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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Up to 65% Off on EvDem Resources til May 15!

We encourage NCDD members to take advantage of a great sale on discussion resources that Everyday Democracy – an NCDD organizational member – is having before they move to a new office space. Check out the announcement of the sale and the move below, or find the original here.

EvDem LogoWe’re downsizing our office space, and we can’t take everything with us! Now through May 15, some of our most popular discussion guides are up to 65% off:

Don’t delay! Supplies are limited, and orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Order now.

Why the move?

Our lease is up at our current location so we’re moving to a new location with a smaller office footprint than we have now.  Decreasing our office footprint allows us to stretch our resources to serve communities across the country.

Where to?

We’re moving to (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Don’t Miss Our Tech Tuesday Call with Consider.it on 5/5

As we recently announced, NCDD is hosting another one of our Tech Tuesday events next Tuesday, May 5th from 2-3pm EST. We have had many folks already register to join us, but there is still room, so make sure to sign up today!

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeDuring the call, we will hear from Kevin Miniter, the co-founder of Consider.it – an innovative dialogue software that helps regular people participate in a facilitated conversation where they identify their common ground, sticking points, and misconceptions as they build toward consensus on a topic. Consider.it also powers the Living Voter’s Guide that informs tens of thousands of Washington voters every year.

This talk with Kevin promises to be a very informative, especially for those of us who have been looking for or are interested in ways to integrate more technology our dialogue work.

Don’t miss this great opportunity! Register today by clicking here!


A Resounding “Thank You” to Andy Fluke

NCDD Co-Founder Andy Fluke’s role as Creative Director is coming to a close in July. While many of you know Andy, you might not realize the scale of the contribution he has made over the years. It’s a story well worth telling.

Andy-pumpkin-borderAs creative director, Andy has been the graphic design force behind our website and publications, quietly anchoring NCDD’s infrastructure and fostering its growth for the past 12 years.  He may be best known for developing the website from a handful of pages to what it is today: a 6,000-page compendium widely regarded as the leading source for news and resources in the field. In NCDD’s first 12 years, Andy redesigned and expanded the website four times, in response to the needs of our community and the growth of the organization.

His first love has always been graphic design, a skill he learned in his father’s printing business and wielded to create the conference guidebooks, reports, signage, infographics, and other NCDD materials that have drawn praise from professionals throughout the dialogue and deliberation community.

To focus only on Andy’s creative skills, however, would be to miss the myriad other ways he has helped to shape NCDD since its founding in 2002. As co-founder, he played a critical role as sounding board and thinking partner for Sandy over the years. His contributions to NCDD’s day-to-day operations have also been significant: (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Recap of the NCDD Confab Call with Pete Peterson

We had another great Confab Call event last week with NCDD member Pete Peterson of the Davenport Institute. Pete shared some very interesting insights and lessons that he learned from his recent run for Confab bubble imageCalifornia Secretary of State last year in a bid to become, as he calls it, the state’s “Chief Engagement Officer.”

It was an inspiring conversation in many ways, and after listening to Pete, there very well may be a few more NCDD members thinking about using their public engagement backgrounds to run for office!

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording of the call by clicking here (we used join.me, so there is screensharing plus audio). We also encourage you to check out some of our past Confab Calls for more great conversations and ideas.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

All-Expenses Trip to Train on NIFI’s Online Deliberation Tool

We want our members to know that the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums Institute are offering an amazing opportunity for NIF moderators to attend an in-person training on their new online deliberation tool, Common Ground for Action, this May 18-19 in Ohio. Kettering is generously offering to foot the while bill, but you must register by April 29! Read more below or find the original announcement here.

NIF logo“We need some way to be able to take National Issues Forums online.”

NIF moderators and conveners have been telling us this for years.

Well, we heard you.

NIFI and Kettering Foundation have been collaborating with a working group of NIF members for over two years on an online version of the NIF forums we all know and love. It’s called Common Ground for Action, and it’s now available to all NIF moderators to use anytime.

Best of all, there’s no technical mumbo jumbo – CGA runs in any web browser, and has a simple, intuitive design. If you’re an experienced in-person moderator, all you’ll need is a little practice with the platform.

And to do that practice, we’re offering a special in-person moderator prep workshop at Kettering Foundation May 18-19. We have 15 spots available for the workshop, and Kettering takes care of all travel and lodging expenses as well as meals. These 15 spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so register right away if you’d like to attend. REGISTER NOW!

Once you register, we’ll  (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

The Future of Civic Tech: Open Data and Open Gov’ts

We recently saw a fascinating interview that NCDD supporting member Della Rucker recently published on her website EngagingCities that we wanted to share. Della interviewed the head of a key civic tech company, Accela, on the results of a recent paper on trends in civic technology, and the conversation is quite educational. We encourage you to read the interview below or find the original here.

How big is Civic Tech and where is it going? One on one with Mark Headd of Accela

engaging cities logoIn late 2014, Accela released a white paper with the International Data Corporation that quantifies the potential scope, value, and growth potential of the Civic Technology field.  Accela’s Developer Evangelist, Mark Headd, appears frequently at EngagingCities through his thought-provoking personal blog, civic.io.

I caught up with Mark a couple of weeks ago to talk about the present and future of civic technology.  We touched on the message that open data sends about a city, the unique challenges that smaller cities face in opening data, and the role of technology vendors in helping make that happen.

My thanks to Mark for the great conversation and to Accela for the white paper, which you can access here.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Della Rucker, Managing Editor, EngagingCities:  First of all, tell me a little bit, in your own words, about Accela and why it is that Accela commissioned the study that IDC did?

Mark Headd, Developer Evangelists, Accela:  Well, Accela is a company that provides software to governments in support of their (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register for Frontiers of Democracy 2015, June 25-27!

It’s time to start gearing up again for this year’s Frontiers of Democracy conference in Boston, MA this June 25th-27th! This anual conference has become a key civic infrastructure where leaders in the D&D field and democratic thought to gather to explore ideas at the forefront of advancing democracy, and we highly recommend you join us there!

Tufts-logoFrontiers of Democracy is sponsored by Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, the Democracy Imperative, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, all of which have NCDD members in their leadership.

The organizers describe the conference this way:

While powerful forces work against justice and civil society around the world, committed and innovative people strive to understand and improve citizens’ engagement with government, with community, and with each other. Every year, Frontiers of Democracy convenes some of these practitioners and scholars for organized discussions and informal interactions.

Topics include deliberative democracy, civil and human rights, social justice, community organizing and development, civic learning and political engagement, the role of higher education in democracy, Civic Studies, media reform and citizen media production, civic technology, civic environmentalism, and common pool resource management. Devoted to new issues and innovative solutions, this conference is truly at the frontiers of democracy.

You can learn more by visiting the conference website at http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/civic-studies/frontiers and register here.

We know this conference will be a great space for NCDD members to be, and we hope to see you there!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Research on Public Engagement Practitioners

This blog post was submitted by NCDD supporting member Caroline W. Lee, associate professor of Sociology at Lafayette College and author of Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry

There has been a recent explosion of research interest in public engagement practitioners, much of which uses qualitative research methods and ethnography to capture the rich practices and processes in the field (see, for example, Oliver Escobar’s work here). In this vein, I wanted to share with readers of the blog about a symposium on public engagement professionals I participated in at the International Political Science Association conference in Toronto in July.

Organized by Canadian and French researchers Laurence Bherer, Mario Gauthier, Alice Mazeaud, Magalie Nonjon and Louis Simard in collaboration with the Institut du Nouveau Monde, the symposium was unique in that it brought together international scholars of the professionalization of public participation with leading practitioners of public participation from the US, UK, and Canada like Carolyn Lukensmeyer.

You can find the program schedule and more details (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Confab Call with Pete Peterson is THIS Thursday, 4/23

We are excited to be gearing up for NCDD’s next Confab Call this Thursday, April 23rd! Are you ready to join us? The call will take place from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific.

Confab bubble imageAs we recently announced, this week’s Confab will feature a conversation with NCDD Member Pete Peterson. Pete is the Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, and in 2014, he ran for California Secretary of State on a platform of increasing informed civic participation and using technology to make government more responsive and transparent.

On this Confab, Pete will share lessons learned from running for office on a platform he described as becoming California’s first “Chief Engagement Officer,” and what promise and challenges the civic participation field faces when translated into a political context.

NCDD’s Confab Calls are great opportunities 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 in these calls.


There’s still time left to get signed up, but don’t delay! Register today and save your spot! We look forwarding to having you join us for this wonderful conversation.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Sign up for May’s Tech Tuesday featuring Consider.it

NCDD’s next Tech Tuesday event on May 5th will feature Consider.it, a social technology that lets people deliberate on an issue together online. Registration is now open, so sign up today to reserve your spot!

Consider.it was created as an interdisciplinary project througTech_Tuesday_Badgeh a grant from the National Science Foundation. The software focuses dialogues on a specific idea, encourages users to think about both sides of the idea, listen to and include the thoughts of others and express a nuanced opinion. Consider.it shows what thousands of people think about an idea on a histogram and why they think this way with a ranked list of all points from most persuasive to least persuasive.  These results show the common ground, sticking points and misconceptions that a facilitator can address to build consensus. For the past five years, Consider.it has powered the award winning Living Voter’s Guide, an interactive voters guide used by tens of thousands of Washington voters.

Join us as co-founder Kevin Miniter discusses how to use Consider.it to help create more thoughtful dialogues online for groups of all sizes.  Kevin will tell us more about the software and how it works, share some case examples, and talk with us about ways in which we might use Consider.it in our work.

This FREE event will take place on Tuesday, May 5 from 2-3pm Eastern/ 11am-12pm Pacific. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience this great 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.

Watch this video to learn more about the Living Voters Guide…