Leading Dialogue & Deliberation Service Providers
Active Voice is a nonprofit, fee-based service provider whose work is an outgrowth of promising practices developed by the Television Race Initiative (TRI). Active Voice creates campaigns based on powerful issue-driven films. AV campaigns encourage individuals and community groups to probe, discuss and take action on timely and relevant social justice issues. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Active Voice creates companion materials and trains facilitators in how to use the films as catalysts for civic engagement, volunteerism and coalition building.
Promoting the founding belief that every citizen has a right to impact the decisions of government, AmericaSpeaks serves as a neutral convener of large-scale public participation forums. Through close consultation with leaders, citizens, the media and others, AmericaSpeaks designs and facilitates deliberative meetings for 500 to 5,000 participants. Its partners have included regional planning groups, local, state, and national government bodies, and national organizations. Issues have ranged from Social Security reform to redevelopment of ground zero in New York.
Dialogos promotes the spirit and practice of dialogue for strategic use at all levels of leadership within and across organizations. They work with client organizations to meet their business objectives by transforming taken-for-granted limits in ways of thinking and acting.
Dialogue Circles provides clients with the flexibility to hold online or traditional consultation and dialogue. According to Dialogue Circles, many of the most successful consultation and dialogue endeavors now involve a mix of online tools and traditional face-to-face approaches that complement one another. They call this mixed approach ?intermodal consultation and dialogue.?
GroupJazz supports the work of groups whether they are meeting face to face or on-line. Founder Lisa Kimball believes that "great groups make great things happen" and utilizes the word Jazz as a metaphor for collaboration.
Founded in 1996, this nonprofit corporation promotes the use of the internet to support the public interest through online dialogue and other processes. Information Renaissance enables citizens to participate more fully in the democratic process by improving access and fostering meaningful, high-level, interactive exchanges between informed members of the public and their government.
Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
The Karuna Center provides education and training to transform conflict by promoting dialogue and reconciliation. In regions torn by war or conflict, they work with local groups in their own efforts to strengthen conditions for peace and justice.
Since 1997, Open Futures has facilitated 63 large group events involving 4,176 participants or an average of 66 people per event. Open Futures specializes in six large-group, whole system processes: Open Space, Future Search, Giant Mind Maps, Vision Search, Strategy Search and the Perth Process. In 2003, they published The Large Group Facilitator's Manual and, using the Manual as a professional platform, Open Futures offers open training workshops or customized workshops in understanding, planning and running large group events involving from 20 to 500 people.
Politalk is a nonpartisan forum for moderated e-mail discussions on important social and political topics of the day. Politalk was founded in 1999 as a response to the often shallow ranting that seems to dominate so many internet discussions. Poliltalk hoped to distinguish itself in three ways: by focusing on only one topic at a time for a limited period of time (2-4 weeks); by having an active moderator to keep the discussion on topic and civil; and by inviting guest commentators to add depth to the discussions. Politalk plans and hosts online events and forums, and provides consultation, workshops and training sessions.
Public Conversations Project
In addition to their groundbreaking grassroots dialogue work, PCP provides trainings, presentations, and workshops on such things as the power of dialogue, inquiry as intervention, and the architecture of dialogue. PCP's website offers a variety of great tools and downloadable resources to help you organize and facilitate a dialogue.
This non-profit organization is dedicated to developing innovative Web-based projects that bring fresh perspectives and new voices to the discussion of public issues. The goal of the organization is to use the Web as a positive, transformative force in people's lives and in society at large.
Juanita Brown and David Isaacs from Whole Systems Associates use the model of the caf? setting to create a warm, inviting environment in which people can converse. Participants gather informally at small tables and are encouraged to map out the ideas generated from conversation onto the paper table cloths covering the tables.