ncdd members

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…)

Welcoming March’s new NCDD members    

13 fabulous new members joined NCDD last month (4 organizational members and 9 individual members), and 11 of our dues-paying members renewed their memberships (2 orgs and 9 individuals). 

We post these monthly summaries not only to welcome our new members and to thank those who re-upped, but also to help members connect with one another. Click on anyone’s name below to learn more about them and connect with them.

Our 4 new organizational members are:

  1. E-Democracy.org (Contact: Steven Clift)
  2. Harrison Associates (Roger Harrison)
  3. University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension (Stephan Gilchrist)
  4. California State University at Chico (Michael Briand)

Our 6 new dues-paying individual members are:

  1. Paul LeVasseur, Professor at the SIT Graduate Institute
  2. Steven Kull, Director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland
  3. Anne Dosher, Board Chair at The World Cafe Community Foundation
  4. Bonnie Beard, Founder and Executive Trustee of BRAC
 (Building Relationships Across Cultures)
  5. Amanda Roman, Executive Director of the Citizens in Charge Foundation
  6. Vanessa Stevens of Massachusetts

Our 3 new individual NCDD members (non-dues) are:

  1. John Cavanaugh at the Cross Cultural Communications, LLC
  2. Ben Simon at the University of Maryland
  3. Susan Schmidt of the Dallas Peace Center and The Global Peace Project

Last month, 9 NCDDers renewed their memberships – two organizations and 9 individuals.

The 2 organizational members who renewed are:

  1. Amherst College Center for Community Engagement (Molly Mead)
  2. Center for Voter Deliberation of Northern Virginia (Bill Corbett, Beth Offenbacker and Cindy Brookshire)

And 9 people renewed as dues-paying individual members:

  1. Philip Thomas at the Generative Change Community
  2. Noam Shore at Idealogue, Inc.
  3. Gilda Povolo at Grand Valley State University
  4. Julianna Padgett at Southern University’s New Orleans School of Social Work
  5. Douglas Crocker of California
  6. James Dubinsky at Virginia Tech
  7. Wendy Foxmyn, Consultant
  8. Linda Mather at Beacon Consulting Associates
9
  9. Phil Neisser at the SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Politics

To learn about other NCDD members (there are over 1,240 of us now!), find members in your state or city, etc., visit the NCDD members network at www.thataway.org/ncddnet/.

And to see if your membership is in good standing, search for yourself in the members network and look at what’s in the Member Type field in your profile. If it says “lapsed” or “non-dues-paying,” please consider becoming a current dues-paying member (see payment details here). You can also email office manager Joy Garman at [email protected] if you have questions about your status, need payment instructions, or want to change the info on your profile page.

NCDD’s 2010 Events…    

As many of you know, since 2002 NCDD has been holding biennial national conferences on the even years. We wanted to formally announce that in 2010, rather than holding a single National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, we are in the process of mobilizing our members to organize a number of smaller one-day NCDD events.

We are looking into holding events in fall 2010 in the locations we feel best equipped to mobilize our members: Austin, San Francisco, Washington DC and Denver, where we’ve held past NCDD conferences, as well as cities like Boston and Portland where dialogue and deliberation are thriving.

We feel that holding regional, largely self-organized events in 2010 has the potential to move NCDD and the field forward in vital ways.  We hope the events will position members of the D&D community to successfully navigate new opportunities that are emerging in open government and online engagement so they can make a greater impact in their communities. (Learn more about our concept for the 2010 events.)

At this point, we are looking for dedicated people to help move things forward in most of the locations mentioned above. Our first priorities are (1) to find and secure affordable venues so we can set the dates and (2) to start identifying partners and co-sponsors who share our goals.  Please contact me (Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s Director) at [email protected] if you are interested in getting involved.

Identifying experts in keypad technology    

On Friday, I emailed NCDD’s main listserv to see who in the community has expertise in keypad technology.  Keypads are audience response devices that look like little calculators (learn more here), and once in a while I get requests from people looking for keypad facilitators or trainers.  David Campt and Chris Bui are two skilled keypad experts I know personally, but I wanted to have a longer list at the ready.

I received a variety of great responses and recommendations for experts in keypad technology – and in using cell phones as an alternative to keypads.  I thought I’d share the responses here so we all have access to this list for future reference. (more…)

New Blog by Miki Kashtan    

As Einstein famously asserted, today’s toughest issues cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.  Since 1996, NCDD member Miki Kashtan has dedicated her formidable experience, skill, insight and passion into honing and sharing the use of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a guiding compass to be able to fully live and look at life through a different lens than the one which created our world as it is. A different thinking, consciousness, paradigm to think about and reflect on our inner life, relationships, and the larger issues of our society and the world at large.

Now you can have access to Miki’s unique wisdom on her new blog, The Fearless Heart. On the blog, Miki is already sharing her inspiring thinking, astute self-inquiry, and real life examples of applying a consciousness of collaboration and dialogue based on compassion for our shared humanity. Miki hopes that reading it will richly contribute to a sense of meaning, purpose, and power in your own lives, and provide inspiration for bringing this consciousness to projects for social change. Visit Miki’s blog at http://baynvc.blogspot.com/. (more…)

Developing a Pattern Language of Group Process    

I asked NCDD member Tree Bressen to write a post for the blog about an exciting project you may want to know about: the Pattern Language of Group Process project….

“For more than a year now a small group of folks have been hard at work developing a Pattern Language of Group Process.  The people involved come from a variety of backgrounds including theory and practice, the academy and the street, and bring experiences from diverse sectors including technology, political activism, education, communal living, financial services and other private corporations, nonprofits, and more.

A Pattern Language is an attempt to express the deeper wisdom of what brings aliveness within a particular field of human endeavor, through a set of interconnected expressions arising from that wisdom.  Aliveness is one placeholder term for “the quality that has no name”: a sense of wholeness, spirit, or grace, that while of varying form, is precise and empirically verifiable.  The term was originally coined by architect Christopher Alexander, who, together with five colleagues, published A Pattern Language for building in 1977. Others have since applied the term to economics, software design, liberatory communication, and other fields. (more…)

Four job openings at Kearns & West firm (Portland and D.C.)    

NCDD organizational member Kearns & West, a strategic collaboration and communications firm specializing in water, energy, natural resources and environmental facilitation/mediation, collaboration and public involvement, seeks additional facilitators, mediators, and public involvement specialists in their Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC offices. They may also be looking to hire in their San Francisco office in the near term. Resumes from interested senior mediators and public involvement specialists should be submitted to [email protected] (no faxes or phone calls please). Resumes will be accepted until the positions are filled.

The four positions are:

  1. Project Coordinator Opportunity in Washington DC
  2. Public Involvement Specialist Opportunity in Portland, Oregon
  3. Senior Associate/Facilitator Opportunity in Washington DC
  4. Senior Mediator/Facilitator Opportunity in Portland, Oregon

(more…)

Previewing Agencies’ Open Government Plans (by Lucas Cioffi)    

In accordance with the White House’s Open Government Directive, top-level agencies will post their open government plans on April 7th.  Several agencies gave a public preview of their plans on Monday at the White House Conference Center, and I had the opportunity to represent NCDD at this meeting.

The bottom line is that I was highly impressed with how much effort has been put into these plans behind the scenes; there is a tremendous amount of buy-in from senior officials at these agencies.  The biggest challenge- and a significant concern of mine- is that agencies will have to find ways to implement their plans without additional funding or resources.  It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

(more…)

Featured Member: John Spady and the Countywide Community Forums    

Today is our first in a series of NCDD “Featured Member Days.” All day, we will be using our social media tools (our blog, our listservs, our facebook group, our twitter feed, our linkedin group, etc.) to introduce as many people as possible to an extraordinary NCDD member.  Today we’re featuring John Spady and the Countywide Community Forums.

Feel free to add a comment here or respond to a post you see on the listserv or in our social media groups!  John will be responding to any questions or comments you ask him today.

John is the Executive Vice-President and Director of Research for the Forum Foundation in Seattle, and he’s been an active and supportive member of NCDD since the beginning. John’s story intersects considerably with that of his father’s. John’s father, Dick Spady, is the owner of 5 iconic Dick’s Drive-In restaurants in Seattle, and he has been a strong proponent of quality dialogue and citizen engagement for decades.

Last year, at the age of 83, John’s father submitted Initiative 24 — not to the voters of the State of Washington, but instead to King County, home to the largest city in the state: Seattle. After over 80,000 valid signatures were collected, King County (Seattle area) Councilmembers decided to directly enact Initiative 24, which created the Citizen Councilor Network. The Citizen Councilor Network’s first project is called the Countywide Community Forums, which are designed “to enhance citizen participation, civic engagement, and citizenship education in government through a network of periodic public forums….”

With the backing of his family, Dick Spady pledged that his private business, Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, would underwrite the cost for the first two years of the Countywide Community Forums. This included the cost of the county employee in the Auditor’s Office, and all the costs associated with production, distribution, and website creation: a stated commitment of $350,000. Now in its third year, Dick’s Drive-In has recommitted itself through the end of 2010. This was critically important for the project, as King County Councilmembers stipulated that no tax dollars would be used to establish and maintain the new Citizen Councilor Network.

Our featured member, John Spady, is one of three coordinators appointed by the King County Auditor. His official title is “Deputy Citizen Councilor Coordinator.” (more…)

Audio from NCDD Confab with Guest Martin Carcasson    

Here is the audio recording from last Thursday’s (March 18) NCDD Confab call with Martin Carcasson, director of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University. We talked to Martin about his must-read Public Agenda occasional paper titled Beginning with the End in Mind: A Call for Goal-Driven Deliberative Practice (Summer 2009).  We had a great group of leaders on the call, and Martin was asked some quite challenging questions.

Martin’s article, which can be downloaded for free from www.publicagenda.org/cape, outlines three broad categories of goals for deliberation. The essay explores how a clearer understanding of the goals and purposes we are trying to achieve through public engagement can sharpen our methods and increase our impacts. It offers a practical framework to help practitioners systematically consider both their short-term and long-term goals and the strategies that will set them up for success. Please also check out the July NCDD blog post titled New Framework for Understanding the Goals of Public Engagement, which reflects on Martin’s article and introduces a graphic I created that expands on the article’s three orders of goals slightly.

Press the play button or download the mp3 file to listen to the audio.

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 – March 18, 2010: Goals of Deliberation (~50 MB)

Note: “NCDD Confabs” are 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 encourage new connections among members.

Job opening: Alberta Climate Dialogue project lead    

The newly-funded Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD) project is looking for a great person to serve as Project Lead. NCDD is involved in this project, as are a number of other leading organizations in our community. The position is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The project currently has five years of funding in place, and the Project Lead’s initial term will be for two years. Starting salary of $51,000-$64,000 depending on qualifications, plus a comprehensive benefits package and yearly cost of living and merit increases. Additional details below. (more…)

NCDD Project Report for the Kettering Foundation    

I submitted a report to the Kettering Foundation last October that I wanted to finally share with the whole network.  Before the 2008 conference, NCDD embarked on a research project with the Kettering Foundation to learn about how attendees at the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation see themselves playing a role in democratic governance.  Kettering was also especially interested in two of the five challenge areas we took on at the conference (the Systems Challenge and the Action & Change Challenge).

Many NCDDers are quoted in this report, and I write about a number of your innovative projects and initiatives.  88 of you were surveyed or interviewed as part of this research project, and others contributed through our graphic recording team at the conference, and during the online dialogue we held on the 5 challenge areas at CivicEvolution.org before the conference.

I think this report is worth a read.  It’s 38 pages long, but it’s full of gorgeous photos and graphic recordings from the conference (so it’s shorter than it looks!).

The report represents a snapshot of a specific time in this rapidly growing, maturing field of practice.  An exciting time, when process leaders and networks in our field are being brought into discussions about federal policy, and when our field is exploring how and whether it fits into a broader “democracy reform” movement.  It’s also a time in which we’re seeing clear shifts in approach in the field.  Practitioners, organizations and institutions are starting to think in terms of capacity building and find ways to demonstrate perceptible shifts in civic capacity.  Practitioners are focusing more on developing ongoing relationships with institutions, decision-makers and other power-holders in the communities they serve.  And people are becoming more and more adept at using multiple models, combining elements of different models, and designing unique processes to fit different contexts.

You can download the full report here, download a 3-page overview of the report here, or learn a bit more about the report by clicking on “more.”  Feel free to share this report or the overview with others. (more…)

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