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Join the 2008 Conference Planning Team

Interested in contributing your knowledge, time and talents to help ensure that NCDD’s 2008 conference in Austin is our best event yet? We’d love to have you on the Planning Team!

NCDD’s biennial conferences are unique experiments in collaborative planning, and we have managed dynamic planning teams of about 60 people for each of our three previous conferences. Potential planning team members were asked to complete a short survey so we could find out what you’re interested in doing.

You can also look over an outline of our general planning process below.

Planning process for the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation

Conference Director: Sandy Heierbacher (secures funding, galvanizes involvement and support from community, manages budget, provides overall direction, ensures continuity, supports Core Team, etc.)

Conference Manager: TDB (facilitates core team calls, manages new volunteers, checks in with team facilitators, serves as go-to person at the conference for design issues)

Core Team:
Sandy, conference manager, and facilitators of the following teams (responsible for overall theme and direction of the conference and for ensuring that all teams remain in communication and collaborate when appropriate)

Design Team: leader TBD (responsible for designing the plenary sessions and ensuring they flow from one to the next meaningfully; deciding which workshops are selected; coordinating any small-group dialogues we have; coordinating “listeners” or another means of handling issues/conflicts/concerns; coordinating a dynamic arts component; and coordinating networking opportunities)

Central Texas Team: led by Diane Miller (responsible for ensuring that D&D programs and innovations in/around Austin are highlighted meaningfully at the conference; determining how Austin can benefit from the conference coming to the city; overseeing local PR and outreach efforts; handling Austin-specific logistics like homestays, entertainment, and a list of local restaurants).

Tech Team: leader TBD (responsible for coordinating the use of online tools to help people connect before and after the conference; blogging on the NCDD 2008 blog before and during the conference; ensuring that photos, video, and audio are handled well at and after the conference; overseeing internet access at the venue; coordinating a workshop on technology and D&D)

Logistics Team:
led by Polly Riddims (responsible for venue logistics, coordinating a conference bookstore, improving the atmosphere at the conference with decorations, flowers, etc., coordinating evening activities and options, creating a list of local restaurants and map to show people where they are, identifying where people can make copies, send packages, etc.)

The 2008 NCDD “Planning Team” consists of everyone serving in any of the above teams or positions.

What happens when I join the Planning Team?

All members of the planning team for the 2008 conference will be subscribed to a main discussion list for the whole team. We will also add you to a planning team group on NCDD’s Members Network so some of your conversations can happen in a place where all NCDD members can observe and even contribute when asked. If you are not already a member of NCDD, we will add you as a member so you can access this Members Network (don’t worry – the membership fee is optional).

You may be asked to serve on one of the sub-teams (Central Texas, Design, Tech, Logistics) depending on what you expressed an interest in doing. You would be subscribed to a discussion list and added to a group for that team as well.

Your team’s facilitator will use the discussion list and group to explore issues, generate ideas, and get a sense of how their team feels about different options. They may also ask you to participate in periodic conference calls (or face-to-face meetings, if you are part of the Central Texas Team). If you are part of the Design Team or the Central Texas Team, both of which will be quite large, fewer calls/meetings will involve your entire team.

Planning team members will also be asked to visit the NCDD Events section in the NCDD News blog regularly so they can see what’s happening, add comments on various ideas and issues, and look over input from the greater NCDD community. Let us know if you are interested in blogging (adding your own blog posts rather than just adding comments to existing posts) about your area of the planning process, and we’ll set you up on the blog.

If you are not-so-comfortable with web technology, hopefully this process will help you to see the value in it and help you to become more comfortable. Planning team members will be from all across the country – and from outside of the U.S. as well, so it is necessary for us to communicate primarily via email and the web. If you find that you need help or advise with anything technology-oriented, we strongly encourage you to email Andy Fluke, NCDD’s Creative Director, at andy@ncdd.org.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher is the Founding Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and also serves as a Research Deputy for the Kettering Foundation. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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