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2007-11 - November

Wise Democracy Forum Meets Nov. 17 in Oakland, CA    

On Saturday, Nov. 17th, all are invited to join Claudia Miller (Center for Wise Democratic Processes), Laura Wells (Grand Lake Neighborhood Center) and Sally Sommer (East Bay Mediation Center) for a launch of the Wise Democracy Forum in Oakland, CA. This forum is designed to explore and plan for a this innovative way to increase participation democracy. The results in other communities and schools have been surprising for the creativity and innovation that occurred in these facilitated dialogs about issues that are meaningful to them.

The Wise Democracy process involves a group of ordinary folks who get together with time and good facilitation and no pre-set agenda. They talk about what’s really important to them in their community. In this council, as they listen to each others’ issues and concerns, they come up with a statement they all agree on, and present the statement to the broader community, including public officials, media, and then the dialogue continues. It’s a way people can become more empowered, and public engagement in our democracy can grow.

This Wise Democracy Forum meets from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm at 6501 Telegraph Ave, in Oakland, CA. For more information or to RSVP, contact (510) 435-2327 or [email protected]. Check back at, for the group’s soon-to-be-created website.

Art of Hosting Training Set for November    

Chris Corrigan wrote us to let us know about the upcoming Art of Hosting training November 16-18, 2007 near Bangor, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The Art of Hosting is training experience that combines explorations of methodologies such as Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry and PeerSpirit Circle with design tools such as Sam Kaner’s Diamond of Participation, chaordic design and models of living systems. The learning is experiential and applicable and offers a powerful opportunity for the development of deepening facilitation and leadership practice.

For this session the core team consists of:

* Christina Baldwin, author and co-founder of PeerSpirit Circle practice
* Tenneson Woolf and Teresa Posakony both from the Berkana Institute and deep practitioners of The World Cafe
* Angela Amel, a New York City based facilitator and leadership development consultant
* Nancy Fritsch Eagan, a New York City facilitator specializing in education and women’s leadership development
* Chris Corrigan, Open Space facilitator and Art of Hosting steward.

This workshop will join colleagues from Canada and the United States for this collaborative exploration of an Open Space worldview in action. You can down load the invitation here: More info about the Art of Hosting is available at

Join a National Conversation about Energy    

The Kettering Foundation ( and the National Issues Forums Institute ( are inviting people and their communities to become part of a national conversation about energy and the choices that face the public and policymakers. The Kettering Foundation and Public Agenda will be preparing a national report detailing the outcomes of 2007 public deliberative forums held around the country using the National Issues Forums issue book titled The Energy Problem: Choices for an Uncertain Future. Groups or individuals who have led forums on this issue, or who are planning to, are invited to help make the upcoming report as representative as possible of the national conversation.

There is still time to help your community, organization, school, or group, be heard in a national deliberative conversation about energy. The Energy Problem issue book and free moderator guides may be ordered by calling 800-600-4060. If you would like more information about how to convene a forum on this topic in your community contact Ginny O’Connor at [email protected] or 800-443-7834, extension 870. Information from deliberative forums- especially completed post-forum questionnaires- are welcomed through November 15th, 2007. The information from forums held around the country will be included in a national report that will be released to the public and presented in Washington, DC. (more…)

Advocacy for Advocates Training Program Coming Up in November    

The Ark Foundation in Ghana, an advocacy-based human rights organization that focuses on women and children’s rights protection, is organizing a 2 - Day “Advocacy for Advocates Training Program” in Ghana. The program is designed to help participants sharpen their knowledge and skills on advocacy and lobbying strategies that can be used to promote their social justice causes and influence public policy. The program, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 13th – Wednesday 14th November 2007 from 9:00am – 5:00 pm each day, is intended for human rights advocates, activists, community activists and leaders, peace advocates, social justice advocates and all persons who are interested in advocacy for social justice and development, human rights and other causes.

The program is open to individuals and organizations. If you are interested, please contact Petra or Esinam on 021-511610 / 024 4410309 or through the email address: [email protected]. I’ve attached an application form to this post. Organizations / individuals should hand in the requested information by Friday 19th October 2007, through fax number 021 – 511382 or e-mail at the address above.

IAP2 Skills Symposium Early Bird Deadline Extended to Oct. 12    

The 2007 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Skills Symposium will be held November 12-16, 2007 Chaparral Suites, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. This training extravaganza offers workshops for all experience levels. Courses vary in length, focus, and cost. You choose the courses that meet your budget and training needs. Highlights of the event include:

* Peter Sandman - Risk Communication and Outrage Management
* Larry Susskind - Consensus Building in the Public Arena
* Bill Lennertz- National Charrette Institute’s Charrette Planner Certificate Program
* Michael Quinn Patton - Evaluating Public Participation Processes

Evenings activities offer social networking, the IAP2 General Meeting, and the Core Values awards celebration. Visit IAP2 online at for more information about this event.

C2D2 Early Bird Registration Ends Sept. 30    

As many of you know, the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is holding its second conference this November in Vancouver, BC, Canada. From Nov 12-14, the conference will gather D&D practitioners, researchers and policymakers to talk about the theme “Facing Complex Issues Together.” (Check out the program at:,699,32,Documents). The early bird registration discount, which reduces conference fees by $100, ends on September 30th — so now is the time to register!

C2D2 was inspired by the work of NCDD, and the two organizations continue to have strong ties: at the C2D2 conference NCDD’s own Sandy H. will be convening a discussion on choosing the right D&D method, and yours truly will convene a couple of discussions about how the staff of the Ontario & BC Citizens’ Assemblies on Electoral Reform tackled the complex task of designing a new electoral system. I look forward to seeing many of you in Vancouver!

SoL Joins Pegasus Conference This November    

This November, the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) will hold a half-day general meeting for SoL members in conjunction with the Pegasus Systems Thinking in Action in Seattle, as well as organizing a SoL track at the conference. Members are invited to attend one event or both. For the 10th Anniversary meetings, members should sign up before September 1st to get a discounted registration of $95. To register, go to: The meeting will take place from 1:30 to 5:30, November 7, 2007 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, with an optional reception to follow.

This year’s Pegasus Conference, “Amplifying Our Impact: Strategies for Unleashing the Power of Relationship”, features many presentations by SoL members. SoL Keynotes include:

  • Presencing: Leading from the Future As It Emerges - Otto Scharmer (a pre-conference workshop is also available)
  • A Synergy of Action: Large-Scale Change Takes Flight at Boeing - Peter Weertman and Others from Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Services
  • Collaboration: The Human Face of Systems Thinking - Peter Senge (more…)

IAP2 Skills Symposium Set for November    

Sheri Wantland of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) just wrote to us to let us know about IAP2’s Skill Symposium, which they are offering this year instead of a conference. This great opportunity for training and networking will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona this November 12 - 16. This training offers workshops for all experience levels taught by distinguished trainers including Larry Susskind, Peter Sandman, Michael Quinn Patton and Bill Lennertz.

Training topics include: Facilitation skills, Public participation process design, Evaluation, Decision-maker engagement, Risk communication and outrage management, Consensus building in the public arena, Advisory committees, Charrette planning,
Calming controversy, Internet P2 tools, Managing polarities in strategic collaboration, Community capacity building, IAP2 Certificate Program (planning, communications and techniques), Managing public consultations in government, Public comment compilation, Quality decision making, P2 research, Appreciative inquiry and more. Visit today for all the details.

King County, WA to Vote on Pioneering Citizen Councilor Network    

King County, Washington will be voting on a groundbreaking initiative in November 2007. Initiative 24 creates a Citizen Councilor Network open to every citizen in the county. It establishes a feedback communication system owned by the people where small groups in homes or workplaces can share opinions on public issues with results posted on a Forum Foundation website for reflection by officials, government staff, news media, and citizens. The program is self-funded (no taxes) and administered by the County Auditor. If passed, King County will be the first government in the world to use the Forum Foundation’s new Algorithmic Resonance Social Technology. To learn more, visit Sandy’s summary in NCDD’s Learning Exchange here. Or visit this initiative’s website at

SFU Gearing Up for Dialogue Semester on Environmental Impact    

This fall, Simon Fraser University’s Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue is organized around the theme of “Adaptations to Human Environmental Impact.” This dialogue program focuses on how human beings adapt to the profound impact we are having on our planet. Environmental disruption threatens overwhelming consequences for our social and economic systems, but too often we are overwhelmed by the problems and lose sight of viable solutions. Citizens require thoughtful, confident planning and analysis to enable effective adaptation to these challenges. The Semester in Dialogue will address three major and connected themes: Climate Change, Energy, and Biodiversity, probing local to global solutions involving policy, enterprise, innovation, and life styles. For more information on the course and registration, visit

C2D2 Early Bird Registration Ends August 10    

Inspired by the work of NCDD, the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is holding its second conference in Vancouver, BC from November 12 - 14 2007. The theme of the conference is “managing complexity,” and panel sessions, posters and training sessions will focus on the constructive role that dialogue and deliberation can play in meeting today’s challenges. Take advantage of the Early Bird Special, now extended until August 10 and save $100 on the conference registration fee. The call for program contributions has also been extended until August 10. To register online, or find out more about program contributions, please visit:

By the People Kicks off Preparations for 2007 Dialogues    

This year’s major By the People initiative is “Dialogues in Democracy: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Conducted in partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, it will involve a range of events, designed to remind citizens that the American experience is built on their shared ownership of the democratic values of the founders.

In late October, By the People—through its local public television and community organization partners- will host Citizen Deliberations in 11 communities around the country focused on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, as they relate to issues of local importance. Participating communities and local issues featured in 2007 By the People project are: Albuquerque, NM: Healthcare; Baton Rouge, LA: Healthcare; Bowling Green, OH: Higher Education; Cleveland, OH: Higher Education; Denver, CO: Education; Houston, TX: Environment; Kansas City, MO: Regionalism (Transportation and Taxes); New Haven, CT: Immigration; Omaha, NE: Immigration; Rochester, NY: Healthcare; Seattle, WA: Housing. (more…)

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