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Join NICD’s “Revive Civility” Campaign this Election Season

As many of you may have heard yesterday, the National Institute for Civil Discourse – one of our NCDD member organizations – just launched a new campaign, and we want to encourage our NCDD members to participate. The effort is known as the Revive Civility, Our Democracy Depends On It Campaign.

Through the campaign, NICD is inviting people across the country to join them in trying to shift from the toxic tone of US politics and the rhetoric that this year’s election is generating. They have laid out a strategy that they feel will give people options of actions to take to move our politics toward more civility and respect, and they’re asking for everyone – average citizens, media, and candidates – to sign on to their Standards of Conduct for civil politics.

But don’t take it from us. Below is the call the NICD has sent out to join the campaign:

Please join the National Institute for Civil Discourse as we launch our Revive Civility, Our Democracy Depends On It Campaign this Wednesday, May 25th: www.nicd.arizona.edu/revivecivility.

This nationwide campaign provides (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Register Now for NCDD 2016 at the “Super Early Bird Rate”!

Hi, everyone! Registration is live for the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, and now is the best possible time to register. For a limited time (through June 15th only), our special “SUPER Early Bird” rate of $350 is active.

yardsign_300pxWe’re so excited about NCDD 2016!  We’re coming together October 14-16 (Friday through Sunday) in the Boston Metro Area at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center in Framingham, MA.

This year’s conference is “Bridging Our Divides,” and our intention is to capture and draw attention to attendees’ stories. The conference is taking place one month before the presidential election, and we suspect many Americans will be hungry for a different narrative: true stories about how Americans across the political spectrum CAN and ARE working together to make progress on difficult issues.

NCDD conferences bring together hundreds of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people involved in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada. Over 2,800 people, from dozens of countries, have attended our biennial national and regional events, and we’re expecting at least 400 again this year! Hopefully you’re one of them!!

me-butterflyI’m also happy to announce that NCDD co-founder and longtime creative force Andy Fluke is returning to help design and develop material for this year’s conference.  Since stepping down as creative director late last year, Andy has been working as a consultant to several NCDD members on a wide variety of projects including several new publications & ebooks, the launch of a new initiative (CCTN), and the relaunch of one of our favorite programs (Orangeband).  You can learn more about his new venture at www.andyfluke.com or contact him directly at afluke@gmail.com.

Learn much more about the conference at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2016, and register today at www.ncdd2016.eventbrite.com to take advantage of the Super Early Bird rate.

NCDD conferences are important networking and learning events for our field. Watch this highlight video by Keith Harrington of Shoestring Videos to get a sense of the energy and content of our last conference…

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Mathews Center for Civic Life Seeks Summer Interns

We encourage our younger and student members to take note of the announcement below from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life – one of our NCDD member organizations. The internships they are offering this summer are great opportunities to gain experience in deliberation, and we encourage you to apply today! Learn more in their announcement below.

Looking for Interns

Our Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program (JOIP) provides experiential civic learning opportunities for college students across multiple disciplines. Students research deliberative practices and asset-based approaches to working alongside Alabama communities in capacity-building projects. We at the DMC administer the JOIP program and collaborate with faculty mentors across the state.

Participating students build civic and professional skills while implementing asset-based, capacity-building projects in Alabama communities. JOIP interns apply their immersive civic learning experiences to their future studies and careers. Through JOIP, we hope to build upon the millennial spirit of civic engagement in Alabama.

For information about eligibility, project guidelines, proposal requirements, and other details, contact Rebecca Cleveland at rcleveland@mathewscenter.org.

We originally found this announcement on the NIF website at www.nifi.org/en/david-mathews-center-looking-interns.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Following Up on Our Tech Tuesday Call with Urban Interactive Studios

Earlier this week, NCDD hosted another one of our Tech Tuesday calls with the good folks from Urban Interactive Studios (UIS), and we had a great conversation. The call featured the sophisticated suite of engagement technology that UIS has developed in their EngagingPlans and EngagingApps software, UISand together with nearly 40 participants on the call, we all learned quite a bit about the cutting edge of civic tech.

Our presenters – NCDD member and UIS Founder & CEO, Chris Haller, and UIS Partnership Manager Emily Crispin – impressed us with a demonstration of the attention to detail and versatility that UIS has built into their civic tech tools while keeping it accessible for everyday people who may only have a limited amount of time to use it. They helped spark a rich and engaging discussion on the call – so engaging, in fact, that there were more questions from participants than we had time to answer!

If you missed out on the live event, don’t worry – we recorded the presentation and discussion and you can watch the recording by clicking here.  And as a bonus, Chris and Emily were kind enough to take the time to actually write out answers to the questions that we didn’t get to on the call, which you can find by clicking here.

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeMany thanks, again, to Chris and Emily for leading us through the demonstration and for following up with even more info!

To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/events/tech-tuesdays

From the CommunityFrom the Community

PB Processes Grow Campus Democracy for NY Students

This week is the N. American PB conference in Boston, and given that one of its themes is “Youth Power through PB,” we thought we’d share the post below from the Participatory Budgeting Project. The piece shows what the concept behind that theme looks like in practice, as student-led pushes to have a say in how their schools spend their money through PB spread across NY state and beyond. Check out PBP’s piece on recent developments below or find the original here. And be sure to connect with us NCDD staff (myself included!) who will be at the PB conference this weekend!

College Students Learn Democracy through PB

PBP-Logo-Stacked-Rectangle-web1All the buzz was around Queens College campus during the Participatory Budgeting 101 workshop. Over 25 students from at least 6 campuses attended and networked over complimentary bagels and coffee. Students were eager in learning how to gain decision-making power over spending $5,000 of the student government budget. The workshop engaged with student interests on equity and the role of tech tools.

Providing contracted technical support, our staff gave QC students a crash course on managing their own PB process. Students gathered around discussing the need for “transparency and accountability from their student government and campus administration” said Alex Kolokotronis, PB Queens College Coordinator and Founder/Lead Organizer of the Student Organization for Democratic Alternatives (SODA).

The common goal that students had: to have a say in the quality and future of their education. Many students also want to build skills that they can use in their post-college life and career. QC and CUNY students voiced (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Kettering Shares Lessons Learned on Economic Prosperity & Health Care

At their recent event, A Public Voice, NCDD member organization the Kettering Foundation released the interim report on what they have learned from the many deliberative forums they’ve hosted on the topics of health care and economic opportunity in the last year. We encourage you to learn more in the Kettering announcement below, or find the original version on their blog by clicking here.

kfOn May 5, the Kettering Foundation released an interim report on two series of deliberative forums that used materials prepared by Kettering researchers for the National Issues Forums. The report details the results of forums held in 2015-2016 using the Health Care: How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need? issue guide and forums held in 2016 using the Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? issue guide. Forums on both issues will continue through 2016.

At A Public Voice 2016, representatives of NIF and other deliberative democracy groups discussed the concerns that have emerged from forums on heath-care and economic security issues. A panel of elected officials and policymakers responded to that discussion.

The interim report is drawn from the work of NIF members and forum participants. To compile the report, researchers from Kettering and Public Agenda attended forums, talked with forum moderators, reviewed questionnaires filled out by forum participants, and analyzed transcripts of forums.

The interim report can be downloaded here.

You can find the original version of this Kettering Foundation post by visiting www.kettering.org/blogs/apv-2016-interim-report.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Join Our Next Tech Tuesday Call with Urban Interactive Studios, May 17

As we announced last month, NCDD is hosting another on of our fabulous Tech Tuesday webinars this Tuesday, May 17th from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific, and you’re invited! This time, the event willTech_Tuesday_Badge feature Urban Interactive Studio (UIS), an innovative leader in public engagement technology and creator of the popular EngagingPlans and EngagingApps tools. You really don’t want to miss this one, so register today!

Are you looking for digital tools to make engaging a group or constituency you work with more versatile? Need to collect on-going feedback alongside face-to-face meetings? Have other planning and engagement issues that call for tech solutions? Then this is the Tech Tuesday call for you!

We will be joined by two members of the UIS team – NCDD supporting member, as well as Founder & CEO, Chris Haller, and Partnership Manager Emily Crispin. Together, Chris and Emily will give us an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at both the EngagingPlans and EngagingApps tools that have been used by dozens of cities, companies, non-profits, and universities in multiple countries to help them engage their constituencies. You’ll have a chance to see both tools in action and hear about how the tools can be configured to suit specific project needs

There will be tons to learn from these two civic tech leaders, so we encourage you to join us on May 17th! We can’t wait to talk more with you then.

Learn more about our Tech Tuesday calls by clicking here.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register for D&D CAN Call on Climate and Elections, 5/17

This post is a reminder to our members that the next D&D Climate Action Network (D&D CAN) conference call coming up on Tuesday, May 17th from 5-7pm Eastern / 2-4pm Pacific!

D&D CAN is a network led by NCDD supporting member Linda Ellinor of the Dialogue Group that is working to foster shared learning, networking and collaboration among those seeking to use dialogue, deliberation, and other process skills to address climate change. The monthly D&D CAN conference calls are a great way to connect with the network, and we encourage you to register to save your spot in their next conversation by clicking here.

The title of this month’s D&D CAN call is Peril & Promise: Climate Activism, Elections, & Dialogue, and it will center on discussing the nexus of climate dialogue and the election cycle. Some of the questions to be explored on the call will include:

  • What ways have you seen or been part of bringing climate issues into candidates’ campaigns, platforms, citizen initiatives and propositions?
  • How are electoral issues and climate concerns (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount on Engagement Strategy Workshop, 6/23

Our colleagues at Public Agenda, an NCDD member organization, are hosting a great workshop on engagement strategy this June 23 in Boston, just before the Frontiers of Democracy conference, and they are offering a $25 discount for NCDD members! That means the workshop is only $250 when you register before for the May 15 early bird deadline. It will be a chance to hone your skills and learn new methods and tools!  You can learn more and find the discount code in the announcement from Public Agenda below, or find the original version here.

Workshop: Public Engagement Strategy Lab


Looking for assistance with organizing and sustaining productive public engagement? Struggling to decide how to combine online and face-to-face engagement? Frustrated with the standard “2 minutes at the microphone” public meeting? Want to know about the latest tools and techniques? Need expert advice on bringing together a diverse critical mass of people?

Join the Public Engagement Strategy Lab!

Leaders looking to revamp or strengthen their engagement strategies, structures, and tools

Thursday, June 23, 2016

9:30am – 4:30pm

Location: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Classroom Debate Can Boost Youth Democratic Capacity

The team at the Jefferson Center, an NCDD member organizations, recently began a series of guest blog posts on political engagement and democracy, and we were impressed by the series’ piece below from MN high schooler Bruce Acosta. In it, Bruce reflects about how increasing civic education, debate, and deliberation about social issues in schools can fight young people’s disengagement from political involvement and boost their democratic capacity – a trend our field can both support and benefit from. We encourage you to read his piece below or find the original version here.

Better Engaging Young People in Politics

The problem of political participation and awareness among young Americans manifests itself both in and outside schools. Combined with low current involvement in linkage institutions, standardized testing has shown that students and younger voters are missing critical knowledge about our government and their duty in maintaining it.

This is not to say that they do not care about their nation. On the contrary, studies suggest that this new generation of Americans is simply seeking out other, less institutionalized ways to enact change, including volunteering, activism, and organized protest. However, it is important to note that this is largely because of negative media portrayal of politics and narrowly-targeted campaigns that alienate these budding citizens. Thus, in order to effectively combat civic disengagement from traditional politics and promote political awareness, we must find how to utilize this desire to impact one’s community in addition to making voting intent and efficacy integral values in school curricula.

Among successful programs and reforms currently adopted by schools across the country are (more…)