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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Institute for Civility in Gov’t Offers New “Civility Training”

We want to make sure that NCDD hears about a great new training on civility being offered by the Institute for Civility in Government – an NCDD organizational member. We all know our nation’s civic life needs more civility, so please learn more about their training below or contact ICG to sign up.

InstituteForCivilityInGov-logoThe Institute for Civility in Government is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, grassroots non-profit organization founded in 1998, and is a member of NCDD. The Institute works to reduce the polarization of our political and legislative processes by facilitating dialogue, teaching respect, and building civility in both the public and private spheres. Our programs are a laboratory of civility, creating a model and setting a tone for each generation to experience and adopt as their own.

Maintaining civility makes life easier and more pleasant for everyone, but sometimes it can be a challenge. In response to popular demand, the Institute has developed and now offers online Civility Training based on our book, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 10 Rules That Work.

The online course is divided into two sections. The first section teaches the ten rules. The second section provides real-life (more…)


NCDD Membership Rates Increasing Nov. 5th – Join or Renew Today!

As many of you know, NCDD is a lean organization with a small staff, and we rely on the active support of NCDD members to continue our efforts and raise awareness of the innovations in engagement, dialogue and community-building taking place across the country. It is our strong and growing membership that enables us to add even more to what we can offer our members to support their work.

As part of our effort to step up the support we can offer to our members, we are planning to increase our membership dues on November 5th, the day after Election Day. That means that if you haven’t joined NCDD or renewed your membership, you need to do so today to lock in the lower rates!

Through November 4th (election day!), annual membership dues will stay at their current levels:

  • $25 for Student Membership
  • $50 for Individual Membership
  • $125 for Sustaining Membership
  • $150 for Organizational Membership

Starting November 5th, we will be using a new membership dues scale, and annual membership rates will be as follows:

  • $30 for Student/Young Professional Membership
  • $75 for Individual Membership
  • $150 for Sustaining Membership
  • $200 for Organizational Membership

But we are offering a great deal for those who join NCDD or renew their memberships between now and the 4th: if you join or renew before the new dues scale goes into place, you can lock in your dues at current membership levels for two years! Through November 4th, members will be allowed to prepay their dues at current rates and can avoid paying the new, higher dues for two years. It’s a great deal, so make sure to take advantage before it’s gone by visiting www.ncdd.org/join to join, renew, or upgrade your membership.

You can check what membership level you are currently by looking yourself up in the directory at www.ncdd.org/directory or on this chart (which shows all members’ renewal dates and member types). If you’re still not convinced that it’s worth it, then we encourage you to check out our member benefits page to get a sense of all of the great things your NCDD membership does for you. We think you’ll see why we are already over 2,100 members strong!

In these weeks leading up to the election, we have an opportunity to share what we know is not only possible, but is working, to reclaim our democracy. We hope you’ll take a few moments now to join or renew your membership and to help us spread the word and express your support for NCDD.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Tour of NCDD’s Field Mapping Project

In the months leading up to the 2014 NCDD conference, NCDD conducted a unique field mapping project as part of our collaboration with the Kettering Foundation. The project capitalized on the fact that the conference would bring together more than 400 leaders and emerging leaders in the dialogue & deliberation community, many of whom are interested in finding new ways to collaborate across organizations and sectors to have a greater impact.

NCDD2014-GR-Team-PhotoWe had conference planning team member Kathryn Thomson (of LeaderMind Consulting and Ethelo Decisions) conduct interviews of 10 highly collaborative organizations/networks involved in NCDD. Graphic recorders participated in the calls, and then mapped out what they heard on large mural-size paper so conference attendees could learn about each organization’s ecosystem of work and partnerships, and aspirations for the future. (This phase of the project is described here.)

At the conference, our 10-person graphic recording team (led by the amazing Stephanie Brown) created a gorgeous “Field Map” during the conference. The field map was informed by:

  1. The 10 network maps described above, which visually mapped out the work and networks of 10 highly collaborative organizations in the NCDD community
  2. A table mapping activity we conducted on the first day of the conference that asked people the same three questions we asked for the organizational maps, about their work, their partners, and who they’d like to work with in the future. We called the activity a “Mapping Cafe,” as it was inspired by the World Cafe process.
  3. Input from NCDD 2014 attendees and staff while the map was being created at the conference.

Check out the album I’ve added to our Facebook page about the mapping project. It walks you through all the gorgeous artwork, describes each element of the project, and links to the artists and organizations involved. Click on the photos in the album to see the additional info.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Public Conversations Project Searches for New Exec. Director

We want to make sure NCDDers see a letter that we received from our partners at the Public Conversations Project asking for our help with their search for a new executive director. PCP is a long time NCDD organizational member that does important work across the country and the world, and we encourage you to read their request and pass along the information about their opening to those in your network you think would be qualified. If that may be  you, then learn more below and don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Public Conversations ProjectDear NCDD friends.

It was good to see many of you at the 2014 conference! I’m writing to let you know that Public Conversations Project has just launched a search for an Executive Director. This initiative follows a very productive year with an excellent interim director who has led us through a strategic planning process and prepared us to move forward with focus and impact.

I hope you can find the time to read the job description and pass it on to suitable candidates and/or to colleagues and friends who are well placed to circulate it further. We need to move speedily before the holidays distract potential candidates—and us! The deadline is November 17th.

Read the Executive Director job description here or download a PDF of the Executive Director job description here.

With appreciation for whatever you can do to help us find a good match,

Maggie Herzig​
​Senior Associate
Search Committee member
Public Conversations Project
Watertown, MA

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Hawaii Senator Pursues “Collaborative Legislators Network”

Our partners with the Kettering Foundation recently published a great interview with Hawaii Senator Les Ihara Jr. – who we are proud to have as an NCDD supporting member – about some exciting work he’s doing to get legislators doing more and better public engagement work. Sen. Ihara’s ideas have great potential, and we encourage you to read more about them below or find the original here.


Developing Our Civic Culture: State Legislators and Public Engagement

Hawaii state senator Les Ihara Jr. has found many state legislators interested in engaging, deliberating, and collaborating with citizens and stakeholders on public policy issues. Former Kettering Foundation research assistant Jack Becker recently sat down with Senator Ihara to talk about his work in supporting legislators’ citizen engagement interests.

Senator Ihara has served as majority policy leader with the Hawaii State Legislature since 2006. He entered the Hawaii State House in 1986 and the Hawaii State Senate in 1994. Senator Ihara is helping to organize a National Collaborative Legislators Network to support the state legislators citizen engagement research project of the National Conference of State Legislatures in partnership with the Kettering Foundation. In addition, he cochaired NCSL’s Legislative Effectiveness Committee from 2011 to 2014 and currently serves on the Kettering Foundation’s board of directors.

Jack Becker: When were you first exposed to public engagement?

Senator Ihara: In the late 1990s I attended a public forum using the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) framework. Since then I’ve organized a number of NIFI forums in Hawaii on legislative issues, such as gambling, death and dying, and campaign finance. During those forums I experienced public deliberation. A group of citizens were speaking together as a group about their problems rather than (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Check out the photos from NCDD 2014!

We posted some of our favorite photos from the 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation on Facebook yesterday. About 415 amazing people came together in Reston, VA for networking, learning and field-building. So much fun! Thank you to John Daly of DalyPhotography for taking almost all of these gorgeous photos.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount on Future Search Leadership Workshop

We are excited to share the following letter to the NCDD community from Sally Theilacker of the Future Search Network about a great discount being offered to NCDD members for their upcoming Future Search leadership workshop this December. We encourage you to read below and take advantage of the discount! Find out more by clicking here.

FutureSearch-logoDear NCDD Community,

Sandra Janoff and I are inspired by your work in your recent conference and in your community.  We want to support you in the following way. Sandra is offering a Managing A Future Search Training Workshop on December 8  - 10, 2014 in Philadelphia.  We would like to give considerable discounts to NCDD members.  Call or e-mail us and make plans to join us in December!

Managing a Future Search – A Leadership Workshop with Sandra Janoff

December 8-10, 2014 in Philadelphia

Visit our website to register or find out more: www.futuresearch.net/network/workshops/descriptions-50748.cfm

Managing a Future Search – A Leadership Workshop is for facilitators and leaders who want to learn how applying Future Search principles enables a community or organization to transform its capability for action. Participants will (more…)


A message to the NCDD community from the Board

Wow. Talk about being inspired by what is possible! The NCDD conference in the DC area last weekend was a potent mix of innovation, connection and motivation for action. 415+ people turned out to share their best thinking, broaden their networks and add their unique contribution to advancing the work of strengthening our democracy.

FieldMapWithGRsEven as partisan rhetoric heats up in an effort to amplify division and discord in advance of the November elections, the people and organizations involved in NCDD offer a countervailing narrative — one that shows how people can talk across divides and co-create fresh solutions to stale problems.

As Board members and passionate champions of the difference NCDD is making in the world, we hope you’ll join us in spreading the word about NCDD. More people need to know that it’s possible to move beyond politics as usual and bring more thoughtful dialogue and action to our communities and our country. We hope you’ll take five minutes today and share the brief blurb below with people who you think would be inspired by this work and benefit from the resources and the amazing network NCDD offers.

Tired of partisan bickering?  “Vote” for NCDD, the antidote to politics as usual.  Join a network of over 30,000 people committed to creating the conditions for constructive conversation about what matters. Now through Election Day, join the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation at the 2006 rates. You will receive a new member orientation to:

  • projects that are finding common ground for action on important issues as the national, state and local levels
  • tools that you can use to create your own community conversations
  • hundreds and hundreds of resources for dialogue and deliberation

Go to www.ncdd.org/join to get involved today!

We also ask that you support NCDD by becoming a dues-paying member, or if already a member, consider upgrading your membership. As a lean organization, we need the active support of members to continue our efforts and raise awareness of the innovations in engagement, dialogue and community-building taking place across the country. A strong and growing membership also enables us to add even more to what we can offer members to support their work.

Until November 4th, membership amounts will stay at their current levels ($25 student/$50 individual/$125 sustaining/$150 organization) but will be increasing after that date – new amounts will be $30 student/$75 individual/$150 sustaining/$200 organization. But you can lock in at current membership levels by prepaying now for two years!

You can check what membership level you are currently by looking yourself up in the directory at www.ncdd.org/directory or on this chart (which shows all members’ renewal dates and member types). To join, renew, or upgrade your membership, go to www.ncdd.org/join.

In these weeks leading up to the election, we have an opportunity to share what we know is not only possible, but is working, to reclaim our democracy. We hope you’ll take a few moments now to spread the word and express your support.

Thanks for all you are doing every day to build more resilient and thriving communities!

Barbara, Marla, Susan, Diane, Courtney, John and Martin
NCDD Board of Directors


NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Continuing the conversation from NCDD 2014 – now!

At the 2014 NCDD conference in the DC area this past weekend, 415 leaders and emerging leaders in our field explored what they’d like dialogue and deliberation work to look like a generation from now. While it’s important to have a clear vision of the future we hope for, it is equally important to be clear about what stands in our way and devise plans for getting around those obstacles.

NCDD2014-aspirations-picEven if you weren’t able to attend the conference, we invite you to join conference attendees in identifying existing strategies and co-creating new strategies for overcoming persistent barriers to effective dialogue and deliberation work.

What do you think are the best strategies for addressing the following four key barriers?

  1. Lack of trust in our democracy, in our leaders, and in one another
  2. Unequal access to D&D practices and to government
  3. Lack of cohesion as a clearly delineated field of practice with all parts in communication
  4. Structural barriers within our democracy and in our own infrastructure

These barrier categories actually emerged when we themed the results of the popular Cogitial project we ran back in April that asked the NCDD community “What do you want to see happen at NCDD 2014?” So the barriers themselves came from our community, and we are now seeking leading edge solutions and strategies for overcoming those barriers from within our community.

We’re using Codigital once again to help you add new ideas, vote on ideas to prioritize them, suggest edits to the ideas, and vote to resolve edits as a group.

All NCDD members and all NCDD 2014 attendees (except those that registered at the last minute – which we’ll take care of soon) will receive an email today inviting you to a page on Codigital where this will be happening. We hope you will participate, even if you weren’t with us at the conference, as these are important considerations for our whole community!

Please try to visit the site at https://ncdd.codigital.com/project/browse for a few minutes each day during the project, which will run from now through midnight on Halloween (October 31st).

Thank you in advance for providing guidance to NCDD and many others who are interested in helping pave the way for this important work!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Reflecting on the Movement at NCDD 2014

As we are watching the attendees gather today for the start of NCDD 2014 in Reston, VA, it is a sight to see. Over 400 dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement professionals are coming together to work and learn together, and we couldn’t be more excited!

In the spirit of honoring all that our wonderful NCDD community represents, we wanted to share a thoughtful piece adapted from a talk NCDD Board member Susan Stuart Clark gave at San Rafael City Hall on September 26, 2014 to a local community group about the movement we are building with NCDD. You can read it below or find the original here.


Map of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation network

NCDD: The Invisible Movement

Shhh…can you hear that?

It’s the sound of an invisible movement.  Over 30,000 people across the U.S. and Canada are engaging thousands – and, at times, millions – in doing something that most people have no idea is happening.

What are they doing? They’re leading conversations – a different kind of conversation that challenges the assumption that our society is getting ever more divided.  This is a network of thousands of innovators who bring people together across divides to tackle today’s toughest challenges.

At the center of this growing network is the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation. NCDD is a non-profit organization that provides resources for people who plan and lead meaningful conversations that help find common ground for action on important issues that affect all of us.

1. Who are these people and what are they doing?

The NCDD network is made up of a wide variety of group facilitators, professors, students, government officials, organizational development consultants and committed volunteers.  While the range of backgrounds is diverse, NCDDers share a common dedication to creating opportunities for people to talk, listen and act together in new ways – ways that build deeper understanding and create new openings for (more…)