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Register for 5/17 Tech Tuesday with Urban Interactive Studio

Registration is now open for May’s Tech Tuesday event with Urban Interactive Studio. Join us for this FREE event Tuesday, May 17th from 1:00-2:00pm Eastern/10:00-11:00am Pacific.

UISUrban Interactive Studio helps agencies and consultants engage communities online through project websites and participation apps that can be tailored to any approach, process or project objective. As web and mobile technology has become commonplace, citizens now expect online participation options, but public engagement practitioners are often forced to cobble together inflexible off-the-shelf tools that only partially meet their engagement needs. UIS’ EngagingPlans and EngagingApps deliver a comprehensive, feature-rich, and adaptable solution that helps meet varied objectives at every project stage, from early visioning to final draft review and interactive online plans.

EngagingPlans and EngagingApps inform and involve broad audiences while also generating actionable insights for decision makers. EngagingPlans bundles the most widely used features into one project hub that reaches, informs, and involves citizens and stakeholders in civic projects and decision making. EngagingPlans websites form the backbone of digital project communications, keeping documents, events, news, and FAQs accessible and collecting community feedback through surveys, discussions, idea walls, and draft reviews.

As projects progress beyond open-ended visioning, the choices for online engagement software decrease drastically. EngagingApps are semi-customizable mapping tools, workbooks, interactive plans, and simulators that encourage informed, specific feedback about topics like commuting habits, proposed land use designations, design concepts, growth scenarios, and funding allocation.

On this call, NCDD Member Chris Haller, Founder & CEO and Emily Crespin, Partnership Manager of Urban Interactive Studio will walk through examples of both EngagingPlans and EngagingApps in action, with particular emphasis on how EngagingApps can be configured to address unique participation objectives during each stage of any public process. Participants are encouraged to review the UIS website prior to Tech Tuesday and be prepared for a high-level overview of EngagingPlans and an in-depth discussion about EngagingApps and strategies for implementation.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see these tools in action – register today!

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeTech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.



From the CommunityFrom the Community

Watch Kettering’s “A Public Voice” Event Live, May 5th

Next Thursday, the Kettering Foundation – one of our NCDD member organizations – will report the data from over 250 forums they’ve hosted on the economy and health care costs to DC policymakers during their annual gathering, A Public Voice, and you can participate via their live online video feed! We encourage you to read more about the gathering and how to participate in the Kettering announcement below, or find the original one here. 

kfAs of March 31, there have been more than 250 in-person and online forums on Making Ends Meet and Health Care Costs. Those numbers are, quite simply, amazing – proof that the NIF network is vibrant and ready to engage on timely issues!

These individual forums are impressive on their own, but we know that part of the impetus for participating in NIF is the chance to contribute to a larger national conversation. Kettering has been analyzing forum transcripts,  moderator responses, participant questionnaires and online forum data as it’s come in, and we’re now ready to offer some early insights into the national thinking on these two issues.

We’ll be doing this reporting to policymakers in Washington DC at the National Press Club, Thursday, May 5 from 10 am – 12:30 pm EDT – and we’d like you to join us!

We’ll be livestreaming the entire event so you can hear us, and we want to (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Register for NCDD Conference Input Call Tomorrow, 4/28!

As we announced last week, NCDD is hosting a special conference call on Thursday, April 28th from 3-4pm Eastern to collect more of the field’s ideas and input for our 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & DeliberationWhat we cover at our conferences, and how we cover it, is important for this ever-growing, ever-changing field, so don’t miss this chance to help shape its direction! 

NCDD’s leadership is hosting this conversation to hear how our field answers the question, “What would you like to see happen at NCDD 2016?”  We are looking for a wide range of opinions, which is why the call is open to everyone in the NCDD community – current members, past conference attendees, subscribers, social media friends, and more are all welcome to participate.

The original announcement of this call detailed the NCDD Board’s initial ideas around NCDD 2016 working to address bridge building across political divides, and we encourage you to read it here before the call. But as you prepare for the call and think about NCDD 2016, we encourage you to read to ask yourself…

  • What topics would you like to see covered?bumper_sticker_600px
  • What ideas do you have for awesome activities?
  • What would you like to contribute to this year’s event?
  • What could we do this year that might improve your work?
  • What could we do that would help us move the field forward?
  • What can we do while we’re together that we can’t easily do virtually?

We can’t wait to hear all of your amazing ideas, so please be sure to register today for the call by clicking here.

Can’t make the call, but still have thoughts to share? Feel free to join the discussion already taking place in the comments section of the initial announcement, weigh in on our social media, or add to the conversation already underway on the NCDD Discussion Listserv. We look forward to hearing from you!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NIFI Hosts Climate Choices Deliberations on CGA Platform

We want to encourage our NCDD members to consider joining the National Issues Forums Institute – one of our NCDD member organizations – as they host a series of online events about climate change using their Common Ground for Action deliberation tool. These events will be a great opportunity to work with NIFI’s new Climate Choices issue guide and try out the CGA tool at the same time. You can learn more in the NIFI announcement below or find the original post here.

You’re Invited – Join an Online Forum about Climate Change

NIF logoWe have 4 forums coming up using the long-awaited Climate Choices issue framing. The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is very pleased to announce that the new Climate Choices issue guide is now ready to use in forums. We’d heard from the network for years that this was an issue the public wanted to deliberate, and now we have a guide [which we partnered with the prestigious North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to produce] that is both scientifically rigorous AND deeply deliberative.

We have 4 online CGA forums using the new guide coming up- just register for the time that works for you. (All times Eastern.)

Friday, April 22, 2016, 1 – 3 pm

Monday, April 25, 2016,  3 – 5 pm 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 10 am – 12 pm

Friday, April 29, 2016, 6:30 – 8:30 pm  

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Missed the Intro to NCDD Call? Take a Guided Website Tour!

NCDD wants to extend a special thank you to everyone who participated in our Intro to NCDD webinar last week! We had a wonderful call with almost 60 participants who we walked through the many features of the NCDD website, including many of the lesser-known features and perks of being an NCDD member, and it was a special treat Small NCDD logoto have the whole NCDD staff on the call.

Our staff gave lots of helpful advice about how to make the most out of your NCDD membership, including features like our NCDD Listservs, our social media resources, and our member map and directory. We provided walk-throughs on how to share things with the NCDD network, how to use the NCDD resource center, how to join as a member or renew/upgrade your membership, and much more!

There was a lot more rich information than we can recap here. But if you missed the call, don’t worry – we recorded the whole conversation and presentation, which you can watch and listen to by clicking here. The webinar was bursting with info about how to take advantage of all that NCDD offers, so whether you’ve been a member for years or are just now hearing about us, we encourage you to check it out!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the call, and keep an eye out for more NCDD webinars in the future!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

What would you like to see at NCDD 2016?

yardsign_300pxNCDD’s staff is in the beginning stages of conference planning, and as we do each conference year, we’d like to hear from the D&D community about what you’d like to see, do and experience at this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. Over the next ten days, we’ll be seeking ideas from the NCDD community via email, social media, the blog and a special conference call on April 28th at 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific.

NCDD conferences look and feel a bit different each year because our events are experiments in collaborative planning, and our planning team is highly responsive to our community’s needs and energy.

  • Remember the graphic recordings and maps of numerous networks within the field at the 2014 conference?
  • Remember the “conservatives panel” at our 2008 national conference in Austin (with Grover Norquist!), where we dug into when, why, and under what conditions conservatives support dialogue and deliberation work?
  • Remember Playback Theatre in 2004, the Catalyst Awards process at our 2012 conference, the showcases and networking sessions, and the great speakers and participatory processes we’ve featured at all of our conferences?

IMG_8202NCDD’s national conferences bring together 400+ of our community’s most exciting leaders, innovators, learners, and doers, for an event that enables us not only to network and learn from each other, but to tackle our greatest collective challenges head-on, and to set the direction for our field.

What we cover at our conferences, and how we cover it, is important for this ever-growing, ever-changing field — and we want your input!  Everyone in the NCDD community (members, past conference attendees, subscribers, social media friends) is welcome to participate.

To help you get started, NCDD’s staff and board would like to share an idea with you and get some feedback. For the 2016 conference, we can’t help but take notice of the extreme partisan rancor of this year’s Presidential election. We think making space at this year’s conference to discuss bridging divides across political lines, race, religion, and other tough policy issues is important. Sharing our stories of how we’re building these bridges is an essential part of this, to share with one another and to amplify our work. We’d like to hear from you whether this resonates, and what ideas you might have for how we should do this. (Plus the Board will send out more info about this idea soon!)

We’re also seeking more ideas. As you consider our intentionally broad framing question, “What would you like to see happen at NCDD 2016?”, think about…

  • IMG_1562What do you think about the idea above?
  • What topics would you like to see covered?
  • What ideas do you have for awesome activities?
  • What would you like to contribute to this year’s event?
  • What could we do this year that might improve your work?
  • What could we do that would help us move the field forward?
  • What can we do while we’re together that we can’t easily do virtually?
  • Dream big, or be specific… it’s all good!

Please share your responses to these questions in the comments below, via our discussion listserv, on social media, and via a special call we are holding on April 28th at 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific. Sign up for the call to receive the call-in details.

We’re excited to hear your ideas and to get working on putting together another great conference!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Using Ground Rules to Create “Safe-Enough” Spaces

We learned a lot from the article below written by a team from the Public Conversations Project, one of our NCDD member organizations. The piece uses story and art to offer a valuable lessons about how ground rules in dialogues can temper the impacts that power and privilege frequently have on tense discussions and help everyone be heard, even when emotions run high. We encourage you to read the PCP article, cross-posted below, or find the original here.

No, We Won’t Calm Down: Emotion and Reason in Dialogue?

PCP new logoA recent cartoon on digital platform Everyday Feminism stimulated a lot of questions among Public Conversations Project staff. Entitled “No, We Won’t Calm Down-Tone Policing is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege,” it raised important issues about power, privilege, the apparent contrast between reason and emotion, and the roles of advocacy and dialogue.

Tone policing

The protagonist, Robot Hugs, talks about how tone policing allows privileged people to define the terms of a conversation about oppression and how this “hinges on the idea that emotion and reason cannot coexist – that reasonable discussions cannot involve emotions.” It further asserts that this allows privileged people to regain control of a conversation that is making them uncomfortable and thereby avoid the discomfort caused by being exposed to the very real emotional fallout of oppression and discrimination.”

Image via EverydayFeminism.com, Credit: Robot Hugs

Our dialogue work frequently focuses on polarized and extremely controversial topics that touch on issues of power and privilege. We see “tone policing” as something to be avoided; we value people’s bringing their feelings into dialogue. That is one reason we talk with participants beforehand: to offer guidance about how they can speak in ways that are more likely to be heard, and how to listen with resilience. The communication agreements that participants commit to beforehand are ones that they have jointly drafted and found acceptable to support their purpose in having (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Register for the Intro to NCDD Webinar, THIS Wednesday!

As we’ve previously announced, we are excited to be hosting our first webinar introduction to NCDD this Wednesday, April 20th from 1-2pm Eastern / 10-11am Pacific, and we encourage you to register today to join us! This “get to know us” event is a great way for D&D newcomers and veterans alike to learn things about NCDD’s Small green NCDD logowebsite, resources, network, and staff that you might have never known. You won’t want to miss it!

During the webinar, our five NCDD staff members will take participants on a virtual tour of the NCDD website including the blog, resource center, events pages, the member directory and map, and the listservs. We’ll also include a run down of how to best use our social media resources, as well as some little-known tips and tricks for getting the word out about your work.

This intro to NCDD webinar is the perfect chance to make sure you know how to take advantage of all of the tools your NCDD membership offers for learning about the D&D world and connecting to others in the field. Plus you’ll get to meet the wonderful people on the NCDD team who help the whole thing run. But you time is running out, so you have to register today!

We especially encourage new members and folks interested in joining NCDD to attend, but the call is open to everyone! It will be a good refresher even for the most experienced members. on how to get the most out of NCDD’s website. Be sure to register today!


NCDD is collecting blurbs describing your great work!

NCDD is made up of extraordinary organizations and individuals who, in my opinion, are doing some of the most important work on the planet.  For fundraising and outreach purposes, we want to do a better job explaining the work our members do.

IMG_8202For starters, we want to collect short, concise sentences (blurbs) describing your work.  Here are a few examples of some blurbs I wrote a few years ago to illustrate our members’ work…

  • King County’s (Seattle Area) innovative Countywide Community Forums, a project of the King County auditor’s office, engages hundreds of volunteer “citizen councilors” in regular dialogues held across the county on issues local government is tackling.
  • One of our members led the creation of the nation’s first official “Democracy Zone” in Napa, California, where hundreds of white and Latino residents have come together across class and ethnic divides to redefine their community’s concept of “citizen” by focusing on democratic processes and a commitment to common values.
  • Vets4Vets trains Iraq-era veterans to facilitate dialogue among fellow new veterans to help with the reintegration process. Working closely with the VA, Vets4Vets is building a peer support community among the growing number of vets who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Will you take a few minutes to turn one or two of your recent projects/programs into brief one- or two-sentence blurbs like the ones above?  Be as specific as possible in your blurbs, in terms of program location, number of people engaged/effected, outcomes achieved (focusing on one is best), and how your effort exemplifies a DIFFERENT kind of conversation than what we ordinarily see.

Add your blurbs to the comments on this post, and include a link so people can learn more about you.

Thank you in advance for helping equip NCDD to better describe your amazing work!!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Leading Groups to their Potential through Listening

A critical part of D&D work is listening, but listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally. That’s why we encourage you to read the piece below by NCDD Sustaining Member Beth Tener of New Directions Collaborative that features some important tips and insights about the kind of listening that help us lead and generate new possibilities. You can read Beth’s piece below or find the original here.

Listening that Enables Emerging Possibilities

I recently participated in an on-line course presented by MIT and Otto Scharmer about creating transformative change (amazingly, with about 40,000 other people around the world). The course explores frameworks for how we personally and collectively can address the challenges of our time and change systems that are “creating results nobody wants.” The heart of our leadership challenge is how to take existing situations where the dynamics are an ‘ego-system’ (e.g., each person or organization looks out for their interests) to a ‘eco-system’ where each participant focuses on the well-being of all.

His Theory U proposes that “the quality of results that we create in any kind of social system is a function of the quality of awareness, attention, or consciousness that people in the system operate from.” One of the core skills to practice to make this shift is in how we listen.

Listening is at the source of all great leadership. A key source of leadership failure is lack of listening. – Otto Scharmer

Often leadership training focuses on how we communicate our ideas and how we persuade others, essentially on talking as opposed to listening. In this season of Presidential primaries, I have been struck by (more…)