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Summary of First Day Survey Results

97 completed surveys out of 241 participants (40% response rate)

Motivation and Expectations

Participants indicated that they attended the conference to build their skills (38%), to learn about dialogue methods and tools (38%), to help strengthen and unite our field (26%), and to meet their colleagues in the field (25%).

Other reasons mentioned by 8% or fewer were to improve their job prospects, to discern similarities and differences between models, to make culture more essential to understanding dialogue, to improve personal relationships, to stay in touch with others throughout the field, and to share resources.

When asked what their primary expectations were for the event, participants stated their hopes to contribute to the conference from their own experience (20%), to network with their colleagues (19%), to obtain and share resources (14%), and to learn about new methods and models (13%).

Other expectations mentioned by 8% or fewer of the participants (in order of frequency mentioned) were: to advance knowledge and understanding in the field, to reenergize my commitment to this work, to participate in dialogues, to learn about evaluation techniques and tools, to broaden my studies and experience, to get new ideas, to initiate collaborative projects and relationships with others in the field, to examine and rethink my own personal viewpoints, to learn about ?what?s next? in the field, to hone my skills, to learn about the U.S. dialogue and deliberation community, to share concerns about the field, to discuss a stronger democracy, to explore new ways to engage, and to have fun!

Participants were asked whether there were any topics or activities not listed on the conference schedule that they would have liked to see. Only 16 comments were offered, half of which suggested that more youth-oriented sessions should be offered. Two comments stated that more K-12 and college-based sessions should be offered.

Other comments stated that more sessions should be offered that focused on dance and theatre, the use of dialogue in business, non-verbal dialogue techniques, additional open forums, dialogue and deliberation as tools for social justice, and identifying and recruiting elected officials for participation in dialogue and deliberation programs.

A space was provided for additional comments. Comments ranged from questions such as ?How does the D&D field see itself in relation to efforts such as the critical thinking movement in education that emphasize dialogue between teachers & students?? to suggestions such as ?Ensure that facilitators model good practices.? And from compliments such as ?Well planned conference! The handbook is awesome!? to critiques such as ?Some of the workshops need longer time slots.?

Additional comments were:

  • Have a better balance between teaching and doing.
  • We should be less process oriented, and more focused on value/sustainability.
  • Assumptions about a field are an asset and a problem.
  • Get the big names here (Yankelovic, etc.).
  • Need more outcomes and convening workshops.
  • Have places outside the conference to ?clear our heads.?
  • Vary food for vegetarians.
  • Gauge pros & cons for next conference.

Experience/Professional Identification Data

Respondents acknowledged having direct experience with the following models of dialogue and deliberation:

  • Study Circles (27%)
  • World Caf? (14%)
  • National Issues Forum (13%)
  • Public Conversations Project (11%)
  • Bohm Dialogue (9%)
  • Appreciative Inquiry (8%)
  • Future Search (6%)
  • Intergroup Dialogue (5%)
  • Open Space (5%)
  • NonViolent Communication (4%)

    Additional models mentioned by three or fewer respondents were: Black/Jewish Dialogue, Jewish/Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, Bill Isaacs? Model, Story Circles, Wisdom Circles, Critical Response, Deep Listening, the International Communication Association model, Consensus Building, Mobius model, National Coalition for Community & Justice, Public Dialogue Consortium model, Restorative Justice model, Search for Common Ground, Track II Diplomacy, and Transformative Mediation.

When asked what roles they played with those models, 82% said that they had facilitated those models, 68% had participated in programs utilizing the models, 49% had organized events utilizing the models, and 49% had trained facilitators for the models. 32% had written discussion guides or other materials for the models, 26% had served as MC or moderator of programs utilizing the models, 26% had observed the models, and 25% had served as resource persons or panelists regarding the models.

Respondents had addressed the following issues through dialogue and deliberation:

  • Civic engagement/participation (48%)
  • Race relations (47%)
  • Diversity/immigration (42%)
  • Interreligious issues (29%)
  • Youth issues (29%)
  • Local public policy (27%)
  • Education reform/achievement gap (26%)
  • International issues (26%)
  • Violence (23%)
  • National public policy (20%)
  • Police/community relations (14%)
  • Abortion (6%)
  • Sexual orientation (6%)
  • Environmental issues (5%)
  • Family conflicts (4%)

    Additional topics mentioned 3 times or fewer were: Business/Economic Development, Affirmative Action, Healthcare Crisis, War/Military Action, Workplace Issues, AIDS, Arts, Pedagogy, Rights of Privacy, and Sexism.

The applications or purposes of these dialogue and deliberation programs were:

  • Community awareness/education (55%)
  • To improve intergroup relations (55%)
  • To foster civic engagement on the issue (53%)
  • To address a local issue (47%)
  • To improve group interaction/teamwork (39%)
  • Community organizing (35%)
  • To foster innovation (31%)
  • To influence policymakers (28%)
  • Violence prevention (23%)
  • Research (14%)
  • To influence the media (1%)

Affiliations and Collaborations

Participants were asked to list any and all D&D-related associations or networks with whom they were currently affiliated. Responses were:

  • The Association for Conflict Resolution (including SPIDR) (13%)
  • The Dialogue to Action Initiative?s Dialogue Leaders listserv (11%)
  • The Study Circles Resource Center (7%)
  • The National Association for Community Mediation (5%)
  • Tom Atlee?s Listserv (5%)
  • The Animating Democracy Initiative (4%)
  • The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (4%)
  • The International Association for Public Participation (3%)
  • The International Association of Facilitators (3%)
  • The Public Conversations Project (3%)

    2% of our respondents also mentioned the following: Libby and Len Traubman?s listserv, AmericaSpeaks, the National Issues Forum, the International Communication Association, and the Open Space community. Various conflict resolution organizations, nonprofit organizations, citizen engagement organizations and education-based affiliations were also mentioned.

Finally, conference participants were asked to list any collaborative projects they or their organizations were currently working on with dialogue/deliberation colleagues outside of their own organizations, and to list their partners in the projects. 31 collaborative projects were listed, plus several other yet unnamed or untitled projects:

  • ASPIRE (CA Center for Regional Leadership, Policy Link)
  • Best Schools Initiative-NH (Study Circles, Antioch Institute, NIF)
  • Campus Race Reconciliation Dialogues (American Univ., Princeton Univ., U of So. Maine)
  • Citizens Governance Porgramme (The Commonwealth Foundation ? U.K.)
  • Coalition for Effective Juvenile Reform (Metro Crime Commission, Orleans Parrish Juv. Ct.)
  • Community Dialogues (Colorado State University)
  • Community Empowerment & Involvement Project (IMPACT, City of Silver Spring, MD)
  • Community Human Relations Resource Calendar (Human Relations Commission, NAACP, UVA)
  • Dayton Race Relations Dialogues (Dayton Mediation Center, Hope in the Cities, others)
  • EQUIP (Virginia Tech, Montgomery City Public Schools)
  • From Tragedy to Transformation Post 9/11 (City of L.A., Omar Ibn Al Khattab Fndtn, Days of Dialogue)
  • Hair Parties (Animating Democracy Initiative)
  • Hampton Roads Community Solutions (UVA, VA Conflict Res. Assn, NAFCM)
  • Heritage Panels (Study Circles, NCCJ, local universities and students)
  • Intercultural Dialogues (NCCJ, Carpetbag Theatre, Highlander)
  • Iowa Consensus Project (Univ. of Iowa, NIF, others)
  • It?s Time (Foundation for Global Communication)
  • Land Bridge Project (Children?s Theatre Co., City of Montvideo, MN, local farmers, others)
  • Listening to the City (America Speaks, Tri-State Port Authority, NY/NJ Devel Corp.)
  • Living on the Edge (NOAA, Costal States Organization)
  • Municipal Issues Forums (Albany Law School, Study Circles)
  • National Issues Convention (McNeil-Lehrer Productions, University of Texas, & others)
  • Personal Freedom Forum Post 9/11 (So. Maryland Region Human Rel. Comm., Study Circles)
  • Project SYO (Providence College, Liberty Museum, Philadelphia Enquirer, local High Schools)
  • Public Conversations Project (PICAR, Harvard Univ., Israeli & Palestinian journalists)
  • The Common Ground Partnerships (ACK & Others)
  • The Kind of Canada We Want (collaborative partners not listed)
  • Transylvania Youth Speak (Study Circles, City of Transylvania, area schools)
  • Wisconsin Energy Forum (EPA, Environmental Council of States, others)
  • Women Speaks Tours (partners not listed)
  • Wythe Horizons (County of Wytheville, Kettering NIF, others)

Additional Evaluation Information:

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Last Updated:? June 17, 2003.