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From the CommunityFrom the Community

CM Conference Call on Grassroots Grants, July 31

CM_logo-200pxIt’s time again for another capacity-building conference call from our organizational partners at CommunityMatters, which is coming up this Thursday, July 31st from 4-5pm EST.

The topic of this latest call is “Grassroots Grants“, and CM will be partnering with Janis Foster Richardson, the Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers, to host it. They introduce the call’s topic like this:

Is your community a place for possibilities? Can residents bring their ideas to life, take risks, make connections and ply their creative skills? Grassroots grantmaking focuses on helping organizations turn possibilities into realities.

Through small grants, residents move from dreaming to doing and become critical change makers in their community.

Janis Foster Richardson, executive director of Grassroots Grantmakers, joins CommunityMatters on Thursday, July 31 for an hour-long webinar on how local governments, nonprofits, foundations and other community groups are supporting everyday people in making positive change through small grant programs.

Register today by clicking here, and we hope to hear you on the call!

Before the call, we encourage you to check out the accompanying piece on the CM blog by Caitlyn Horose, which is cross posted below. You can find the original piece here. (more…)


Mapping Our Social Networks

LinkedIn has a neat tool called InMaps that I just learned is being retired soon.  With click of a button, it creates an interactive visual map of all your LinkedIn connections.  It assigns them colors based on their similarities to each other, and you can to label those colored clusters based on the similarities you see.


Back when I first started using LinkedIn, I was pretty gung-ho about making connections. I currently have 2,147 LinkedIn connections, so my LinkedIn map is a little dense with people and the connections between them.  Interestingly, my current InMap is more densely concentrated than it was a couple of years ago when I first generated my InMap. There are fewer individuals and nodes that seem distanced from the others.

LinkedInMap-KeyIt’s a little hard to see who some of the other nodes are that seem to connect multiple sectors, but I could get a sense of who the most connected people are by the size of their dot.  Diana Whitney, Matt Leighninger, Thomas Valenti, Larry Schooler, Beth Offenbacker, Jon Ramer, Nancy White, Margaret Herrmann, and Libby and Len Traubman stand out to me as highly connected in LinkedIn.

One of the nice features InMaps offers is that it allows you to label your own clusters. If you click around all of the orange or blue dots on your map, it becomes clear that the people assigned to that color have something in common.  The image to the right shows how I chose to label my colored clusters.

My connections on LinkedIn, in large part, are NCDD’s connections. Reflecting on Albert-László Barabási’s Linked (a book on the power of networks), I feel pretty encouraged by the denseness and variety of my network map. In Barabási’s chapter “Hubs and Connectors,” he writes:

“Indeed, with links to an unusually large number of nodes, hubs create short paths between any two nodes in the system. Consequently, while the average separation between two randomly selected people on Earth is six, the distance between anybody and a connector is often only one or two.”

I’m curious about what other NCDDers’ InMaps look like, and how you would label your own clusters.  To create your own InMap (before it’s too late!), go to http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com/ (you’ll have to enter your LinkedIn password). Once it has generated your map and you’ve added your labels, click Share and then add the web address of your map in the comments below so others can take a look. The link to your shareable map will look something like mine:


Also – I’m very curious about what network mapping tools have worked best for NCDDers?  Mapping my own LinkedIn contacts or Facebook contacts is interesting, but NCDD is starting to map the organizations, collaboration, and capacity in our field.  What tools would you suggest we learn more about as we embark on this important task?  Are there any tools you’ve found particularly useful?  What tools have disappointed you?

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Announcing Next Stage Facilitation Intensives in Montreal and Boulder

We are happy to share the announcement below from NCDD Sustaining Member Rebecca Colwell of Ten Directions. Rebecca’s announcement came via our great 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 directly from master facilitator, mediator and former Director of Dispute Resolution for the Utah State Judiciary, Diane Musho Hamilton.

Your participation will include a deep dive into your (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

NCDD 2014 Partner: League of Extraordinary Trainers

NCDD is proud to announce that The League of Extraordinary Trainers has signed on as a Partner of the 6th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation…

The League of Extraordinary Trainers are seven highly seasoned practitioners who have designed and presented some of the most powerful and recognized training in public participation, collaboration, consensus, high stakes communication, and facilitation in the world today. The League (known initially as the US Trainers’ Consortium) are practice leaders, developers and founders of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and its spectrum, principles and ethics. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Community-Building Arts Project from Tamarack

We wanted to share a write up from Axiom News that featured a great initiative in Canada led by NCDD organizational member Tamarack. The lessons learned from this arts-based project to support community building are valuable for all of us, so we hope you’ll take a moment to read the Axiom piece below or find the original version here.

Massive, Main Street Photo Exhibit ‘Shifts Feelings’ in Alberta Community

The Village of Delburne, located halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta provides a model for communities looking to engage residents in setting priorities and making decisions on what matters.

Earlier this year the village engaged in the “1,000 Conversations Across Canada” initiative championed by Tamarack, the Institute for Community Engagement.

The intent of the 1,000 Conversations campaign is to help shape communities by promoting the idea that citizens can collaborate and communicate with one another to create positive change.

Close to half the village population of about 830 representing a broad cross-section of the community participated in (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

NCDD 2014 Co-Sponsor: National Dialogue Network

NCDD is proud to announce that the National Dialogue Network is joining us as a Co-Sponsor of the 6th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation…

One of the great pleasures of working with people in our community is watching their ideas take root and grow.  It’s even more gratifying to see ideas presented at our events take on a life of their own.  The National Dialogue Network got its start at our Seattle conference and was eventually chosen by our members as one of the winners of the NCDD’s 2012 Catalyst Awards.

National Dialogue Network introduction video from John Spady on Vimeo. (more…)

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Announcing the “D&D Showcase” at NCDD 2014

We’re excited to announce that we’ll once again be holding our popular “D&D Showcase” at this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. The Showcase is a high-energy networking activity that provides a way for about 25 people in our field to introduce their work and their ideas to the majority of conference participants. The Showcase takes place during the reception on the first night of the conference (Friday, October 17th, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm).

It’s a fun way for conference-goers to meet some of the movers-and-shakers in our field, and hear about some of their latest projects, programs and tools.

Here is a slideshow of images from our Showcase at NCDD 2012 in Seattle…

Here’s how the Showcase will work…

During this 90-minute session, conference participants will stroll around the ballroom, chatting with presenters, listening to their brief spiels, checking out their posters and picking up handouts. We’ll also have finger foods and beverages available (and a cash bar), adding to the social atmosphere of the session.

The conference planning team is selecting people to present during the D&D Showcase who are passionate about sharing tools and programs we know will interest our attendees. Contact conference manager Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org if you are interested in being featured in the Showcase — but please note these slots are very competitive!

The presenters, who will be prepared to give short spiels on their Showcase topic, will strike up conversations with participants who are strolling around the room, perusing the “wares.” No timers or buzzers (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Featured D&D Story: Putting People at the Center in Public Health

Today we are happy to feature another great example of dialogue and deliberation in action. This mini case study was submitted by NCDD student member Megan Powers of Grassroots Solutions via NCDD’s Dialogue Storytelling Tool. Do you have a dialogue story that our network could learn from? Add YOUR dialogue story today! 

ShareYourStory-sidebarimageTitle of Project:

Putting People at the Center: A Fundamental Shift in Public Health Campaigns


One of the most pivotal developments in public health practice over the past 20 years is the attention that is now being paid to the wide range of factors that influence health, such as social connectedness, the built environment, and the characteristics of the places where people live, work, and play. As a result, the public health field not only educates people about individual behavioral changes people can make to improve their health, but also works to change the policies, systems, and environments that shape our world and our ability to make healthy choices.

We’ve seen this impact firsthand. Grassroots Solutions works extensively with public health entities at the local, state, and national levels to reduce tobacco use, mitigate obesity, and address other critical public health concerns.

This work has taught us that while facts and data are, of course, powerful tools, the most successful public health campaigns put people at the center. When you combine data and facts with real people’s passion (more…)

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NCDD 2014 All-Star Sponsor: Public Conversations Project

NCDD is proud to announce that the Public Conversations Project is stepping up as an All-Star Sponsor of the 6th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation…

Public Conversations ProjectSince 1989, the Public Conversation Project has worked in the U.S. and around the world facilitating dialogues on a wide range of contentious issues including abortion, forest management, homosexuality and faith, biodiversity, the use of animals in research, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and many others. In a world bristling with tension, controversy, polarization, and war, PCP aims to reduce rancor in public squares and promote effective communication within organizations and communities. It also provides workshops and customized trainings that teach people how to use its dialogue methods.

PCP was founded by Corky Becker, Laura Chasin, Richard Chasin, Margaret Herzig, and Sallyann Roth. The founders plus recent additions Raye Rawls and Mary Jacksteit, along with program staff members Robert Stains, Jr., David Joseph, Meenakshi Chakraverti, and Alison Streit Baron make up PCP’s team of associates. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Issue Guide on Economy Choices from NIFI

NIF-logoWe wanted to make sure the NCDD members heard that our organizational partners at the National Issues Forums Institute have published their latest issue guide for deliberative conversations. Released earlier this month, the newest guide is called The Future of Work: How Should We Prepare for the New Economy? The guide is designed to walk participants through tough choices about what policy directions we should take in dealing with the broader national economy.

The following excerpt can help you get a better sense of the approach the guide is taking:

The nature of the work we do has changed in ways that few Americans a generation ago could have imagined, and it will undoubtedly be dramatically different in yet another generation. These changes will bring both opportunities and difficulties…

The stakes are high. Many Americans share concerns about the nation’s competitive edge, stagnant wages, and a sense that young people today will be worse off than previous generations.

We have choices to make together in shaping the future of work. Business, government, individuals, and communities all play a role in addressing this issue. This guide presents some of the options we might pursue, along with their drawbacks.

As with other NIFI issue guides, the new guide encourages forum participants to weigh three different courses of action on a controversial issue. The guide lays out the choices on dealing with the national budget in this way: (more…)