Tiny House
More About The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation • Join Now!
Community News

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Download Everyday Democracy’s Community Grant List

We know that the search for funding is a constant struggle in our field, so we highly recommend you check out the community grant list that was compiled by the great team at NCDD member organization Everyday Democracy. All you have to do to get a free download of this great resource is sign up for their email newsletter. You can learn more in the EvDem announcement below or sign up here.

EvDem LogoThe Big List of Community Grants

When you’re implementing ideas to help change your community, you’ll often need to find some external funding. We’ve compiled this list of grant opportunities from around the U.S. to help you jump start your action efforts.


The Big List of Community Action Grants

Here’s what you’ll find in this list:

  • 60 grant opportunities
  • Details on the grant amount, area funded, deadlines, and geographic location
  • Funding for a wide variety of issue areas including youth empowerment, education, strengthening democracy, sustainability, immigration, art and media projects, poverty, and more.
  • Direct links to (more…)


Confab Call Launches Nevins Democracy Leaders Program Partnership – Apply Today!

Wow. Our NCDD team was blown away by the amazing response from the field to the announcement we recently made about the launch of our partnership with the McCourtney Institute for Democracy‘s new Nevins Democracy Leaders Program and the Confab Call we hosted on Wednesday to educate organizational leaders on how they can apply to host a Nevins Fellow. We had nearly 70 registrants for the call, including some of D&D’s leading organizations, and the excitement on the call for what this program can do for the field was palpable.

Mccourtney Institute LogoIn case you didn’t hear about it, this week’s Confab Call featured a presentation from NCDD member John Gastil on the brand new Penn State program that will serve to place D&D-trained students into funded fellowship positions with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal. We had a lively conversation, and John shared tons of helpful info and background about this amazing opportunity to support our field while developing the next generation of its leaders.

If you couldn’t join us for the Confab Call conversation, we strongly encourage you to listen to the recording of the call to learn more about the program and how to apply.

After the call, NCDD Sustaining Member David Nevins – whose gift to the McCourtney Institute has endowed the program – shared some of his reflections on last summer’s pilot fellowships and his excitement about the full launch of the Nevins Democracy Leaders Program:

My vision of the program was very much based on the symbiotic relationship between the Fellow and the organizations that the Fellows engage with…  The letters I received from [last summer’s first two Nevins Fellows] in which they said things like “this summer changed my life” or “thank you for allowing me the opportunity to gain real world experience in deliberative democracy and trans-partisan politics” shows that experiences were rewarding and perhaps even life changing for the interns.

Thus my goal of a relationship equally as valuable to all parties involved seems to have been achieved. I could not ask for more in these early stages of the program, and I am confident that with each additional experience the program will blossom beyond my initial expectations.

We at NCDD share David’s confidence for the future of this great effort and are proud to be part of this transformative work.

If you are in leadership with an organization that would benefit from working with a Nevins Fellow, we encourage you to submit an application today! Please note that for priority consideration in the next round of fellowship matches, you must apply before the end of the day on Monday, November 2nd. Applications received after Nov. 2nd will still be considered, but may be put on the wait list for the next round of fellowship matches. We’ve already received over 20 applications, and competition for fellowship placements is going to be stiff, Confab bubble imageso make sure to apply ASAP!

To learn more about NCDD Confab Calls and find recordings from past presentations, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

$2.5M Grant Will Support Participedia & Democratic Innovation Research

NCDD is proud to be part of an international partnership of researchers and organizations that was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant that will be used to support Participedia – a democracy research project which is headed by two NCDD members – and the international coordination of research on global democratic governance innovations. Our own director Sandy Heierbacher has been advising the project, and this is great news for our field! We encourage you to learn more in the Participedia announcement below or to find the original here.

Global Research Partnership Awarded Significant Grant to Support Participedia

participedia-logoWe are in the midst of a transformation of democracy – one possibly as revolutionary as the development of the representative, party-based form of democracy that evolved out of the universal franchise. This transformation involves hundreds of thousands of new channels of citizen involvement in government, often outside the more visible politics of electoral representation, and occurring in most countries of the world.

In light of these fast-moving changes, a new global partnership has been awarded a significant grant to support the work of the Participedia Project. The Participedia Project’s primary goals are to map the developing sphere of participatory democratic innovations; explain why they are developing as they are; assess their contributions to democracy and good governance; and transfer this knowledge back into practice.

The 5-year, $2.5M Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) was awarded to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Upcoming IAP2 Trainings from the Participation Company

Make sure to note that the at The Participation Company – one of our NCDD member organizations – is offering more IAP2 trainings that NCDD members can get a discount $30-$100 on! The trainings use the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) framework and are a great opportunity to earn an official IAP2 certification. Learn more about the trainings in the announcement below or here.

IAP2 Training Events in 2015-2016

If you work in communications, public relations, public affairs, planning, public outreach and understanding, community development, advocacy, or lobbying, this training will help you to increase your skills and to be of even greater value to your employer.

This is your chance to join the many thousands of practitioners worldwide who have completed the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) certificate training.

Foundations in Public Participation (5-Day) certificate program: PLANNING for Effective Public Participation (3-Days) and/or *TECHNIQUES for Effective Public Participation (2-Days)

  • November 3 – 5, 2015 in Fort Collins, CO — 3-day Planning
  • December 9 – 11, 2015 in Great Falls, MT — 3-day Planning
  • December 14 – 18, 2015 in Chicago, IL — 3-day Planning & 2-day Techniques (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

1st Community College Student PB Program Launches in CA

Our friends with the Participatory Budgeting Project – an NCDD member organization – recently announced that Palo Alto College will become the nation’s first community college to open a participatory budgeting process to students in Spring 2016. More young people being exposed to this powerful form of D&D is great news for our field and for the students themselves, and we commend PAC on taking this step!  Learn more in PB’s post below or find the original here.

Participatory Budgeting for Community Colleges – Palo Alto College in San Antonio

We’re excited to share that Palo Alto College, a community college in San Antonio, is expanding its participatory budgeting process. Representatives from Palo Alto came to our conference in 2013 and were so inspired that they started a PB process for faculty and staff – the first at a community college in the US. In 2015, they’re opening the process us to students. With a budget of $25,000, the top projects will come to fruition in Spring 2016.

See below for an update from PAC’s blog on the first community college PB process in the US!

– — –

Palo Alto College students now have the opportunity to propose and vote on how institutional funds are used due to a worldwide project called Participatory Budgeting. Participatory Budgeting is a different way to manage public funds by (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register for Oct. 28th Confab on Nevins Democracy Leaders Program

NCDD member organizations, be sure to join us next Wednesday, October 28th from 2-3pm Eastern/11am-12pm Pacific for a special NCDD Confab Call that can help your organization build capacity and contribute to the field!Confab bubble image

This call will feature a discussion with long-time NCDD member Dr. John Gastil, who will be sharing about the amazing opportunity for organizations in the D&D field to host a bright Penn State fellow next summer through the McCourtney Institute‘s Nevins Democracy Leaders Program! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program.

This is a rare opportunity for our field, and the Confab will be one of the best ways to find out more about how your organization can benefit, so make sure to register today to secure your spot on the call!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program – recently founded after a gift from NCDD Sustaining Member David Nevins – provides education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing participants to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies and teaches the tools of dialogue and deliberation as well as critical thinking. But perhaps most uniquely, the Nevins Program works to grow the next generation of democracy leaders by placing students in unique fellowship position in organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours!

Mccourtney Institute LogoNCDD is partnering with the McCourtney Institute to help identify FABULOUS organizations that can host Nevins fellows (among other roles we’ll be playing).

On this Confab, John Gastil will provide an overview of the Nevins program and its aims, discuss the training that the future fellows are going through, and share more about how your organization can take advantage of this great chance to help cultivate the next generation of D&D leaders while getting more support for your work – all for FREE! You really don’t want to miss this call!

Our confabs (interactive conference calls) are free and open to all NCDD members and potential members. Register today if you’d like to join us!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Learning from Radio-Supported Dialogues on Hunger in CA

Public radio is a powerful, natural ally to D&D work, but often an under-utilized one, so we’re happy to feature the insights gained from a radio-supported community conversation on hunger that recently took place in CA. The strategies come from NCDD supporting member jesikah maria ross of Capital Public Radio, and we encourage you to read her piece below or find the original here. You can also check out the great toolkit she created to help others start their own conversations using public radio stories.

10 Strategies for Creating Powerful Conversations via Public Media Events

There’s an alchemy when people get together face-to-face to ponder a tough issue and what to do about it. Good conversations are game changers. They help us connect with the topic, see issues in a new light, and shift how we relate to people different from us. All that impacts our willingness to work together to solve wicked problems.

Democracy is not a spectator sport and if we want our world to be a better place then a diverse array of people need to participate in community problem-solving. Creatively designed public conversation events invite the kind of participation through which the wider public can respectfully explore a thorny topic together. Public radio stations, in our role as community conveners and storytellers, are uniquely positioned to make these events happen.

But how? Here are ten strategies I developed while designing a series of public conversations called Hunger in the Farm-to-Fork Capital as part of Capital Public Radio’s multiplatform documentary project Hidden Hunger. My ideas are informed by The World Café, literary salons, and (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Missed the Confab Call on Brain Science? Watch It Now!

Last week, NCDD hosted another installment of our Confab Call series, and we are excited to report back about how great the conversation was. We were joined by around 35 members to hear a wonderful presentation from NCDD members Mary V. Gelinas and Susan Stuart Clark titled Planning from the Inside Out: How Brain Science Supports Constructive Dialogue and Deliberation. You really missed out if you weren’t there with us!

Confab bubble imageMary & Susan’s talk was incredibly educational and had a lot of useful nuggets of knowledge on what the field of brain science can teach us about making D&D work more effective. We discussed how a poorly structured meeting can activate our fight or flight response, that public comment periods can create severely limiting performance anxiety, and how something as simple as inviting folks to pause for a deep breath can dramatically shift the way participants are connecting in a meeting – plus a lot more. There were so many D&D applications of brain science that we could have spent several more hours more talking about it!

If you missed this Confab Call conversation, we encourage you to check out the recording of the call by clicking here. We also recommend taking a look at Mary and Susan’s slideshow presentations that they were kind enough to share with us, and you can find those by clicking here.

Thanks so much to Mary and Susan for all the valuable information and to all of those who participated in the call!

To learn more about NCDD Confab Calls and find recordings from past presentations, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Online Facilitation Unconference 2015, Oct. 22-24

We are pleased to share the announcement below about a great online event this Oct. 22-24 that NCDD members get a 30% discount on. NCDD Member Tim Bonnemann of Intellitics shared this announcement 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!

As some of you may know, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is organizing International Facilitation Week this coming week, October 19-25. Its purpose is ”to showcase the power of facilitation to both new and existing audiences and to create a sense of community among facilitators and their groups worldwide.”

For the third year in a row, Intellitics is involved in organizing a parallel online unconference focused on “the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments”. Topic brainstorming will kick off early next week, and sessions will take place over the course of a 48-hour window between Thursday evening and Saturday. All sessions will be documented and the results shared with all participants.

While the event remains participant-driven and not-for-profit, we’re making a few changes to the funding model this year, asking all participants for a small monetary contribution. The regular price is $24/person. However, you’ll have until Monday evening at midnight Pacific Time to take advantage of discounted early bird rates. NCDD members can use the discount code “NCDDonline” to get 30% off any available ticket.

Details and registration here: http://ofu15.eventbrite.com  (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

International Facilitation Week 2015 is Here!

As we mentioned earlier this year, we are encouraging our NCDD members to participate in International Facilitation Week, a week-long event showcasing and celebrating the power of facilitation that is catalyzed by the International Association of Facilitators. The week starts today, October 19th and runs through October 25th, so we wanted to send out a little reminder to our community to join in!

If you’re looking for events in your region, you can check out the running list of happenings that IAF created by clicking here. The good folks at Intellitics – one of our of NCDD organizational members – is also hosting an Online Facilitation Unconference from Oct. 22nd-24th, so make sure to check them out too!

We also encourage you to follow this week’s conversation and events on Twitter! You can follow the handles @FacWeek and @IAFacilitators, and search the hashtag #FacWeek to join in.

Here’s to a great IFW 2015!