membership for Turkey and Ukraine fell by a fifth as the discussion progressed. Deliberation counts for something, with a statistically significant shift in opinion on three out of four questions, and the biggest changes coming from those whose gains in knowledge are the greatest.

50-page lit review on citizen participation    

Now HERE’S a resource for you… the 50-page Understanding Participation: A Literature Review covers a wide range of participatory activities that are often viewed in isolation. Download it here.

The review brings together different bodies of literature on participation, including literature on community development, volunteering, public participation, social movements, everyday politics and ethical consumption. It looks at the historical and current drivers of participation, the activities and actors of participation and different theoretical approaches that contribute to a better understanding of participation. It closes with our emerging ‘participation framework’ that we aim to further develop and refine in the subsequent stages of the project.

This literature review forms part of a major national research project called “Pathways through Participation: What creates and sustains active citizenship?” led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in partnership with the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and Involve. All three UK-based organizations have a history of researching the different forms of participation that will be explored in the project.

(A shout-out to NCDD members Steven Clift and Taylor Willingham, both of whom reached my inbox today with this announcement.)

Save the date: national town meeting on the U.S. economy on June 26    

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy is a national discussion to find common ground on tough choices about our federal budget.  Americans from across the country will come together to weigh in on strategies to ensure a sustainable fiscal future and a strong economic recovery.  As a part of this national discussion, on June 26, 2010, thousands of Americans across the country will participate simultaneously in an unprecedented National Town Meeting.  For those who do not live near the large conversations, the dialogue can occur in Community Conversations.

We encourage U.S.-based members of the NCDD community to consider hosting a Community Conversation in your city or town on June 26th.

What is an AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy Community Conversation?

Community Conversations are volunteer-led events, where participants use materials provided by AmericaSpeaks (an NCDD organizational member) to engage in a discussion about our federal budget. Conversations can take place in businesses, schools, libraries, places of worship, community centers, homes, or anywhere else a group chooses to meet. They may be as small as 8 people or as large as several hundred. AmericaSpeaks will provide you with all the materials and information you need to bring the national discussion on Our Budget, Our Economy to your community.

You can volunteer to host a Community Conversation at a public venue (like a library or office) near you or in your home.  We’ll provide you with all the materials and information you need to bring the national discussion on Our Budget, Our Economy to your neighborhood. You can create a Community Conversation by filling out the form here:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5874/p/salsa/event/common/public/create.sjs?distributed_event_KEY=127

To find out more about the project, www.usabudgetdiscussion.org.

Dialogue group facilitators needed at RCP Conf. in June (Dearborn, MI)    

Here’s a timely message from NCDD member Steve Olweean, Director of the Common Bond Institute

We’re holding the 2nd Annual International Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peace this June 11-13 at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan, and offering opportunities for experienced individuals interested in facilitating daily dialogue break-out groups.

As with all of our conferences, this conference is designed to be highly dialogic and interactive in nature, and so the program is primarily made up of workshops, topical panels/roundtables, and facilitated dialogue groups. We schedule 3 dedicated time periods each day in which we run only concurrent dialogue group breakout sessions to provide regular opportunities for processing the material offered in prepared presentations, processing the conference experience in general, and networking to form collaborative relationships. (more…)

NCDD-PublicDecisions free May 14th webinar: join us!    

Join us for a free webinar titled “Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Dialogue & Deliberation: What Are the Implications for Practice?” on Friday, May 14 from 1pm to 2:30 Eastern (10am Pacific) with NCDD members Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta. The webinar is jointly sponsored by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) and PublicDecisions.

The field of public dialogue and deliberation (D&D) is growing dramatically—so dramatically, in fact, that no one fully knows what the field looks like: who is doing public dialogue and deliberation work, what forms their work is taking, what common challenges they face. This webinar will use the results of a recent survey of dialogue and deliberation practitioners as a jumping off point for a wide-ranging discussion of current and future issues in the public engagement practitioner community.

We’ll discuss results that shed light on topics such as how people get started in D&D practice, the role of gender in deliberation, and how best to measure and market D&D outcomes. In this interactive program, webinar participants will be invited to identify the emerging challenges they see and to share steps they are taking to chart the course of 21st Century public engagement. Come prepared to engage and be engaged!

Caroline Lee and Francesca Polletta, the sociologists who conducted the survey, will join hosts Sandy Heierbacher of NCDD and Beth Offenbacker of PublicDecisions in a highly interactive, dynamic discussion that will delve into tough issues and exciting possibilities.

Register by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 12th at http://www.publicdecisions.com/publicforum_2010May14.html . This webinar uses Microsoft Live Meeting, an online meeting platform. You will click on a unique weblink we send you to view the slides, etc., and you can either plug in a computer headset or call a U.S. telephone line (long distance charges apply, but you can always use Skype) to hear/speak.

I encourage you also to check out the survey results before the webinar at http://sites.lafayette.edu/ddps/. (more…)

New Report on Creating Spaces for Change    

Matt Leighninger, Executive Director of The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (an NCDD organizational member), recently announced the release of his report Creating Spaces for Change: Working Toward a “Story of Now” in Civic Engagement. Creating Spaces for Change draws heavily on the views and experiences of the people who participated in the Kellogg Foundation’s Civic Engagement Learning Year and the conference convened by DDC and The Democracy Imperative called “No Better Time: Promising Opportunities in Deliberative Democracy for Educators and Practitioners.”

Matt encourages those who see opportunities to use the report in ways that will catalyze future discussions and action to improve civic engagement to contact him (click on his name above for contact details).  Here is Matt’s announcement… (more…)

What D&D programs are addressing the red/blue divide?    

I got an email the other day from Tamra Pearson d’Estrée from the University of Denver’s Conflict Resolution Institute. Tamra is interested in knowing about programs that address the partisan divide in the U.S. through dialogue, deliberation, and conflict resolution.

I sent her info on a couple of great programs, but I’m curious about what others in the NCDD community know about that I may not be aware of. I’d like to compile a list of programs addressing the red/blue divide (past, present, and developing) so we can easily share it with people like Tamra. If you are involved in such a program or are aware of one, please use the comment field to let us know about it. If you can, please include the project name, a contact person (name and email, at a minimum), a URL for more detail, and a short description.

Conversations that matter…make us feel better?    

This blog post is by David J. Weinstein, Education and Communications Maven for Idealogue, Inc.

In the post “Talk Deeply, Be Happy?” in The New York Times “Well” blog (3/17/10), Roni Caryn Rabin reports on a study of college students suggesting that people who have deeper conversations more often are happier than those who do not.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier, said Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject.

“We found this so interesting, because it could have gone the other way — it could have been, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ — as long as you surf on the shallow level of life you’re happy, and if you go into the existential depths you’ll be unhappy,” Dr. Mehl said.

There are important caveats to bear in mind, including the standard reminder that “correlation does not imply causation.” (For a more humorous exploration of that point)

And the definition of a “deeper conversation” might vary.

But the idea is powerful. One might assume that people who “keep it light” and thus do not engage with challenging or distressing topics, and who do not engage in conflicts when in conversation, would be happier. No one gets hurt. No one has to think about sad or depressing things.

Yet maybe there is something hardwired into us as humans – a craving for meaningful connection, perhaps – a need that must be fulfilled for us to be…fulfilled.

For many of us striving to promote and improve dialogues on challenging issues in challenging contexts, our intuitive sense is that this work is important. And there are situations that arise among people, among nations, within businesses, in schools and elsewhere in which we believe smoothing over or ignoring challenging topics and decisions is not an option.

It is interesting to consider that beyond the practical needs to address problems and resolve dilemmas, there is a deep human need to get real and go deep, and ensuing benefit to our well-being. So this study may be another helpful reference when working with individuals and groups that are reluctant to engage in dialogue. Substantive conversations – even, we might extrapolate, on difficult matters – bring happiness!

Might this perspective encourage people to engage in conversations they would otherwise have avoided because they feared discomfort and unhappiness?

Crossing Arizona documenary on immigration worth checking out    

Here’s an interesting resource from Lindsay Dedo, Director of Educational Programming at The Cinema Guild. Sounds like a good film to lead into a timely dialogue on immigration – in the classroom, in libraries, and elsewhere…

This past weekend, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the “nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration,” (NY Times, April 23, 2010), which aims to identify and deport illegal immigrants from the state.  Highly controversial, the immigration issue has been a hotly-debated topic in Arizona politics in particular over the past few decades.  Rarely is this debate more thoroughly examined than in the award-winning film, CROSSING ARIZONA, a critical tool in educating students to all sides of this debate.

CROSSING ARIZONA, Directed by Joseph Mathew & Daniel DeVivo A Sundance festival favorite, Crossing Arizona offers a far-reaching and up-to-the-moment look at the hotly debated issue of illegal immigration as captured at America’s current flashpoint – the Arizona border. (more…)

© 2003-2010 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.
Learn more about us or explore this site.

###