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Local, Regional and National Events

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Our regional NCDD events brought together over 700 people total this October and November. A huge shout-out to all the members of our local planning teams!

Archives for July 2006

Berkana Institute Organizing Southern Africa Learning Journey    

The Berkana Institute invites participants for a Learning Journey to South Africa and Zimbabwe that will open your eyes, minds and hearts to essential learning about the leadership that is emerging in one of our planet’s most vibrant places. On this journey, participants will meet and learn with extraordinary pioneering leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at Zimbabwe’s Kufunda Learning Village. The Learning Journey will also spend time learning from the wildlife of Africa whose grace and beauty and interdependent relationships are an inspiration. Marianne Knuth, part of the Shambhala Institute’s hosting team and founder of Kufunda, will join Berkana Institute Co-President Bob Stilger as hosts of this journey. Together participants explore innovative approaches to leadership that offer new possibilities for making a difference in our own lives. For more information about the Southern Africa Learning Journey, taking place October 30 – November 11, 2006, visit the Berkana Institute’s website: or contact Jeana Corbett, Learning Journey Coordinator,

Shambhala Institute Announces Art of Hosting and Convening Workshop    

The Shambhala Institute has just announced an upcoming workshop: The Art of Hosting and Convening Meaningful Conversations with Toke Moeller, Monika Nissen, and Sera Thompson. This workshop explores the art of convening the conversations most important to our communities, families and organizations. You will learn a variety of methods and practices for engaging in conversations that matter which create wise action and clear outcomes. The workshop will take place in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia – August 14-16, 2006. For more information, contact .

Training Opportunity: Becoming a Measurement Guide    

Yellow Wood Associates, Inc., of St. Albans, VT, has just announced a training that will enable professional facilitators to deliver a powerful planning and evaluation tool, called You Get What You Measure� to their own clients. In development for over ten years, You Get What You Measure� recognizes the importance of values in group work, incorporates systems thinking, and creates a culture of group learning. It explores in detail the connections between goals, indicators, measures, and the assumptions about how or whether specific actions will affect progress towards the goal. Ideal measurement guide candidates are community or organizational development professionals in a variety of fields seeking to build the capacity of their organizations or communities to make real and measurable progress towards their goals. After completing the three-day Becoming a Measurement Guide training, participants will be well on their way to becoming a licensed guide able to deliver You Get What You Measure� to clients of their choice. The training will be held at Yellow Wood Associates in St. Albans, VT, November 13-15, 2006. One or two of the available slots for this training will be available for smaller organizations at discounted rates. For more information, visit their website at, call 802-524-6141 or email [email protected].

Israeli and Palestinian Mayors Meet to Find Common Ground    

Amid the violence of the last few weeks, Libby and Len Traubman continute to send us hope about the possibility for dialogue and peace in the Middle East. The latest news story concerns groups of city mayors from Israel and Palestine meeting in Indidana to dialogue and to find common ground. To read the story from the Indidana Star, visit

Authentic Leadership in Europe Workshop Coming Up in December    

The Shambhala Institute has just announced an upcoming workshop called “Authentic Leadership in Europe: Empowering the Journey through Circle, Brush & Sword.” In this intensive participants will increase their capacity for presence, courage, and flexibility. They will practice stepping back to allow creativity to emerge and stepping forward when intervention is called for, and will learn how to design change processes that include both broad engagement and a concrete plan of action. This intensive is for leaders and entrepreneurs of all levels-team or project leaders, facilitators, managers, executives, community builders, and other agents of change. The workshop will be led by oke Moeller, Barbara Bash & Bob Wing, from December 6-9, 2006 at the Heinsheim Castle Hotel, 1.5 hours south of Frankfurt, Germany. For more information, email Susan Szpakowski at .

National Issues Forums Public Voice 2006 Program Now Available Online    

The National Issues Forums (NIF) website ( now has information (including a video clip to watch) about this year�s �A Public Voice 2006��an annually produced one-hour public affairs television program that examines how well the United States public is tackling an important public issue. The program for 2006 is titled: �People and Politics: Facing Democracy�s Challenge� and includes glimpses inside some of the National Issues Forums around the country where people have held deliberative discussions using the NIF issue book �Democracy�s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public�s Role.� The television program also features a panel of office holders, experts, and members of the media as they view and discuss excerpts from forums held earlier this year. You can watch a clip from this new program and find more information about the �A Public Voice� series, including a current listing of public television stations around the country that have made commitments to air this year�s �A Public Voice 2006.� Links to all this information and to a page that will let you watch a clip from this year�s program (or from last year�s program) can be found in the lower left hand side of the NIF homepage. To order a copy of this video, contact Ruffolo at , call 800-600-4060, or FAX: 937-435-7367.

National Mediation Training Comming Up in Minnesota    

This October, the Center for Policy, Planning & Performance will organize a 4 day Mediation Training workshop in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. This 40-hour basic Mediation Process Training meets the standards of the Minnesota Supreme Court ADR-Rule 114 for neutral qualification, which is required for private mediation centers and state rosters. Specific practical applications include organizational conflict management, community or group dispute facilitation, and interest-based interpersonal communications. Trainers are Bernard Mayer and Barbara Raye. Cost is $860.00 (includes materials). To register for the workshop, held October 2 � 6, 2006 contact the Center for Policy, Planning and Performance at 2233 University Avenue West, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114; Phone: (612) 874-0535; Website:

The Art of Live Blogging    

Originally posted by Beth Kanter for the 2006 NCDD Conference…

I’m gearing up to do some live blogging at the NCDD.

Live blogging is basically taking notes, photos, or recordings at lectures, conferences, and presentations of what was said and posting it to your blog.

I ended up doing live blogging because I think through fingers anyway, so why not share it with others on my blog?

So, here are some pointers:

First of all, live blogging takes a certain chutzpah.    Someone said that live bloggers should carry around a hip flask in their tool box!  So, you can’t be afraid of making mistakes publically. The nice thing about live blogging is that it is written in electricity, not stone – so you can always fix things later.

Because I’ve had such bad luck with wifi connections at conferences, I use blogging software that let’s me save my work offline.  I started off just using notepad, but then I learned about FireFox Performing and ecto and have used both of them.

I’m now using FireFox Peforming more these days because it is what I use at my desktop and I’m used to its little quirks or perhaps my bad habits.  (Like you better save your work as a note before you close your browser or you will loose your work.)  Ecto on the PC is okay, but far superior on the MAC.  There are other blog editor tools, but if you’re on a PC and already use FireFox – the performing can’t be beat.  Just be careful about closing the browser before you save your work.

The value to using one of these tools is that it doesn’t matter if the wifi goes down – you can still save your work and past it later.

Before the conference, I decide which sessions I’m going to live blog.  I create a post draft and cut and paste the description into as well as gather up any useful background links.  I put a live blogging disclaimer at the top of the post that says “I’m live blogging, excuse lapses of grammar, spelling errors, and typos.   I will clean this up later.”   I also add in the conference technorati tag at the bottem as well as any trackback urls.

I get to the room early so I can park myself in a strategic location so I can hear and see the speakers. When the session begins, I take notes and hit the publish button at various points to save my work. I usually do this after each speaker.

I’m a fast, very fast typist. I learned how to type while I was in music school so I could temp to make some extra money.   I approached typing like practicing the piano.  Using a metronome, I did all the exercises very slowly and gradully went from largo to allegro to motto allegro.  So for me, when I take notes, I do a combination of vertbaim transcript and summary.  What I do is summarize the points and if there is a juicy quote I take it down verbaitem.

I also try to get several photos that capture the essence of what it was like to be in the room.  I’ll photograph the speaker, selected slides or fipchart notes, and people in the room. If someone asks a particularly compelling question or says something, I will photograph that as well.  I upload the flickr photos using the uploader tool into their own set and annotate them with notes.

However, now that I’ve recently upgraded my camera phone – I will play with using email to flickr option.

At the end of the session, I will clean up my post and photos.  Add a photo to the post with a link to the photo set.

I might add a paragraph or two later on with some reflections about what I learned personally or what I might apply.

What live blogging tips do you have?

Find similar posts: NCDD2006

New Article on Intergroup Dialogue    

We’re pleased to spread the news about NCDD member Adrienne Dessel’s new article called “Using Intergroup Dialogue to Promote Social Justice and Change” co-authored with Mary E. Rogge, and Sarah B. Garlington. The article will be published in the journal Social Work this October. It examines intergroup dialogue as a bridging mechanism through which social workers in clinical, other direct practice, organizer, activist, and other roles across the micro�macro practice spectrum can engage with people in conflict to advance advocacy, justice, and social change. The article defines intergroup dialogue and provide examples in not-for-profit or community-based and academic settings of how intergroup dialogue has been applied to conflicts around topics of race and ethnic nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and culture. It concludes with recommendations for practice-, policy-, and research-related actions that social workers can take to understand and use intergroup dialogue.

Peace It Together Gala Event Coming Up in Vancouver    

Peace it Together is an important youth program that brings ten Israeli, ten Palestinian and ten Canadian youth together to discuss conflict in the Middle East. Together they will create short films that will help them and their audiences struggle with, and come to terms with the escalating violence that continues to impact their lives. After getting to know each other for a few days in the city, the youth will gather on Galiano Island at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School. Activities will focus on dialogue and listening exercises, leadership training, outdoor and wilderness experiences, and film-making. In small and culturally-mixed groups, the youth will collaborate on creating drama, documentary or animated short films about how the conflict impacts their lives, hopes and fears. The summer program will culminate in a public screening of the films in Vancouver. All are invited to the Peace it Together Gala on Sunday, August 20th at the HR MacMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street, at 7:00 PM. For more information, visit the program’s website:

How can social media and social networking tools help the tooth fairy?    

Originally posted by Beth Kanter for the 2006 NCDD Conference… 

I recently discovered a blog by a colleague, Allison Fine, called A. Fine Blog. Her focus is on “the ways that digital tools, particularly social media, are enhancing our connectedness to one another and our ability and willingness to work for the collective social good.” Her forthcoming book Momentum: IgnitingSocial Change in the Connected Age takes an indepth look at the topic.

One of her entries, “The Softer Side of Social Media” shares the story of how a friend set up an email account for her niece to email the tooth fairy. Sometimes it is very useful to have fun examples of new technology when introducing it to people — it made want to play with the idea — social media and the tooth fairy. A quick search through Flickr resulted in many photos of beautiful, but toothless children, tooth fairy pillows, a pair of tooth fairies from a dental school, notes to the tooth fairy a dog’s visit from the tooth fairy and children’s notes to the tooth fairy like the one depicted in the photograph above. What a great way to celebrate the myth with your child!

And, if you search through delicious, a social bookmarking service, you will turn up some interesting bookmarks that give you some dental tips, background, an online service that facilitates communication between your child and the tooth fairy, and a critical thinking exercise that debunks this popular childhood myth.

When my son, who was born in Cambodia, lost his tooth, I turned to social media to help him learn about Cambodia customs. With the help of Cambodian bloggers who shared some sound files of the khmer word for tooth and a description of tooth customs, we created a one-minute documentary about the Khmer Tooth Fairy: Remixing Cultural Customs Around Loosing a Tooth If social media/networking tools can do that for the tooth fairy, imagine what they can do for your work or organization’s cause?

Find similar posts: NCDD2006

UC Davis Extension Offering New Program on Coaching    

UC Davis Extension has just announced a new program, Coaching: Life and Career. In partnership with the Coaches Training Institute, this program will teach co-active coaching techniques that provide the foundation needed to become a Certified Professional Co-active Coach (CPCC). Participants work with certified coaches practicing coaching techniques with real people and real issues. Those interested in learning more about the program should plan to attend the free information session on August 30th from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Sutter Square Galleria, 2901 K St., in Sacramento California. Enroll in section 062OPE600. To learn more about the individual courses in this program, visit the program website at or call (800) 752-0881.

What Brings Me to NCDD    

Originally posted by Kai Degner for the 2006 NCDD Conference…


Since I’m one of the ”new practioners” represented at the NCDD this year, I thought I might share a mini-version of how I got involved with this wonderful crowd.  I hope to convey to any readers the opportunity I feel exists for involving hundreds of thousands of people into more regular conversation about things important to them. This will also set the stage for the title of my Friday showcase titled “OrangeBand: A Gateway to D&D.;”

In 2003, I was a senior undergraduate student working at James Madison University’s Community Service-Learning Office.  Even being connected with other “engaged” students, I still felt there was a lack of quality conversation going on around me about things that mattered.  Turns out, I wasn’t the only one.  In a lunch conversation with a few friends who shared this sentiment, we decided to do something to try to get people talking.

Our initial goal was to spark a campuswide conversation, but we soon decided to come up with a way that would welcome into the same conversation people who thought differently from each other.  Rallies and protests didn’t seem to do that.  Soon in the planning we decided to focus the conversation on the then-pending war in Iraq, which seemed to warrant more conversation than was being had (no matter if you were in favor of it or not).

Our idea was simple: hand out orange strips of fabric to be used as invitations to conversations about how YOU felt about the issue.  The OrangeBands would spark the conversation but also bring attention to nonpartisan events we organized during the week of the big band distribution.

Well, in that first week, 2,000 people took OrangeBands, 400 came to our 8 forums, 3 other schools picked it up, and there was a buzz of conversation!  The response was unexpected and overwhelming.  The next semester, we decided the OrangeBands would represent any issue someone felt important to bring into conversation.  Since then, more than 6,000 more OrangeBands have been distributed and there has been interest in our model from students and faculty across the country.

Over the last few years, this experience has tuned me onto a connection between three major areas: civil discourse (respectful conversation), social capital (trusting relationships), and civic engagement (citizenship).  Civility, respect, and thoughtfulness is far from the norm in popular media; quantity of relationships seem to be favored over quality; and rates of civic participation are abysmal according to a variety of measures.  OrangeBand seems to tap a reaction against these trends.  It amazes me how the question, “What’s Your OrangeBand?” so consistently sparks conversation about one of these deeper issues.

Until I connected with NCDD, I felt I was in my own bubble, unsure of what it was exactly that I – and OrangeBand – was trying to accomplish.  But then I caught the term “dialogue practioner” and liked it.  I dove into some of the models and techniques available on the website and began incorporating them into OrangeBand events and into facilitation jobs. 

This all helped crystalize an important point: OrangeBand, like the  NCDD community, is here to empower and support people to create spaces for respectful conversation.  The niche I believe OrangeBand can fill is reaching out to students and others who may not come into contact with these concepts and models in an academic or professional setting.  But this niche can best be served in tandem with some of the models, processes, people, and organizations represented at the NCDD conference.

So, I’m coming to the NCDD to find collaborators in facilitating a widespread elevation in the quality and content of our conversations.  I have everything to learn and an OrangeBand to offer.

See you in San Fran!


Find similar posts: NCDD2006

Two Positions Open at the Western Justice Center Foundation    

The Western Justice Foundation Center has announced openings for two positions: a Full-Time Administrative Assistant and a Director of Development. WJCF’s mission is to work with children, communities, schools, governments and courts to assure peaceful conflict resolution and improve access to justice. For more information on Western Justice Center Foundation, visit their website at To read descriptions of each position, click on the link below.

Seminar on Large Group Facilitation Coming up in November    

Nancy Aronson and Gil Steil have just announced an exciting three-day workshop on custom designing large group interventions called “Large Group Design and Facilitation: What To Do When Your Whole System Gets Together.” The workshop is coming up this November 1-3, 2006 at the Gregg Conference Center, Bryn Mawr, PA, USA. The workshop is aimed at consultants and organization leaders, and will cover large group design principles, group dynamics, facilitation methodologies and practice designing large group sessions tailored to participants needs. Cost is $1490 (includes, meals, new Bunker/Alban book, other materials, etc.). For more information or to reserve a spot on in the workshop, email Gil Steil at or Ferne Kuhn at .

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