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Don’t Forget to Register for Feb. 9 Tech Tuesday Call on Balancing Act

As we recently mentioned on the blog, NCDD is hosting another one of our popular Tech Tuesday calls this Tech_Tuesday_BadgeTuesday, February 9th from 3 – 4pm Eastern / 12 – 1pm Pacific in conjunction with IAP2.

This time the call will offer an inside look at Balancing Act, an online tool aimed at helping average citizens learn about public budgets and the choices elected officials face in the budgeting process. It’s right around the corner, so make sure you register today!

This Tech Tuesday will feature a presentation from Chris Adams of Engaged Public, the civic engagement group that developed Balancing Act. Chris will explain the functions of Balancing Act and talk about how it’s already being used by various governments and communities. Plus, you won’t want to miss the info about a special offer for folks doing participatory budgeting! 

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about this useful new tool and connect with your NCDD colleagues! We look forward to have you on the call!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join Us at Citizen University’s 2016 Conference, Mar. 18-19

We want to encourage NCDD members to consider registering Citizen University’s annual conference this March 18th – 19th in Seattle, Washington. Citizen University was founded by former NCDD keynote speaker Eric Liu to build a stronger culture of citizenship, and their annual confernece is an incredibly unique civic gathering.

This year’s conference theme is “Who Is Us? Race, Citizenship, and America Now.” As many of us in the D&D field continue to ask ourselves about how to engage more diverse populations beyond the “usual suspects”, this conference on the intersection of race and citizenship – keynoted by one of the founders of the national Black Lives Matter network – couldn’t be more timely.

Here’s how Citizen University describes the gathering:

A new America is being born. All across the country, citizens are forcing institutions to move on racial justice and social inclusion. Now more than ever, it’s time to ask: Who is Us? Who gets to define the emerging America?

This is the focus of our annual national conference, a civic gathering unlike any other in America. Join hundreds of change-makers, activists, and catalysts tolearn about power, deepen your networks, and (more…)


NCDD’s 2015 Year in Review

When a new year begins, we naturally tend to reflect back on the previous year. As we look back on 2015, it’s clear that it was quite a year for NCDD, and it’s inspiring to look back and see all that’s happened.

Keiva-profile-borderThe year of 2015 was one of many transitions. NCDD had some personnel changes as we said a fond farewell to our former Creative Director Andy Fluke and gave a warm welcome to our new Resource Curator and Social Media Coordinator Keiva Hummel (pictured at left). We also brought Ellie Boynton on board to help maintain NCDD’s website.

In the midst of these transitions, I also made a personal transition with a move from rural Pennsylvania to Boston, moving NCDD headquarters (my home office!) closer to hundreds of our members in the process.

GrandeLum-NextStepBubble-borderNCDD also had a very dynamic year in 2015 in terms of programs and projects. 2015 saw the launch of our informal partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, which came out of CRS Director Grande Lum’s involvement in our 2014 national conference. Meetings were held between Community Relations Service leaders and NCDD members in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Dallas, and Seattle, and a few more are still in the works. The meetings were designed to be informal networking and information-exchange events, and next steps have emerged organically from the events such as a great new collaboration in Chicago, with more on the way.

RoshanPic2014At this time last year, we began a scoping project in which we had Roshan Bliss, NCDD’s Student & Youth Outreach Coordinator for the 2014 conference (and our fearless Blog Curator!; pictured at left), conduct an online youth survey, seek feedback from our network about the role of young people in the D&D field, and host a few “focus group” calls with younger NCDDers in an effort to frame a possible NCDD youth initiative. The results gave us some good insights into how NCDD can support young people and folks who are new to the field, and will form the basis of what a Youth Program we’ll be launching this year.

Our regular Tech Tuesday and Confab Calls (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Remembering Dick Spady

Earlier this month, an important figure in the dialogue and deliberation field passed away at age 91. Many of you know Dick Spady’s son John Spady well, as John has attended every NCDD conference, been active on the listserv, and launched the National Dialogue Network after winning a Catalyst Award from NCDD in 2012. The Forum
Foundation that Dick founded showed its support of the dialogue and deliberation community by consistently sponsoring the NCDD national conferences.

Photo credit: Seattle Times

When I checked in earlier this week about his father’s passing, John reminded me that he had told his father about the first NCDD conference in 2002, and was glad to be there with him as he set up his table about the work of his Forum Foundation, his new book The Leadership of Civilization Building, and his Opinionnaire® Survey tool to understand the “symbolic dialogue” among diverse groups of people. John recollected how, in fact, “symbolic dialogue” was included in the glossary of the first NCDD conference handbook (actually a 3-ring notebook!).

John is now actively curating his father’s civic legacy and has even released a first version of an Opinionnaire® plugin for WordPress (http://bit.ly/Opinionnaire) — developed by John’s (now nonprofit) National Dialogue Network. He also commissioned a small book about his father’s “Visions and Values” that can be read on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.com/0615953832.

Dick Spady will be deeply missed in our field, and our heart goes out to John and his other family members during this difficult time.

Please read the remembrance piece by Kathleen O’Connor below or find the original here.

We Have Lost a Remarkable Man

Dick Spady may not be a national icon, but he was a giant man of vision and values. He co-founded Seattle’s legendary  hamburger company – Dick’s Drive In. He believed in  people’s inherent quality and dignity. This was reflected in all his work from covering health care for all his employees to his passion for civic engagement. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Communications Job Opening at Everyday Democracy

We encourage our NCDD members to take note that Everyday Democracy – a long-time NCDD member organization – EvDem Logois hiring for a Communications Fellow. We’re positive that there are many folks in our network who would be a great fit for the job, so we encourage you to consider applying!

Everyday Democracy is based in Boston, MA and this position is slated to be a year-long opportunity.

Here is how the EvDem team describes the position:

Everyday Democracy is seeking someone interested in helping to spread the word about people changing their communities and being part of an organization where we pay special attention to the connection between racial equity and the issues communities face.

Working in a flexible and creative environment, the fellow will have opportunities sharpen their communications skills during the one-year term. The Communications Fellow will report to the Communications Manager and will be a critical support person to the communications team.

During the fellowship, there will be opportunities to work with other internal teams on local and national initiatives. When possible, the fellow will have the opportunity to visit local communities to collect stories and see change happen on the ground. However, majority of the work will be done behind-the-scenes creating stories, evaluating our communication tools, and developing marketing plans with the communications team.

Applications are due by March 11, 2016, so make sure not to wait too long to apply. You can find out more about the position at how to apply by clicking here.

Good luck to all the applicants!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Register for Feb. Tech Tuesday Event feat. Balancing Act, co-hosted by IAP2!

Registration is now open for a special Tech Tuesday event co-hosted by NCDD and IAP2, featuring the platform Balancing Act. Join us for this FREE event Tuesday, February 9th from 3-4pm Eastern / 12-1pm Pacific.

balancing-act-logoBalancing Act is a tool for learning about public budgets and the choices elected officials face in the budgeting process. It allows participants to try allocating funds – expressing their priorities and preferences – but also requires them to balance spending and revenue. Balancing Act brings people and government officials closer together in an informed conversation about what priorities are in everyone’s best interests. Because it is online, it is accessible to anyone at anytime and is far more convenient than a traditional public meeting or budget hearing.

Balancing Act was created by Engaged Public, a public policy consulting firm specializing in engagement-driven strategies. On this call we will be joined by Chris Adams, President of Engaged Public, who will tell us more about Balancing Act and how it has been used by governments and communities. Chris will also highlight its application for participatory budgeting efforts and talk about a special offer for participatory budgeting projects.

This tool is available for cities, counties, school districts, libraries, non-profits, states and others, and Engaged Public will soon offer a Federal budget tool as well! The tool can be used with different currencies and in some different languages (English, French and Spanish, currently).

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn more about this fun, exciting tool – register today!

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeTech Tuesdays
 are a series of learning events focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join OpenGov & CivicTech Online Unconference, Jan. 28th

We encourage NCDD members to consider attending the 2016 OpenGov & CivicTech Online Unconference this Thursday, January 28th from 11am-2pm Eastern. The event is hosted by former NCDD Board member Lucas Cioffi, and NCDD members get a 30% discount on registration, so make sure to sign up today! Read more below or find the full invitation by clicking here.

2016 OpenGov & CivicTech Online Unconference

What is the purpose? Why should I attend?

  1. Spread the word about your civic tech project.
  2. Network with other innovators.
  3. Bring the toughest questions and challenges you’re facing and gain insights from other participants.

Use promo code “ncdd” when you register here to bring the cost down to just $10.

Register herewww.eventbrite.com/e/2016-opengov-civictech-online-unconference-tickets-20428926469

What is an “unconference”?

Unlike standard conferences sessions where people give presentations, unconference sessions are far more conversational.  Professionals will discuss and work through the challenges at the cutting edge of (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Can Democracy Reduce Inequality? – A Research Agenda

We encourage our members to give some thought to the piece below written by NCDD Supporting Member Matt Leighninger for Public Agenda. In it, Matt reflects on evidence that is beginning to show that democratic innovation can actually decrease social inequality and have many other positive effects, and he proposes a series of critical questions for future research into how we can amplify those benefits. Read Matt’s piece below or find the original here.

To reduce economic inequality, do we need better democracy?

PublicAgenda-logoWhen people have a say in the decisions that affect their lives, they will be better off economically as well as politically.

This idea has intrigued community development experts, foundation executives, public officials and academic researchers for many years. It has also animated some of the work people and governments are undertaking to address inequality, both in the United States and (especially) in the Global South.

But can a participatory democracy lead to greater economic opportunity? We are just beginning to amass evidence that this idea is true, understand how and why it works, and figure out how to make it happen better and faster.

Over the last two decades we have witnessed a quiet revolution in how governments and other institutions engage the public. Public officials, technologists, engagement practitioners, community organizers and other leaders have developed (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Adding Finesse to Online Engagement Transitions in Gov’t

We encourage our members to check out this post from NCDD organizational member the Davenport Institute and their Gov 2.0 Watch blog on the ongoing transitions that local governments are making toward more online and responsive engagement – an important trend for our field to keep tabs on. Read more below or find the original post here.


Gov 2.0: Still A Head Scratcher

Eric Gordon of Governing’s City Accelerator lays out the challenge and opportunity that technology presents for public engagement:

This gradually building expectation that government should be responsive to residents is connected to much larger social trends: increased distrust in public institutions, a culture of connectivity prompted by the social Web, and increased expectations of social and responsive systems (think of all those apps in your pocket). In short, technology is motivating new expectations in customer service, and government is being called upon to meet those expectations. 

Recalling the journey newspapers like the New York Times made into Web-world in the late 1990s, he compares governments’ situation vis-à-vis technology today: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Next Stage Facilitation Intensive Feb. 23-25 in the Bay Area!

We are pleased to share the announcement below about a new facilitation training opportunity in this February that NCDD members can get a $150 discount on! NCDD Sustaining Member Rebecca Colwell of Ten Directions shared this announcement via our Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!

Integral Facilitator® Next Stage Facilitation™ Intensives are 3-day workshops introducing the core competencies of an Integral approach to facilitation designed to enhance your capacity to generate greater coherence and increased collaboration and dialogue in the groups you work with.

In this three-day workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to maintain presence in the face of challenging situations
  • How to work effectively with group energetics and emotional states
  • How to effectively build connection and working with tension to deepen coherence and intimacy
  • How to engage tension, power dynamics and conflict in a group
  • How to increase the positive impact you have on others
  • How to bring an integral approach to your work

As a Next Stage participant, you’ll learn (more…)