National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation's

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 April 2009

NCDD Discount on NYC Dialogue Conference    

I hope to see many NCDDers at the Network for Peace through Dialogue conference this summer in New York City.  I’ll be there, speaking during the opening evening plenary (along with Geraldine Ferraro!) and giving a workshop the next day on moving from dialogue to action.

The conference, which takes place June 12th and 13th at Marymount Manhattan College, is designed for community groups, peace workers, practitioners, researchers, teachers, students and anyone who struggles to bring people with different viewpoints together. Registration is now open, and there is a special $150 registration rate for NCDD members (the regular rate is $200). Students with valid ID’s pay only $75.

Click here for more info on the conference or to register.  You can also call 212-426-5818 or email if you have questions.

This year’s conference theme is “Dialogue In/As Action,” and the event will focus on the rich intersections of the methods, processes, and actions of dialogue that lead to change. The 2009 conference will explore the ground rules for practicing good dialogue, as well as the parameters for putting constructive dialogue into action. The goals of the 2009 conference are to provide a forum for addressing and discussing the following issues:

  • Change generated through dialogue
  • The preconditions of dialogue and how they can be fostered
  • Cases of dialogue IN ACTION, AS ACTION
  • Cases of dialogue across ethnicities, nationalities, and religious beliefs
  • Using technology to facilitate dialogue
  • Voices of youth making change (presentations by youth)

Let me know if you plan to attend!  We’ll plan a little NCDD gathering if a good number of members plan to be there.

Early Bird Rate for No Better Time Conference Ends on 30th    

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in New Hampshire this July for the No Better Time conference!  I wanted to make sure people know that the registration rate increases from $250 to $300 on April 30th.  The student rate is only $200 until April 30th.

Co-hosted by NCDD members The Democracy Imperative and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, the national conference, “No Better Time: Promising Opportunities in Deliberative Democracy for Educators and Practitioners” will take place this July 8-11 at the University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH).

The conference will be centered around “Learning Exchanges” – thoughtful discussions about key challenges in deliberative democracy hosted by leading scholars and practitioners (it’s a VERY exciting list, both of topics and presenters; take a look). I’ll be co-hosting a Learning Exchange with Martin Carcasson and Jim Fishkin on choosing, mixing, and adapting deliberation models and methods.

Here’s how the conference is described on the website:

Deliberative democracy has reached a critical point in its development. Over the last fifteen years, shifts in citizen capacities and attitudes have led to a dramatic proliferation of citizen participation and deliberative practices, and in 2008 they helped to produce an historic presidential election. On the heels of these changes, new opportunities for educators and practitioners are emerging in communities, in government, and on campuses. The primary goal of No Better Time is to take stock of these developments and to consider future directions for educators and practitioners in teaching, research, and in citizen-centered initiatives.

Free eDemocracy Gathering This Weekend in D.C.    

This Sunday, April 19, there will be a one-day eDemocracyCamp with a particular focus on e-participation (using the internet to support public participation) at George Washington University, The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet (IPDI) and The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), Media and Public Affairs Building, 805 21st Street, NW / Washington, DC 20052 (USA). The goal of the gathering is to connect government officials, researchers, developers, practitioners, and regular citizens for a day of intense collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Co-sponsored by NCDD, this event is free to attend, but the organizers request an RSVP prior to the event (which you can do at the event’s wiki page at Sandy and I will be attending, and we hope to see a lot of NCDD members there!

Here are a few of the topics that may be addressed at eDemocracyCamp2

  • Use of online tools for public involvement, citizen participation or citizen engagement in government planning and decision making (e-participation)
  • E-participation (using technology — especially the Internet — to broaden and deepen political participation by helping citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives and governments)
  • Collaborative problem solving, consensus building and decision making
  • Online voting or e-voting
  • Online dialogue, deliberation and debate
  • etc…

Sign up or learn more…

Sign up on the wiki:
Spread the word on Facebook:
Join the mailing list:
Follow eDemocracyCamp on Twitter:

NCDD Discount on Leadership in a Self-Organizing World Conference    

Here is a special message for NCDD members from Peggy Holman about the extraordinary upcoming conference, Leadership in a Self-Organizing World

With so much upheaval happening today, there are many exciting experiments underway that shed light on new forms of organizing.  On May 14-17, we are bringing together people from a variety of sectors including corporations, nonprofits, education, government, communities, and the arts.  We have much to learn from each other.  And as practitioners with conversational forms, NCDD members are at the heart of this type of this work.

Harrison Owen, creator of Open Space Technology, will offer us a starting place based on his most recent book, Wave Riders: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World.  Because the gathering is primarily in Open Space, it is a co-creative learning laboratory for sharing stories and learning from each other about leadership and self-organization.  We welcome NCDD members who have not already registered for the conference with a $150 discount off the corporate, non-profit and government rates or $100 off the individual rate. (more…)

Federal Agency Managers and Staff Weigh-In on Open Govt Agenda    

Here’s an important announcement Joe Goldman sent me last week.  Joe is Vice President of Citizen Engagement at AmericaSpeaks. Four leading organizations in our field very recently convened a two-day meeting with 34 Federal Managers from 23 different agencies and offices across the federal government.  The meeting, called the Champions of Participation conference, focused on what can be done to increase and improve the use of face-to-face participation and collaboration by federal agencies.

Here is Joe’s introduction, followed by the official announcement.  It is hoped that this report will inform Obama’s open governance directive. (more…)

Job Opening: Director of Academic Initiatives at Campus Compact    

Received an email this morning from Juliet Feibel at Campus Compact, announcing a great position opening.  Campus Compact–a national coalition of over 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education–is looking for a Director of Academic Initiatives. (more…)

Conversative Voices Silenced by Students at UMass-Amherst    

Here’s a great op-ed by Robert Shibley that can also be found here on the Boston Globe website. Thanks, John Cavanaugh, for letting us know about this article, which has a number of implications for our field.

Why no one should be silenced on campus

By Robert L. Shibley  |  April 9, 2009

WHEN CONSERVATIVE columnist Don Feder spoke at UMass-Amherst last month, his speech was cut short by a large group of students whose noisy and disruptive antics drove Feder off the lectern midway through his speech. As one UMass student wrote after the event, “I am embarrassed of the way my fellow classmates have chosen to express their discontent.” She should be – but she should also know that she is not the only one who is due for some embarrassment.

America’s campuses are seeing a growing movement by students to shut off debate by organized groups and silence speakers with whom they disagree. Rather than engage in the give-and-take that should be characteristic of the university as a “marketplace of ideas,” these students have decided that opposing views don’t even bear hearing. And all too often they are aided by administrators whose policies reward hecklers rather than students who wish to engage in civil debate and dialogue. (more…)

Update on PEP Project & What You Can Do Now    

As many of you know, NCDD has been hosting a collaborative online conversation aimed at developing a set of Core Principles for Public Engagement that most people and organizations in this field can get behind. We’ve been working on this as transparently as possible at and many of you have participated. I’ve found it to be a fascinating, fun, and challenging process — but it’s not over yet.

We are doing this, in part, to influence Obama’s Open Governance Directive, which will instruct executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration set forth in one of three memoranda President Obama signed on his first day on the job ( ). We feel that presenting a united front to the administration on basic principles for quality public engagement will increase our chances of being heard in the crafting of this directive. Beth Noveck, the woman in charge of crafting the directive, recently acknowledged and commended our collective effort in a nationally broadcast webinar.

At this point, we invite and encourage all of you to do several things…

1. Determine whether your organization would be interested in endorsing the latest version (“version 3.0″) of the basic principles and their one-sentence descriptions, as attached. Let Sandy Heierbacher () know if your organization is likely to endorse the principles (we’ll send you the final version on April 27th to make sure your endorsement is official). OR, let us know (by emailing Sandy or adding comments to the QuickTopic doc posted at ), what would need to be changed in order for your organization to endorse the principles.

2. Provide feedback on the longer document posted at (the basic principles plus explanatory text about what to strive for and what to avoid). You can also post your feedback on version 3.0 on the PEP forum as you have in the past, but QuickTopic allows people to comment on specific text, and to comment on each other’s comments more clearly, so we’d prefer you use QuickTopic if you’re willing (it’s super-easy; just click on the little “c” to the left of what you want to comment on (you don’t even need to log in or register!).

3. Send email about this post/project to your colleagues, networks, organization leaders, etc. that you think should get involved in endorsing – or further honing – the principles!

For more info about the project, our timeline, and next steps, see the detailed post titled “4-1-09 PEP Project Update and Timeline” up on the PEP forum at

Hope to see most of you involved in this project, in one way or another!

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