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Pre-Conference Options for NCDD 2016

The 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is just around the corner, and we wanted to bring your attention to some cool options that are happening the day before the conference — Thursday, October 13th.

bumper_sticker_600pxAs you know, NCDD 2016: Bridging Our Divides is taking place October 14-16 in the Boston Metro Area, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. All pre-conference activities are taking place at the Sheraton.

The first three events below do require pre-registration, and there is (very reasonable) fee for participating in Essential Partners’ day-long workshop.  See below for details.

8:30am – 4:30 pm  –  WORKSHOP ON FACILITATING PUBLIC MEETINGS

Essential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project) is known for its high-quality workshops. We’re proud to say that they’re offering their advanced workshop on “Facilitating Public Meetings” on October 13th at the Sheraton!

Leading effective public meetings has become increasingly difficult. Designing and facilitating effective public meetings requires coolness, clarity, courage and skill. This workshop will help participants address the challenges of engaging an impassioned and deeply involved public in constructive conversation.

Dave Joseph, MSW will facilitate the training. The regular rate for this one-day training is $150, but NCDD members pay only $125. Learn more and register today. (Middlesex East)

4:00 – 5:30 pm  –  RED-BLUE DICTIONARY WORKSHOP

Do you mean by pro-life what I mean by pro-life? What about socialism? Freedom? Compassion? Answering these questions is the goal of the Red-Blue Dictionary, a transpartisan collaboration to help all Americans explore the varied meanings of commonly used (and misused) words. We’re not building a reference handed down from some great authority on high; we’re exploring what words really mean to all of us down here on the ground.

This free interactive workshop, co-facilitated by Cynthia Kurtz and John Backman, is your chance to learn about the Red-Blue Dictionary, join us in improving it, and explore our diverse experiences with the words we love (and love to hate) most. Email Cynthia Kurtz at cfkurtz@cfkurtz.com to let her know you’d like to participate in this workshop. (Commons II)

5:00 – 7:00 pm  –  DELIBERATION BOOTCAMP

This free evening session will provide an overview of the deliberative perspective and an introduction to many of the key concepts, organizations, and challenges related to the field. Specifically designed for newcomers to the field, the boot camp will help acclimate participants to the conference.

The session will be led by Martín Carcasson, NCDD Board member and Director of Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation. Dr. Carcasson’s presentation will focus on the question of “what kind of talk does democracy need?” and will make the case for building deliberative capacity in our communities.

Email Martín at mcarcas@colostate.edu to let him know you’ll be attending the Bootcamp. (Commons I)

6:00 – 7:00 pm  –  INFORMAL RECEPTION / COCKTAIL HOUR AT THE BAR

Though the conference doesn’t begin officially until Friday morning, many of you are arriving on Thursday.  Plan on coming down to the hotel bar/restaurant for some informal networking if you’re around (food and drink is on you, though).  Of course, you’re welcome to stick around after 7pm!  (Hotel bar)

8:00 – 9:15 pm  –  EMERGING LEADERS PRE-CONFERENCE EVENT

NCDD is hosting a pre-conference event for young people and students. This will be a time for attendees 35 and under connect with the other younger conference attendees. During the event, we will be officially unveiling NCDD’s new Emerging Leaders Initiative and all the great ways NCDD will be working to bring younger folks into the D&D field and support them in shaping its future. We will also be kicking off our NCDD 2016 Mentoring Program, which will intentionally connect a cadre of experienced D&D leaders with students and youth attendees during the conference.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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