e. d&d community news


National Issues Forums Public Voice 2006 Program Now Available Online

The National Issues Forums (NIF) website (www.nifi.org) 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.

Added by Amy Lang on July 29, 2006??-??Link to this entry

SFU Centre for Dialogue Wins Award

Congratulations are in order: Simon Fraser University's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (in Vancouver, BC) was honoured with the Innovation award and the Corporate Sponsor of the Year award at the 2006 Meeting Professionals International (MPI-BC Chapter) awards dinner. Among its many good works, the Wosk Centre hosted the pioneering British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform in 2004. For information about available services at SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, please see: www.sfu.ca/dialogue/services.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on July 15, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Summer Conflict Resolution Camps Bridge National Conflicts

We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman (www.traubman.igc.org) about the growing movement to bring together youth from nations in conflict to learn about each other and dialogue. "Face To Face ~ Faith to Faith" is a summer program that engages 55 Muslim, Christian and Jewish teenagers from South Africa, Israel, Northern Ireland and the United States. It is unique among summer camps and peace programs, teaching communication skills, addressing questions of identity and peace, and supporting leadership training in a multifaith environment. Face-to-Face draws teenagers who are religiously affiliated in their native countries to talk about the consequences of religious conflicts, and also treats issues of class, gender, race and cultural politics in daily workshops and in more informal settings. Read about it at http://s-c-g.org/facetoface/. If you are interested in participating at an upcoming peace camp this September, go to http://traubman.igc.org/camp2006.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on July 14, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Open House Coming Up June 27 in Boston

Public Conversations Project is inviting Boston-area NCDD colleagues to join them in welcoming Cherry Muse, the Public Conversations Project's new executive director, at an Open House on Tuesday, June 27th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. Refreshments will be served. If you plan to attend please RSVP to Christie Wren at 617-923-1216 ext 23 or email . The gathering will be held at the Family Institute of Cambridge, 51 Kondazian Street, Watertown MA (across the street from the Public Conversations Project). For directions, visit:
www.publicconversations.org/pcp/index.asp?page_id=170&catid=65.

Added by Amy Lang on June 23, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Deliberative Democracy Consortium Seeking New Executive Director

The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) - Sandy sits on their Executive Committee - is beginning a search for a new Executive Director. This is a one-year full-time position (July 2006 - July 2007), and the new Director will spend much of their time grantwriting in order to ensure that the Consortium - and the position - exists and thrives after the year is up. Applicants need not live in the Washington DC area, but are expected to spend at least one week a month in DC. You can learn more about the Consortium at www.deliberative-democracy.net . Click below for the job description and application instructions.

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Added by Amy Lang on June 23, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Has a New Executive Director

The Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) has hired Cherry Muse as its new executive director. Cherry brings impressive experience in all aspects of non-profit leadership as well as understanding of and commitment to PCP's mission. Laura Chasin, PCP's co-founder and executive director of 17 years, is shifting into the role of chair of PCP╣s board of directors. To read more about this transition, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on June 13, 2006??-??Link to this entry

IAP2 Seeks Editorial Board and Advisory Panel Members

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is re-launching its online journal later this year, and they just put a call out for volunteers interested in serving on the hands-on Editorial Board and the Advisory Board for the journal. Click below for the full announcement.

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Added by Sandy on June 08, 2006??-??Link to this entry

American Library Association Focusing on Civic Engagement

The American Library Association (ALA) has recently developed a focus on civic engagement. Invigorated by questions like "What has gone wrong with our democracy, and what should we do about it?" and "what is the public's role in democracy?" the ALA Fostering Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group (MIG) will sponsor a Forum on Democracy's Challenge, Saturday, June 24, 2006, 1:30-3:30, at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This forum is particularly important because it is critical to the success of a democracy that citizens learn how to deal with complex issues in company with people of diverse opinions. Anyone attending the conference is welcome to the workskhop. For more information on the Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group, contact the MIG Co-Conveners: Nancy Kranich, ; Taylor Willingham, or Mary Ghikas, .

Added by Amy Lang on May 14, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Demos and NVRI Cement Collaboration

Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action (www.demos.org) and the National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI) (www.nvri.org) have just signed a formal collaboration agreement. NVRI and Demos have partnered on many important activities in recent years?—spotlighting problems with provisional balloting before the 2004 election, launching the Buck Buckley coalition to support campaign spending limits, working together to seek compliance with voter registration laws, and others. The new collaboration will allow them to combine staff resources and program strategies to maximize the effect of the campaigns they currently share, bring these strengths to bear in all of our current election-related work, and launch new joint initiatives to improve American democracy. In particular, the Demos / NVRI collaboration will expand efforts to restore voting rights to citizens with felony convictions, achieve full and proper implementation of the National Voter Registration Act, combat burdensome voter identification requirements and archaic barriers to voting, and promote Election Day registration. For more information, visit Demos' website.

Added by Amy Lang on May 14, 2006??-??Link to this entry

UALR Launches Center for Public Conflict Solutions

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) has announced the creation of the Center for Public Conflict Solutions. As the first university center of its type in Arkansas, it will support inclusive and consensus-based public conflict resolution processes. The university has recently launched a graduate certificate in Conflict Mediation in cooperation with the William H. Bowen School of Law. The Center will be part of the Institute of Government and will operate in collaboration with the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. It will coordinate UALR?’s interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Conflict Mediation. Ruth Craw has been named Center Director. For more information about the Center, contact Ruth Craw at .

Added by Amy Lang on April 29, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Denver's Mayor Organizes Citizen Engagement and Civic Action

[via policyconsensus.org]

Public engagement is a priority for Denver?’s Mayor John Hickenlooper. Two years ago his office organized Denver Listens, an outreach campaign through which over 600 residents prioritized services in preparation for the budget process. Last month the Mayor launched Partnership Denver: Neighbors Building Solutions, an effort seeking to connect public discussion with citizen action. The Mayor?’s team decided to use the Oregon Solutions model to engage citizens in actually working toward solutions they first identify through discussion. As with Oregon Solutions, Partnership Denver is founded on the premise that partnership among citizens and government creates better and more lasting solutions than any one sector could achieve by itself. In March and April six community meetings were held throughout Denver. The meetings were centered around the question, ?“How can I work in partnership to make Denver neighborhoods better places to live, work and play??” Over 400 community members attended the meetings along with the Mayor, City Council members, and City staff. Using keypad voting tools, they identified their most important topics and issues. To read about further civic action in Denver, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on April 29, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Harwood and Fast Company to Convene Annual Public Innovators Summit

The Harwood Institute, in collaboration with Fast Company magazine, has just announced an ambitious project - the first Annual Public Innovators Summit. The Summit, set for Aug. 18-20 at the Zermatt Resort & Spa, in Midway, Utah, is an invitation-only event of America?’s best and brightest public innovators. These individuals ?– a collection of nonprofit leaders, major philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, public officials, educators, and faith leaders, will come together to wrestle with some of the most challenging issues facing our society. The format itself will be innovative, with invited guests leading discussions, speaking, and in some cases, driving the agenda itself. To keep up to date with this exciting project, visit www.theharwoodinstitute.org/summit/index.html.

Added by Amy Lang on April 25, 2006??-??Link to this entry

National Issues Forums Celebrates 25 Years With New Discussion Guide on Democracy

National Issues Forums is celebrating 25 years of convening forums to help put people's voices back into politics. As part of their celebrations they have extended an open invitation to become part of the National Issues Forums network and to use their newest issue book on "Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role." This book tackles head-on the obstacles and issues people face in a democracy that appears to have nudged its citizens onto the sidelines. Democracy's Challenge forums encourage citizens to think about what they can do to strengthen the relationship that a democracy demands between the government and its people. The issue book presents three perspectives on the problem, each of which suggests a somewhat different course of action. Right now NIF has a limited time offer for free materials to use for convening a Democracy's Challenge forum. For information on how to order, and how to become part of the National Issues Forums networks, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on April 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

NIF and Kettering Contribute to Debates About Immigration Reform

[From the Kettering Foundation?’s latest ?“Friday Letter?”]

Immigration is THE topic in Washington these days. The good news is that National Issues Forums (NIF) and the Kettering Foundation (KF) are there, too. Forums on an issue titled The New Challenges of American Immigration: What Should We Do? were held all across the country in 2003-2005. KF published a report on the forums last November and convened a roundtable in Washington to talk about it. Copies of the KF report will go to the offices of each of the U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee next week. What will they learn? Click on the link below to find out!

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Added by Amy Lang on April 03, 2006??-??Link to this entry

2006 Southwestern Pennsylvania Nonprofit Summit Convenes Local Leaders

[via AmericaSpeaks' Network News] On March 7, 2006, over 900 people gathered at Pittsburgh?’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center to provide the region?’s nonprofit sector with two essential tools: a strong link to the civic affairs agenda and a roadmap showing new pathways that will better connect Southwestern Pennsylvania nonprofit and civic leaders with each other. Sponsored by the Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania and the Forbes Funds and utilizing AmericaSpeaks?’ innovative 21st Century Town Meeting process, the 2006 Nonprofit Summit participants identified and voted on priorities, collective strategies, alignment with other sectors?’ agendas, and specific actions to take ?– all in the service of advancing the region?’s next renaissance. Calling the conference ?“a confluence of passion and pragmatism,?” Gregg Behr, president of The Forbes Funds and chair of the Summit, was pleased with the outcome. ?“Where else but right here in Southwestern Pennsylvania could the nonprofit community come together to express its collective voice in such a creative and bold way? The results of this historic Town Meeting will be used to frame the direction of the region?’s nonprofit sector for years to come?” he said. For a limited time, you can read about the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review?’s article on the Nonprofit Summit by visiting: http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/regional/s_430975.html

Added by Amy Lang on March 30, 2006??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Hosts Health Care Meetings in Los Angeles and Albuquerque

AmericaSpeaks convened two meetings on national health care policy in March on behalf of the Citizens?’ Health Care Working Group. On Saturday, March 4, we brought together more than 500 participants in Los Angeles for the day-long meeting. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed participants and shared his perspective on health care in America. Throughout the day participants identified the values they associate with health care and weighed in on suggested improvements to our health care system. Topics included preferred models of health care coverage and components of a benefits plan, difficulties in accessing care, methods of financing coverage, and the tradeoffs participants are willing to make. USA Today covered and wrote about the LA meeting. For a limited time you can view the article at www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2006-03-14-health-debate-usat_x.htm. On Monday, March 20, more than 150 residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico met for a very successful three hour meeting on the same topic. The diverse participants included several local decision makers, including State Senator Dede Feldman, four New Mexico State Cabinet Secretaries, representatives from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor?’s offices as well as staff from the offices of Senator Dominici, Senator Bingaman, and Congresswoman Wilson. Once again participants identified shared values and participated in small group discussions on benefits, access, financing, and tradeoffs in health care. The suggestions gathered during these meetings will be used to create recommendations to improve our health care system that will be sent to Congress and President Bush.

AmericaSpeaks is still seeking facilitators for all of the health care meetings (Hartford, CT on April 6; Las Vegas, NV on April 11; San Antonio, TX on April 19; Fargo, ND on April 22; Lexington, KY on April 25; Cincinnati, OH on April 29; Little Rock, AR on April 29; Sioux Falls, SD on May 6). If you?’re interested in serving as a volunteer table facilitator for the Cincinnati meeting on April 29, please sign up online by selecting the Cincinnati registration link at the Working Group?’s community meeting site www.citizenshealthcare.gov/register. Any questions should be directed to Diane Altman Dautoff at or by phone at (206) 320-1169. If you are interested in serving as a facilitator for any of AmericaSpeaks?’ other health care meetings, please contact Mike Ravvin at , or (202) 775-3939 x1007.

Added by Amy Lang on March 26, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Join the OrangeBand Anti-Apathy Campaign

The OrangeBand initative (www.OrangeBand.org), a group dedicated to promoting civil conversations about important issues, is challenging 10,000 people to add their voice to the new online OrangeBand Mosaic. You will also be able to start a profile in the new OrangeBand Online Community. Visit http://orangeband.org/profile/image.php to sign up to participate in the anti-apathy campaign.

Added by Amy Lang on March 13, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Vermont Public Radio Features Documentary on Town Meeting

[From vpr.net via Deliberative-Democracy.net] More than a century ago, lawmakers designated the first Tuesday in March as a day for a town meeting. However, changing times are threatening the health of this democratic institution. On March 1, 2006, Vermont Public Radio presented an hour-long documentary exploring the tradition of Town Meeting Day, its importance to Vermont life, and the challenges to grassroots democracy during changing times. With stories and comments from voters, moderators, clerks, the governor, the secretary of state, the legislature, and the political scientists, the show also includes ideas that are being put forward to strengthen town meetings in the future. To listen to the audio documentary, visit: www.vpr.net/vt_news/commentaries/town.shtml

Added by Amy Lang on March 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

CDC Wraps Up Delibarative Consultation on Pandemic Flu

[From keystone.org via Deliberative-Democracy.net] In one of the most exemplary recent US government efforts to engage the public around an urgent issue, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a series of public consultations on pandemic flu in the last quarter of 2005. According to one of the project's sponsors, "To conduct this public consultation, the sponsors engaged stakeholders from various organizations with an interest in pandemic influenza (the National Stakeholder Group), and individual citizens-at-large from the four principal regions of the United States, including Georgia (South), Massachusetts (North East), Nebraska (Midwest), and Oregon (West)...The purpose of the Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza (PEPPPI) was to inform decision-makers about the public's priorities for the use of pandemic influenza vaccine during a period of anticipated shortage. This information is intended to lead to a sounder, more supportable decision and to demonstrate that citizens can be productively engaged in informing vaccine related policy decisions thereby leading to more public engagement in the future." According to Patty Dineen of the National Issues Forums Institute, "This is the best public engagement project and report that I have seen. I really think that what you've done is groundbreaking and should be required reading for all of us who are involved in - or care about?—public engagement." To view a report of the consultation, please visit the Study Circles Resource Center, which carries an excellent article and links: www.studycircles.org/en/Article.393.aspx. The official PEPPI Report is available for viewing on The Keystone Center?’s website at www.keystone.org/spp/health-pandemic.html. The section of the Department of Health and Human Services?’ pandemic flu plan mentioning the work of PEPPPI can be found at www.hhs.gov/pandemicflu/plan/appendixd.html/.

Added by Amy Lang on March 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Mini C2D2 Event Coming Up In Toronto

The organizers of the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) are holding an event March 2 in Toronto at Metro Hall from 3PM to 8:30PM. The format is set up so you can attend all or part, depending on your schedule. For more information, contact: Melissa Abramowitz, , Charlotte Young, or Miriam Wyman, . To see the agenda for this mini conference, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on February 27, 2006??-??Link to this entry

IAP2 Calls for Conference Session Proposals

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has just sent out the call for session proposals for its 2006 Conference, to be held this November in Montreal, Quebec. The IAP2 welcomes a variety of approaches to conference sessions, but place particular emphasis on sessions that include PARTICIPATION.

In particular, IAP2 is looking for conference session proposals that reflect the
following approaches:
* Can you showcase a new methodology or technique for attendees to learn or practice?
* Can you share a case study or project that brings hands-on experience, including ways to involve marginalized or hard to reach communities, and/or embraces diversity or differences?
* Do you have a good organizational example or project?
* Have you been part of a creative or new experiment - that worked well or maybe not so well?
* Can you provide a look at the roles and perspectives of practitioners, decision-makers, active citizens, and elected officials?
* How does grassroots activism and protest affect the process or decision?
* How do the media impact public involvement?
* What is our role in making the world a better, more participatory place?
* What is the role of advocacy in the practice?
* How can we overcome barriers to good decision making?
* How can we use creativity, graphic facilitation, visual participation or the arts to showcase projects or experiences, or involve people?

To read the Call for Session Proposals, find information on submission details and timelines, and to download the proposal form, visit www.iap2.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=110

Submit your application by Friday, March 31, 2006 via email, fax, postal service, or the web. Email: . Include subject line "IAP2 - 2006 Conference Session Proposal". Fax: 1-303-458-0002. Mail: IAP2 - 2006 Conference Session Proposals; 11166 Huron Street, Suite 27;
Denver, Colorado 80234; USA.


Added by Amy Lang on February 16, 2006??-??Link to this entry

New Manager's Guide to Public Deliberation Released by IBM

Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres of AmericaSpeaks just completed an exciting report for IBM called "Public Deliberation: A Manager?’s Guide to Citizen Engagement.?” The report documents a spectrum of tools and techniques developed largely in the nonprofit world in recent years to increase citizens?’ involvement in their communities and government. It also highlights ways in which public managers can develop an active approach to increasing citizens?’ involvement in government at all levels. This report will be useful and informative to managers across the nation seeking new, innovative ways to engage citizens. Click here to download the report for free.

Added by Sandy on February 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Dialogue Facilitators and Diversity Trainers Sought for Interviews

NCDD member Fleurette King is interested in learning about the journeys of dialogue facilitators and diversity trainers/educators. She's looking to interview people with a preliminary survey, in order to have a better idea of how many people she can recruit. If you are a dialogue facilitator or a diversity educator/trainer and would like more information on participating, please send an e-mail to Fleurette at .

Added by Amy Lang on February 04, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Harwood Leading a National Conversation On 'The State of Our Union'

This week, The Harwood Institute is asking everyone interested in forging an alternate path for politics and public life to join Rich Harwood for a national conversation on "The State of Our Union." Rich wrote a series of articles this week for his blog, Redeeming Hope, that are designed to address some of the fundamental questions we face as a society of people who have retreated from the public square. The conversation leads up to the president's annual State of the Union Address, which is scheduled for next Tuesday, Jan. 31. Rich's writings are based on his 20 years of travel across the country, listening to the authentic voices of ordinary Americans. What he has found is that people have retreated from politics and public life because leaders no longer reflect the reality of our daily lives in their words and actions. In some cases, they even purposefully distort that reality for political gain. The result is that people feel enraged but also powerless to do anything about it, which leads to an overwhelming feeling of being trapped. The authentic voices of Americans tell us a far different story from what we hear from the media, political pundits, many academics, and political leaders, all of whom believe we have simply become a more divided society. Unfortunately, the political strategies pursued under this false analysis force people to retreat farther and farther into their close-knit circles of family and friends. Blog entries for this week include:

* On Monday, Rich wrote about the notion of "truth" and what it means to people.
* On Tuesday, he discussed the role our political leaders play in shaping the State of Our Union.
* Wednesday's blog concerns the need for all of us to step forward and begin to see one another.
* On Thursday Rich wrote about the pursuit of "happiness" and where that is leading us as a society.

To engage in a conversation about the State of Our Union, visit Rich's blog at www.theharwoodinstitute.org/rcharwood/weblog/

Added by Amy Lang on January 27, 2006??-??Link to this entry

News from Hope in the Cities

Don Cowles and Rob Corcoran have been appointed to serve as joint leaders of Initiatives of Change USA, the parent body of Hope in the Cities. As National Director Rob will have primary responsibility for national program development, public outreach and communications. Don, as Executive Director, will oversee the legal, financial and human resource aspects of the organization. The new leadership arrangement provides an opportunity for Hope in the Cities to contribute even more actively to the development of a vibrant national network. Initiatives of Change connects change in individual lives with social change and draws on the best of all faith traditions to enable communities to heal historic wounds and move towards reconciliation. Don and Rob will continue to be based in Richmond. However, in the coming months you will receive communications from them from the IofC Washington office as well as from Richmond. Breakthroughs, the bi-monthly newsletter will carry news of Hope in the Cities and all of IofC?’s local, national and international activities. You can continue to find news of their activities on www.hopeinthecities.org as well as www.us.iofc.org

Added by Amy Lang on January 17, 2006??-??Link to this entry

IAP2 Calls for Authors

IAP2 is accepting article submissions for Participation Quarterly, its magazine devoted to issues in the field. Upcoming topics are May 2006: Deliberative Dialogue (Deadline: March 1, 2006) and August 2006: Public Participation for Environmental Projects (Deadline: June 1, 2006). Although each issue of PQ tries to reflect the chosen theme, other topics will always be considered. Please email your article submission to the IAP2 office, at .

Added by Amy Lang on January 16, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Profiled in O, the Oprah Magazine

Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) was recently featured in the November 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine in the article Us & Them (p.264). PCP Executive Director Laura Chasin speaks candidly with writer Aimee Lee Ball about the fiery national abortion debate which gave birth to new dialogue. "What PCP has developed, Chasin says, is most useful in bridging deeply polarized issues." Read on at: www.oprah.com/omagazine/200511/omag_200511_understanding.jhtml

Added by Amy Lang on January 02, 2006??-??Link to this entry

News and Resources on Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting, or the process by which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the allocation of public resources, is growing into a world-wide movement. PB programs are implemented at the behest of governments, citizens, NGOs, and civil society, organizations to give citizens a direct role in deciding how and where public resources should be spent. Most citizens who participate in PB are low-income and have low levels of formal education. Historically, these groups have been excluded from budget decisions, but PB programs enable them to make choices that affect how their government acts. Participatory Budgeting was initially implemented in twelve Brazilian cities in 1989/1990. By 2005 it had spread to well over 300 municipalities in more than 40 countries, including China, Dominican Republic (see article below), Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, and Uruguay. To share information and resources on participatory budgeting projects around the world, the International Bugeting Project (www.internationalbudget.org) has put together a website full of resources on participatory budgeting and a monthly newsletter. This month's newsletter includes stories about new trends in budgeting, the impact of participatory budgeting on health outcomes and the relation of budgeting to the Paris riots, among other stories. To read this newsletter (and past issues), visit www.internationalbudget.org/resources/newsletter30.htm

Added by Amy Lang on December 29, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News from the Arab-American-European Dialogue

The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (www.sustaineddialogue.org) recently held the sixth meeting of its Arab-American-European Dialogue since early 2004. This Dialogue was conceived and planned by IISD Vice President Randa Slim as an exchange with the democratic reformers of the Muslim Arab heartland ?— Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and now Iraq. It reflects the judgment that there will be no democracy in the Middle East unless moderate Islamists play a significant role, and unless the West needs to develop a relationship with them. ?“This was one of our toughest meetings,?” reports Hal Saunders, IISD President and the Kettering Foundation?’s Director of International Affairs. ?“We focused on the issues surrounding occupation, resistance and terrorism. The two leading cases were Iraq and Palestine. All agreed that the suicide attacks in New York, Washington, Madrid, London and Jordan are ?‘crimes against Islam.?’ But our Arab colleagues?’ experience of occupation has left them convinced not only that resistance is legitimate but also that it can be effective. They believe, for instance, that the U.S. failure in recent years to make a significant effort to end Israel?’s occupation of Palestinian territories has left them no recourse.?” After the meeting, European participants from Italy and the UK arranged meetings with public and governmental groups with several of the Arab dialogue participants. As a British colleague has written, Hal reports, ?“If we are to avoid a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West or within Islam in the West, it is with the political Islamists that the West must do business.?”

Added by Amy Lang on December 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Opportunity to Particpate in the Citizens Health Care Working Group

The Citizens' Health Care Working Group recently announced the start of a
nationwide discussion on health care to find solutions that will lead to health care that works for all Americans. This exciting endeavor is a direct result of the Health Care that Works for All Americans law (Public Law 108-173, section 1014) proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden and passed by the U.S. Congress. The law mandates the creation of the Working Group and tasks it with organizing a national public debate on ways to improve the health care system so every American has the ability to obtain quality and affordable health care coverage. The feedback generated from this process will be used to develop a citizens' road map of recommendations which the President is required to respond to and upon which Congress will hold hearings.

The Working Group invites all organizations to participate in this incredible citizen engagement effort by helping to extend its reach to as many Americans as possible. Potential ways to help include hosting community meetings, driving traffic to the website; and highlighting this opportunity in your newsletters and networks. If your organization is interested in helping to spread the word about this unprecedented effort, and especially if you are interested in hosting a community meeting, the Working Group wants to hear from you! Please contact Jessica Federer at 301-443-1521 or

AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org) will be partnering with the Working Group to engage thousands of Americans through small and large scale face-to-face meetings, self-initiated community meetings, and web-casts. For more information on this exciting initiative and to download the recently released Health Report to the American People, which provides a
basic set of information to help start a national discussion on health care, visit the Health Care That Works for All Americans website: www.citizenshealthcare.gov


Added by Amy Lang on November 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

African Coalition for D&D Launched at C2D2

Tokunbo Awoshakin, NCDD member, former Kettering Foundation Fellow and founder and convenor of the new African Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (www.africancdd.org), has just formally announced the birth of ACDD. Here is Tokunbo's report:

On October 30, 2005, at the end of the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) in Ottawa, Canada, the African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (ACDD) was formed. The formation of this coalition was inspired by participation in an open space forum, convened to explore the possibility of convening dialogue and deliberation practitioners in a summit in Africa while focus on uniting and growing this community of practice. African participants were from Rwanda, Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Other participants were from Canada and USA. The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation was subsequently formed.

The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation brings together people and groups who actively practice, promote and study inclusive conversations. Collectively, we seek to nurture justice, innovation and democracy throughout society through the widespread use of transformational communication methods such as dialogue and deliberation. Convinced that dialogue and deliberation are powerful group processes that help people bridge gaps, make better decisions, take collective non-violent action, resolve conflict and become more active citizens, ACDD will provide resources, networking opportunities and programs for a growing African community of practice dedicated to solving group and societal problems through honest talk, quality thinking and collaborative actions.

Energized by a growing network of African D&D practitioners, the important work of National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation and the success of convening a dialogue and deliberation summit in Africa might provide an opportunity for dialogue and deliberation practitioners to meet together with one another and with decision makers, policy developers, and researchers from the public, voluntary and private sectors including practitioners and researchers from Western countries to learn and share information and skills as well as develop capacity for this practice and contribute to the growth of D&D work in Africa. Opportunities to submit concerns and information on how to complete a "needs assessment" will soon be circulated among D&D networks and also made available online.

To continue this initiative, a database of dialogue and deliberation Practitioners living and/or working in Africa, is now being compiled. If you or your organization is based in an African country or works at least in part in Africa, please send your contact info to

Added by Amy Lang on November 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Report on the First Annual American Democracy Conference

Margaret Holt, Georgia-based D&D practitioner, covered last week's First Annual American Democracy Conference in Atlanta for the Kettering Foundation's Friday Letter. Click on the link below to read the full report.

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Added by Amy Lang on November 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Update from the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue

The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (www.sustaineddialogue.org) is directed by NCDD Board member Hal Saunders. Recently we got a report from Randa Slim, IISD vice president, on two exciting IISD initiatives in the Middle East. Click on the link below to read about the Arab-American-European Dialogue and the Arab Democracy Barometer Project, both sponsored by IISD.

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Added by Amy Lang on November 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News from the Hope Unraveled Book Tour

Many Happenings readers know of the success of Rich Harwood's recent book, Hope Unraveled. The book tour continues on to Minnesota this month from Nov. 8-10 to continue sharing the message of Hope Unraveled and how citizens can step forward to reverse the people?’s retreat and forge an alternate path for politics and public life. Check out an account of the book tour on Rich's blog at www.theharwoodinstitute.org/rcharwood/weblog. Here are some ways people are using Hope Unraveled:
* In Portland, the Oregon Community Foundation convened a forum of community leaders and foundation executives for an afternoon session to hear Rich speak about what his book says about the context of today?’s politics and public life, and what that means for the work they?’re doing. Rich has already met on the same topic with individuals from the Peninsula Community Foundation in San Mateo, California; the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland; and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Later on this year, he?’ll be speaking with funders in Atlanta, Flint, Newark, and Minneapolis.
* Wisconsin Public Television recently purchased copies of Hope Unraveled to give as gifts to people who pledged $150 or more during their fundraising drive. Public broadcasting stations across the country are seeing the value of this tool as a way to re-engage citizens. For example, Minnesota Public Television is hosting Rich next week for a community forum around the book.
* The Maryland Nonprofits Association is providing copies of the book to attendees of their 2006 state legislative preview session. Rich will also be the keynote speaker at the session, discussing how his findings impact the nonprofit sector.

Added by Amy Lang on November 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

IAP2 Launches Online Knowledge Network

The Public Participation (P2) Knowledge Network at www.iap2.civicore.com, has been launched by the International Association for Public Participation in partnership with Portland State University's Center for Public Participation. The P2 Knowledge Network is an interactive resource for academics and practitioners alike who are interested in sharing knowledge and research on public participation. The Network contains a database of over 300 books, articles and websites drawn from IAP2's original bibliographies, which were refined and updated in 2005. Records include papers, abstracts, web links, and other information, all in a searchable and exportable format. Visitors are encouraged to recommend and add new material to the database. The Knowledge Network also contains an Online Discussion forum. The Forum is a place to engage in discussion on your choice of topic, for example: opinions on current papers, new research initiatives, teaching materials, debating the "big questions", etc. The P2 Knowledge Network was created in response to requests from IAP2's members for a way to share new ideas about public participation, enhance the research field and improve the practice. It is free and accessible to all.

Added by Amy Lang on November 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Watch PBS Deliberation Week On Thursday Nov. 10

PBS will broadcast nationally on Thursday November 10 at 9:00 pm EST (check local listings) By the People: PBS Deliberation Week. By the People is a special project organized by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to bring the views of informed, "ordinary" citizens to a national discussion on the important issues of the day. The broadcast highlights citizen deliberations organized by By the People, sixteen PBS affiliates and local partners during Deliberation Week, October 22-29, 2005. These events focused on healthcare or education, two issues prominent on the national agenda.

As part of Deliberation Week, the Stanford Center for Deliberative Democracy (cdd.stanford.edu) conducted an online Deliberative Poll on health care and education. For five weeks, participants engaged in weekly small group dialogues with trained moderators, discussed balanced briefing materials and posed questions to experts representing different points of view. The participants?’ views changed significantly about policy options, about public officials and about each other. The project was conducted online with a nationally representative sample that discussed the issues using voice rather than text (employing microphones for interaction) and software designed to facilitate group discussion. Online Deliberative Polls offer lower costs than face-to-face deliberation when bringing together representative sample groups of large or national populations. CitizenSovereignty.org is a new, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to educate people about the importance of participating in political life, through efforts such as the use of Deliberative Polls in public policy development. For more information about CitizenSovereignty, contact Bill Corbett at .

Added by Amy Lang on November 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Search For Common Ground Partnership Recognized at Clinton Global Initiative

Last month in New York City, 40 heads of state and almost 1,000 religious, business and nonprofit leaders came together at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for three days of in-depth discussions in an effort to address and seek solutions for the world's critical issues: extreme poverty, climate change, problems in governance, and religion as a source of conflict. The talks concluded with the announcement of "commitments" totaling $1.25 billion in pledges for specific initiatives that address these global problems. Clinton singled out the commitment from Nestle to fund Search for Common Ground's TV drama series in Nigeria, and invited Search For Common Ground (SFCG) President John Marks and Klaus Wachsmuth, Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria PLC, to the stage to recognize this model of corporate and NGO partnership for effecting positive social change. SFCG is currently producing two TV series in Nigeria. Their aim is to promote inter-ethnic tolerance and respect, and to encourage non-violent resolution of conflict. The Station is a 26-part drama about the adventures of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of Nigerian TV reporters - Yorubas, Hausas, Ibos, and others - working together as a news team to cover Nigeria's most pressing problems, such as AIDS and corruption, through the prism of finding common ground. The series focuses on socially relevant themes through entertaining soap opera drama that will appeal to large audiences. The initial production is a 20-part reality series called The Academy, which is intended to build an audience for The Station. The Academy is centered on a nationwide talent search leading to the final selection of the cast for The Station. Over 50,000 applicants answered the open casting call. Both series will be aired on Nigerian national TV, with the direct support of President Obasanjo. To read more about SFCG and the Clinton Global Initiative, visit www.sfcg.org.

Added by Amy Lang on October 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Ten Days To C2D2!

With ten days to go until the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation in Ottawa, organizers have sent out answers to their top three most frequently asked questions. First, people are asking,"Can I still register for a pre-Conference training session?". The answer is yes ?– and up to October 26, as long as space permits. The website has been adjusted to reflect the two sessions that will be on offer, at extremely low prices - one on Best Practices in Public Consultation and the other on Intermodal Engagement: How to Marry Online and Traditional Consultation and Dialogue. A second FAQ is "How much longer will registration for the Conference remain open?" The Conference registration is already high?…and people can register right up to opening on the evening of October 27. A full description of the Conference program ?– including over 60 interactive breakout sessions, 6 community conversations, 4 plenaries and 2 deliberative dialogues ?– and online registration and payment, are available at www.c2d2.ca. One final question being asked is "Will there be an opportunity to meet and network with other participants and presenters?" The answer is that the Conference has been designed with this purpose in mind. In fact, World CafÚ, the opening session on the evening of October 27, will set the stage for ongoing opportunities to connect ?– that is what C2D2 is all about! In addition, there are no speakers or learning sessions during mealtimes and breaks to ensure that participants are free to follow up on ideas with other participants and presenters. Plans are already underway for post-Conference communication, as well. To find out more about pre-conference training, the program for the conference or answers to your other FAQs, visit the Conference website at www.c2d2.ca.

Added by Amy Lang on October 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Presentations on Technology and Facilitation Sought for IAF Conference

The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Conference (www.iaf-world.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3365), which will be held in Baltimore on June 15 ?– 17, 2006, is currently recruiting presenters who use technology in their facilitation practice. They hope to set up break-outs for presentations using collaborative technology, web conferencing, teleconferencing, etc. Visit the conference website for more information, to submit a proposal for this part of the conference or to register. Proposals are due October 21, 2005. If you have any questions about this panel, contact organizer J. R. Holt at JRH Associates, Inc.; P O Box 11244, Alexandria, VA 22312-0244; Telephone 703.931.0930; Fax: 703.354.8558; Cell: 703.470.9800 or Email: [email protected].

Added by Amy Lang on October 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation Focuses on "Shared Governance"

Federal officials working for environmental, land-management, and wildlife agencies gathered in August with state, local, and tribal officials; nonprofit conservation organizations; and private landowners and businesses for the fourth-ever White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. The first such conference was convened by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 and set a 40-year course for conservation in the United States. This year?’s theme, ?“Strengthening shared governance and citizen stewardship,?” sought to celebrate what Interior Secretary Gail Norton called a new chapter built on "communication, consultation, and cooperation, in the name of conservation." The three-day conference was organized by the Council on Environmental Quality, and co-hosted by the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. A number of facilitators, including PolicyConsensus Director Chris Carlson and NPCC Director Greg Wolf, led discussions around nine key topic areas such as expanding the roles of states, tribes, and local governments in cooperative conservation. In her opening remarks, Interior Secretary Norton described an initiative to develop cooperative conservation legislation to submit to Congress, though few details were offered about what the legislation would contain. Two days later, at the concluding plenary session ?– after Norton and other cabinet members had been summoned to Washington, D.C., to coordinate the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina ?– federal officials issued an invitation to conference participants to provide input on the proposed legislation. For updates and more information on the conference, visit PolicyConsensus.org.

Added by Amy Lang on October 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

PCI and NPCC Launching a "Public Solutions System"

For the past several years, the Policy Consensus Initiative (PCI) and the National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC) have been developing an approach to collaborative governance for states that can be adapted and applied to complex policy issues in which multiple sectors have a stake in the outcomes, and no single entity can produce a solution on its own. The model is based on lessons from the past 30 years about what makes collaborative processes legitimate and effective. This ?“Public Solutions System?” is not intended to replace existing, traditional systems of state decision making. Rather, it serves as an option for state leaders to use on a more routine basis when difficult public issues ?– issues that cannot be resolved by government alone ?– need to be approached collaboratively. A fundamental component of the Public Solutions System is the new role it offers leaders ?– that of convener. Unlike a policymaker, the role of convener involves bringing together all the key sectors ?– public, private and civic ?– to develop effective, lasting solutions to public problems that go beyond what any sector could achieve on its own. Rather than deciding for people, leaders in the convener role make decisions with people, giving all impacted stakeholders a key role in problem solving and strategy implementation. The Public Solutions System involves a set of core principles that ensure democratic practices are followed; an ?“Operating System?” that ensures best practices are employed; and a network of leaders as conveners, along with sponsors, practitioners, and neutral forums to carry out the collaborative processes. More information about the Public Solutions System should be available on PCI's updated website, which will be launched in the coming month (www.PolicyConsensus.org).

Added by Amy Lang on October 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Fetzer Institute Sponsoring Conference on Democracy

The Fetzer Institute (www.fetzer.org) will be sponsoring the Second Conference on Democracy in America, this December 1-4, 2005 in Colorado. The conference is co-sponsored by the Christian Coalition of America, Moveon.org and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Facilitators include Mark Gerzon, President, Mediators Foundation (Chief Facilitator, Bi-Partisan Congressional Retreats) and William Ury, Director, Global Negotiation Project, Harvard Law School (co-author, "Getting to Yes"). Three day facilitated dialogue among 20-24 leaders of national political/civil associations, 1/3 generally perceived left, 1/3 generally perceived right, 1/3 generally perceived unaligned. The purpose is to build bridges of trust, respect and communication among leaders of national political and civil associations from across the political spectrum by engaging in a facilitated dialogue about a) the values that unite us as Americans, b) how to expand upon the recent successful left-right-center cooperation in the area of civil liberties, privacy, and constitutional protections, and c) other areas of potential left-right-center cooperation. For more information on this initiative, visit www.democracycampaign.org

Added by Amy Lang on September 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

C2D2 Invites Participants for Online Forum About the United Nations

The First Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) invites you to participate as an Observer or a Participant in a large-scale, international e-forum regarding the United Nations. This event will involve between 300 - 500 participants from around the world and will be hosted by Politalk in partnership with C2D2, the Canadian Commision for UNESCO, and the US Atlantic Council. There is no charge. C2D2 registrants can participate or observe the online e-forum "Building a Safer World: the UN in the 21st Century" will take place (in English) between October 12 and 25. C2D2 will hold a follow-up session during C2D2. For more information on this event, contact . And for more information on C2D2 or to register, visit www.c2d2.ca.

Added by Amy Lang on September 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Kettering Foundation to Lead US Delegation to US-China Sustained Dialogue Event

David Mathews, President of the Kettering Foundation, will lead the U.S. Delegation to another session in the U.S.-China Sustained Dialogue next week in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Dialogue begins with opening remarks Tuesday morning, followed by panel sessions on Sino-American views of each other, discussions on economic relations between the two countries, and closes with a Task Force meeting Thursday. In addition to David, the U.S. Delegation includes Mary Mathews, the Foundation's First Lady; Robert McNamara, former President of the World Bank who was Secretary of Defense in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and his wife, Dianna; Hal Saunders, KF's Director of International Affairs; David M. Lampton, of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; Maxine Thomas, KF's General Counsel; Kim Downing, Associate Director of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati; Anna Faith Jones, President Emeritus of the Boston Foundation; Elizabeth Hensley, KF Travel Coordinator; Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and CEO of Meijer, Inc. and his son, Peter Meijer. For more information and updates on this exciting initiative, visit the Kettering Foundation's website at www.kettering.org.

Added by Amy Lang on September 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Harwood Institute Launches New Website

The Harwood Institute has just launched a newly redesigned website at www.theharwoodinstitute.org. Highlights from the new site include the history and values that helped to shape the Harwood Institute, stories from individuals who have worked with the Institute in creating change in their own communities, opportunities to bring The Harwood Institute to your community, and upcoming events. And be sure to check out Rich Harwood's book tour blog at www.theharwoodinstitute.org/rcharwood/weblog/index

Added by Amy Lang on September 22, 2005??-??Link to this entry

C2D2 Conference Registration Deadline Extended to Sept. 23

The first ever Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (Oct. 27-30) has just extended its deadline for early registration until Sept. 23. Cost is $475 plus GST. The program for C2D2 is now up and running on the website (www.c2d2.ca) and includes three days of varied presentations, interactive sessions and activities, as well as a pre-Conference training day (October 27), with a wide range of half-day and full-day training opportunities. All C2D2 trainers are generously offering sessions at very low rates ?— $150.00 (plus GST) for half-day and $250.00 (plus GST) for full-day sessions. Registration for training must be completed separately. To register for C2D2 or the pre-conference training, visit the website today! If you have any questions, contact Sandra Zagon at or (613) 565-1500 or Miriam Wyman
or (416) 413-0347.

Added by Amy Lang on September 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Pioneers of Change Embraces Global Strategy

We just received the latest newsletter from Pioneers of Change (www.pioneersofchange.net). Beginning in October a new global team will step forward to support the Pioneers of Change Network. The shift away from a small full time paid staff to a larger global group, comes due to a variety of factors. It is their hope that a more dispersed global team, comprised of people who are each focusing their energies on a specific area of the Network, will bring fresh and focused energy to those areas. There will be more Pioneers, more places in the world focused on supporting the network and creating opportunities for involvement. The other reason is economics, the new team will operate on a volunteer basis. This means that their new structure creates even more space for those who want to get more involved, and they encourage everyone to get in touch if they are interested in volunteering. Check out the Pioneers of Change website regularly to see upcoming events related to dialogue and deliberaiton around the world (for example in England, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, Germany and Brazil).

Added by Amy Lang on September 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News From the National Charrette Institute

The French word, "Charrette" means "cart" and is often used to describe the final, intense work effort expended by art and architecture students to meet a project deadline. The National Charrette Institute (NCI) process combines this creative, intense work session with public workshops and open houses. The NCI Charrette is a collaborative planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of all interested parties to create and support a feasible plan that represents transformative community change. It includes at least four consecutive days, an open process that includes all interested parties, a collaborative process involving all disciplines in a series of short feedback loops and a process that produces a feasible plan. We just heard from the NCI about what they've been up to -- visit www.charretteinstitute.org/updates to hear their tips on using the Charrette, news about the organization, information on upcoming training (there's a registration deadline for a Portland, OR training on Oct. 5) and other upcoming NCI presentations and events.

Added by Amy Lang on September 14, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Participate in the September Project

The September Project is a grassroots effort to encourage public events on freedom, democracy, and citizenship in libraries on or around September 11. Libraries around the world are organizing public and campus events, such as displays about human rights and historical documents; talks and performances about freedom and cultural difference; and film screenings about issues that matter. Although primarily organized for September 11, events will take place all throughout the month of September. A list of events is available at: www.theseptemberproject.org/events.htm. To see a map of all the countries taking part, visit www.drizzle.com/%7Eklockner/cgi-bin/tsp/2005/map.cgi. And to read about the September Project in the Chronicle of Higher Education, visit here:chronicle.com/free/2005/09/2005090801t.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on September 10, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News From the Compassionate Listening Project

Leah Green sent us an email update about what's been happening at the Compassionate Listening Project this summer. They have found a new home with the Suquamish UCC Church and they've participated in several significant national and international conferences this summer, including the 11th International Noetic Sciences Conference. Leah also writes "One of my most memorable events this summer occurred at our Annual Gathering when I had the honor of introducing and listening to Fred Whitaker and Beth Angeline, co-founders of The Compassion Project at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky. This program - the first middle school curriculum modeled on Compassionate Listening - has inspired us to find ways to bring this program to other teachers and schools." If you are interested in participating in a Compassion Project weekend workshop for teachers and schools in Seattle this fall, contact Leah at . Looking towards the fall, the CLP Advanced Training Series from November ?‘05 through May ?’06 has only two spaces left - if you are interested in joining this series, visit their website at www.compassionatelistening.org for details. And CLP is planning a Compassionate Listening trip to Israel and Palestine from Nov. 6-20 - email Leah, or check out the CLP website for more details on this trip. Both newcomers and the experienced are welcome to participate.

Added by Amy Lang on September 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News on Dynamic Facilitation

We just received the latest Dynamic Facilitation Newsletter and thought we would post the contents for all our blog readers. This month's letter contains news about Dynamic Facilitation & the Wisdom Council on Tour in Australia, a Calendar of Upcoming Events, an Invitation to Contribute and Wisdom Council Updates as well. To subscribe to the newsletter, email with "Subscribe" in the subject line. To read the news, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on September 01, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News from C2D2: Many Different Ways to Participate

C2D2 has just sent out the latest update on the upcoming inaugural Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation to be held in Ottawa from Oct. 27-30, 2005. In this bulletin, they describe the many ways to participate in the conference, including pre-conference training, exhibits, advertising and of course, the many workshops offered at the conference itself! To learn more about C2D2 or to register (receive a discount if you register by Sept. 15), visit www.c2d2.ca. Got questions? Contact Sandra Zagon, or (613) 565-1500 or Miriam Wyman, or (416) 413-0347. And to read the C2D2 bulletin in full, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on August 22, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda To Lead National Community College Engagement Effort

Public Agenda, the New York-based opinion research and citizen engagement organization, has received a grant to support its work in a national effort to boost achievement of community college students. The $480,000 grant, funded by Lumina Foundation for Education, will support Public Agenda's participation in ?“Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count,?” a multi-year initiative to increase the success of community college students, particularly those who face the greatest obstacles to success. The project will bring together community members, government, local schools and employers, and students themselves to talk seriously and honestly about what kinds of changes will really work to improve student outcomes. For more information on Public Agenda's work, visit www.publicagenda.org.

Added by Amy Lang on August 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New PBS Series Invites Study Circle Participants

The PBS series NOW is looking for participants in a pilot project that will encourage active discussion and engaged citizenship. The Twin Cities will be one of two sites (the other is San Diego) to host the pilot "Program Clubs," which will be run on the study circle model. The study circles will be organized in September and October. If you're interested in participating as a member or a facilitator of a group, please contact the Twin Cities Program Club coordinator, David McCarthy at . To read more about the program, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on August 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

C2D2 Announces Program Highlights for Inaugural Conference

The program for the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) to be held in Ottawa, October 27 ?– 30, 2005, includes pre-conference training opportunities, four interactive plenaries and a diverse range of break-out sessions, alongside innovative opportunities for conference participants to connect and network with one another. Each plenary is designed as a community session that will use tested, large scale dialogue and deliberation practices. " They will allow conference participants to experience them, model them and replicate them, " says Miriam Wyman, Conference Co-Chair.

For information about the conference and to register visit www.c2d2.ca. Or to read more about program highlights, who to contact, the groups involved and fees for the conference, click the link below.

Read the rest of "C2D2 Announces Program Highlights for Inaugural Conference"

Added by Amy Lang on August 09, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News From The September Project

The September Project is a grassroots effort to encourage public events on freedom, democracy, and citizenship in libraries on or around September 11. Libraries around the world are organizing public and campus events, such as: displays about human rights and historical documents; talks and performances about freedom and cultural difference; and film screenings about issues that matter. In a recent update, the organizers reported that there are September Project events being organized in 310 libraries in 14 countries. In some countries, like Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Spain, and Sri Lanka, there are multiple libraries participating. In some countries, like Israel and Italy, there are public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries participating. In the US, there are libraries in 38 states (and Washington, DC!) participating in the project. Check out the map that represents the global scope of the project: www.drizzle.com/%7Eklockner/cgi-bin/tsp/2005/map.cgi. If you would like to involve your community library, contact the September Project at www.theseptemberproject.org.

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

UN Conference Seeks Input on Declaration on Community Engagement

The inaugural United Nations International Conference on Engaging Communities will be held on 14 - 17 August 2005 in Brisbane, Australia (www.engagingcommunities2005.org). There are plans to develop a UN Declaration on Community Engagement at the conference. To assist this development the conference organizers are conducting a brief engagement process prior to, and at, the conference itself. They are seeking input on a UN Declaration or Charter for Community Engagement. Please consider filling out a very brief online questionnaire (three questions) to help in this process. To access the questionnaire, visit http://www.darzinsurveys.com/ds/index.asp?CX=ICEC&SX=IAP2. Please fill out the questionnaire before Wednesday 10 August. And feel free to let others know about this questionnaire. If you do plan on sending it to others, please send a brief e-mail to Allison Hendricks at with the following information:

* Name of group or network (if appropriate) - for example America Speaks
* Number of people you are sending it to
* Country of recepients (if the people you are sending it to are mostly in one country, then just nominate that one. If there are big groupings then just nominate a rough percentage such as 50% Australia, 50% New Zealand).

A draft version of the Declaration will be posted on the conference website on Friday 12 August, so check out the site if you wish to review the draft document prior to the conference. Some conference sessions will also be live audiocast and electronic discussion forums set up - please check the conference website for more details closer to the start of the conference.


Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Report on the Second Conference on Online Deliberation Available on the Web

The recent Second Conference on Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice / DIAC 2005 (May 20 - 22, 2005) brought together software developers, social science researchers, and practioners of online deliberation for three days of presentations and workshops at Stanford University. The purpose of the conference was to stimulate to discussion around the creation of a new society for online deliberation with an international membership, to support cross-disciplinary scholarship, principled design, and informed practice in the use of online environments for group deliberation and democratic participation. To learn more about this important conference, outcomes, and related resources, please visit the info-packed conference blog at www.online-deliberation.net.

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Tom Atlee Reports on the Innovation in Community Engagement Conference

Tom Atlee just sent us the story of his recent trip to a groundbreaking conference on Innovation in Community Engagement in Perth, Australia (www.dpi.wa.gov.au/dialogue/comengage/). Because this conference was so innovative and interesting, we're including Tom's entire report in our blog, as well as his links to different resources and pictures of the conference. To read Tom's account, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

National Dialogue Will Engage Canadian Youth this November

This Fall Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) will hold a National Dialogue and Summit in Ottawa with young Canadians. This signature project for CPRN?’s 10th anniversary will welcome 160 young Canadians, ages 18-25, to have a dialogue - first with each other and then with about 40 decision makers from the public, community and private sectors. From November 25-27, 2005 they will discuss the policy implications of their dialogue and develop concrete actions that can be taken across the country. The results of the summit will be broadly disseminated: to young people and organizations working with youth, through the CPRN web site, as well as broadcast and print media; and via outreach by CPRN and its project partners to engage broader communities. For further information about the project visit www.cprn.org.

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News From the Dialogue Program at SFU

Lots of things are happening this summer at the Dialogue Makers' Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. First, their Dialogue Maker's Series brochure is now available online. Designed for facilitators, mediators, planners, educators, researchers, administrators and managers who are responsible for convening dialogue on complex and potentially divisive issues, this Series discusses ways to live together amid difference in a way that is peaceful, respectful and inclusive. To download the brochure, visit www.sfu.ca/dialogue/dialoguemakers_web.pdf. The Series begins with a Showcase launch on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. From 5-9 pm in the downtown Vancouver Harbour Centre, the launch will cover a variety of methodologies and contexts in which dialogic principles can be applied. Cost is $75, and discounts are available. Call 604.268.7925 or see page 3 of the pdf brochure listed above. To get a taste of the Dialogue Programs organized at SFU, tune into their campus radio station CJSF this summer at 90.1 FM in the Vancouver lower mainland, or online at www.cjsf.bc.ca/ (MP3 streaming). For a list of Dialogue Program talks that will be aired, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on August 04, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Leading Civic Organizations (Including NCDD!) To Present Workshops at SCRC's National Conference

SCRC has just announced that it will hold a series of pre-conference workshops at its "Telling the Story of Democracy" national conference on Oct.7 in Northbrook, Ill. The workshops will offer introductions to the work of AmericaSpeaks, The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, The Aspen Roundtable Project on Race and Community Revitalization, The Deliberative Democracy Consortium and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, National Issues Forums, and NeighborWorks America«. To learn more about the workshops, or to register for the conference, visit www.studycircles.org/scrcconference/.

Added by Amy Lang on July 10, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Omidyar.net To Use Dialogue Methods at Upcoming Conference

Omidyar.net/home, an online community that encourages people to discover their own power to make good things happen through philanthropy, has announced that it will be using Open Space and Appreciative Inquiry methods at its upcoming conference. From July 29-31, 2005 Omidyar.net members, friends and other curious do-gooders will come together, make connections, have fun, do good work in Oak Park, IL. For more information on the conference schedule, visit www.omidyar.net/group/conference/ws/schedule/. Got any questions? Want to register? contact .

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Added by Amy Lang on July 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

The People Speak Launches Third Nationwide Discussion This Fall

This Fall, The People Speak convenes a third nationwide discussion on America's role in the world. From September 1- November 30, 2005, the People Speak invites everyone to connect with their communities and develop a deeper understanding of international affairs by organizing their own The People Speak discussion. The official theme of The People Speak 2005 is Building a Safer World: Defining the U.S.-U.N. Relationship for the 21st Century. Participants will address this question in the topic areas of Poverty, Hunger, and Health; War and Conflict; Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism; or the Environment. For discussion resources or to register to host a discussion visit www.thepeoplespeak.org. Email any questions to [email protected] or call (202) 887-9040.

Added by Amy Lang on June 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Citizen Recommendations on Nanotechnology and Society Available Online

Patricia Bonner just informed us about the Initiative on Nanotechnology and Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which conducted a citizens' consensus conference during April 2005 and has just posted a report online with citizen recommendations. Writes Patricia, "I read the report over the weekend and felt pretty darn good about the recommendations "ordinary citizens" developed with help from UWI staff." To check out the Initiative's work, visit their website: www.lafollette.wisc.edu/research/Nano/forumrelease. From there, follow the links to the full report with citizen recommendations. To read media coverage of the consensus conference go to www.madison.com/tct/mad/business//index.php?ntid=38025

Added by Amy Lang on June 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Registration Deadline for Inaugural C2D2 Conference Approaching

The Early Registration deadline for the first-ever Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is fast approaching. Participants must register by June 30th to get the lowest rate. Inspired by NCDD's first conference in 2002, C2D2 will bring together practitioners, policymakers and scholars from across Canada to develop and unite the dialogue and deliberation community there. The fee for the three-day conference, to be held in Ottawa, Canada (October 27-30) is set at $375.00 (plus GST) until June 30. Fees increase to $475.00 on July 1st, and increase again on September 16th to $575.00. Information about C2D2 is updated regularly on the website www.c2d2.ca. For more information, contact Sandra Zagon at or (613) 565-1500 or Miriam Wyman at or (416) 413-0347.

Added by Amy Lang on June 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda Honored by Time, Continues to Expand Site

Time.com has just announced its annual list of 50 Coolest Websites, and Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org)made it onto the list for 2005. Public Agenda is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that surveys the American public on crucial current issues of the day. Earlier this year Public Agenda Online was also nominated for a Webby Award - the online Oscars. They've also just launched a new public engagement section of the site with lots of tools and resources. Check it out at http://publicagenda.org/pubengage/pe_home.cfm.

Added by Amy Lang on June 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

NCDD Leader Publishes New Book for the College-Bound

David Schoem, University of Michigan Professor and member of the NCDD Steering Committee, has published a new book, "College Knowledge: 101 Tips for the College-Bound Student.?” Unlike most books of this type, David emphasizes dialogue, diversity, civic involvement, and engagement with learning. Through lively tips and compelling student stories about life at college, the book offers thoughtful, practical information for every student who wants to make a successful transition from high school to college. Examples of tips include: Expand your comfort zone; Be a thinker and an activist, Take responsibility for the world around you, Participate in Intergroup Dialogue, Think about social justice, Take democracy seriously, and Be a boundary-crosser.

Search for this and other books by David Schoem at www.press.umich.edu, or click here to go straight to the page about College Knowledge.

Added by Sandy Heierbacher on June 24, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Articles About Deliberative Polling in China

Bill Corbett, from Citizen Sovereignty (www.CitSov.org), a group working to spread citizen deliberation in the United States, drew our attention to a couple of new articles about deliberative polling in China. Read about this exciting development in the New York Times here, and in Time magazine here.

Added by Amy Lang on June 22, 2005??-??Link to this entry

C2D2 Extends Deadline for Conference Proposals

The first Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) will continue to accept proposals for presentations, interactive workshops and training sessions until August 1, 2005, in preparation for the October 27-30, 2005 event. Based on NCDD's 2002 Conference, C2D2 is designed to enable 300 practitioners, policy and decision makers, and researchers from the public, voluntary and private sectors to learn and share information and experience ?— building a community of practice, policy and research for dialogue and deliberation across Canada and beyond. For information on the conference, including how to submit proposals, visit www.c2d2.ca. Or contact Sandra Zagon at or (613) 565-1500 and Miriam Wyman at or (416) 413-0347.

Added by Amy Lang on June 21, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Follett Foundation Announces New Participatory Educational Design School

The Follett Foundation (www.follettfoundation.org) has just announced the approval of a new charter school in Idaho, whose creation is an attempt to implement the Participatory Educational Design process developed by associates of the Follett Foundation. The school, called the Garden City Community School, will open in the fall of 2006. It is founded upon democratic principles of learner engagement. The ultimate goal of Participatory Educational Design is to engage entire communities in the design or re-design of public education systems. For more information on the school, visit www.gardencityschool.org or contact Matthew Shapiro at .

Added by Amy Lang on June 21, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Featured at Upcoming Omega Conference

Laura Chasin, founder and director of Public Conversations Project will be a featured presenter at Women & Power IV, a conference at the Omega Institute, September 9 - 11, 2005 in Rhinebeck, NY. The conference explores "the nature and necessity of feminine power...and take a bold look at the obstacles that mute the feminine voice [which] lives in all of us". Laura will present PCP's approach to creating sheltered spaces in which adversaries in costly conflicts develop respectful relationships that are stronger than their irreconcilable differences. The conference invites women and men from any background to participate. For more information on the conference, go to www.eomega.com. To register, call 800-944-1001. And to find out more about PCP's work in this area, visit www.publicconversations.org.

Added by Amy Lang on June 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

"Potlucks for Peace" Promote Dialogue About Middle East

We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about one person who is making a big difference to dialogue on the Middle East in Ottawa, Canada. Qais Ghanem () is a Yemeni-born professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. He was inspired to start "Potlucks for Peace" after attending a panel on the Middle East that quickly descended into a shouting match. Seeking to promote civil dialogue on the issues, he extended his hands (and his living room!) to both Arabs and Jews in Ottawa, the capital of Canada in early 2003. Today in Spring 2005, "Potlucks for Peace" -- 60 women and men -- continue to recruit new Arab and Jewish members. Many of the participants had had little or no contact with members of the other group before coming to their first meeting. Visit the Potlucks for Peace website for more information on this group www.potlucksforpeace.org.

Added by Amy Lang on June 17, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Online Deliberative Democracy Group Meeting in Minneapolis

The Online task group of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (ODDC) (www.deliberative-democracy.net) is planning a two day meeting in St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN on the topic of: "Deepening Online Deliberation Through Innovative Practice and Research." With over 30 national and international participants, the meeting will cover new practices and innovations in the field, ways to connect with government, increasing practitioners' capacities and developing opportunities for collaboration. The meeting will be held June 24 & 25. For a full list of attendees and to view the agenda, visit: www.deliberative-democracy.net/wiki.

Added by Amy Lang on June 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Civic Engagement News Announces Last Bulletin

Civic Engagement News has just sent out its last e-bulletin. CEN is an electronic newsletter that has been published since December, 2000, in association with the Council on Public Engagement (COPE) at the University of Minnesota and previously with the Task Force on Civic Engagement. Although this is the last issue of CEN, you can visit the UMN web site (see www.umn.edu/civic) to keep up to date with COPE's public engagement efforts.

Added by Amy Lang on June 14, 2005??-??Link to this entry

SCRC and League of Women Voters Organizes National Discussion on Civil Liberties and Homeland Security

With Congress preparing to debate provisions of the PATRIOT Act this fall, many people are thinking about what they can do locally to strike a balance between civil liberties and homeland security. To aid in the process, the Study Circles Resource Center and the League of Women Voters Education Fund are launching a national initiative this month called Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities. The three-part discussion series gives everyday people a chance to talk about ways they can keep their community safe while protecting people?’s individual rights. For more information, contact SCRC at 860-928-2616 or visit www.studycircles.org.

Added by Amy Lang on June 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

UN's Int'l Conference on Engaging Communities Coming up in August

An initiative of the United Nations and Queensland (Australia) Government, the International Conference on Engaging Communities will take place in Queensland August 14 through 17, 2005. This event will explore all issues related to community engagement and address the experiences, challenges and research which effect all citizens, governments and organizations alike. The program is designed to interest representatives from community groups, academia, government agencies, corporations, associations and the like. Go to www.engagingcommunities2005.org for more details about this important event.

Added by Sandy Heierbacher on June 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Facilitators Needed for National Issues Forums in Longmont, Colorado

Michael Briand sent me an email today in hopes of recruiting some moderators for two upcoming National Issues Forums in Longmont, Colorado next month. The forums will be held on July 16th and July 30th, and Michael is especially interested in hearing from folks who attended the 2004 NCDD conference in Denver. According to Michael, NIF experience would be very helpful, but isn't a pre-requisite--training will be provided to those unfamiliar with the methodology and format. Email Michael at if you're interested.

Added by Sandy Heierbacher on June 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Heartland Institute Becomes Heartland Circle

The Heartland Institute has recently become Heartland Circle, and has published a new website: www.heartlandcircle.com. Visit the new website for information about workshops on The Art of Convening, Thought Leader Gatherings, and about the benefits of becoming a member of the Circle.

Added by Amy Lang on June 04, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Northern CA Appreciative Inquiry Practitioners to Meet June 11

Dina Medina asked me to post an announcement to the blog today about a June 11 meeting she is planning for Appreciative Inquiry practitioners in Northern California. The meeting will take place at San Jose State University from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. In addition to opportunities to share experiences and network, there will be an educational presentation and a reception hosted by the SJSU Communication Studies Department. Whether you're a change management professional, organizational development consultant, personal coach or a budding practitioner, this will be a great opportunity to meet others in the field and share practical experiences with AI. Click below for more details.

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Added by Sandy on June 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Registration is Open for the Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation

With the launch of its website last month, the 2002 NCDD-inspired Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is open for information and early registration. Set for October 27-30, 2005, in Ottawa, Canada, this innovative conference modeled after NCDD's first national conference will bring together 300 practitioners, decision makers, policy developers, and researchers to share information and skills and work together to build a strong dialogue & deliberation community in Canada! Click below for more info.

Read the rest of "Registration is Open for the Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation"

Added by Sandy on June 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Submission Deadline Extended for IAP2's 2005 Core Values Award

Do you know of an organization that exemplifies the spirit of public participation? Did you work on a project that used new and innovative techniques to involve the public? If so, you have one last chance to have your project or organization considered for recognition in the 2005 IAP2 Core Values Awards.

The IAP2 Core Values Awards recognize excellence and innovation in the field of public participation guided by the seven IAP2 Core Values for Public Participation. Two awards are presented annually; for Project of the Year and for Organization of the Year. Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the use of innovative techniques, solutions to problems that face the field of public participation, and the successful involvement of the public in new areas. Click below for more details.

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Added by Sandy on June 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Facilitators Needed for UN World Environment Day in San Francisco

NCDD member Kenoli Oleari sent a message to the main NCDD listserv on May 12 announcing a volunteer opportunity for facilitators in the San Francisco bay area. Kenoli and Marc Tognotti will be facilitating five events for the United Nations World Environment Day in early June, and they are putting together a team of colleagues to help with large-group interactive events. The events will be based on a World Cafe framework adapted using principles common to future search, Open Space and World cafe. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Facilitators Needed for UN World Environment Day in San Francisco"

Added by Sandy on May 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Listening to the City Special Issue Now Available in Print

The special issue of IAF's Group Facilitation journal entitled "Listening to the City: Public Participation and Group Facilitation in Redeveloping the WTC" is now available in print for $14.95 at Amazon.com and virtualbookworm.com. The size and visibility of "Listening to the City," the largest face-to-face public participation event ever held, and the political, social, and emotional needs that it responded to, provide an attractive opportunity to draw attention to broader issues regarding public engagement, group facilitation, and the future of democracy. This issue provides an in-depth case study of "Listening to the City" and uses it as a departure point for broader discussions of the practice of public participation. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds and experience of the 25 contributing authors, which include both academics and practitioners, the content is descriptive, evaluative, and speculative. Click below for more details.

Read the rest of "Listening to the City Special Issue Now Available in Print"

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Fourth "Open Homes, Listening Hearts" to take place this June

Do you talk to strangers? During the month of June, Initiatives of Change, a Washington, DC based organization, is encouraging individuals and groups to invite people of other religions and ethnicities to share a meal and conversation. Open Homes, Listening Hearts is a four-year-old event that has demonstrated the power of sharing personal stories with people with whom we don?’t normally interact. Breaking down walls of misunderstanding and building new relationships based on changing our perceptions is one way to increase tolerance and peace worldwide. Visit www.ohlh.org or email for additional information on how to participate in this life transforming experience.

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News about Fielding's Certificate Program in D&D and Public Engagement

Fielding Graduate University's graduate level Certificate Program in Dialogue, Deliberation & Public Engagement (now in its second year) starts on August 29, 2005 and runs through January 17, 2006. I received an email today about a conference call on June 8 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for those interested in learning about the program and getting their questions answered directly from the faculty. To register for the teleconference, email Debra Arviso, Program Coordinator in Fielding's School of Human and Organization Development, at [email protected]. Click below for more details and participants' comments on the first certificate program.

Read the rest of "News about Fielding's Certificate Program in D&D and Public Engagement"

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

NIF to Celebrate 25th Anniversary in 2006

At their meeting in Washington, D.C. in April 2005, National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) Board members discussed how the network will mark the 25th anniversary of NIF in 2006. A very important part of this anniversary celebration will be what local/state/regional practitioners will be doing to recognize their participation in NIF and tell their story in the communities in which they operate. If you are planning an NIF celebration, you can help the network become aware of individual efforts which will occur next year by responding to this call for specifics of your celebration activities. Please respond by September 15, 2005, by sending your information to Patty Dineen at . Our goal is to publish an online calendar reflecting the scope of international efforts to mark 2006 as a milestone year in our mutual work to strengthen democracy.

Added by Sandy on May 24, 2005??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Organizes European Brain Science Deliberation

In June, AmericaSpeaks is partnering with IFOK, a German consulting group specializing in civic engagement and outreach, to design and deliver portions of the European Citizen's Deliberation on Brain Science. The forum is sponsored by the European Citizens Deliberation on Brain Science (ECD), a partner consortium of technology assessment bodies, science museums, academic institutions, and public foundations from nine European countries. The participants will convene to discuss brain science research and development and related ethical and sociopolitical questions, meeting first with residents of their own countries, and then with participants from other countries. The national groups will come together in a two-day European Citizens' Convention from June 3-5 in Brussels, Belgium. In this Europe-wide meeting, participants will review the outcomes from each national meeting and begin to identify culture-specific and European-wide recommendations. Over the next 9 months, participants will convene another two times in their national groups. The capstone to the process will be another European Convention in January 2006.
For more information about the "Meeting of Minds" project, visit their website at: www.meetingmindseurope.org.

Added by Amy Lang on May 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

IAP2's International Conference to be Held in Portland this October

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is holding its international conference in Portland, Oregon this year. The conference will take place October 17-19, 2005, with pre-conference workshops and IAP2 certificate training October 14-16. Online conference registration will begin in June 2005. Click below for more details or go to www.iap2.org.

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Added by Sandy on May 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

SF Listens Engages Hundreds of San Francisco Residents on Budget Priorities

We just receieved a report from AmericaSpeaks about its recent project "San Francisco Listens." In April 2005 AmericaSpeaks assisted Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to hold three meetings around the city that engaged 500 residents in discussions on budget priorities. The meetings addressed the current San Francisco budget crisis and offered participants the opprtunity to prioritize key issues, provide feedback on strategies to address these issues, and suggest additional strategies. The prioritization of policy issues varied by community, but several emerged as issues of common concern across the meetings, including: public safety; accountable and responsive government; jobs and economic development; homelessness; and housing. Mayor Newsom, who kicked off all of the meetings, acknowledged that the longer he is in office, the more difficult it is to stay in touch with residents, and made a commitment to continue to use innovative mechanisms to connect with constituents on shaping policy decisions. Mayor Newsom plans to submit the Final Report from SF Listens along with his budget to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June.

Added by Amy Lang on May 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Fielding Announces 2nd "Dialogue, Deliberation & Public Engagement" Course

Fielding Graduate University just announced its second certificate course in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement. Several NCDD members participated last year, and I heard some great things about the course. I?’m hoping to participate this year myself, since this is a non-conference year. There is an information conference call about the course scheduled for May 11, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This 16-week primarily online course begins on August 29. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Fielding Announces 2nd "Dialogue, Deliberation & Public Engagement" Course"

Added by Sandy on May 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Severn School Receives Creative Thinking in Management Award for their Dialogue Work

Judy O'Brien of RIVERSPEAK Dialogues emailed me today to let me know that one of her clients recently won an award from Independent School Management, Inc. for their dialogue work. Severn School received the "ISM Creative Thinking in Management award," which is awarded to schools for their innovative management ideas.

In an article about the Severn School's dialogue work, Laura Kang (Head of the Middle School) says "Once I was introduced to the process, I realized that Dialogue, more than any other tool I had encountered, had the power to help me gather multiple perspectives and ideas for better decision-making." Click here for the full article, in which Kang describes the various ways that dialogue has been used at the school.

Added by Sandy on April 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Ford Foundation Announces Difficult Dialogues Initiative

Great news from the Ford Foundation! They will be funding approximately 25 projects at colleges and universities for up to $100,000 each - projects that promote greater dialogue around the sensitive and sometimes controversial questions that arise due to increasing religious and cultural diversity on campus. Click below for more details about this important opportunity.

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Added by Sandy on April 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Call for Applications for NMCI's Nonprofit Diversity Leader Awards

The National MultiCultural Institute wishes to recognize the achievements of four distinguished nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC Metro area for their role as leaders in community diversity and multicultural inclusion. NMCI will honor those organizations that have implemented innovative outreach initiatives that serve as models for enhancing diversity and encouraging respect and inclusion in the communities they serve. NMCI will present four awards, each focusing on a specific area of the nonprofit sector (education, health care, social services, and the arts).

NMCI will be presenting the awards at its Spring Conference on May 19th, 2005. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 29, 2005. For application info, go to www.nmci.org or contact Maria Morukian at [email protected] or (202) 483-0700 x228.

Added by Sandy on April 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Update from the OrangeBand Initiative

NCDD recently learned about the James Madison University-based OrangeBand Initiative, and we're really excited to spread the word about this brilliantly simple idea. Kai Degner started the OrangeBand Initiative with a group of friends at JMU in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their goal was simple: getting people talking about issues they care about. They began handing out orange strips of fabric that could be decorated to represent an issue important to whoever decides to wear one. The bands can be put on a bag or somewhere else and, when someone asks "What's your OrangeBand?", a conversation can ensue about that issue and others.

In two years, over 6,000 people have voluntarily decided to take a band and the Initiative has coordinated over 50 nonpartisan, discussion-based forums. According to director Kai Degner, "We have learned we are tapping into something much bigger than anything we could have created ourselves: a broad desire for a space for open, civil discourse about meaningful contemporary issues." Click below for the OrangeBand Initiative's latest
update (which happily includes an announcement about www.thataway.org!).

Read the rest of "Update from the OrangeBand Initiative"

Added by Sandy on April 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Angus Reid Consultants Launches "Dialogue Networks" Division

I received a packet in the mail the other day from Angus Reid, who I was privileged to meet in November at the North American Summit on Citizen Engagement. Reid, a famous Canadian pollster, is launching a new division of Angus Reid Consultants called "Dialogue Networks." Headed by Dr. Alexandra Samuel, an expert on electronic engagement, Dialogue Networks will offer software and services in support of publication and dialogue. In his letter, Angus said "organizations are hungry for new tools and approaches to public dialogue, both on and offline," and Dialogue Networks will focus on internet solutions and other technology-enabled tools. Go to www.dialoguenetworks.com to learn more.

Added by Sandy on March 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

EPA?’s First Administrator Discusses 7 Lessons for Successful Collaboration

Today's issue of Policy Consensus E-News included an inspiring excerpt from a speech by William Ruckelshaus, the first Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In February, Ruckelshaus gave this year's Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science and the Environment, which he titled ?“Choosing our Common Future: Democracy's True Test.?” In the lecture, he addresses how collaborative processes serve as important tools for democratic decision making. The full speech can be downloaded at www.policyconsensus.org/pubs/pci_pubs/Ruckelshaus_Full_Text.pdf

Added by Sandy on March 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

IAF's Handbook of Group Facilitation is on the Shelves!

Sandy Schuman of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) sent me a copy of the brand new "IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation" and I encourage all of you to go out and get a copy for yourselves! Edited by Schuman and sponsored by the IAF, the Handbook is not only an overview of the facilitation field but also a reliable reference for experience group facilitators. Written by 50 leading practitioners and scholars, the chapters cover such things as building trust and improving communications, developing a collaborative environment, designing and facilitating dialogue (by NCDD member Steve Pyser!), working with multicultural groups, and assessing group decision processes. You also get a CD-ROM with the complete collection of articles published in the first five issues of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal. You can buy it at Amazon.com.

Added by Sandy on March 14, 2005??-??Link to this entry

NCDD's Dialogue Bureau Project Requests your Press Contacts

NCDD is conducting research to assess the extent to which a National Dialogue Bureau would be valued by the dialogue & deliberation community and by journalists (learn more about the Dialogue Bureau at www.thataway.org/projects/index.html). Part of the study will involve interviews with journalists to better understand current practices for gathering the views of informed citizens on current events and the value of a service like the National Dialogue Bureau in their work.

We would like to request your assistance in this effort by sharing with us a few of your press contacts for the purpose of arranging interviews. Email Karla Andreu at if you have contacts you can share, and please be sure to include the reporter's name, journal, city, their ?“beat?” (if appropriate), phone number and/or e-mail.

Added by Sandy on March 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Tools of Engagement Conference to Take Place in London this Month

Jess Steele from the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) just emailed me about an interesting conference that's happening later this month. Tools of Engagement: Creative Techniques for Community Participation will take place on March 21st in London, England, and "is the first event for what could become a broad-based UK Participation Network." Click below to read the full annoucement about this great-sounding event.

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Added by Sandy on March 12, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Update from Let's Talk America

I wanted to post today's Let's Talk America update since I haven't posted anything about LTA in a while. LTA is still going strong, and I encourage those of you who haven't yet gotten involved to participate in the March 16th or April 9th phone trainings for hosts.

Read the rest of "Update from Let's Talk America"

Added by Sandy on March 11, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Save the Date for SCRC's National Conference

Mark your calendars for the Study Circle Resource Center's 2005 national meeting. The conference, themed "Telling the Story of Democracy," will take place on October 7 and 8 in Northbrook, Illinois (near Chicago). The event brings together citizens, community leaders, public officials and researchers to share experiences, and learn how community talk and problem solving are leading the way to a stronger democracy. Check www.studycircles.org/2005natlmeeting.html periodically to stay updated on the event, although I?’ll try to keep you updated here as well.

Added by Sandy on March 08, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Call for Volunteers for first-ever Canadian Conference on D&D

Inspired by NCDD's 2002 conference, a group of energetic Canadians have been spearheading a Canadian Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. Well, they just announced that the first-ever "C2D2" will take place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, October 27-30 at the Ottawa Congress Centre, with a day of pre-conference trainings on October 27.

C2D2 is modeling its conference planning process after NCDD's collaborative approach to planning, and is asking for volunteers to step forward to serve on their various planning teams. Click below for the full conference announcement, which includes descriptions of the teams and contact information for those interested in being part of this important planning process.

Read the rest of "Call for Volunteers for first-ever Canadian Conference on D&D"

Added by Sandy on March 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Deliberation Guide on HIV/AIDS in Africa

"As Africa enters the twenty-first century, finding more practical approaches to the HIV/AIDS situation in the countries in sub-Saharan Africa now seems to be one of the greatest promises and greatest challenges for the future. How do we make use of resources in our countries to tackle this health problem without losing sight of other national problems?"

This is an excerpt from a new guide for deliberation about the AIDS pandemic entitled "HIV/AIDS in Africa: What Should Be Done?" The guide was written by former Kettering Foundation international fellows, Mpho Putu of South Africa and Tokunbo Awoshakin of Nigeria. Learn more and download a free copy on the NIFI website.

Added by Sandy on March 04, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Florida's "Sunshine Week" Highlights the Importance of Open Government

Nancy Kranich, past President of the American Library Association, sent an interesting message to the NCDD Discussion list today about "Sunshine Week," a March 13-19, 2005 event that generates editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons and news stories about the importance of open government. Begun in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Sunday and Sunshine Week spawned similar initiatives in several other states. Click below for the full announcement.

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Added by Sandy on March 03, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Dialogue Needed to Handle Looming Economic Crisis, Atlee Says

Click below for a powerful message from Tom Atlee, Founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute. In this message, Tom points to the substance of our looming economic crisis in the context of other crises, emphasizing the need for dialogue and deliberation to generate the collective intelligence to deal with the emerging "Age of Consequences."

As Tom says, "Now is the time to invest in widespread, high quality dialogue -- and for the dialogue-promoting community (e.g., members of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation) to plan on how to meet the demand -- now, while time and resources may still be on our side."

Read the rest of "Dialogue Needed to Handle Looming Economic Crisis, Atlee Says"

Added by Sandy on March 03, 2005??-??Link to this entry

September Project to Run Again in 2005!

I just received this inspiring announcement from the September Project - the highly successful project that got hundreds of public libraries to hold events on democracy, citizenship and patriotism on and around September 11, 2004. The message announced that the September Project is going forward again in 2005, and it is my hope that the dialogue & deliberation community can make a real splash in the program this year.

This is a great opportunity for D&D activists, organizers and facilitators to build ongoing relationships with their local public libraries in order to introduce more people in their area to dialogue and deliberation. If you are interested in helping NCDD mobilize the D&D community around the 2005 September Project, please email me at [email protected] right away to let me know. Click below to read the September Project's announcement.

Read the rest of "September Project to Run Again in 2005!"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Upcoming Dialogue Events at Simon Fraser University

SFU's latest Dialogue Update announced some interesting upcoming events for those of you who aren't too far from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). One of the important things mentioned in the update is that Mary Robinson will be the 2005 recipient of the Jack P. Blaney Award, which recognizes significant contributions to public dialogue. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Upcoming Dialogue Events at Simon Fraser University"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims

In its March 2 newsletter, the elite World Security Network Foundation put out a strong call for Muslims and Christians to engage in dialogue. According to the Foundation, there are a lot of well-intentioned Muslim-Christian dialogue initiatives, "but progress is close to zero." Click below for their reasoning, and for the rest of the message.

The aim of the World Security Network is to rouse people out of their apathy, to raise awareness of trouble spots before wars break out, to outline proposed solutions and to draw media attention to security issues at an early stage. Above all, however, it aims to network the "strategic community" - politicians, journalists, academics and opinion-leaders around the world - and to convey new creative ideas and policy recommendations to decision-makers at lightening speed via the Internet. Their weekly newsletter goes out to over 160,000 members of the global information elite all over the world.

Read the rest of "World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Invitation to Host Forums on "The News We Need"

Preview Forum is in the process of recruiting partners for their Spring 2005 initiative entitled ?“THE NEWS WE NEED: Finding Balance in an Age of Spin.?” Preview Forum invites organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, planning guides, and publicity materials) to the first 100 organizations that sign on as partners. For more information, contact Julia John by March 31, 2005 at or 781-893-3336 x24.

Preview Forum is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals and the public in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This Spring, Preview Forum will focus on how the birth of 24-hour news stations, internet bloggers and changes in FCC regulations have launched us into a new era of news producing and consuming. What is the role of news in a democracy? Have we abandoned the goal of objectivity? How do community members get the news they need in an increasingly partisan landscape?

Added by Sandy on February 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

National Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Conference Coming Up in April

The 2005 National Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Conference will take place at the University of Virginia (in Charlottesville) April 9 and 10. Hundreds of motivated students, administrators and faculty members have been invited from dozens of schools across the U.S. because of their eagerness to learn more about initiating and improving Sustained Dialogue on their campuses.

Sustained Dialogue is a 5-stage model developed by Dr. Harold Saunders, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State. It improves and transforms relationships strained by
racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and other differences. Come study with the creator of Sustained Dialogue, Dr. Hal Saunders, and Campus Coordinator, Priya Parker, along with hundreds of students and administrators coast to coast who implement SD on diverse university and high school campuses. Conference details are posted at www.sustaineddialogue.org/sdcn/SD%20News/sdnews.htm, but you can click below for some more details as well.

Read the rest of "National Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Conference Coming Up in April"

Added by Sandy on February 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Georgetown University?’s Second Symposium on Peace Coming up in April

On April 2 and 3, Georgetown University?’s Middle East Dialogue and Listening Initiative (MEDLI) invites college students to the Second Symposium on Peace, Action, Reconciliation and Cooperation (SPARC) at their Washington, DC campus. In addition to being a great opportunity for networking, experiencing dialogue, and participating in conflict resolution workshops, the conference will be a jumping board for a nation-wide network for peace-oriented students and others and to serve as an example for other communities.

For more info, email or call Katie at 267-847-8532. Read about the first, 1993 conference at www.thehoya.com/news/030403/news3.cfm. More about the origins of MEDLI (formerly Students for Middle East Peace) can be found at www.thehoya.com/viewpoint/012902/view1.cfm.

Added by Sandy on February 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Research Project to Model Citizen-to-Citizen Deliberation and Use and Impact of Online Tools

I learned about this interesting initiative on the NIFI (Nat'l Issues Forums Institute) website. Andrea Kavanaugh from the Center for Human Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech announced a new research project (September
2004-2007) supported by a grant from the NSF Digital Government program to the Center for Human Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the research is to model citizen-to-citizen deliberation at the local level and the related use and impact of online tools. They are also investigating the role of information and communication technology in incorporating deliberation into local government decision making. Where necessary and appropriate, they are designing and prototyping innovations to software. Learn more on the project's website.

Added by Sandy on February 22, 2005??-??Link to this entry

League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) recently launched "Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities," an eight-month initiative that will foster public dialogue about the balance between civil liberties and homeland security. The League will develop materials, train local facilitators, and encourage citizen participation in large League-led conversations about this topic. Click below for the full press release for this exciting project.

Read the rest of "League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties"

Added by Sandy on February 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

No Posts for a While Due to Server Changes

Sorry, folks, but I need to cease posting to the blog for a week or two while our server does some switching over. I'll post again toward mid-February. Sorry for the hiatus!

Added by Sandy on January 30, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Purple America Poster & Products

I just stumbled upon something online that I fear everyone else may already have seen, but it struck me as such an important image that I had to post something about it. Professor Robert Venderbei at Princeton created a map of the U.S. depicting the 2004 presidential election results in shades of red and blue - not by state - but by county. And the result is a strikingly purple map.

This is a red/blue map that is not so black and white (aren't I clever?) - and a more realistic, truthful image for people to see during these polarizing times. You can buy all kinds of products with the purple map on it (I like the tote bag and the Ringer T-shirts), which I think is a good thing. The more people who can replace the red/blue state map in their mind with this purple map, the better. You can view the map at www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/.

Added by Sandy on January 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly

NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee sent an email to his popular e-mailing list today that I wanted to share with all of you. Tom forwarded an op-ed written by John Gastil and Ned Crosby about the remarkable Citizens' Assembly that has been breaking ground in British Columbia, Canada.

Tom considers the Citizens' Assembly to be the most empowered version of citizen deliberative councils that he has seen anywhere in the world so far, and he hopes it is only the first of many such innovations.

Tom points out that the short article below, which is targetted at residents of Washington State in the US, is a model for similar op-ed pieces that could be written for virtually any state in the US -- or for provinces, districts and nations around the world. Click below for the article.

Read the rest of "OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly"

Added by Sandy on January 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Releases Blueprint for Engaging the Public in National Policy-Making

AmericaSpeaks recently released Millions of Voices: A Blueprint for Engaging the American Public in National Policy-Making, a detailed report outlining a comprehensive strategy to engage millions of Americans in solving the nation?’s most critical problems.

The report reflects the collaborative thinking of 12 leaders in the citizen engagement field, convened by AmericaSpeaks over nine months. Millions of Voices is based on the premise that if we are to reinvigorate American democratic institutions, new structures and processes are needed to engage citizens in the nation?’s policy-making process. The report offers a plan for National Discussions that will engage at least one million Americans in substantive deliberations about public issues designed to inform and influence decision-making in Washington.

The report recommends National Discussions be convened regularly to address the most pressing national issues facing the country such as health care, foreign policy, and the economy. Development and production of the report were funded by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Click here for a free PDF version of this excellent report.

Added by Sandy on January 25, 2005??-??Link to this entry

IAF to Publish Book Next Month on Best Practices in Facilitation

Next month, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will be publishing an exciting (to us, anyway!) book edited by Sandy Schuman titled "The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation." Published by Jossey-Bass, the 720-page book will be available in February for $75 for non-members of IAF and $52.50 for IAF members. This will be quite the resource!

The book covers a range of viewpoints on methods and techniques, issues, competencies, and resources. It includes a CD featuring the complete collection of articles published in the first five issues of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal. This collection will serve as an introduction to the field for the new practitioner and as a reference for experienced group facilitators who encounter new situations. Click below for the full table of contents (you may recognize some of the authors!), or go to IAF's online store to purchase the book.

Read the rest of "IAF to Publish Book Next Month on Best Practices in Facilitation"

Added by Sandy on January 10, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Compassionate Listening Training to be Held in U.K. for First Time

Just got word today from Leah Green at the Compassionate Listening Project that Compassionate Listening is making its way to the UK! In addition to a February training in East Sussex in the U.K., there are also workshops coming up in the U.S. in the following cities: Charlotte, North Carolina; Mt Vernon and Everett, Washington; Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado. Go to the Compassionate Listening Project's website for more details or to register, or click below for info about the U.K. training.

Read the rest of "Compassionate Listening Training to be Held in U.K. for First Time"

Added by Sandy on January 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News from the Public Conversations Project...

The Public Conversations Project's December E-News focuses on "Talking About Politics across Divides." The e-newsletter announces some great resources designed to help those who with to engage in respectful, meaningful conversations with people who have vast political differences. PCP's Executive Director, Laura Chasin, recently wrote an article for the Christian Science Monitor's "Talking with the Enemy" series, and PCP has created some resources around that series. Click below to learn more about all of this, and to check the dates for PCP's highly acclaimed trainings this spring.

Read the rest of "News from the Public Conversations Project..."

Added by Sandy on December 09, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Harwood Institute Announces Opening for an Associate Project Manager

I received an email today from Abby Smith at The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, asking me to share a job description with the NCDD network. The Harwood Institute, a leading organization in the public engagement field that works closely with the Kettering Foundation and others, has an opening for an Associate Project Manager. Click below for the full job description and info about how to apply.

Read the rest of "Harwood Institute Announces Opening for an Associate Project Manager"

Added by Sandy on December 03, 2004??-??Link to this entry

HIV/AIDS Deliberation in Nigeria

Since September 2004, Civic Life International, a Nigerian organization, in collaboration with the Center for Public Policy Education (CPPE), has been running an innovative project which uses radio programming to create a space for Nigerians to talk deliberatively about HIV/AIDS. The project, which brings students to several radio studios for live forums on HIV/AIDS using a citizen-framed issue book, is coordinated by Tokunbo Awoshakin, a Kettering Foundation Fanning Fellow ().

Added by Sandy on November 30, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Blog on Hold until after the Conference

I just wanted to let everyone who is checking this page know that I will be blogging the non-stop happenings and opportunities in the dialogue & deliberation community again in November. Out of necessity, the 2004 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation has been the main focus of my time for the last couple of months (I look forward to seeing many of you there next weekend!), but I wanted to emphasize that this lapse in blogging is temporary.

I have dozens and dozens of events, announcements, job openings, and more to add here once I come up for breath after the conference. But that won't be until Andy and I enjoy a little much-needed vacation!

- Sandy

Added by Sandy on October 16, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Why I Wish I Lived in Vancouver (Or, an Update from the Wosk Center)

If any of you in the Northwest or in Western Canada haven't yet heard of the Wosk Center for Dialogue in Vancouver, you're in for a treat. The Wosk Center makes me wish I lived on the other side of the country.

I just received an update from Nicole Mah of the Wosk Center, outlining some of their upcoming activities and programs. A Dialogue Network meets each month to dialogue about dialogue, which is cool enough - but also their 2004 Dialogue Maker's Series is launching on Sept. 10 with a dialogue inspired by the Dalai Lama's visit to Vancouver. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Why I Wish I Lived in Vancouver (Or, an Update from the Wosk Center)"

Added by Sandy on August 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Leah Lamb's "Engage" Program Featured in Richmond Times

NCDD member Leah Lamb's innovative theatre/dialogue program was featured on Monday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. An article by Michael Paul Williams called "Theater as an Agent of Change" outlined Leah's hopes to inspire civic engagement and community building among youth through her "Engage" program - a blend of theatrical performances and documentary footage conveying the civic and political experiences of Richmond residents. Engage will open September 16 through 18 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Click below for the full article.

Read the rest of "Leah Lamb's "Engage" Program Featured in Richmond Times"

Added by Sandy on August 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Resources on Community Intelligence Posted on CII Website

Tom Atlee announced a few days ago that he just posted three interrelated resources on the Co-Intelligence Institute website. The resources are called "Functions that Make Up Community Intelligence", "Approaches to Community Engagement and the Generation of Community Wisdom", and "A map of Community Intelligence and some of its important constituents", and you can read more details by clicking below.

Read the rest of "New Resources on Community Intelligence Posted on CII Website"

Added by Sandy on August 24, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on Let's Talk America

Click below to read over today's Let's Talk America e-newsletter. The newsletter provides a great "Hip-pocket question of the week" (What's the number one thing you consider when picking who you vote for?). It also urges you to sign the "We the People Declaration", a breakthrough declaration calling for greater dialogue across political differences.

Read the rest of "Update on Let's Talk America"

Added by Sandy on August 20, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Opportunity to Address Obesity in your Community this Fall in Partnership with Preview Forum

Preview Forum is recruiting local partners for their fall Forum on "Growing Pains: Community Responses to Obesity" and is hoping some folks from the D&D community will be interested. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, planning guides, and publicity materials) to the first 150 organizations that sign on as partners by August 31, 2004.

?“Preview Forum?” is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals and the public in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This fall, Preview Forum will focus on the growing problem of obesity from an environmental, economic, and public health perspective. How are communities responding to this problem? What can your community do? Preview Forum invites organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. For more info, contact [email protected] or 781-893-3336 x24.

Added by Sandy on August 12, 2004??-??Link to this entry

First National Harwood Public Leadership School Set for September

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation just announced that they will run their first "National Harwood Public Leadership School" this September. The school will take place at the (gorgeous) Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton, Virginia, September 26-29, 2004, and it will help the Harwood Institute to fulfill its mission to encourage public leaders to pursue an alternate path in public life - one of possibility and hope....

Read the rest of "First National Harwood Public Leadership School Set for September"

Added by Sandy on August 05, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Peter Levine Comments on "Deliberation When the Stakes are High"

Peter Levine of CIRCLE (the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) posted an interesting piece on his blog on Friday that I thought some of you might want to check out. Peter says "I've been thinking about the future of this movement and the challenges it will face if it really gains traction. To date, most public deliberation in the US has low stakes. In some cases, there is no serious effort to change public policy to match the results of the public conversation." And Later, he adds "Today's public deliberations are likely to be more equitable than juries or teams of college students, because moderators are trained and focused on equality. But what about tomorrow's deliberations? When the stakes go up, individuals with more status or skill will fight back against efforts to support less advantaged participants. They will depict such efforts as "politically correct" or otherwise biased, and they will use their status, confidence, and rhetorical fluency to win the point." Curious? Go directly to the post.

Interested in checking out more D&D-related blogs? Check out the list of blogs we recently added to the left column of this page.

Added by Sandy on August 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Message from AmericaSpeaks on the 2-Year Anniversary of Listening to the City

Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Director of AmericaSpeaks, sent a special message to the AmericaSpeaks network on July 20 - the two year anniversary of Listening to the City, the largest town meeting ever held. This edition of AmericaSpeaks Network News shares the stories, perspectives and impact of the facilitators who came from all across the country to help people deliberate about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site after the September 11th attacks. Click below to read this amazing message.

Read the rest of "Message from AmericaSpeaks on the 2-Year Anniversary of Listening to the City"

Added by Sandy on July 29, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Opportunity to Share Your Stories of Peace-Building

Ann Mason of the Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation wanted the D&D community to know about an opportunity for folks to share their stories about peace-building on their newsletter webpage. Read Ann's entire message below, or email her with your peace-building story at .

Read the rest of "Opportunity to Share Your Stories of Peace-Building"

Added by Sandy on July 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Museum of Science in Boston Seeks Advice from D&D Scholars & Practitioners

I received an exciting email today from Zannah Marsh, a Researcher Assistant at the Boston's Museum of Science. Zannah and her colleagues are in the early stages of developing a project they're calling FORUM. Their goal with this program is to engage museum visitors in dialogue and deliberation about new developments in science and technology--and particularly the social implications of these developments. They aim to provide a neutral setting for visitors to fully engage and explore contested topics with others, exchange viewpoints, and deliberate on solutions or recommendations (hopefully with scientists, technologists, and other experts). They also plan to integrate these dialogues into formats that provide visitors with new information, interactive experiences, and access to artifacts from their collections.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Zanna would like to connect with people who have done academic research in the area of D&D on science and technology, and people who might be able to advise them as they design and learn how to facilitate these types of programs. Zanna can be contacted at 617-589-0202 or . I'd appreciate being cc:ed in any emails () so I can keep up with any developments.

Added by Sandy on July 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

July 15 Update from Let's Talk America

Let's Talk America - a collaborative project of NCDD, Utne Institute, and Conversation Cafe - is bringing people across the U.S. together to talk about what democracy means to them. Read today's LTA update below to learn about training opportunities for hosts, upcoming LTA events, and about dialogues held on Independence Day.

Read the rest of "July 15 Update from Let's Talk America"

Added by Sandy on July 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Project Supporting the Legislator-Citizen Connection

I'm back from my not-so-relaxing "vacation" and ready to blog. Lots of exciting things to share...

First, please look over this important message from Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara, who's a huge advocate for getting policymakers to embrace D&D. If you know a state legislator who supports involving citizens in policymaking, please let Les know (email ). You're also encouraged to let your state legislators know about the session Les is presenting at next week's Nat'l Conference of State Legislatures called "Strengthening the Legislator-Citizen Connection." Click below for Les' email to the NCDD network.

Read the rest of "Project Supporting the Legislator-Citizen Connection"

Added by Sandy on July 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Co-Intelligence Institute Launches Pledge Campaign for Policymakers to "Listen to the People"

I received this announcement today from my visionary colleague Tom Atlee, whose Co-Intelligence Institute is launching The "Listen to the People" Pledge Campaign for Politicians and Public Officials. This new pilot program of the Co-Intelligence Institute is designed to generate conversation with politicians and public officials about the role of citizen panels in government. Tom writes, "With your help, using this Pledge, we will also be able to identify leading edge public officials - 'early adopters' - who we can network into a community of their own. They are out there; we just don't know where they are." Read the full message and the pledge...

Read the rest of "Co-Intelligence Institute Launches Pledge Campaign for Policymakers to "Listen to the People""

Added by Sandy on July 05, 2004??-??Link to this entry

DDC Announces Paid Opportunity for Trained Facilitators

I received an announcement today from my friend Tonya Gonzalez, Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium. They're looking for people to examine videotapes of deliberations and will pay $1000 for 10 hours of work! Plus, you get to work with Jane Mansbridge and Janette Hartz-Karp. Click below for the announcement, and email Jane at by July 15 if you're interested.

Read the rest of "DDC Announces Paid Opportunity for Trained Facilitators"

Added by Sandy on July 05, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly

The final Citizens?’ Assembly public hearing was held June 24th in Kelowna, British Columbia (Canada). During the 50 hearings that have been held across B.C., a total of 387 people made oral presentations, and many more members of the public made informal presentations, offered recommendations and comments, and asked questions at the sessions. More than 2,700 members of the public attended hearings. The 160-member Assembly is currently wrapping up six months dedicated to investigating electoral options and British Columbians' views on them, and will make its final report and disband in December. Click below to read the full announcement and press release.

Read the rest of "Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly"

Added by Sandy on July 04, 2004??-??Link to this entry

PRASI Calls for Papers By and About Conflict Resolution Practitioners & Thinkers of Color

The Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI) is in the final stages of compiling an Anthology of works by and about conflict resolution practitioners and thinkers of color, as well as all others whose voices have been marginalized by politics of knowledge. Final selections will be made in August, 2004. Send submissions, whether completed or in draft, as soon as possible, no later than July 15. Click below for more details.

Read the rest of "PRASI Calls for Papers By and About Conflict Resolution Practitioners & Thinkers of Color"

Added by Sandy on July 03, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Richard Harwood Launches New "Redeeming Hope" Blog

Rich Harwood, the President of the highly respected Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, launched a web log last month aimed at encouraging people to imagine and act for the public good. The blog, called "Redeeming Hope," will allow Rich to share his ideas about where we are as a nation and how to get to where we want to be. Each week, Rich will write about public life and how we can place it on an alternative path. Rich believes public life is about the relationships between and among people and how we individually and collectively can act to overcome divisions facing our society. You are invited to not only read the blog, but to post comments on the blog.

Added by Sandy on June 29, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Let's Talk America Encourages Dialogue about Michael Moore's Film "Farenheit 911"

Inspired by an email that Lars Torres of AmericaSpeaks wrote to the main NCDD discussion list a couple of days ago, in which he suggested that Let's Talk America take advantage of the popularity and punch of Michael Moore's new movie Farenheit 911 to foster genuine dialogue on the state of our country and the partisan divide, the core Let's Talk America team emailed their growing list of convenors, facilitators and dialogue participants this morning. This pleases me greatly; this is just the kind of thing NCDD was created to encourage. Click below to see a copy of the message I received.

Read the rest of "Let's Talk America Encourages Dialogue about Michael Moore's Film "Farenheit 911""

Added by Sandy on June 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

First U.S. Truth & Reconciliation Commission Launched in Greensboro, NC

John Stephens, of the Public Dispute Resolution Program at the University of North Carolina, posted a message on our Thataway Forum this weekend about the Greensboro Truth & Community Reconciliation Commission. Since we haven't yet seeded and launched the Forum, I thought I'd share his message via the blog so more people see it.

Read the rest of "First U.S. Truth & Reconciliation Commission Launched in Greensboro, NC"

Added by Sandy on June 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Tom Atlee Writes about Mapping, Democracy & Collective Intelligence

My friend Tom Atlee, President of the Co-Intelligence Institute, emailed his list today with descriptions of four maps of transformational realms, plus some questions about this whole approach to mapping. According to Tom, "mapping domains of knowledge, inquiry and activity is an important aspect of our developing collective intelligence." This message expands on an earlier piece about knowledge mapping currently posted here on the NCDD wiki (collaborative workspace). Click below to read his message.

Read the rest of "Tom Atlee Writes about Mapping, Democracy & Collective Intelligence"

Added by Sandy on June 27, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Calling the Question Project Seeks Director

Those of you on the NCDD Discussion list know all about this exciting new project and this career opportunity. But for those of you who aren't (yet) on the list (go to www.edgateway.net/ncdd to subscribe), Calling the Question is a joint initiative of the Mainstream Media Project and the Harvard Global Negotiation Project which seeks to shift the national conversation from partisanship to problem-solving by engaging a broad spectrum of the public in calling in to talk radio, querying candidates in media and live appearances, and reframing policy debates by asking open, breakthrough, ?“third side?” questions that blame no one but encourage us to think in practical terms about what we can do together to resolve the challenges that confront us all. Click below to read more about the project and to look over the Program Director job description.

Read the rest of "Calling the Question Project Seeks Director"

Added by Sandy on June 24, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Some Opposition to Deliberation Day

Patricia Wilson of the University of Texas sent me an email the other day suggesting that I bring two articles that oppose Deliberation Day to the attention of people in the D&D community. As Patricia says, "it's important for our community of practice to see how others perceive us, and to see if we can find the grains of truth in their views."

Some of you have heard of Deliberation Day, a proposed national holiday that would take place two weeks before election day (and will, this year, be run in conjunction with MacNeil/Lehrer's By the People project). The Day is being spearheaded by Jim Fishkin and Bruce Ackerman, who recently published a book on the subject. On Deliberation Day, registered voters would be called together in neighborhood meeting places, in small groups of 15 and larger groups of 500, to discuss the central issues raised by the campaign. Each deliberator would be paid $150 for the day's work of citizenship...

Read the rest of "Some Opposition to Deliberation Day"

Added by Sandy on June 19, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Marshall Rosenberg Receives Man of Peace Award

Marshall Rosenberg, creator of Nonviolent Communication, received the 2004 Man of Peace Award today. The award was given by the Peace Prayer Organization in New Mexico, and the award interview can be heard at www.transradio.com (Show #1059). To learn more about Nonviolent Communication, go to the website of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC).

Added by Sandy on June 19, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Have You Subscribed to The Collaborative Edge Yet?

David Booher, Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for Collaborative Policy, asked me to spread the word about the Center's stellar e-newsletter, The Collaborative Edge. This free quarterly newsletter provides timely information on collaborative strategies and methods to public agencies, civic organizations, and the public. Click below for more details.

Read the rest of "Have You Subscribed to The Collaborative Edge Yet?"

Added by Sandy on June 17, 2004??-??Link to this entry

As a Field, Collective Intelligence Takes Off: A Tom Atlee Commentary

Here's a summary of a long, fascinating email I found in my inbox this morning from Tom Atlee, President of the Co-Intelligence Institute (to be added to Tom's e-mailing list, email :

Collective intelligence, as a field of study and practice, is taking off. Some really interesting work is being done, quite beyond the dialogue and deliberative democracy realms we focus on at the Co-Intelligence Institute. It turns out that even when thousands of people don't talk to each other at all, they can still be (somewhat mysteriously) collectively brilliant in solving problems. All told, there seem to be at least eight different -- and often mutually reinforcing -- types of collective intelligence, which are briefly described here. Some of the most interesting explorations of this field come from five sources we've recently bumped into?…

Read the rest of "As a Field, Collective Intelligence Takes Off: A Tom Atlee Commentary"

Added by Sandy on June 07, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Council for Excellence in Government Issues Report on Homeland Security from Citizens' Perspective

I received a call from the Council for Excellence in Government on Thursday, asking if I could announce their new report "We the People: Homeland Security from Citizens?’ Perspective" to the NCDD network. The report includes recommended action gleaned, in part, from citizen suggestions at seven town hall meetings for all levels of government, first responders, private sector and individuals. The recommendations were presented to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and will be distributed to governors, mayors, members of Congress, industry leaders, trade and professional organizations and civic groups immediately.

Click here to read Ridge's remarks about the project. Among other things, Ridge endorses citizen engagement by saying, "...Homeland Security officials - including myself - were able to hear first hand the concerns and questions on the minds of many Americans. That dialogue has provided an important and useful resource that will help guide our continued efforts at Homeland Security to engage and empower citizens." Click below to read the announcement, read more on the Council's website, or download the report.

Read the rest of "Council for Excellence in Government Issues Report on Homeland Security from Citizens' Perspective"

Added by Sandy on June 06, 2004??-??Link to this entry

CIVICUS Produces Report on New Approaches to Global Problem-Solving

I saw this announcement in Friday's newsletter from CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation:

CIVICUS, as part of a group of civil society, research, corporate sector and various levels of international government representatives, is finalizing a report for the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy on new approaches to global problem-solving. This Process, initiated by the Finnish Government in cooperation with the government of Tanzania, aims to develop innovative solutions to the dilemmas of global governance, especially where they affect the most vulnerable sections of the world?’s population. Three track groups will be addressing the areas of human security; financing development; and new approaches to global problem solving.

The latter track, of which CIVICUS is a member, is tasked with starting an international dialogue on the goals and methods of global problem-solving. In its second meeting in London in March, the group concluded that a global governance gap existed because of deficits in democracy, coherence and compliance. The group?’s final report will include proposals on new coalitions for global problem-solving, accountability of global institutions, voices of vulnerable groups in global governance and efficient implementation of global agreements. For more information on the Helsinki Process, visit www.helsinkiprocess.fi.

Added by Sandy on June 06, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Quotas, Fines and Yes-No Votes: An Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly

I just received a press release from the groundbreaking Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. The Assembly is an independent, representative, non-partisan group of 160 randomly selected British Columbians. They must decide by December 15 whether to propose a change to BC?’s electoral system. If they recommend a change, it will be the subject of a referendum for all voters in the May 2005 provincial election. Click below to read the entire press release about last week's public hearings in Port McNeill, Courtenay, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

Read the rest of "Quotas, Fines and Yes-No Votes: An Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly"

Added by Sandy on June 02, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Tom Atlee Shares Some Thoughts on Knowledge Mapping and Deliberation

I received an email from my NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee yesterday that I wanted to share on the Happenings blog. After reading a speech by Bob Horn yesterday, Tom posted the following on NCDD's Wiki (at www.wiki-www.thataway.org/index.php?page=KnowledgeMapping) and the Collective Intelligence blog. Tom believes that Bob Horn's work became the seed crystal for making sense of a lot of other cognitive mapping technologies, he feels that this is a key area to add to our understanding of tools for high-quality deliberation and collective intelligence. Click below for Tom's message.

Read the rest of "Tom Atlee Shares Some Thoughts on Knowledge Mapping and Deliberation"

Added by Sandy on June 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

PCP Invited to Participate in Conference on Communication about Climate Change

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO has invited the Public Conversations Project to participate in an interdisciplinary conference on climate change communication. Sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, the June conference seeks to: 1) take stock of what different disciplines know about climate change communication and identify connections among them; 2) foster communication across disciplinary lines to improve communication; and 3) develop a research and action agenda to enable people to act on what they know. Kathy Regan, PCP's Program Coordinator, will bring a dialogic perspective to a panel exploring the question: "How Can Climate Change Communication Be Improved?"

Read the rest of "PCP Invited to Participate in Conference on Communication about Climate Change"

Added by Sandy on May 30, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Call for Proposals to Host CIVICUS World Assembly for 2006, 2007 and 2008

CIVICUS is inviting bids to host its next three World Assemblies. These are major international meetings of civil society leaders and activists aimed at creating a space where a diversity of civil society voices can be heard exchanging experiences, challenges, successes and dreams and, most importantly, concrete ideas for a more equitable and just world. The CIVICUS World Assembly was previously organised as a biennial event in a different venue on each occasion. As a result of its success over the years, CIVICUS now wishes to organise the conference as an annual event in a fixed venue for the next three years. The tentative dates for the 6th World Assembly are 25-29 March 2006. The 7th and 8th are scheduled for the end of March 2007 and 2008. Click below for the rest of the announcement.

Read the rest of "Call for Proposals to Host CIVICUS World Assembly for 2006, 2007 and 2008"

Added by Sandy on May 29, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update from Taylor Willingham on Forums in Texas

Here's an update from Kettering's Friday Letter written by Taylor Willingham (), an NCDD member who's doing incredible work in Texas. Taylor, a longtime National Issues Forum activist had this to say about her recent work:

I?’m way behind on reporting the activities of Texas Forums, but that?’s only because we?’ve been so busy! On March 27, Texas Forums moderators convened three simultaneous forums on race relations. These forums followed a two-day Civil Rights symposium organized by Dr. Ed Dorn, Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Kettering Board Member. We conducted these forums in partnership with Future Forum, an organization founded by Catherine Robb, LBJ?’s granddaughter and my office mate at the LBJ Library.....

Read the rest of "Update from Taylor Willingham on Forums in Texas"

Added by Sandy on May 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Book by Harry Boyt to be Published in September

Harry Boyte recently sent me some info about his forthcoming book, "Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life." A pioneer in our field, Boyte is founder and co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the University of Minnesota (www.publicwork.org). In Everyday Politics, Boyte transcends partisan politics to offer an alternative. He demonstrates how community-rooted activities reconnect citizens to engaged, responsible public life, not just on election day but throughout the year. Boyte demonstrates that this type of activism has a rich history and strong philosophical foundations. It rests on the stubborn faith that the talents and insights of ordinary citizens?—from nursery school to nursing home?—are crucial elements in public life and everyday politics. Click below for the full announcement.

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Added by Sandy on May 27, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Book on "Civic Revolutionaries"

I received an email this morning from Senator Les Ihara, Hawaii State Senator, NCDD member and Board member of the National Issues Forums Institute. He attached an interesting article entitled "The Rise of the New Civic
Revolutionaries: Answering the Call to Stewardship in Our Times," which was published recently in the National Civic Review. This article, by Douglas Menton, John Melville and Kim Walesh, is adapted from their recently-published book, Civic Revolutionaries: Igniting the Passion for Change in America's Communities.

Here's a compelling quote from the article: "A new grassroots movement is underway in the regions of the United States today. Once again, a movement is beginning in communities across the nation, urged ahead by leaders who see the need for fundamental change in how their regions define and solve problems and ultimately how they are governed. They represent a new kind of regional civic leadership attuned to the economic and social realities of our times. Traditional top-down leadership styles and stovepipe government models simply do not work in the fast-paced, global economy and diverse societies of today." Email me () if you'd like a copy of the article.

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda Offers Discussion Guide on Same-Sex Marriage

A choicework guide about same-sex marriage, titled Gay Rights: Which Way to the Altar? is available on the Public Agenda First Choice 2004 website. The guide presents three approaches: 1. Extend equal rights to all our citizens, including gay people; 2. Let states and communities choose their own solutions; 3. Protect traditional institutions and values. Each approach is accompanied by arguments for and against the approach. The guide also includes a section titled Status Report: Where are we Now? and a listing of additional resources.

In addition to the downloadable issue guide, there is a link to "create your own choicework" that allows users to modify a framework of the issue by selecting from a list of actions under three broad approaches, or adding other actions. Other issue guides in Public Agenda's First Choice 2004 program include: Terrorism, Health Care, Race and Affirmative Action, Paying for College, The Environment, Jobs and the Economy, Taxes and the Deficit, and Immigration.

Added by Sandy on May 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

This Year's Presidential Election Campaign May Include Public Deliberation

I just read an exciting segment in May 14th's Friday Letter from the Kettering Foundation. The segment started off with this eye-popping (for us, at least) statement: "There?’s a chance public deliberation will become a part of this year?’s presidential election campaign." Click below to read about what transcribed when the Director of Voter Education for the Commission on Presidential Debates (the folks who have organized the presidential debates since 1988) visited Kettering on May 11.

Read the rest of "This Year's Presidential Election Campaign May Include Public Deliberation"

Added by Sandy on May 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

International Day of Open Homes, Listening Hearts Coming Up Fast

Initiatives of Change's annual International "Day" of Open Homes, Listening Hearts will take place June 4-6, 2004. Around the world during the first weekend in June, individuals will join to counter violence and injustice. But this is not a global protest against something; it is a united action for something: building community. During this June weekend, people will reach out to others with whom they wouldn't normally interact - usually those of a different race, ethnicity, or religion - and invite those people to share a meal and stories in their homes or communities. For more info, go to www.ohlh.org or email .

Added by Sandy on May 22, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update from Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform

I received an email today from Paul Harris of British Columbia's groundbreaking Citizens?’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. The Assembly is an independent, representative, non-partisan group of 160 randomly-selected British Columbians. They must decide by December 15 whether to propose a change to B.C.'s electoral system. If they recommend a change, it will be the subject of a referendum for all voters in the May 2005 provincial election. Click below for an overview of this week's public hearings.

Read the rest of "Update from Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform"

Added by Sandy on May 21, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on Conversation Cafe Efforts in the U.K.

I received a great email the other day from Trish Dickinson, who has launched Conversation Cafes in the U.K. Trish wanted to update me on the cafes, so I'm passing that update on to you folks. According to Trish, "The last two years show a worldwide growing critique of systems of governance and the informal structure of the Conversation Cafe Movement creates a meeting place to listen to that dissension, to dialogue and develop practical options in line with shared values." Click below to read her full message.

Read the rest of "Update on Conversation Cafe Efforts in the U.K."

Added by Sandy on May 16, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Collaborative "Calling the Question" Project to Launch this Summer

The Mainstream Media Project and the Harvard Global Negotiation Project, in cooperation with MoveOn.org, are launching a joint initiative this summer called the Calling the Question project. The Calling the Question initiative is a multi-year initiative to shift the national conversation from partisanship to problem-solving by engaging a broad spectrum of the public in calling in to talk radio, querying candidates in media and live appearances, and reframing policy debates by asking open, breakthrough, ?“third side?” questions that blame no one but encourage us to think in practical terms about what we can do together to resolve the challenges that confront us all. The aim of this initiative is to reach across the divide between thoughtful progressives and thoughtful conservatives to catalyze ?“convergence conversations?” that could contribute to a broader de-polarization of an increasingly divided electorate and society. Click below for more details and contact info.

Read the rest of "Collaborative "Calling the Question" Project to Launch this Summer"

Added by Sandy on May 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Canadian Citizens' Assembly Breaking New Ground

In case you haven't heard about the British Columbia Parliament's innovative experiment in deliberative democracy called "Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform," I thought I'd post an update. Formed last year by that province's government to get meanngful citizen input into reforming its entire electoral system, the Citizens Assembly has been holding hearings for months now. As it says on the Citizens' Assembly website, "nowhere else in the world has such power been handed to randomly selected citizens. Click below to read more, or go to www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/public for more details or to sign up for the e-newsletter.

Read the rest of "Canadian Citizens' Assembly Breaking New Ground"

Added by Sandy on May 06, 2004??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Returns to Charlotte, NC

From AmericaSpeaks 4/29/04 enewsletter for their facilitators: In September 2004, AmericaSpeaks will return to Charlotte, NC to again partner with the Lee Institute in the development of a 21st Century Town Meeting for Mecklenberg County. The ?“United Agenda for Children" will bring together somewhere between 1500 and 2000 residents to discuss child and family services, and education. This 21st Century Town Meeting?™ is part of a comprehensive 3-year effort to implement a shared action plan ensuring all children in Mecklenburg County are healthy, safe, and well educated. Congratulations to Anne Udall and Cyndee Patterson for their great work with the volunteer Steering Committee over the last several months. And kudos to Tracy Russ for bringing a team from Charlotte to "Behind the Scenes" at Listening to the City in July, 2002. The team that came to New York went back to Charlotte and got commitment to run the Feb. 2003 "The Region Speaks," a smaller meeting to expose more community leaders to what is possible in the world of citizen engagement. Out of that spark, with a lot of significant work in the community, this initiative for the well-being of children has evolved.

Added by Sandy on May 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update and Call for Support for the U.S. Consensus Council

I received an email on April 23 from Rob Fersh, Director of the vital National Consensus Initiative. As Rob says, "there is no natural constituency for the USCC or any special interests who can put muscle behind it. Our main constituency is people, many from the field of conflict resolution, who understand the promise of the USCC to serve the nation in developing potentially wiser, more broadly supportable policy options to address important national problems. The goal of the USCC is to synthesize the insight and experience of people with differing points of view into policy proposals that reflect 'highest common denominator' solutions.

Rob needs all of us to fax the Congressmembers who have the power to move forward. Click below for contact info and instructions for doing this.

Read the rest of "Update and Call for Support for the U.S. Consensus Council"

Added by Sandy on April 27, 2004??-??Link to this entry

If Gandhi and Bin Ladin Were to Engage in Dialogue...

If he were alive today, how might Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest apostle of non-violence, challenge Osama bin Laden's worldview? A piece by Bhikhu Parekh, a professor of political philosophy and author of three books on Gandhi, featured in this month's issue of Prospect Magazine answers this question through a bold fictional dialogue between these two figures. This unique and fascinating effort at "translating" and giving Gandhi a contemporary relevance is based on a lecture first delivered at Boston University. A longer version will appear later this year in "The Stranger's Religion: Fascination and Fear" edited by Anna Lannstrom (University of Notre Dame Press). Click here for the piece, called "Why Terror?", or click below to read the author's preface.

Read the rest of "If Gandhi and Bin Ladin Were to Engage in Dialogue..."

Added by Sandy on April 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Democracy In America Convention to Take Place this August

I received an e-letter from David Wick a few days ago about the upcoming Democracy in America Convention. The Convention is happening in conjunction with Let's Talk America, the project NCDD is involved in with the Utne Institute, Conversation Cafes and the World Cafe.

The Convention will take place this August 19-22 in Springfield, Illinois, and it will bring together people from all 50 states to "ignite the unified voice of 'We the People'" through dialogue and deliberation. Click below to read the full message.

Read the rest of "Democracy In America Convention to Take Place this August"

Added by Sandy on April 22, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Monthly "Fabulous Facilitators Breakfasts" in Berkeley

Lisa Heft hosts a "Fabulous Facilitators Breakfast" each month in Berkeley, California. The next one will be held this Monday, April 26. This is a casual breakfast group that brings facilitators in the region together for mutual support, learning, interaction and community. Over breakfast, facilitators who specialize in a variety of methods share challenges, questions, news and mutual appreciation in about a 2-hour time span without an agenda. They also share news about their workshops, ideas for collaboration, flyers to share and feedback on facilitation ?‘gigs?’ they have done or are about to do. Email Lisa at for information on where and when we will be meeting this month.

Added by Sandy on April 22, 2004??-??Link to this entry

An Inspirational Report on National Issues Forums Held in Russia

I receive ?“Friday Letters?” each week from the Kettering Foundation. The April 16th Friday Letter started off with an inspirational report from KF Associate Phil Stewart about his recent trip to Russia. Phil and his colleagues observed several deliberative forums, and noticed a clear commitment to learning and practicing the norms of democratic deliberation. One elderly teacher is quoted as saying ?“Only if my grandchildren learn to think critically, think for themselves and to deliberate in public, only then will they have the opportunity to grow up in a democratic Russia.?” Click below for the full report.

Read the rest of "An Inspirational Report on National Issues Forums Held in Russia"

Added by Sandy on April 21, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Pilot Teleconferencing Dialogue Project a Success

A new project called Solis, directed by Liza Chambers, is a unique cross-cultural education program that enables college students in the United States and the Middle East to collaboratively explore the relationship between the two countries through dialogue. Solis' pilot Connect Program, which ran this winter, was a great success. Participating students from 5 colleges were divided into units, with each unit consisting of three students from universities in the U.S. and three students from universities in the Middle East. The units ?“met?” twice a week for an hour and a half for six weeks for live sessions via Solis' customized online collaboration application. The online application used is very intimate, allowing participants to see one another's facial expressions, hear tone of voice, and even share jokes. Students were also able to communicate asynchronously via websites that were created for each unit. There they could post messages and exchange ideas, via both video and text. Click below to read more.

Read the rest of "Pilot Teleconferencing Dialogue Project a Success"

Added by Sandy on April 20, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Resource for NVC Research

With the help of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), Tom Caruso has created a resource that includes files of interest to anyone wanting to do research with NVC. Click here to see this resource of files. Within this file you will find links to the actual files described. Tom welcomes folks to send him anything they would like included in this resource for Nonviolent Communication researchers. This includes the reference for any relevant journal, book, or other media that could be referred to in a research paper. Tom is the Director of Research Initiatives at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech. His phone number is 540-231-6771 and his email is .

Added by Sandy on April 07, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Inaugural Issue of AmericaSpeaks' Newsletter

I received an email today from Carolyn Lukensmeyer, announcing the the inaugural issue of the AmericaSpeaks e-newsletter. This online newsletter is available on at www.americaspeaks.org/newsletter. This issue is comprised of highlights of AmericaSpeaks?’ work in 2003, as well as information on speaking engagements, readings in the field, and some of the organization?’s plans for 2004. Also included is a letter from Carolyn, providing additional background on AmericaSpeaks. To receive emails announcing when this quarterly newsletter is available online, email Erzulie Coquillon at .

Added by Sandy on April 05, 2004??-??Link to this entry

California Gathering of Dialogue & Deliberation Leaders to be Held in June

On Friday, Katie Howard of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center announced that the much-anticipated (by me) First Annual Northern California Dialogue and Deliberation Conference will take place on Friday, June 11 at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. This one-day gathering will bring together Northern California's leaders, facilitators, practitioners and participants in the growing dialogue and deliberation community. Click below for Katie's full announcement, or email Katie at . NCDD hopes to see many more such regional networking events popping up like this one!

Read the rest of "California Gathering of Dialogue & Deliberation Leaders to be Held in June"

Added by Sandy on April 03, 2004??-??Link to this entry

A New Form of Online Deliberation - Meaning Map is Now Online

Meaning Map is a new, web-based form of discussion designed to make collective decision-making more democratic and efficient by democratizing framing and agenda setting, emphasizing reasons and principles, and removing the need for any stable group of elites to act as gatekeepers. Meaning Map creator Ray Pingree encourages you to experiment with Meaning Map at www.meaningmap.com (click on "Try Meaning Map now!"). Ray also says that groups of 50 to 500 who want their own Meaning Map should contact him at . He may be able to host it on his server for you for free. Also email Ray if you have constructive feedback on the tool.

Added by Sandy on April 03, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Rogue Valley Wisdom Council Video Available Online

You know that amazing picture that's posted on NCDD's main page right now? The one with the people holding up a banner that says "We the People"? Well, that's the Rogue Valley Wisdom Coucil, an important democratic experiment that's been going on in Oregon. I just received an email letting me know that the video footage of the first Rogue Valley Wisdom Council, which took place in November, has been incorporated into a 22-minute video. If you're curious about Wisdom Councils or Dynamic Facilitation, this video allows you to watch the process unfold, as the panelists grapple with issues and find common ground. Click below for more info.

Read the rest of "New Rogue Valley Wisdom Council Video Available Online"

Added by Sandy on April 03, 2004??-??Link to this entry

NIF Launches Gorgeous New Website

The National Issues Forums (NIF) website has been redesigned, updated, and launched, and can now be seen at www.nifi.org. NIF encourages you to visit the site, tell others about it, and when you have news about National Issues Forums-related projects, events, or news, send them to Patty Dineen at or Fax: 724-443-5942. National Issues Forums bring people together to talk about important issues. They range from small study circles held in peoples?’ homes to large community gatherings modeled on New England town meetings. Each forum focuses on a specific issues such as illegal drugs, Social Security, or juvenile crime.

Added by Sandy on April 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Preview Forum Invites You to Address Globalization in your Community - and Offers Free Resources

NCDD has just become a National Partner of Preview Forum, which is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals and the public in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This spring, Preview Forum will focus on the sweeping changes of globalization and what those changes mean at the local level. We invite organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, planning guides, and publicity materials) to the first 100 organizations that sign on as partners. For more information, contact or 781-893-3336 x24. Visit the Preview Forum website at www.previewforum.com.

Added by Sandy on March 30, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Network of Scholars Interested in Collaborative Policy

The Center for Collaborative Policy (one of NCDD's newest members) is developing a network of international, multi-disciplinary scholars in collaborative planning, public administration, and political science to explore how collaborative policy can enhance democratic governance. Scholars from the disciplines of collaborative policy/planning, public administration, and political science are included. Panels and round tables are planned for various upcoming conferences. Contact CCP Research Director Dr. William Leach () for details about how you can get involved.

Added by Sandy on March 24, 2004??-??Link to this entry

ARNOVA Conference to Address Advocacy, Deliberation & Governance

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) will hold its 33rd annual conference November 18-20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. This year's focus is "The Meaning and Motives of Philanthropy: Responding to the Needs of a Diverse Society." Among the proposed panels at this year's conference are "Technology in the Promotion of Civic and Political Participation: Advocacy, Deliberation and Governance." To participate in a technology panel, contact John McNutt at . For more information about the conference, go to www.arnova.org/call_4_participation_news.php

Added by Sandy on March 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Citizen Engagement Summit Scheduled for November in Canada

I don't know much about this group yet, but the Whistler Forum just applied for membership in NCDD and I look forward to learning more about this summit. The Whistler Forum for Dialogue will hold its first North American Summit on Citizen Engagement November 10-12, 2004 in Whistler, British Columiba, Canada. The Whistler Forum is modeled after the Aspen Institute, and is led by Executive Director William Roberts. For more details, email William at .

Added by Sandy on March 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

CIVICUS World Assembly Going Strong

I just received a press release from CIVICUS today about a conference in Botswana I wish I was at right now. Here it is: Gaborone, 22 March 2004 - Over 700 citizens from 100 countries worldwide gathered this morning in Gaborone, Botswana for the start of a four-day CIVICUS World Assembly conference around the theme of 'working together for a just world.' The participants included civil society activists, practitioners, researchers, activists, concerned business leaders, representatives from intergovernmental organisations and government representatives, all united by a common concern to work concertedly for greater social, economic, political and civic justice worldwide.

Read the rest of "CIVICUS World Assembly Going Strong"

Added by Sandy on March 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

CBCRC Seeks Articles on Evaluation of Collaborative Processes

The good folks at the Community Based Collaboratives Research Consortium(CBCRC) are looking for articles that address evaluation of community-based collaborative processes for the second edition of their new journal. The deadline for submission of articles is April 28, 2004. In addition to feature articles, CBCRC is interested in highlighting new research and books, and upcoming conferences and workshops. Click below for more details.

Read the rest of "CBCRC Seeks Articles on Evaluation of Collaborative Processes"

Added by Sandy on March 20, 2004??-??Link to this entry

News from "Mix It Up"

Here are some news blurbs about Mix It Up - a collaborative project of the Study Circles Resource Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center that has kids stepping out of their usual social boundries in cafeterias across the country. Click here to find out how Carnegie Mellon University students used a $250 Mix It Up grant to make a musical difference in the lives of middle and high school students in their neighboring community. Click here to learn how to apply for a Mix It Up grant at your school or college. And click here for info about Mix It Up's need for a Program Associate.

Added by Sandy on March 20, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Loka Institute News about the Community-Based Research Movement

The newsletter from the Community Research Network 2003 conference in Sandstone, Minnesota - "Powerful Collaborations: Building a Movement for Social Change" - is now available on the Loka website, along with several conference papers that describe significant case studies or report basic research on the community-based research movement. They can be accessed at www.loka.org/conf2003/2003_conference.htm.

Read the rest of "Loka Institute News about the Community-Based Research Movement"

Added by Sandy on March 19, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Book on Deliberative Democracy in America

Ethan Leib sent me the following details about his new book "Deliberative Democracy in America" today.

"We are taught in civics class that the Constitution provides for three basic branches of government, executive, judicial, and legislative. While the President and Congress as elected by popular vote are representative, can they really reflect accurately the will and sentiment of the populace? Or do money and power dominate everyday politics to the detriment of true self-governance? Is there a way to put "We the people" back into government? Ethan Leib thinks there is and offers this blueprint for a fourth branch of government as a way of giving the people a voice of their own."

Read the rest of "New Book on Deliberative Democracy in America"

Added by Sandy on March 18, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New LogoLink Research Initiative Focuses on Resources, Citizen Engagement and Democratic Local Governance

The main objectives of LogoLink?’s new ?“Research on Resources, Citizen Engagement and Democratic Local Governance?” initiative (RECITE) are: (1) to contribute to knowledge on an aspect of participation in local governance that has attracted limited policy interest to date; (2) to draw to the attention of governments and aid donors the importance of creating and resourcing spaces for participatory processes in fiscal decisions; and (3) to strengthen the capacities of LogoLink partners and other civil society groups to influence and participate in the most critical fiscal spaces.

The UK-based LogoLink is a global network of practitioners from civil society organizations, research institutions and governments working to deepen democracy through greater citizen participation in local governance.

Added by Sandy on March 08, 2004??-??Link to this entry

LogoLink Collaborates with the Deliberative Democracy Consortium

On October 22-24, 2003, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) convened a "Researcher and Practitioner Conference" to map out a research agenda in the field of deliberative democracy. As a result of the conference, several research themes were identified and assigned to teams of researchers and practitioners who would develop these into research proposals.

LogoLink representatives participated in the meeting, where they shared the work that the LogoLink network is pursuing and expressed the network's interest in linking up with the DDC for various learning events and activities. In particular, LogoLink will be involved in two research projects, one on mapping methods in deliberative democracy and the other on documenting activists' arguments for and against deliberation. The Hewlett Foundation is funding this research initiative. For more info, visit www.deliberative-democracy.net.

Added by Sandy on March 07, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Peaceforce Collecting Stories on the Power of Nonviolent Conflict Transformation

Mel Duncan, the Executive Director of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, invites you to send in your stories and experiences in the power of nonviolent conflict transformation. Your stories will be published in future issues of the Peaceforce?’s e-newsletter. According to Mel, ?“by sharing your wisdom and your perspective, you will enrich our growing network of people who are working together to build the Nonviolent Peaceforce and alternatives to military intervention.?” Email your stories to . The Nonviolent Peaceforce is an international organization dedicated to creating a large-scale peace army of trained, paid civilians from every continent to intervene in conflict situations.

Added by Sandy on February 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Higher Ed ?“Community of Practice?” Created on Democratic Dialogue

The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) just created four new web-based COPs (Communities of Practice) -- on assessment, cognitive development, electronic portfolios, and democratic dialogue. The Society for Values in Higher Education (SVHE) is facilitating the COP on democratic dialogue, and they are inviting academics who are studying and experimenting with various models of discourse (study circles, National Issues Forums, intergroup dialogue, and others) to participate. Newcomers to the field are welcome! The group will convene a few times a year (optional) and exchange resources, ideas, and announcements via the web site.

Read the rest of "New Higher Ed ?“Community of Practice?” Created on Democratic Dialogue"

Added by Sandy on February 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

?‘Family Circles' Build Vital Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

A great article by Gloria F. Mengual outlines how the Study Circles Resource Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have helped neighborhoods in Indianapolis, Indiana, solve their problems through dialogue and collaborative action. According to Mengual, ?“Since 2000, 780 residents have participated in the 92 Family Circles held in 30 neighborhoods. Participants identified many action ideas they wanted to pursue, including new playgrounds, mentoring programs, after school programs, safe houses for teens and more.?” Click below for the full article.

Read the rest of "?‘Family Circles' Build Vital Neighborhoods in Indianapolis"

Added by Sandy on February 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

"Let's Talk America" Featured in Current Utne Magazine

NCDD has been working with the Utne Institute, Conversation Cafe and The World Cafe to organize a nation-wide dialogue called "Let's Talk America." LTA is featured in the March/April Utne that I just received in my mailbox this morning, and I encourage all of you to go out and get this month's Utne if you're not a subscriber.

A very cool 2-page ad (p. 48-49) with a red background encourages people to participate in this "new nationwide movement to revitalize our democracy." And on pages 60-61, a great article by Leif Utne provides background and info on how to get involved. Everyone in the dialogue & deliberation community is invited to participate in this election-year initiative. Go to www.letstalkamerica.org to find out more about the different levels of involvement.

Added by Sandy on February 21, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Second National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation to be Held this October

NCDD's 2004 conference will take place in Denver, Colorado, October 23-25 at Regis University. We plan to have this conference surpass the groundbreaking 2002 conference in every way - in numbers, in quality, in networking opportunities, in learning and skill-building.

Like our first conference, the 2004 conference will be planned as collaboratively and creatively as possible, and your input and involvement are more than welcome. Go to www.thataway.org/conference/2004/index.html for more info.

Added by Sandy on February 19, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Fascinating Review of a Recent Gathering of Artists, Educators & Activists

Andrea Assaf of the Animating Democracy Initiative has written up a fascinating, inspiring review of the January 2004 National Convergence of Artists, Educators, and Activists. Inspired by Grace Lee Boggs and conversations on art and social change at the Animating Democracy National Exchange on Art & Civic Dialogue (October 2003), the National Convergence attracted more than 200 people to New Orleans last month. In her article, Assaf reflects on the impetus, unfolding, and impacts of this convening. To read the article and additional reflections by participants, visit the Community Arts Network (CAN) website.

Added by Sandy on February 17, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Book about Fishkin & Ackerman?’s National ?“Deliberation Day?” Idea

Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin argue that Americans can revitalize their democracy and break the cycle of cynical media manipulation that is crippling public life. They propose a new national holiday?—Deliberation Day?—for each presidential election year. On this day people throughout the country will meet in public spaces and engage in structured debates about issues that divide the candidates in the upcoming presidential election. Order from http://yale.edu/yup/books/101015.htm or amazon.com.

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Added by Sandy on February 17, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra Facilitates Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue in New York

The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, in partnership with the Dialogue Project, hosted a series of dialogues among Jewish-Palestinian groups in New York through their presentation of the John Adams opera ?“The Death of Klinghoffer.?” The Klinghoffer Dialogue Project, led by Ted Wiprud--Animating Democracy veteran through the American Composers Orchestra project ?“Coming to America?”--consisted of three pre-production dialogue sessions, each focusing on one aspect of the production: the words, the staging, and the music of the opera; and one postproduction dialogue offering an opportunity for participants to reflect and discuss related issues. In addition, as part of the ongoing Open Rehearsal Initiative, classes at three diverse Brooklyn high schools studied ?“The Death of Klinghoffer.?” Animating Democracy supported this project; a profile of the project is being developed for our website. www.brooklynphilharmonic.org/2003_2004/KlinghofferDP.htm

Added by Sandy on February 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

San Diego Repertory Theatre Awarded for its Arts-Based Dialogue Efforts

In January, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle awarded the 2003 Outstanding New Play Award to playwrights Bernardo Solano and Allan Havis, and director Sam Woodhouse for ?“Nuevo California,?” the Rep?’s Animating Democracy project. The world premier of this multilingual theatre work explores physical and cultural boundaries along the United States/Mexico border. The play and its development process engaged citizens on both sides of the border in dialogue about reducing or increasing cross-border economic, cultural, transportation, and employment exchange. San Diego critics chose ?“Nuevo California?” from over 100 productions produced in San Diego last year.

Added by Sandy on February 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Public Deliberation Required in New Nanotechnology Bill

In a January 18, 2004 email, Colleen Cordes of the Loka Institute wrote ?“Congratulations and sincere thanks to all of you who signed the letter to Congress and the White House last summer urging a strong provision for public participation -- especially through citizen panels or consensus conferences -- in the big nanotech R&D bill that Congress was then considering: THE BILL HAS PASSED AND HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW WITH A PROVISION THAT DOES MUCH OF WHAT WE JOINTLY REQUESTED.?” NCDD supported this provision and is excited about this development.

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Added by Sandy on February 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Tom Atlee Writes About Use of Hi-Tech Games to Help Citizens Deliberate

In a February 6, 2004 message to his email list, Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute wrote about how citizens can use games - computer simulations and other scenario-based games - to learn about the trade-offs involved in making decisions about public issues. When combined with deliberation, he says, this can greatly improve the sophistication of citizen recommendations and the level of public buy-in for whatever fair policies are approved.

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Added by Sandy on February 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on America?’s Role in the World Deliberations

In January 2003, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (MLP) held a national dialogue, with 344 randomly selected citizens from across the country, on America's role in the world. (More information on the National Issues Convention is available at www.by-the-people.org). The gathering demonstrated the power of informed public deliberation to spur serious reflection on complex policy choices. To extend and sustain this conversation, By the People held follow-up conversations in January 2004 in cities around the country, in partnership with local public television stations, community foundations, newspapers, universities, and civic organizations. A second phase, scheduled for October 2004, will extend the conversation to thirty communities.

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Added by Sandy on February 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

New Resource on Media Coverage of the War in Iraq

The Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy publishes a quarterly journal to stimulate and inform debate about important current issues. Members of the Institute recently created a special website (www.puaf.umd.edu/IPPP/iraq/) about one particular issue of major international importance: media coverage of the war in Iraq. The website poses fundamental questions about the role of the press in wartime. As background, it collects and organizes some of the best relevant writing from philosophy, political science, and journalism. It also provides an opportunity for you to speak out. There is a discussion forum, and your comments and questions are welcome. If you would like to send additional references for the site or ask any questions, please contact Institute Research Scholar Peter Levine at .

Added by Sandy on February 13, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on the U.S. Consensus Council

Rob Fersh sent us an update on the USCC on January 8, 2004. Despite Congress' approval of a $1 million appropriation for establishment of the USCC, we are still waiting for the authorizing legislation to pass. When legislation is passed - and I'm confident that it will be! - the USCC will serve Congress in promoting consensus-based solutions to important national legislative policy issues. The USCC's role will be to convene diverse stakeholders on a particular issue and build agreements among them that reflect "win/win", highest common denominator solutions. Click the link below for Rob's full email.

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Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Petra Fellow Awards to Honor Individuals for Human and Civil Rights Work

Through the Petra Fellow Awards program, the New York City-based Petra Foundation (http://petrafoundation.org/) seeks to honor individuals for their distinctive contributions to the human and civil rights, autonomy, and dignity of others. In addition to awarding fellows a modest financial stipend, the organization seeks to amplify their voices, publicize innovative models for change, foster collaborations, and build a network of emerging and experienced leaders who cross the lines of age, race, class, and issue to work together to build a more just society. The deadline for nominations is February 12, 2004.

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Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

PCP & Beliefnet.com to Hold Online Dialogues on Passion of Christ Film

The Public Conversations Project is working with Beliefnet.com to host a series of closed online dialogues about Mel Gibson?’s controversial new film, The Passion of Christ. PCP is currently looking identifying volunteers who 1) have taken PCP's Power of Dialogue training, 2) have significant experience facilitating face to face dialogue, 3) could facilitate a balanced and respectful conversation about the issues likely to be raised by the film, 4) are comfortable and clear online writers, and 5) have the time and energy to make the significant time investment involved. Facilitators will follow the guidelines Beliefnet developed in comparable dialogues following 9/11 and at the start of the war on Iraq. Meenakshi Chakraverti () is coordinating PCP's participation in this pilot project. Connect with her before February 6 if you are interested in this learning opportunity and meet the qualifications.

Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

The Peace Company Celebrates the Season for Nonviolence

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi are the 20th century saints of nonviolence. They showed us that the moral force of love is indeed stronger than the coercive force of oppression. Every year, for 64 days between the anniversaries of the deaths of these two great men (January 30 and April 4), we celebrate the Season for Nonviolence, when individuals and groups all over the world are encouraged to re-commit themselves to nonviolence as a way of life and as a road to peace and social change.

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Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

RESOLVE President Serves on Environmental Panel

RESOLVE?’s President, Gail Bingham, has been appointed to a National Research Council panel on ?“Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision-Making?” and is serving on a federal advisory committee convened by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution on how collaborative approaches can enhance the goals described in Section 101 of the National Environmental Policy Act. Contact Gail Bingham at to learn more.

Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry