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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 2007

New Publications About Public Engagement on Nanotechnologies Available Online    

On 26 June two new publications about public engagement on nanotechnologies were launched at a conference in London. The conference was cohosted by Involve, Demos and the Science and Democracy Network. (For commentaries from the launch, see Nature, vol 448, Issue 7149 or Professor Richard Jones’ blog). To read synopses of these two new publications, read on! (more…) launches applications for the Party for the Presidency‘s Party for the Presidency Conference is coming up in Hollywood, CA on December 29 – 31, 2007. The Party for the Presidency is a leadership development conference that will bring together the 435 individuals (one from each Congressional district) to learn from one another and unite behind a common vision – Democracy 2.0. Each individual will be nominated as a top young activist demonstrating a citizen-centered approach to engagement in their community. They will be given the opportunity to present their best practices, learn from organizing experts, and leave as a commission Democracy 2.0 Ambassador. The Party for the Presidency will focus on encouraging young people to identify the key issues in their communities and helping build advocacy strategies to not only become part of the solution, but create the solution.

They are looking to recruit young people between the ages of 16 and 30, who are:

  • Working to make a difference in your community by being politically involved
  • Advocating for the issues they feel are most important in their communities, or informing people on the importance of civic engagement and volunteerism
  • Who have helped involve your fellow citizens in community service, public policy development, or identifying and solving local problems

Check out for more information on applying, or download the application from our website. If you have any questions, or would like any additional information contact Maya Enista,’s Chief Operating Officer at or 202.736.5744.

IAP2 Great Lakes Chapter Training Workshops Set for Aug. 13-14    

On August 13 and 14th the Great Lakes Chapter of the International Association for Public Participation is offering two full days of training in Madison, Wisconsin. On August 13, the Chapter presents “Using Online Tools to Support Public Participation” and on August 14th, the Chapter presents “Affirmative Design – Inclusive Public Participation in Diverse Communities.” Each training is $175 each or $325 for both days. Training Location: Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. Madison, WI 53706. For more information and registration, visit Or read on for more detailed descriptions of the workshops. (more…)

APSA Teaching and Learning Conference Calls for Proposals    

The American Political Science Association invites political scientists and graduate students to submit proposals for the fifth annual Conference on Teaching and Learning in Political Science. Using a working-group model, this meeting is a forum for interested individuals to develop models on teaching and learning as well as to discuss broad themes and values affecting political science education. The meeting will consist of tracks constructed around such themes as: Program Assessment, Simulations and Role Play, Graduate Education, Diversity and Inequality, Teaching Research Methods, Internationalizing the Curriculum, General Education, Civic Engagement, Teaching Across the Discipline and Professional Development. In addition, participants may attend two workshops in addition to a themed track. Workshop topics include Integrating Technology in the Classroom, Classroom and Program Assessment, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Teaching Sessions for Graduate Students.

Paper and Workshop proposals should be submitted online through MyAPSA ( by September 17, 2007. For more information please visit the Teaching and Learning Conference webpage at or email .

UN Publishes Book on Participatory Dialogue    

NCDD Member Juli Fellows just sent us word about a new book published by the United Nations called Participatory Dialogue: Toward a Stable, Safe and Just Society for All. According to the UN’s summary, the book “offers an overview of social integration and related concepts, explores the role and principles of participatory dialogue in creating more socially cohesive societies, and provides practical examples of dialogue use and dialogic tools…[It] also reviews global trends influencing social integration dynamics, and examines what elements are essential to creating societies that are resilient with respect to social tensions/disintegration.” The book is available for order for $39, and can be ordered in English, French and Spanish. Check it out at:

Globalization Conference Closes with Declaration on Peace    

Globalisation for the Common Good’s Sixth Annual Conference “A Non-Violent Path to Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding” has just finished up in Istanbul. By all accounts the conference was productive and stimulating, and culminated in the writing of the “Istanbul Declaration” which highlights the success of their meeting. Check it out at If you are interested in learning more about the 2008 conference in Melbourne, Australia, visit the conference website:

St. Louis Launches Community Conversations    

On July 10, FOCUS St. Louis officially launched its online Community Conversations Forum featuring insights from key regional leaders regarding critical issues. The program is an opportunity for everyone in the region to have a conversation with leadership and with each other. The idea behind this is to bridge divides (e.g., geographic, cultural, social) and build understanding about complex issues.

Conversational threads focusing on priority regional issue areas have been started by the following regional leaders: St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay (Regional Stewardship), Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith (Public Education), Missouri State Senator Joan Bray (Immigration Reform and the Role of State Government), St. Louis Post Dispatch Columnist Sylvester Brown (Race and Economics in our Region), Partner at Edward Jones Emily Pitts (Workplace Diversity), and Director of the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri Pat Sullivan (Regional Workforce Housing). Other leaders committed to contributing include Founder of River City Professionals Scott Lapp (How to Promote a More Young, Diverse and Vibrant Community).

For more information about the Community Conversations Forum, please contact Nikki Weinstein at 314-622-1250 x102 or , or visit the forum online at

Call for Session Proposals: 2008 Americans For the Arts Convention    

Attention NCDDers involved in the Arts! The theme of the 2008 Americans for the Arts Convention is “American Evolution: Arts in the New Civic Life.” They’re currently seeking conference proposals on current issues or trends in arts-based community development and propose solutions and/or discuss implications. Innovative formats that engage audiences are encouraged. Check out this Website for details: The proposal deadline is August 3, 2007.

CIPE Teaching National Issues Forums Moderation This August    

The Canadian Institute for Public Engagement (CIPE) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to building and improving best practices in public engagement. They are offering a 2 day National Issues Forum (NIF) Moderator course (August 28-29, Ottawa, ON) to introduce this unique public deliberation methodology to Canadian practitioners. This course will give participants the tools and knowledge necessary to conduct NIF’s. This is a unique opportunity for facilitators to build their capacity to engage citizens and stakeholders on controversial or complex issues.

Registration is $250, and paid NCDD members receive a 15% discount (see all members’ discounts). Download the registration form at Visit in order to learn more, and to register now for this exciting training opportunity. You can also visit to find more information on National Issues Forums.

Starbucks Organizing Dialogue on Climate Change    

Starting in August, the coffee company Starbucks will bring the story of “Arctic Tale,” a new family-friendly wild life adventure movie, to its stores. The goal of this promotion is to help generate interest in the film as well as educate customers about the climate crisis and inspire them to be a part of the solution through simple, everyday decisions. On August 15, across multiple U.S. markets, Starbucks will host a “National Day of Discussion” featuring environmental leaders who will direct conversations with customers about solutions to address the vital issue of climate change. Organizations such as The Climate Group, Conservation International, Earth Watch and Global Green USA will participate in in-store events across Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Boston, Phoenix, and other U.S. markets.

Columbia University Hosting Socratic Conversations    

Socratic Dialogue is blooming everywhere. Recently I posted about the Socrates Cafe movement. Now another story about a Socratic dialogue initiative has come across the wire. Columbia University is sponsoring Socratic conversations. The conversations, which are sponsored by the Gottesman Libraries, 525 W. 120th St., range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life, as did Socrates’ encounters that launched Western philosophy. Students are engaging in spirited discussions of ideas and issues ranging from “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “Democratic Leadership,” to “Holidays Deconstructed” and “Bullshit” (impelled by a best-selling book by a professor of philosophy at Princeton).

Ronald Gross conducts the sessions, which are based on methods described in his book Socrates’ Way ( Gross co-chairs the University Seminar on Innovation in Education ( and has launched groups to revive meaningful conversation and civic discourse throughout the U.S.and abroad. The conversations are informed by the latest literature which is at hand at each session for reference and follow-up. The conversations have already generated thinking and insights of keen interest to the whole campus community.

Take a Survey on Facilitation and Collaborative Decision-Making    

NCDD member Juli Fellows recently sent us this interesting resource on collaborative decision-making. The “Collaborative Decision Process” questionnaire was originally developed in the 1980s and 1990s and has been used extensively to assess the effectiveness of collaborative decision processes. Professor Sandor Schuman and colleagues would like to make the questionnaire available to group facilitators as a tool for helping groups improve their collaborative decision making processes.

Preliminary to making it available, they want to collect a broad baseline of data. If you would like to participate in this study, please respond to the survey below. You will be asked to think about a specific meeting (or series of meetings) in which you had a role as participant, facilitator, or observer and respond to the questions with that meeting in mind.

I’ll keep you posted about the dissemination of the Collaborative Decision Process tool for facilitators.

OpenCongress Launches Online Tools    

OpenCongress is a free, open-source, non-profit, and non-partisan web resource that aims to make Congress more transparent and to encourage civic engagement. They have just launched a new “Tools” section at Some of these tools use open-source code to make it easier to share info about Congress, and some are useful new resources for greater government transparency. Here’s what you’ll find there:

1. OpenCongress Syndication Panel: an easy way to display info from OpenCongress on your website.

Simply choose what you’d like to show: the most-viewed bills, the Members of Congress most written-about in the news and on blogs, top search terms, and much more. Then you can customize the appearance of the panel and just copy-and-paste some HTML into your site. It’s perfect for sidebars of political blogs — now your readers can have an at-a-glance, up-to-date way to follow what’s hot in Congress. For an example of how the Syndication Panel (sometimes called a “widget”) looks, take a glance at this sample : (more…)

Last Chance to Register for Effective Consultant Workshop    

Leadership Strategies ( is offering a two-day workshop called “The Effective Consultant” from August 20-22 in Atlanta, GA. The Effective Consultant course provides a structured framework for consulting, with techniques and client handling strategies for each stage of the consulting process. The course will teach participants to:

  • Listen to client requests and ask key questions to help clients discover their real needs
  • Communicate effectively with clients about status, issues and challenges
  • Uncover the common barriers to team success and prevention strategies
  • Set appropriate expectations with client and manage them throughout the project life cycle

The cost of the course is $1495. To register go to For more information, visit Leadership Strategies’ website or call 1-800-824-2850.

Museums of Conscience Seeking Director of Programs    

Liz Sevcenko just sent us the following job opportunity: The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience ( is a network of historic sites dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies. They are seeking a Director of Programs in the Americas to develop and oversee the Coalition’s work in North and South America. The goal of the Director of Programs in the Americas is to coordinate productive exchange and learning among members and affiliates in the region that builds the capacity for historic sites to serve as centers for civic dialogue. S/he is responsible for developing, maintaining, and growing the Coalition network, and for developing and dissemination of Coalition training resources. S/he reports directly to the Director of the Coalition and is supported by a shared administrative assistant.

Specific responsibilities include to: (more…)

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