Nominations sought for Bertelsmann Prize in “Vitalizing Democracy”    

I heard about this through NCDD member Hans Peter-Meister the other day, and then was reminded of it in the DDC’s newsletter…

The search for next Bertelsmann Prize has begun! As one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations, the German Bertelsmann Foundation awards a significant monetary prize every year.  In 2011, the prize will celebrate and recognize governmental institutions (departments, administrations, towns, etc.) that have shown innovative democratic leadership by making a strong and lasting contribution to “Vitalizing Democracy through Participation.”

Any participation project begun in the last five years is eligible for the prize. The strongest candidates will be projects that have made a demonstrable impact on a public problem, influenced policy-makers, and succeeded in engaging previously marginalized and disadvantaged members of the community.

Please take this opportunity to nominate a project, and help the Bertelsmann Foundation highlight the responsibility and capacity of governments to support democratic innovation. The nomination form is brief; contact Christina Hanley ([email protected]) for nomination information.

GlobalPulse 2010 starts Sunday    

On Sunday, March 29th the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a 3-day online brainstorming discussion – GlobalPulse 2010 – to bring together socially-engaged participants and organizations throughout the world to discuss critical global issues.  I hope to see some NCDDers participating!

USAID has partnered with the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Education, and Health and Human Services to design and implement the event

Global Pulse 2010 is part of President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world as a result of his speech in Cairo last year.

You can participate and collaborate on 10 critical issues facing the global community in the fields such as science, technology, entrepreneurship and human development.

The goal is to connect, engage and enable collaboration among thousands of participants across the globe on today’s critical global issues. The results will be used to help inform US foreign assistance and diplomatic strategies based on the key themes that emerge.

How will the event work? Each of the 10 designated issues will be led by moderators — recognized thought leaders and subject matter experts in the related field of interest — who will guide the conversation by posting comments and replies in their assigned forums. These moderators will encourage participation, help to develop deeper thinking, and offer insight into the topic at hand.

To register, visit

To learn more, please visit the Global Pulse 2010 homepage at

If you are having any issues registering or would like additional information, please email the Global Pulse 2010 Team at [email protected]

Stay up to date on key event activities by joining GlobalPulse 2010 on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Note: John Kamensky, Senior Fellow and Associate Partner at the IBM Center for The Business of Government, thought some NCDDers might be interested in an opportunity to participate in a unique global dialogue that is part of Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world as a result of his Cairo speech last year.  Feel free to share this announcement with your own networks!

Audio from NCDD Confab on Haiti    

We wanted to share the audio from Thursday’s NCDD Confab call. The call focused on the role of dialogue & deliberation practitioners and organizations in Haiti, and in disaster recovery in general.  Featured guests were BJ Diamond of the Global Facilitator Service Corps (GFSC) and John Engle, co-founder of Haiti Partners. Larry Schooler initiated and facilitated the call.

BJ talked with us about GFSC’s work helping communities deal with crises.  John Engle was kind enough to call in from Haiti,  to tell us about his work fostering participatory leadership and discussion-based education in Haiti before and since the earthquake.  He also talked about his involvement in and knowledge of various relief efforts in Haiti, and helped NCDDers on the call think about what they can do now to help.

You can listen to the audio by clicking below if you’re interested (press the play button or download the mp3 file).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or download: NCDD Confab – February 25, 2010: Haiti (~50 MB)

The NCDD Confabs are a new series of regular conference calls for NCDD members where we explore dialogue & deliberation’s role in current issues, learn about exciting projects and interesting methods from fellow NCDD members, and just get to know each other a little better. Add a comment here if you have ideas about topics and featured guests for future Confab calls.

Join us for NCDD Confab on Haiti tomorrow at 2pm EST    

Join us tomorrow (Thursday) from 2-3 pm EST (11 am Pacific) for an “NCDD Confab” call on the role of dialogue & deliberation practitioners and organizations in Haiti, and in disaster recovery in general.  Featured guests on the call are BJ Diamond and Marieann Shovlin of the Global Facilitator Service Corps and John Engle, co-founder of Haiti Partners, and Larry Schooler will facilitate.

BJ and Marieann will talk about GFSC’s work helping communities deal with crises.  John Engle will talk with us about his work fostering participatory leadership and discussion-based education in Haiti before and since the hurricane.

We’d greatly appreciate it if you would RSVP for the call ahead of time by emailing Larry at [email protected] or me at [email protected], but here are the call-in details in case you don’t get a chance:

1-605-475-6350 (long distance call to Midwest U.S.)
Access Code:  444839

This is one of a new series of “NCDD Confab Calls” where we’ll be exploring dialogue & deliberation’s role in current issues, learn about exciting projects and interesting methods from fellow NCDD members, and just get to know each other a little better.

Here are some more details about our featured guests and the facilitator/initiator of the call… (more…)

$1M grant awarded to engage citizens in Alberta around climate change    

A group of top researchers and practitioners in deliberation we’ve been involved in recently got some great news we wanted to share with everyone…

How can collective deliberation by citizens lead to wise and timely action on climate change, including by municipal and provincial governments? Alberta (Canada) will be a testing ground for this question over the next five years. An international team of scholars, NGOs, businesses, and governments will be addressing it, supported by $1 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and over $3 million in contributions from other sources.

The research team includes leading researchers and practitioners of deliberative democracy, environmental organizations, energy companies, municipal governments, and Provincial ministries. The project, called Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD), will help to convene groups of citizens within Albertan municipalities to shape policies on greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change, and also build province-wide deliberation and dialogue on climate issues.

Learning alongside citizens, the team will investigate how the design of citizen deliberations — how participants are selected, who participates, how the agenda is set, how often the citizens meet and for how long, whether policy makers are involved, and so on — shapes their social and political influence. The team will also explore the sorts of influence that citizen deliberations can have on climate issues, including informing and directing policy makers and processes, as well as shaping citizens’ knowledge, their sense of environmental citizenship, and their political capacities and networks. Through this work, we will seek to show how citizens can lead effective responses to climate change, and how political leaders and institutions can skillfully engage with citizens to develop policy.

This groundbreaking research project was initiated by NCDD member David Kahane (pictured), a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. I am listed as a “collaborator” in the grant application and on the website, and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is a Partner of the project.  We plan to be as involved as resources will allow us to be, and to keep the network as informed as possible about project learnings and benchmarks.

The project website is at and email can be sent to [email protected].

HD Centre looking for Project Manager for its Africa Office    

Saw this in my inbox this morning…

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), an independent mediation organisation, is seeking to recruit a Project Manager to support its activities in Africa. Reporting to the Africa Regional Director, she/he will:

  • Project manage selected Africa based conflict mediation activities;
  • Identify potential new conflict mediation work;
  • Conduct research and analysis in support of conflict mediation efforts;
  • Fund raise and maintain regular contacts with donors in the region.

Candidates should have 7-8 years of professional experience in an international environment, particularly in an African context, and a Master’s degree in conflict resolution, political science, development studies or another related field. (more…)

Rising Voices to map online transparency & engagement projects    

RisingVoicesLogoIf you’ve run online engagement projects in Latin America, Africa, Asia, or Central & Eastern Europe, this is an important announcement for you…

A group called Rising Voices will be launching a new initiative this month: the Transparency and Technology Network. This is a three-month, participatory research mapping to gain a better understanding of the current state of online technology projects that increase transparency, government accountability, and civic engagement in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, and Central & Eastern Europe. The project is co-funded by Open Society Institute’s Information Program and Omidyar Network’s Media, Markets & Transparency initiative, and aims to inform both programs’ future investments toward transparency, accountability, and civic engagement technology projects.

Rising Voices in the process of hiring eight regional researchers who will spend 16 weeks documenting at least 32 transparency, accountability, and civic engagement technology projects. These researchers will also facilitate 16 region and country-specific discussions on Global Voices about relevant topics related to transparency, accountability, and public participation in political processes.

They are also seeking research reviewers to leave valuable comments on each of the case studies and blog posts.  The Transparency and Technology Network website will allow moderated case study submissions by any registered user.

In addition to producing good research to inform the investments of funders like Open Society Institute and the Omidyar Network Rising Voices also aims to build a global network of individuals, groups, and organizations who care about the use of technology to promote more transparency, more accountable governments, and greater civic engagement. If you would like to get involved, follow the instructions on the full post or send an email to [email protected].

See the full post on the Rising Voices website.

You’re Invited: EPA Conf Call on Canadian & U.S. Experiences in Public Involvement    

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Collaboration Practitioners Network is holding an open learning session on January 21 at 1:00 pm Eastern, and everyone in the NCDD network has been invited to attend via conference call.  The session is titled “Canadian and US Experiences in Public Involvement — Learning from our Neighbors,” and leaders in NCDD’s sister organization, C2D2 (the Canadian Community for Dialogue & Deliberation) will be featured presenters.

The dial-in number for the 90-minute call is 1-866-299-3188, and the conference access code is 519-584-6853.  RSVPs are not required, but it’s a good idea to email Leanne Nurse at [email protected] AND Pat Bonner at [email protected] to let them know you will be on the call so they can send you any materials that will be reviewed on the call.

Here are some additional details from Leanne and Pat:

Our first session in 2010 will be something different from our past meetings because, not only will the speakers be from outside the US, many of those calling in will too. When I was in Toronto in October it was my good fortune to engage in conversations with leaders of the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation [C2D2] and several practitioners from Environment Canada. I suggested that our Network meeting might be a good forum for a US/Canada conversation about environmental public engagement as it’s done in the two countries. Without a doubt, we can learn from one another.

**Anyone who receives an invitation, whether direct or via a forwarded message, is welcome to call in and also to e-mail questions or topics for the speakers to address. These e-mails should reach Leanne Nurse at [email protected] AND Pat Bonner at [email protected] as soon as possible so they can be shared with the speakers.


1. [1 PM]    Convene/Roll Call – Pat Bonner
2. [1:10]     Introductions of Speakers – Pat Bonner
3. [1:13]     Presentations [order not specified yet] and acknowledgement of pre-meeting questions
– Environment Canada – Anik Lalonde-Roussy and Dany Drouin [invited]
– C2D2 – Miriam Wyman and Sandra Zagon
– EPA – Pat Bonner and Leanne Nurse
[ The speakers will take clarifying questions as they present.]
4. [2:00] General discussion and additional questions
5. [2:25]     Announcements and Wrap-up

15-day training job in Darfur for qualified peacebuilder    

(If you like long acronyms, you’ll love this post…) Just received this short announcement Zsuzsanna Kacso, Director of the International Peace and Development Training Center (IPDTC) of PATRIR:

The Darfur Community Peace and Development FUND (DCPSF) is announcing a new consultancy position for a Trainer for DCPSF Partner Organisations and Stakeholders. Those interested and wanting to apply, please visit the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) jobs website at

This is a 15-day job in Darfur, Sudan for a peacebuilder, beginning in mid-February.

Note: if you hear of any other job openings for conflict resolution or public engagement professionals, please send them my way! Many people are looking for work these days, and I’ll do my best to post everything relevant that I hear about.

SFU’s Centre for Dialogue Launches Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement    

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, BC (Canada) just launched a new program.  The Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement is aimed at those interested in the design and implementation of community and/or civic engagement methods and practices.  The certificate includes courses on the principles and practice of civic engagement, citizens engaging citizens, and civic engagement around public issues. Courses start in September. More at

Job Opening for Head of Research at UK’s Involve    

InvolveLogoUK-based Involve is looking for a Head of Research to join their management team, with a focus on further refining, developing and promoting their research strategy. The post-holder will play a key role in the future development of Involve, particularly through developing and raising funds for new research programs and projects.  Closing date is August 21st.

Involve are public participation specialists; bringing institutions, communities and citizens together to accelerate innovation, understanding discussion and change. Involve makes a practical difference by delivering the highest quality public participation processes possible as well as undertaking rigorous research and policy analysis into what works. Their reputation and policy advice are built on a solid research foundation.  Learn more at

Call for Proposals to C2D2 2009    

C2D2 logoOur sister organization, the Canadian Community for Dialogue & Deliberation, is holding its third national conference this fall. The 2009 Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation will take place October 22-25 in Toronto, Ontario, and early registration ends on July 31st. Registration is currently $393.75 CAD with taxes, and the rate will increase $100 CAD beginning in August.

C2D2 is about to announce their call for proposals, and you can download the call and application here. Proposals are due July 31st for concurrent sessions, field visits, marketplace showcases, and night-cap dialogues. Proposals should fall under four broad areas: leading change, conversations, stronger communities, and healthier democracies. Youth are especially encouraged to share the innovative and impactful work they’re doing.

Contact Miriam Wyman at [email protected] if you have questions, or visit the C2D2 2009 conference site.

Open Space Training this Month in London    

Dr. Sheila Marsh asked me to mention a training in Open Space facilitation that’s being offered June 17-19, 2009 in Little Venice, London.  She said the training is a “great value and diverse group led by 2 experienced open space practitioners.” Contact Sue Strachan, programme administrator at [email protected] or visit  The cost with all materials and refreshments is £495. Some ‘bursaries’ are available.

Janette Hartz-Karp looking for info on youth engagement in climate change    

NCDD member Janette Hartz-Karp asked me to share this with the network…

I’ve been asked to write a chapter for the UN World Youth Report 2009 on youth engagement with climate change. It needs to be completed in a month so I’m trying to get any help I can.

The chapter is to include a) Positioning youth for adaptation and mitigation – the role of civil society (identifying best practices in youth participation in activities to address climate change, and examining the potential contribution of youth-led organizations to advancing action on climate change). And b) Moving Forward – placing youth at the centre of the response to climate change (A policy section which will highlight the key messages and address the question: – “Who does what?”)

In addition, I was asked to add any specific ideas/information relating to policies on youth and climate change, particularly in the context of developing countries.

Susanna Haas Lyons from AmericaSpeaks has pointed out some US web sites:


If you have any additional information on ‘best practice’ youth engagement initiatives on climate change and/or policies you know about/suggest, particularly in developing countries, but also world-wide, please let me know ASAP.

Janette Hartz-Karp
Professor at Australia’s Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Director of 21st Century Dialogue

[email protected]

New Zealand Gov’t Seeks YOUR Feedback    

Crispin Butteriss posted this to NCDD’s FaceBook group a couple of weeks ago:

The New Zealand government (Office for the Community & Voluntary Sector) is looking for feedback from community engagement professionals on the its discussion paper, “It’s More than Talk.” An online forum can be found at

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