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From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD 2014 Workshop Descriptions Available!

Have you checked out the workshops that will be offered at NCDD 2014 yet? In case you missed it, we wanted to make sure to let you know that we have posted the most up to date list of workshops sessions that will be offered at this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. And they are stellar!  The session offerings, as at all NCDD conferences, represent the vast diversity of our work. From boot camp trainings on facilitating deliberation, to panels on the most innovative public engagement case studies, to fun and thoughtful explorations of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in our field, there is something for everyone!

Be sure to check out the full list of workshops at www.ncdd.org/events/ncdd2014/workshops.

You can also find links to the overview of the full NCDD 2014 schedule and all the other info you might need at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2014. If you have friends and colleagues who are still on the fence about attending, make sure to share this post with them to let them know about the all of the great things they could be missing, and encourage them to register today! We look forward to seeing you all in October!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Upcoming Training on Hosting World Cafe: The Fundamentals

We are happy to share the announcement below from NCDD supporting member Amy Lenzo of weDialogue. Amy’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!

We’re offering the World Cafe Signature Learning Program again for those who would like to deepen their understanding and practice of the deceptively simple World Cafe method.

The course, offered online through Fielding Graduate University, takes advantage of their academic and professional accreditation and your tuition includes e-format copies of key reading like the World Cafe book “Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter”, Juanita Brown’s Dissertation on the World Cafe, and the Art of Powerful Questions.

This 8-week program starts with a “live” real-time orientation on September 28th. It’s held in a state-of-the-art online learning environment and features (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Questions for Thinking Through Collective Impact Strategy

We know many in the NCDD community are interested in collective impact strategies, so we wanted to share a helpful piece on the subject from the blog of one of our newest NCDD members, Beth Tener of the New Directions Collaborative. We encourage you to her thoughts below or find the original here.

Several clients recently have asked us to help with strategic planning. The more I have worked with networks and cross-sector initiatives, I have seen the limits of the traditional way of thinking about strategy. Typically, a strategy will be for one organization to look out at the world, assess “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats” and devise an action plan for how they will influence change in the world.

When thinking about strategy for a network and/or multi-organization collaborative initiative, it calls for a different set of questions (as this section of our web site explores.) One key difference is to shift from a specific goal of one organization to focus on creating conditions for various players who work in the field to work more effectively by aligning their work around a shared goal and and finding ways to collaborate.

Here are examples of questions to craft a network-oriented strategy, from our (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Student & Youth Scholarships Available for NCDD 2014!

Do you know an exceptional student or young person who has the potential to become a leader in the dialogue and deliberation field? Someone who really embodies the “next generation of democracy”? We want them to join us at NCDD 2014!


Two of our great student attendees at NCDD 2012

NCDD is committed to helping students and youth attend this year’s NCDD conference (October 17-19 in Reston, VA) because part of our conference theme, Democracy for the Next Generation, is about getting tomorrow’s leaders in our work involved with us today. And as part of that commitment, we are helping cultivate youth leadership in the field by providing our student and youth attendees with special support and mentorship during and after the conference.

We are also offering a number of scholarships, thanks to generous donations from our community, for young people and students who would be unable to join us at NCDD 2014 without support. Depending on what is needed, we can offer help with lodging, travel costs, and registration fees. and the application form can be found here.

As Dr. Martin Carcasson of Colorado State University said after bringing 8 of his undergrad students with him to the last NCDD conference, “Clearly NCDD is the ideal conference for college and university students interested in dialogue and deliberation. It provides students with an excellent overview of the overall field, and a chance to meet and work with many of the national leaders.”  You can read more about Martin’s and his students’ NCDD 2012 experiences at http://ncdd.org/15260.

We are encouraging students and young people (which we are defining for the sake of the conference as age 25 and under) to apply for the scholarships at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCDD2014-scholarship-app. Make sure to apply as early as possible – the funds will go quickly!

We also encourage you to send your recommendations for young people you think NCDD should support to our student outreach coordinator Roshan Bliss (me!) at roshan@ncdd.org so we can reach out to them directly. Please also let us know if you’re already planning to bring students with you to NCDD 2014 and you’d like to make sure they’re part of our mentorship and orientation efforts at the conference!

We look forward to seeing you in October at our most generationally diverse NCDD conference yet!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

“Hard Conversations” Conference Call on Ferguson, Sept. 3

We want to share an invitation from NCDD Sustaining Member Rebecca Colwell of Ten Directions for the NCDD community to join a conference call tomorrow focused on supporting those having the difficult conversations around the events in Ferguson, MO. The call is described in Rebecca’s announcement below, and we encourage you to register here.

I’m writing to share a timely invitation with the NCDD community exploring the topic of diversity, inequality and the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

This Wednesday, September 3rd from 12-1pm EST, I’d like to invite you to join a public call with Diane Hamilton – renowned mediator, facilitator and author of Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution.

Entitled, “Having a Hard Conversation”, this call will explore multiple perspectives on the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. This open call aims to support those who are working with divisive issues and entrenched conflicts, who are seeking ways to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Looking for a roommate for NCDD 2014?

For those of you coming to the 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation who want to cut down on your lodging costs, we encourage you to use the comments field on this blog post to find people interested in sharing a room at the conference hotel.

HyattRegencyRestonShotThe conference is taking place in Reston, VA (in the DC metro area) at the Hyatt Regency Reston. It’s a a cozy 4-Diamond hotel in the heart of Reston Town Center, and we encourage everyone coming in from out of town to stay at the Hyatt for your own comfort and convenience! We’ve negotiated a fantastic rate of $124/night (plus tax) for our conference attendees.

If you need to cut lodging costs while still staying at the hotel, use the comment field to post that you’re interested in finding a roommate.  I think you’ll be very glad you’re staying at the conference hotel. Staying at the Hyatt means you can take a break or nap whenever you need one, spend more time downstairs networking, and even room with someone who may become a lifelong colleague and friend. Plus you can partake in all the other hotel amenities like free wireless for guests, the huge fitness center, the pool, and the shops and restaurants right outside the hotel. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Melbourne “People’s Panel” Connects Citizens to Public Decisions

We wanted to make sure the NCDD community saw an article from The Age about an intriguing new development in Melbourne, Australia where the city council is working with the good people at The newDemocracy Foundation - an NCDD organizational member – to create a “People’s Panel”. We encourage you to read more about it below or to find the original here.

newDemocracy logoYou might describe it as Melbourne City Council’s version of jury duty, except it is far easier to get out of.

A panel of 43 “everyday” Melburnians will advise council on how it should spend its money for the next 10 years, when the randomly selected group is given unprecedented access to the municipality’s financial books and experts.

In a Victorian first, 7500 letters have been sent out to randomly selected business owners, residents and students asking them to be part of a “People’s Panel”. The names of those who want to participate will be put into a ballot to decide the final team.

The $150,000 project is being run by independent research group the newDemocracy Foundation, which has run (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CM Call on Digital Public Participation, Sept. 5

CM_logo-200pxWe are pleased to invite NCDD members to join our partners at CommunityMatters for the next of their monthly capacity-building calls series. This month’s call is titled “Deepening Public Participation - Digitally”, and it will be taking place next Friday, September 5th from 2-3pm Eastern Time. 

We are excited to note that this month’s call features insights from Pete Peterson of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership - NCDD organization member – as well as Alissa Black of the Omidyar Network. The folks at CM describe the upcoming call this way:

Your town is finally in the digital age with a website, online calendar, and Facebook page.  Now you can sit back and relax, right? Not exactly.

An array of online tools is available that can take your digital presence to the next level, promoting collaboration between government and citizens, engaging new audiences, and effectively complementing “analog” face-to-face engagement. It’s time for your town to get online and see what’s out there!

Join the next CommunityMatters® conference call and dig deeper into digital engagement with experts Alissa Black and Pete Peterson. You’ll learn about online public engagement and which digital tools are right for your town.

Make sure to register for the call today!

As always, we encourage you to check out the CommunityMatters blog to read (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Power of Dialogue Training Sept. 18-20 from PCP

We are pleased to announce that the Public Conversations Project is hosting a great dialogue training Sept. 18-20 which features a steep discount for NCDD members. PCP is an NCDD organizational member and we are proud to have them as one of our NCDD 2014 All-Star Sponsors. Find out more about the training below or by clicking here.

Public Conversations ProjectDo you work with groups challenged by deep differences? Do you need new ways to help them engage? Join Public Conversations in Minneapolis on September 18-20 for our signature workshop, The Power of Dialogue.

This Public Conversation Project signature workshop offers a deep exploration of Reflective Structured Dialogue, an intentional communication process to reduce threat and foster mutual understanding across lines of deep difference. Through immersion in an intensive case simulation, participants will learn about the dynamics of polarization and conflict, and explore modes of communication that increase understanding, re-humanize opponents and shift relationships. Learn more and register.

Learn: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Can Pinterest Make Local Public Engagement More Effective?

We were intrigued by this commsgodigital piece on the ways that Pinterest can be used by local government officials for public engagement, and we wanted to share it with the NCDD community. The article was penned by Andrew Coulson, a local community engagement officer, and you can read it below or find the original commsgodigital piece by clicking here.

Pintresting: 10 tips for using Pinterest in local government

At 4 years old Pinterest is still recognised as a young social media platform. It has survived the storm of its first steps in society and has been accepted as a survivor. As a tool for potential engagement, I love it.

We started using Pinterest at the City of Salisbury very early on when it was still in Beta and in some case studies have been recognised as one of the first councils in Australia if not the world to use it as a tool in Community Engagement.

Pinterest overview

Pinterest is a free platform that basically resembles those old scrapbooks you used to (more…)