Earlier this year, NICD’s Ted Celeste – an NCDD supporting member and one of our 2014 conference mentors – convened one of NICD’s Next Generation workshops aimed at helping legislators in Vermont develop better communication and more collaborative relationships. It was met with rave reviews and yielded some exciting results!
When it comes to rancor between the two major parties at the Statehouse, Vermont has it pretty good compared to other parts of the country. But there is always room for improvement. That’s why 20 lawmakers – Republican, Democrats, and Progressives – sat down Wednesday to clear the air and learn to communicate better. It’s part of a national effort aimed at improving civil discourse in politics.
At the 2014 NCDD conference last fall, we were honored to have David Mathews speak during the opening session. For those who don’t know, David is president and CEO of the Kettering Foundation.
For his talk, we asked David to orient attendees to the past and present landscape in Washington for dialogue and deliberation. We wanted him to look back to his days in the Ford administration, and reflect on what he and Kettering have learned over the years about how citizen deliberation can influence Washington politics and policymakers.
He took the task very seriously, delivering a thoughtful, engaging speech which received a standing ovation from attendees! After the conference, David took the time to expand on his remarks in a must-read 12-page document he prepared for us, titled “A Historic Opportunity to Add the Public Voice that’s Missing.”
David often talks about how the organizations in our coalition have the unique ability to create the conditions that are needed for a real “public voice” to develop, and could bring this voice to Washington with the right approach. In a letter to me about his expanded remarks, David wrote:
Never in our history have we had so many organizations that are dedicated to letting citizens decide for themselves rather than insisting people support a predetermined position. I believe that NCDD can play a key role in seizing this rare opportunity.
Wow! Please take the time to read and reflect on this important document. Next week, we’ll discuss David’s message to our community on the NCDD Discussion list. You’re welcome to add your comments here to this blog post as well.
David’s speech from the conference…
I also want to share some additional text David wrote in his letter to me about his expanded remarks: (more…)
We want to share an invitation from NCDD supporting member Dr. Rebecca Townsend of the National Communication Association (NCA) for NCDD members to join NCA’s recently formed Public Dialogue and Deliberation section. This new NCA section will be a great way for D&D practitioners and scholars to connect and share their work, so we encourage you to read NCA’s announcement below and consider joining!
Good news! NCA’s Legislative Assembly approved the creation of a new division, the Public Dialogue and Deliberation (PDD) division, which allows us to share our scholarly work, practitioner experience, and teaching pedagogy more fruitfully within NCA.
In order to have a vibrant presence, we need to have members sign up soon. If you are a member of NCA (or would like to join), simply contact NCA Membership Manager Justin Danowski at jdanowski[at]natcom[dot]org and let him know you’d like to join the PDD division.
Your formal membership in the division is vital to its success. The size of a division is directly proportional to the amount of activity it can schedule in the NCA conference agenda, so please sign up today!
In case you missed our previous post, we want to remind you again that Text, Talk, Act is back! This April and May, thousands of people, especially young people, will have a nationwide conversation on mental health and how to help a friend in need, and you should join!
Here’s how it works: Through text messaging, small groups will receive discussion questions to lead them through a conversation about mental health – how to take care of their own and how to help a friend in need. The conversation will last for about 45 minutes and all that’s needed is a smart phone and few people to participate.
The next two conversations for Text, Talk, Act will take place on Tuesday, April 14th (in collaboration with Active Minds’ Stress Less Week) and on Thursday, May 7th (in partnership with SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day). We strongly encourage our NCDD members to consider signing up to organize a Text, Talk, Act event in your communities. We know these events are helping make a difference in the lives of young people across the country, and we want to support this innovative way to engage young people in dialogue!
Also don’t forget about the great contest where TTA participants can win $1,000 for their schools or organizations!
If you want to participate but can’t make either date, you can (more…)
We were inspired by this wonderful piece from NCDD supporting member Dr. Jacob Hess of All of Life and Political-Dialogue.com on a controversial but promising development in Utah legislation that was brokered by long-term intergroup dialogue. Jacob’s piece explores how dialogue between religious conservatives and LGBTQ advocates created unlikely collaborations, and it holds a lot of insight for us in our work. You can read Jacob’s article below or find the original here.
Did Something Really Good or Really Bad Just Happen in Utah?
Leaning back in his chair, Jim Dabakis – an openly gay state senator from Utah – quoted one columnist who recently called him a “quisling” for his efforts to explore potential common ground with Mormon legislators.
He added with a wry smile, “I’m not even sure what that word means…but it doesn’t sound good!” (He’s right! quisling = “a traitor who collaborates with an occupying enemy force.”)
Depending on your perspective, something emerged from Utah’s 2015 legislative session last week that is either a “landmark,” a “watershed moment” and even a “miracle” – or a bill variously called “pathetic,” “shameful” and “the baddest of bad ideas.”
Disagreements aside, almost everyone might agree on how surprising it was to see Jim Dabakis hugging a Mormon apostle, Tom Perry, at the bill’s signing ceremony. What’s up with that?!
After the extensive Mormon support of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, relations between the LGBT community and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were (more…)
NCDD’s Tech Tuesday events had a bit of a hiatus since the conference, but they’re back with a vengeance with the next several being firmed up as we speak. For April’s event, on Tuesday, April 7th, we’re pleased to feature Loomio, an open source app for group collaboration and decision-making that has been generating lots of buzz in the field.
Loomio emerged when activists from the Occupy movement teamed up with the social enterprise network Enspiral, realizing that they were using different approaches to work towards the same aim. Loomio provides an independent and neutral online space for complex discussion with lots of people at once. People can start a discussion, build agreement toward possible solutions, and ultimately come to a decision together for a course of action. Today, Loomio is used by people across the globe in a variety of settings to achieve better outcomes.
In this Tech Tuesday on April 7th (4-5pm Eastern/1-2pm Pacific), Loomio cooperative members Alanna Krause and Chelsea Robinson will join us to demonstrate the tool and share case studies of how it has been utilized. Participants will have the opportunity to see how Loomio works and ask questions. A brief video introducing the tool is below.
This FREE event will take place on Tuesday, April 7 from 4-5pm Eastern/ 1-2pm Pacific. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience this simple yet powerful tool – register today!
Tech 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.
Climb towards new heights and seek out new vistas! The picturesque mountain scape of Banff Alberta Canada inspires a conference program that gives you opportunities to explore and elevate your facilitation knowledge and skills. The Conference theme is: Innovating, Promoting and Applying! Seeking New Facilitation Heights and Insights.
Innovating – learn about new trends, research, and creativity in facilitation
Promoting – communicate and market facilitation profession and services
Applying – learn, practice and improve facilitation skills
NOW is a great time to register for IAFNA 2015 in Banff to take advantage of current economical fees that increase the longer you wait. Your THREE general steps are: (more…)
As Facilitators we are “architects of trust” and in order to protect that trust we must always be conscious of the ethical values and principles that guide our profession. Ethics and values allow us to hold ourselves and each other accountable for the power we hold over groups, over processes and over outcomes. Discussing these issues as a profession is critical in this process. We not only need to be individual reflective practitioners but we need to be a reflective profession.
NCDD’s “Confab Calls” are opportunities for members [and potential members] of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing, and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Register today if you’d like to join us.
We want to encourage our NCDD members to join the good people with Everyday Democracy, an NCDD member organization, for a helpful webinar they are hosting this April 9th at 4pm EST. The webinar is called “How to Recruit Leaders and Volunteers for Your Cause” and is a great chance for those of us who work with volunteers or are interested in growing our organizations.
The webinar will feature insights on recruiting and retention from Everyday Democracy Program Officer Janee Woods Weber. Here’s how EvDem describes the event:
Join us for a webinar on recruiting new leaders and volunteers on April 9 at 4pm ET.
This is a webinar to explore best practices for recruiting coalition members, facilitators, and participants for your dialogue and action work. We’ll talk about how to get started, how to recruit groups that are hard to reach, and 10 tips for recruiting new leaders. Join this webinar to get some great tips on getting people to sign up for your cause!
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