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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Adding Finesse to Online Engagement Transitions in Gov’t

We encourage our members to check out this post from NCDD organizational member the Davenport Institute and their Gov 2.0 Watch blog on the ongoing transitions that local governments are making toward more online and responsive engagement – an important trend for our field to keep tabs on. Read more below or find the original post here.


Gov 2.0: Still A Head Scratcher

Eric Gordon of Governing’s City Accelerator lays out the challenge and opportunity that technology presents for public engagement:

This gradually building expectation that government should be responsive to residents is connected to much larger social trends: increased distrust in public institutions, a culture of connectivity prompted by the social Web, and increased expectations of social and responsive systems (think of all those apps in your pocket). In short, technology is motivating new expectations in customer service, and government is being called upon to meet those expectations. 

Recalling the journey newspapers like the New York Times made into Web-world in the late 1990s, he compares governments’ situation vis-à-vis technology today: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Next Stage Facilitation Intensive Feb. 23-25 in the Bay Area!

We are pleased to share the announcement below about a new facilitation training opportunity in this February that NCDD members can get a $150 discount on! NCDD Sustaining Member Rebecca Colwell of Ten Directions shared this announcement via our 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 (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join D&D Climate Action Call on COP21 Talks, Jan. 19

We want to encourage NCDDers once again to plan to join the D&D Climate Action Network (D&D CAN) for their next teleconference on the intersection of D&D work and the issue of climate change on January 19th at 5pm Eastern.

Led by NCDD supporting member Linda Ellinor of the Dialogue Group, D&D CAN’s goal is to build a community of practice that fosters mutual learning, sharing, and inspires collaboration around the complexities of climate change. The monthly conference calls are one of the best ways to connect with this ambitious project, so we encourage you to learn more and register for the call at http://ddclimateactionnetwork.ning.com.

Here’s how Linda describes the upcoming call:

The D&D Climate Action Network will be holding its January Teleconference call this month on the topic of the Paris Climate Conference and Implications for our Work. It is scheduled for January 19th from 2pm, PST/5pm, EST.

Marti Roach will be facilitating using the Focused Conversation Method from the Institute of Cultural Affair’s Technology of Participation suite of facilitation tools. She has compiled (more…)


Taking Stock with the NCDD Board of Directors

Hello, NCDDers!

The new year is always a great time to take stock of where we are and to think about how we want to move forward. The NCDD Board of Directors will be meeting next month (along with program director Courtney Breese and I) to Small NCDD logodo just that, but since we are a member-driven network, we want to make sure our conversation is firmly grounded in what is important and emerging for you – our members. To that end, we would appreciate your taking just a few minutes to give us your thoughts and observations on how things look from where you sit!

From your perspective, what is going on in the field that the NCDD Board should know about?

Use the following questions to help you think about your answer and then tell us in any format that will help us get your point. In addition to adding comments to this post, you can email me at sandy@ncdd.org with your contributions for the Board.

  • What are you focusing on in your current work?
  • What has been happening that you might want to celebrate?
  • What seem to be the key challenges in your work or in the field? Emerging opportunities? Why?
  • Given what you see on the horizon, what resources, tools, utilities, connections, etc. might we create together in the next year to help us all overcome our biggest challenges and realize our most exciting opportunities?

Thank you so much, and happy 2016!

Sandy, Courtney, and the NCDD Board of Directors

Barbara Simonetti, Board Chair
John Backman
Martín Carcasson
Susan Stuart Clark
Marla Crockett
Diane Miller

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD-CRS Meetings Catalyzed Projects, Continue in 2016

In the last year, we’ve been reporting on the collaboration that NCDD formed with U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service to organize meetings between NCDD members and CRS staff at their fourteen regional field offices. To date, meetings or conference calls have been held with CRS offices in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Dallas, and Seattle. Meetings are still in the works for Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco in 2016, so be on the look out for more news if you live in those cities. The meetings are limited to dues-paying members and 2014 Conference attendees, so if you want to participate in one of the remaining meetings, make sure your dues are current, then contact NCDD’s Program Director Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org.

NCDD Supporting Member Janice Thomson helped organize the NCDD-CRS meeting in Chicago, and it was a great example of the powerful collaborations that are being catalyzed by this initiative. She wrote up some insightful reflections on the meeting and the partnerships it made possible it on her blog, and we encourage you to read them below or find the original piece here.

How D&D Can Help Communities Adapt to Rapid Change

Since the 1960s, the US Department of Justice has provided peacekeeping services via its Community Relations Service (CRS) for community conflicts and tensions related to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability.

In 2015, the heads of the CRS and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) organized a series of nationwide meetings to identify possible areas of cooperation between the two groups. I and a dozen other NCDD members from Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan met with CRS staffers in Chicago and Detroit on February 23, 2015.

During our meeting, it became apparent that the types of conflicts the CRS commonly addresses are often symptoms of multiple stresses communities can experience as a result of rapid demographic, social, and economic change. The CRS can legally only act as a first responder after a crisis event. However, NCDD members can help support these communities to address the underlying stresses and so prevent crises from (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Submit a Proposal for Frontiers of Democracy 2016

We’re pleased to announce that once again, the Frontiers of Democracy conference is accepting proposals for their 2016 gathering. This year’s conference will be from June 23rd – 25th at the Tufts University downtown campus in Boston, as always, so mark your calendars!

The annual Frontiers of Democracy conference – now a pillar in the civic infrastructure of the D&D field – brings together leaders in deliberative democracy and civic education to explore ideas at the forefront of advancing democracy, and NCDD’s leadership and members are staples of the event every year. We know that our NCDD members could host some great workshops or learning exchanges based on the work you are doing, so we encourage you to consider submitting a proposal of your own!

You can find the form to submit proposals by clicking here.

More details about the 2016 gathering are forthcoming, so make sure to check back frequently to the Frontiers of Democracy conference website at http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/civic-studies/frontiers for news and updates. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

#CGAFridays Economic Opportunity Deliberations Return

Last November, the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums Institute – both NCDD member organizations – teamed up to host #CGAFridays: a series of events where people can try out the new online deliberation tool, Common Ground for Action (CGA). The series is back this month, and we encourage our members to join, or if you can’t, to share this post with others you think should know about this great new tool! Learn more in the Kettering post below or find the original here.

#CGAFridays Return – Register for a Making Ends Meet Forum Today!

NIFI-CGA_Branded_LogoCommon Ground for Action, KF and NIF’s new platform for online deliberation, has been steadily growing over the past year. In fact, demand for opportunities to try the new platform has been so strong that in November of last year we launched #cgafridays, a recurring series of CGA forums held each Friday for anyone who wants to participate. This Friday forum series has been such a success, we’re continuing it into 2016!

Our January forums will be using NIF’s brand new issue guide on economic security, opportunity, and equality, Making Ends Meet. And all these forums will be included in the reporting Kettering is doing to policymakers on this issue throughout 2016, so it’s a great chance for participants who want to make sure their voice is heard!

To participate in a forum, all you need to do is (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Host a Story Circle During 2016 “People’s State of the Union”

As a start to the new year, the US Department of Arts & Culture (USDAC) – one of our presenters during NCDD 2014 – is inviting communities across the US to come together from Jan. 23-31 to share stories that define the state of our nation in their People’s State of the Union project. The USDAC is looking for folks to host a story circle where they live, and we thought our members might be interested. Learn more about the PSOTU in the USDAC announcement below or find the original here.

People’s State of the Union: An Annual Civic Ritual & Participatory Art Project

Every January, the President delivers a State of the Union address highlighting important issues from the past year and suggesting priorities for the coming year. It’s a broadcast from one to many. But democracy is a conversation, not a monologue. Understanding the state of our union takes We the People reflecting in our own communities on our challenges and opportunities locally, nationally, and globally.

The People’s State of the Union is an invitation to supplement the President’s stories with our own, together hosting a national conversation in our own homes, schools, houses of worship, and community organizations. To change the world, we have to change the story!

Story Circles Nationwide & the Poetic Address

The People’s State of the Union has two main parts: story circles across the nation, and a collaboratively composed Poetic Address to the Nation. (Yes, our State of the Union address is a poem!)

Between January 23-31, 2016, individuals and organizations across the U.S. will (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

N. Am. PB Research Board Seeks Input on 2016 Agenda

In case you missed it, the North American Participatory Budgeting Research Board recently announced that it’s seeking input on what topics folks in the field think PB researchers should prioritize next year. The Board was originally launched by two NCDD member organizations – Public Agenda and the Participatory Budgeting Project – and we encourage the rest of our members to weigh in. You can learn more in the Public Agenda post below or find the original here.

What do you want to see PB research address in 2016?

PublicAgenda-logoAs part of their work coordinating research on participatory budgeting processes in the U.S. and Canada, our research and public engagement teams have asked for input on potential tasks for the North American PB Research Board to tackle in the coming year (2015-16).

Below are five suggestions. What would you add or amend? Comment or tweet your suggestions to @PublicAgenda with #PBResearch.

  1. Building capacity for data gathering. This group would focus on the challenges facing local evaluators, such as: the lack of staff and volunteering time; lack of capacity to administer, collect, and enter data from surveys; translation of instruments; increasing survey response rates, and so on.
  2. Making PB data more usable, visible, and powerful. This work would (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Nomination Process Open for 2016 Brown Democracy Medal

As we look toward 2016, we want to encourage our members to consider submitting a nomination for the 2016 Brown Democracy Medal for Innovations in Democratic Practice.  The Medal and a $5,000 award are awarded annually by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy – one of our NCDD organizational members.

The award is Mccourtney Institute Logodesigned to bring attention to work that is “important to democracy but under-appreciated” – something that we know describes a lot of people in D&D. In fact, the 2014 Medal was awarded to NCDD member organization the Participatory Budgeting Project, so we have high hopes for 2016!

The nomination process is open now, and all initial inquiries are due by February 1, 2016. We encourage you to nominate people, projects, or organizations that you think are innovating in the way we do democracy. Here are some of the guidelines for nominations:

Review Criteria

The democratic innovation selected will score highest on these features: (more…)