What we’re up to…
NCDD is running, involved in, and supporting a variety of projects to help advance the rapidly-growing dialogue and deliberation community.
Also check out our partners’ upcoming trainings - all of which are discounted significantly for NCDD members who have paid the (optional) membership fee.
Upcoming Programs We’re Co-Sponsoring or Supporting…
3rd Annual International Conference on “Engaging the Other”
NCDD is an official endorsing organization the 3rd Annual International Conference on “ENGAGING THE OTHER:” The Power of Compassion, which will take place September 4-7, 2008 in San Francisco (San Mateo), California, USA. This international, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary conference examines concepts of “The OTHER” from a universal, cross-cultural perspective to promote wider public dialogue about concepts of “Us and Them.
This extraordinary conference will address the roots of fear-based belief systems and stereotypes, prejudice, polarization, enemy images, and artificial barriers of misunderstanding and distrust that divide us. Join an international list of over 60 presenters and visionaries, and hundreds of concerned individuals, to engage in 3 1/2 days of workshops, roundtables, and focused, facilitated dialogue bridging the divide and cultivating our capacity for reconciliation, appreciation of diversity, and peace. Learn more.
The Democracy Communications Network
The Democracy Communications Network is a new collaborative effort to raise awareness about the central role people can and are playing in decision-making and problem-solving. A group of leaders in public engagement (including AmericaSpeaks, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Everyday Democracy, the Kettering Foundation, NCDD, Public Agenda, and others) recently launched the Democracy Communications Network, in an attempt to:
- coordinate PR efforts (op-eds, blogging, articles, etc.) in response to current events
- develop simple, compelling language to describe public engagement work
- make widely available helpful tools for writing compelling op-eds, working with newspapers, writing for blogs, etc.
- keep track of the blog posts and op-eds that are written, so that others can be inspired by those examples
- raise the visibility of the work we all are doing
Learn more about this important initiative, or email if you’d like to get involved.
The November 5th Coalition
The November 5th Coalition is a new collaborative initiative dedicated to using the 2008 presidential election as an opportunity to foster deliberation about how we can collectively mobilize the energies and talents of ordinary citizens to address our challenges. We believe the campaign can be a watershed, where citizens reclaim their standing as partners of a government that is truly “of, by, and for the people.” The Coalition is named for the day after the election, when we hope a new chapter in our civic work begins - a partnership between voters and elected officials. Learn more - or sign the November 5th Coalition Petition now.
Host One of “20,000 Dialogues”
Watch a film… Make a friend… Make peace happen… 20,000 Dialogues is a nationwide initiative bringing interfaith dialogue into the hands of ordinary people who want to make a positive difference. NCDD is partnering with 20,000 Dialogues to encourage you to join a nationwide campaign to bring people of different faiths together using films about Muslims to stimulate discussion and promote understanding.
Host a dialogue in your living room, at your school, or with your congregation. Do it during lunch with your coworkers or with your book club. These dialogues can be as small as 5 people or as large as you want. Get involved now to get your free copy of Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain or Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. Learn more.
Current NCDD Projects…
Guidebook to Dialogue & Deliberation
NCDD is producing a small easy-to-use guidebook that will introduce people to the range of dialogue and deliberation methods that are available to them, and help them decide when to use which method. We plan to publish thousands of copies of the guidebook and make them widely available to the D&D community and others in order to help promote dialogue and deliberation.
The draft guidebook is online at http://www.thataway.org/index.php/?page_id=952, and we strongly encourage you to look it over and add comments about what you think should be changed, added, or taken away.
2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation
NCDD’s 4th national conference is set for the lively, artistic city of Austin, Texas, October 3-5, 2008. Our innovative, highly participatory conferences bring together people who are dedicated to solving group and societal problems through honest talk, quality thinking and collaborative action. Learn more about NCDD Austin. You can also learn about our past conferences at www.thataway.org/events/, or watch our 5-minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvIP6Ms-Viw to see why you should join us in Austin!
Affinity Groups and Regional Networks
NCDD runs discussion lists for several affinity groups, including those interested in higher education, those new to D&D, and those looking into “making a living in D&D.” We also have discussion lists for D&D folks in Northern California, and those based in Colorado. Learn more or subscribe to these lists.
The new NCDD Members Network also offers a way for members to create unlimited affinity groups as well, and we launched the network with dozens of groups. Based on where they lived, members were added to 15 regional groups. Members can also join 14 interest-based groups - including groups based on streams of practice (deliberative democracy, conflict resolution, etc.), groups based on the type of work a member does (research, whole system processes, etc.), and others. Join NCDD to participate in these groups.
We encourage NCDD members to form their own local networks. Let us know if you are interested in this - or if you’re already doing it - so we can see how NCDD may be able to help (). We list regional/local networks in our Learning Exchange, and would love to add more and encourage our members to get involved!
Supporting New Coalitions for D&D
Although NCDD has over 100 members from outside the U.S. and welcomes more, we recognize that we are not equipped to adequately meet many of the needs of D&D practitioners, researchers, activists and others from outside the U.S. For this reason, we are committed to supporting non-U.S. D&D coalitions and networks that others initiate.
Our programs and offerings have inspired a similar Coalition to form in Canada, and an African coalition is starting to develop. Others from Germany and England have approached us about possible D&D Coalitions in those countries. Learn more.
The Learning Exchange
NCDD’s website is recognized by many as having the best, most comprehensive resource collection on dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. Our Learning Exchange alone features over 2,300 discussion guides, films, articles, processes, organizations, and other resources – all of which are carefully organized and accurately described.
Community News & Perspectives Blog
The world of dialogue & deliberation is expanding rapidly, and NCDD has been keeping tabs on what’s going on and what opportunities YOU can take advantage of for years now on our blog. Edited by the lovely Amy Lang and contributed to by a small group of the coolest bloggers around, our dynamic blog is updated almost daily. Email to submit announcements or to join the blogging team.
NCDD’s new Mentorship Program was developed to meet the needs of young people and others who are entering the dialogue and deliberation field and are in need of guidance and support. The mentorship program pairs new practitioners with more experienced D&D practitioners, scholars and activists who are established in the field. An extraordinary young woman named Priya Parker, inspired by her positive relationship with mentor Hal Saunders, initiated the program. Email her at if you’d like to help coordinate the program or serve as either a mentor or a mentee.
National Dialogue Bureau Project
In 2004 and 2005, Lars Torres ran a scoping study to determine whether a “National Dialogue Bureau” was a feasible idea. The Dialogue Bureau, if developed, would supply journalists with a “one stop” destination for the collection of views held by ordinary Americans who engage in informed dialogue about current affairs. The Dialogue Bureau would create a network of leaders of dialogue and deliberation groups who are willing to speak with the media about the key findings and concerns of their group. NCDD is currently seeking funding to move forward on this idea. View reports from the project.
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