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Announcing New NCDD Membership Category, New Members Page

As always, our NCDD team is working constantly to improve make create even more ways to support our members, and we are pleased to announce a couple new things we’ve recently changed so that we can support you even more!

IMG_8204First, we have officially changed the former “Student” membership category to “Student/Young Professional.” The new membership type will extend the benefits of discounted annual NCDD membership dues to rising members of the D&D community who are no longer students, but who didn’t exactly start rolling in the dough right after finishing school — as well as new professionals who are just starting to make their way in the field.

We recognize that people of many ages consider themselves “young professionals” and that the word “young” is a pretty fluid term, so for the sake of clarity, people who are 30 years old or younger should feel free to join or renew as “Student/Young Professional” members. The fee for this membership type is only $30/year.

This change was informed by the great small-group conversations we had with the student & youth participants during our recent National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, and it is only the first change we intend to make to help the D&D field become more accessible to young people. Keep an eye out for announcements about new ways NCDD will be supporting young people in our field early next year!

IMG_7985Got an idea for what NCDD can do for new or young professionals in our field? Please leave us a suggestion or idea in the comments section! Also, if you notice your membership or some part of our site still uses the “Student” label rather than “Student/Young Professional,” please send a note about it to joy@ncdd.org.

Second, we’ve created a Newest Members Page on our website where you can learn about & connect with folks who’ve recently joined NCDD. We encourage you to check it out at www.ncdd.org/newest-members, and join us in extending a warm welcome to all our new members! And as always, be sure to visit www.ncdd.org/map to see a geographic map of all 2,200+ NCDD members, and use the directory at www.ncdd.org/directory to search the member roll. (And if you’re not yet a member, please join today!)

We have had such an exciting year here at NCDD, and as 2014 closes out, we are looking forward to making 2015 the best year yet for our field! We wish you all a happy and safe holiday season, and a happy new year!



Help NCDD Reach 3,000 Twitter Followers!

Do you follow NCDD on Twitter?

NCDD’s Twitter handle is quite a useful resource where you can keep up to date on headlines from and links to the latest posts on blogs from leading organizations in the dialogue, deliberation, public engagement, and conflict resolution field. We automatically share the news on our feed so that you never miss a beat.

As of this posting, our @NCDD Twitter handle has 2,936 followers, and we are trying to reach the 3,000 followers mark by the end of the year! We know that adding another 64 followers should be a piece of cake with all of the wonderful people in our NCDD network, so please follow us if you’re not already.

And if you are, please consider tweeting to encourage others to follow us! You could say something like:

“I follow  for the latest dialogue, deliberation, & public engagement news, and so should you! Follow NCDD at !”

Or make your own tweet! We know we can do it with you help!

Thanks for all you do and for continuing to support NCDD!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Announcing the New Nevins Democracy Leaders Program

Mccourtney Institute LogoWe are excited to congratulate our friends at Penn State University’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy on the recent creation of the Nevins Democracy Leaders program – an innovative program that will expose more young people to “transpartisan” leadership and to the field of dialogue and deliberation. We couldn’t be more pleased to see this happening because the new program has NCDD written all over it.

The McCourtney Institute is a key NCDD organizational member and partner – it was one of the generous All-Star Sponsors of this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, and it is headed by long-time NCDD member and D&D thought leader John Gastil, who has emceed not one, but two NCDD national conferences. In addition, the gift that made the Nevins Democracy Leaders program possible came from NCDD Sustaining Member David L. Nevins, who is the National Grassroots Coordinator of No Labels, one of the nation’s leading “transpartisan” organizations.

Most exciting for us is the fact that NCDD will be playing a role in the project’s pilot (and likely after that), to solicit applications from D&D organizations that are interested in being matched with top-notch interns from Penn State, and make recommendations to our colleagues at Penn State.

The new program is an exemplar of how our field’s leaders can collaborate to continue bringing “Democracy for the Next Generation” into reality. Take a look at how the program is described in a recent Penn State article:

The Nevins Democracy Leaders program, a signature initiative within The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, based in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. The Nevins Leaders program will provide education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing participants to a variety of philosophies, viewpoints and strategies; teaching the tools of critical thinking, deliberation and dialogue; and placing students in unique internship opportunities in democratic and civic renewal.

…Penn State students who serve as Nevins Democracy Leaders will (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Report: How should we tackle our field’s biggest barriers to success?

NCDD has completed a report on the October 2014 engagement project focused on addressing barriers in our field. This project was launched on the second day of the 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, where during a plenary session our 415 attendees launched discussions about four barriers to the dialogue and deliberation community’s success:

  1. IMG_8016How might we overcome the lack of trust in our Democracy, our leaders, and in one another?
  2. How might we make our D&D work more equitable, inclusive and empowering?
  3. How might we more clearly delineate our field of practice for ourselves and those we seek to serve?
  4. How might we eliminate structural barriers in our democratic systems?

The results of this engagement project give us valuable insight into the ideas and actions that resonate most with the dialogue and deliberation community.  This data can help NCDD and others devise clearer paths forward in our attempts to overcome our field’s greatest challenges.

Download the report here


From the CommunityFrom the Community

Orton’s Community Field Guide Makes Holiday Reading List

If you are looking for something to read during your holiday down time or gift ideas, we encourage you to check out the great community and economic planning reading list that our partners with CommunityMatters shared on their blog. We especially encourage you to learn more about the Orton Family Foundation’s wonderful Community Heart & Soul Field Guide, a resource on the list that is designed to help those of us doing community & civic engagement work. You can read the list below of find the original post here.

CM_logo-200pxThe Center for Rural Entrepreneurship shared its list of top reads of 2014. Included on the list is the Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide recommended by Erik Pages, a CRE fellow and president and founder of EntreWorks Consulting, an economic development and policy development firm who said: “This is an excellent guide to strategic planning and community building for small towns.”

Thank you Erik! Lots of great reads to add to our holiday wish lists!

Here are the center’s Top 12 Recommended Reads of 2014:

Recommended by Erik Pages, EntreWorks Consulting and Center Fellow: The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly. While the book is mainly about international development issues, it’s a useful caution that economic development is about individual choice and empowerment – not the latest scheme from so-called “experts.”

Recommended by Don Macke: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. This book provides both a framework for exploring the innovation process and wonderful stories of innovation. Check out Johnson’s program on Public Broadcasting.

Recommended to Deb Markley by Angela Lust, Amarillo Area Foundation: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. This book is a true story of innovation under the most challenging circumstances. Inspiring!

Recommended by Erik Pages, EntreWorks Consulting and Center Fellow: Community Heart & Soul Field Guide by the Orton Family Foundation. This is an excellent guide to strategic planning and community building for (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Apply for Grants from the Taylor Willingham Fund by Dec. 31

New NIF logoFor the third year now, our partners with the National Issues Forums Institute are accepting applications for grants from the Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund. The $500-$1,000 grants are intended to honor the legacy of Taylor Willingham and her contributions to the field of deliberative democracy by supporting projects in the field, and we highly encourage NCDD members to apply for a grant or to donate to the fund.

You can download a PDF of the application form by clicking here, and you can learn more about Taylor and make a donation to her legacy fund by clicking here. Applications are due on December 31st, 2014 so make sure you apply before getting swept up in the holiday season!

Learn more by visiting NIFI’s announcement about the newest round of applications at www.nifi.org/en/groups/apply-taylor-willingham-fund-grant.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

IF Offers Discussion Guide on Climate Change

The next round of UN climate talks began this week in Lima, Peru, and as global leaders debate how to avert the worst effects of climate change, our communities also need to be having conversations about this pressing topic. We learned from our members at the 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation that D&D practitioners want more resources that will help them have real and productive conversations on this difficult topic.

Lucky for us, the Interactivity Foundation (or IF) – one of the wonderful sponsors of our conference – recently created a resource for exactly that. Based on three years of online discussions with international input on climate change and the lessons learned from their signature Project Discussions on the subject, IF produced a report on the discussions called “Human Impact on Climate Change: Opportunities & Challenges.” The report serves as a discussion guide designed to use non-ideological language that helps participants to separate potential policy directions from partisan agendas and arguments over science, and to explore possibilities for how they or their communities might respond.

The easy-to-use, 40-page guide frames the possibilities that discussion participants can consider in two categories. The first, “Setting the Stage”, focuses on immediately impact awareness and action, and the second, “Meeting the Continuing Climate Challenge”, is focused on the more complicated, long-term approaches needed to impact infrastructure and natural systems.

Here is how the report has framed six different possibilities for participants to discuss: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Healing, Transformation, & Change from Ferguson

As negativity continues to swirl around Ferguson, MO and the country at large in the aftermath of the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson last week, the time is ripe for real and challenging dialogue about how we can transform this energy into something positive. Everyday Democracy program officer Janee Woods wrote a powerful piece for Guernica Magazine in which she says that both punitive justice and restorative justice models are inadequate for healing the deep wounds that racism has caused our country, and advocates instead for rehabilitative justice, saying that “[w]e need to rehabilitate ourselves and our relationships with each other, across differences of perspectives and background, before we can successfully change the way inequitable systems and institutions work.”

We were particularly impressed and inspired by the list of suggestions that Janee offers for those of us grappling with how to move our work and conversations toward the rehabilitation of people and relationships that we need now. We’ve excerpted those suggestions below, but we encourage you to read her piece in its entirety by clicking here.

Janee Woods: A Different Kind of Justice

…We may feel powerless standing in the shadow of institutions, politics and the long history that got us here but that does not mean that we are, in fact, powerless. We know there is power in public protest that demands large scale change but not all of us are ready to engage with the system in that way. Try to develop your power by engaging truthfully with yourself and with neighbors in your community on a smaller scale. The inaugural step toward rehabilitating our humanity is honest communication with those who are near us. In many ways, this might be the hardest step because we must first create spaces where we can come together as individuals with disparate life experiences, diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and varying levels of understanding about the legacy and impact of American racism. And once we come together, we must share a commitment to follow through in learning together and moving to action together. There are many ways you can create the space and structure that allow for this kind of communication and commitment.

Bring people together for conversations that transform conflict into meaningful relationships. Use conversations to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

DC City Council Brings Citizens into Bill Amendment Process

We saw an interesting post recently from our friends at the Davenport Institute – an NCDD organizational member – about a new program for public input on city council bills in DC. We encourage you to read more below or find the original post here on their Gov 2.0 Watch blog.

DavenportInst-logoWashington, DC has launched an online program where citizens of the city can propose amendments and opinions on certain aspects of a bill before the city council. The idea of this program is to allow more transparency and use technology to enhance voter participation. Although this is in its beginning stages, the idea is to bring the workings of the city government to the people directly so they can have a voice in the shaping of bills:

Washington, DC has launched a program where citizens of the city can propose amendments and opinions on certain aspects of a bill before the city council. The idea of this program is to allow more transparency and use technology to enhance voter participation. Although this is in its beginning stages, the idea is to bring the workings of the city government to the people directly so they can have a voice in the shaping of bills.

You can read more here.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Conflict Resolution Job Opening with the EPA

Be sure to check out the email below about a great job opportunity with the EPA that our director Sandy Heierbacher sent out this weekend over our “Making a Living in D&D” listserv. For more updates on openings in the field, make sure to subscribe to the listserv today!

Hi, everybody! The Environmental Protection Agency will soon be announcing an opening for a GS9/11 Conflict Resolution Specialist position located in the Office of General Counsel, Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office/Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center (CPRC).

The position will be posted during the week of December 1st for 5 days only. General information on CPRC can be found at www.epa.gov/adr.

The duties of the position will be:

  • Provides Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) advice and counseling to EPA clients, applying ADR and conflict prevention theories to controversies involving EPA’s environmental programs to effectively prevent and manage disputes.
  • Develops, implements and conducts environmental ADR-related training to build EPA employees’ knowledge and skills.
  • Assists in providing support for neutral services in disputes involving EPA and regulated entities or disputes involving private parties related to Agency actions to prevent or resolve disputes.
  • Participates in outreach activities on the agency’s environmental ADR activities to promote the use of conflict prevention and ADR processes.

If you’re interested, you’ll need to look for the announcement on USAJOBS.GOV with the keywords “conflict resolution specialist.” Try on December 1st, and then the next day if it’s not posted yet. For any questions about the position, you’ll need to ask the Human Resources Management Division point of contact listed in the announcement.