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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Leading Groups to their Potential through Listening

A critical part of D&D work is listening, but listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally. That’s why we encourage you to read the piece below by NCDD Sustaining Member Beth Tener of New Directions Collaborative that features some important tips and insights about the kind of listening that help us lead and generate new possibilities. You can read Beth’s piece below or find the original here.

Listening that Enables Emerging Possibilities

I recently participated in an on-line course presented by MIT and Otto Scharmer about creating transformative change (amazingly, with about 40,000 other people around the world). The course explores frameworks for how we personally and collectively can address the challenges of our time and change systems that are “creating results nobody wants.” The heart of our leadership challenge is how to take existing situations where the dynamics are an ‘ego-system’ (e.g., each person or organization looks out for their interests) to a ‘eco-system’ where each participant focuses on the well-being of all.

His Theory U proposes that “the quality of results that we create in any kind of social system is a function of the quality of awareness, attention, or consciousness that people in the system operate from.” One of the core skills to practice to make this shift is in how we listen.

Listening is at the source of all great leadership. A key source of leadership failure is lack of listening. – Otto Scharmer

Often leadership training focuses on how we communicate our ideas and how we persuade others, essentially on talking as opposed to listening. In this season of Presidential primaries, I have been struck by (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Participatory Budgeting Project is Hiring!

The team at the Participatory Budgeting Project, one of our NCDD member organizations, recently shared an announcement about job openings within their organization, and we want to encourage NCDD members to consider applying! PBP is a national leader in getting everyday people involved in public budgeting processes, and we know that there are many of our members who would be a great fit for these PBP-Logo-Stacked-Rectangle-web1positions!

There are four positions open with PBP right now, and most of them can be based at PBP’s Oakland, CA or Brooklyn, NY offices. But they are giving priority to applications received before April 18th, so make sure to apply soon!

Below are the job titles and PBP’s descriptions of who they’re looking for:

Operations Manager
You are stoked about managing the operations of an effective, supportive, and fun nonprofit dedicated to social change. Our ideal candidate loves our mission to transform democracy, and wants to make this work possible by building and maintaining our organizational systems. Monthly client invoices? You’re down. Internet is down? You’ll make sure it gets back up!

Individual Giving Manager
You will lead growth of an individual donor base that can support PBP’s work to (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Join Us for an Intro to NCDD’s Website April 20th!

On Wednesday, April 20th, in one fell swoop, you can meet NCDD’s staff, tour the website, and get a better sense of what NCDD offers its members.

For the first time, all five of us will be walking new members, not-so-new members and prospective members through the whole NCDD site.  You will be floored at the amount of resources, opportunities, and information available to you that you weren’t aware of!


Join us on Wednesday, April 20th at 1pm Eastern (10am Pacific) for this special one-hour webinar that will help you make the most out of your NCDD membership.

The entire NCDD staff will participate in this event and discuss portions of the website related to their work with NCDD. NCDD’s staff includes:

The five of us will walk you through the various resources and tools available to NCDD members, including our news blog, resource center, events pages, the member directory and map, the listservs, our social media, and the myriad options you have for connecting and sharing information with other members. NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source, and a facilitative leader for this vital community of practice, and much of our work and offerings to the field are incorporated in our website.

New members are especially encouraged to attend, but the call is open to ANYONE who wants to learn more or get a refresher on how to get the most out of NCDD’s website. Be sure to register today!


Who’s Working on Issues of Income Inequality & Health Care?

A few months ago, I asked the NCDD network who was, is or will soon be working on engaging people around the issues of health care or income inequality. The Kettering Foundation was interested in learning about who is working on these topics (and still is!), as they are topics that the National Issues Forums Institute is currently addressing.

Later this month, Kettering will be holding its annual “A Public Voice” event at the National Press Club in DC, and NCDD has been honored to have played a role for the past several years in representing the broader dialogue and deliberation community in various ways — including in helping to create maps that represent the D&D community, like the one posted here.

This year, in addition to helping with a map and inviting some great people to attend the event, we are helping create a list of deliberative programs that have addressed (or will soon address) these issues. This list will be shown side-by-side with the list of National Issues Forums that have been held on these issues.

These lists will be featured in the publication that is given to the people who attend this year’s A Public Voice event (which includes some big names in DC and in our field!), and distributed online. We think this will be a great way to both highlight members of the DD community and NIF and give DC leadership a good sense of how robust and dynamic deliberative democracy is across the land.

Below is the list I’m starting off with, based on those of you who shared information about your programs with me several months ago. I want to grow both of these lists significantly, so please add your programs – or programs you know about – to the comments.  I need locations, organization names, and program names or topics covered. Please include your contact info in case Kettering wants to learn more.

Income Inequality / Economic Security

Montevallo, AL
David Mathews Center for Civic Life – Making Ends Meet and Economic Vitality

California Air Resources Board and Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (Institute for Local Government facilitating) — Income Inequality, Climate, Wellness

Sonoma County, CA
Ag Innovations – Economic Wellness (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join D&D Climate Action Network Call on Networks, 4/19

We encourage our NCDD members to save the date for the next D&D Climate Action Network (D&D CAN) conference call coming up on Tuesday, April 19th from 5-7pm Eastern / 2-4pm Pacific!

D&D CAN is a network led by NCDD supporting member Linda Ellinor of the Dialogue Group that is working to foster shared learning, networking and collaboration among those seeking to use dialogue, deliberation, and other process skills to address climate change. The monthly D&D CAN conference calls are a great way to connect with the network, and you can register to save your spot by clicking here.

The theme of this month’s D&D CAN call is The Power of Networks, and it will feature the insights of special guest Andrew ZolliHere’s how D&D CAN describes the call:

Futurist Andrew Zolli says “the unit of action in the 21st century is the network, not the organization.”   To build a network capable of tackling something as complex as climate change, we must attend to creating greater connectivity (trust building, information sharing, learning), alignment (shared identity and value proposition), as well as collective action (advocacy, education and/or launching initiatives).

Bring your stories of: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Everyday Democracy Hosts Conn. Civic Health Town Hall

The good people at Everyday Democracy – an NCDD member organization – recently shared an announcement about a great town hall event they are planning to host with the support a recent grant. The event will share the results of a recent study on Connecticut’s civic health and hopes to spark dialogue about making progress in the state’s public participation. We encourage you to read an excerpt of the announcement below or read the full original post here.

Connecticut Humanities Awards Public Presentation Grant to Everyday Democracy

EvDem LogoConnecticut Humanities has awarded Everyday Democracy a public presentation grant in the amount of $13,500 in support of its humanities program “Connecticut’s Civic Health: A Humanities Perspective.”

The grant will fund a Town Hall Meeting event scheduled for Thursday, June 9, 2016, at Connecticut’s Old State House.  At this event, community and civic leaders, public officials, and humanities scholars will engage in a conversation about civic health data and findings from the newly published 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index report.

According to Martha McCoy, Executive Director of Everyday Democracy, “learning about civic health through the lens of the humanities helps us bring the past and present into perspective. As we reflect on the changing role of civic associations and participation and on what citizenship and the common good can mean, we can create a more vibrant and robust civic life in our state.”

The June 2016 event will feature the nationally renowned civic leader Eric Liu, co-author ofThe Gardens of Democracy, as keynote speaker; Ms. Martha McCoy of Everyday Democracy; and a distinguished panel that includes: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Upcoming NIFI Online Forums on Economy & Health Care

As the team at the National Issues Forums Institute – an NCDD member organization – prepare to share the results of the national deliberative conversations they’ve had on the economy and fixing health care with DC policymakers, they are extending a few more final opportunities to have your input included. If you have yet to participate, we encourage you to register for one NIFI’s next Common Ground for Action forums. To register, check out the NIFI post below or find the original here.

Six More Opportunities to Participate in Online Forums In the Next 2 Weeks

NIF logoAs many of you know, each year Kettering reports insights from a particular NIF issue or two to policymakers in Washington DC at an event called A Public Voice. NIF is still convening forums on both of this year’s reporting topics, Making Ends Meet and Health Care Costs.

If you or someone you know would like to participate, but can’t make it to an in-person NIF forum, there are still 6 online Common Ground for Action forums happening in the next two weeks, all of which will be included in the reporting for A Public Voice.

To participate in a forum, all you need to do is RSVP at one of the links below! And even if you can’t make one of these forums, please help us create a diverse national conversation by sharing this post with your networks!

  • Tuesday, March 29     10-12 PM ET                COMPLETED
  • Thursday, March 31     6:30-8:30 PM ET       REGISTER
  • Tuesday, April 5     1-3 PM ET                         REGISTER
  • Thursday, April 7     10-12 AM ET                   REGISTER
  • Thursday, April 7     6:30-8:30 PM ET           REGISTER
  • Friday, April 8     1-3 PM ET                            REGISTER

You can find the original version of this NIFI post at www.nifi.org/en/groups/cga-spring.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Host a 2016 Text, Talk, Act Mental Health Conversation

It’s the time of year again to get ready for Text, Talk, Act – the youth mental health conversation initiative launched in 2013 by NCDD-supported Creating Community Solutions (CCS). As most of you know, Text, Talk, Act comes around every Spring to help young people start talking about mental health issues that they or their friends may be facing and connecting them with ways to get help, and we always encourage our members to host their own conversation.

On Text Talk Act days, young people across the country will be having a nationwide conversation on mental health and how to help a friend in need through a text messaging platform. Small groups receive discussion questions to lead them through a conversation that seeks to help end the silence about mental health, and you can host one of these transformational discussions!

Anyone can register to host an event as part of the 2016 Text, Talk, Act days. This year’s dates are:

  • April 19th (with Active Minds’ Stress Less Week)
  • May 5th (with SAMHSA for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day)
  • May 21st (with the National Hook-Up of Black Women)
  • The month of June (with 4-H chapters across the country)

We know these events are helping make a difference in the lives of young people across (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Innovations in Am. Government Award Accepting Applicants

We want to make sure that our members are aware of a great opportunity for recognition in public participation from Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation – one of our NCDD member organizations.

Ash logoThe Ash Center operates the Innovations in American Government (IAG) Awards Program and the Bright Ideas Initiative, both of which are aimed at recognizing creative and effective governance models and disseminating ideas about promising government practices or programs. We are positive that many of the programs and initiatives that our NCDD members work on every day would make great candidates for these honors, so we encourage you to nominate a program you know about or apply yourself!

The winners of the IAG Award are eligible for a $100,000 grant, and even the finalists are eligible for a grant of $10,000, so what do you have to lose? The deadline to apply is April 15th, so make sure you get started soon!

Both of these prestigious awards have a long history of recognizing leading innovations in governance. Here’s how the Ash Center describes the Innovations in American Government Award: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

DOJ Community Relations Service is Hiring Conciliators

Last week, Grande Lum – the former director of the Dept. of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS) and a keynote speaker at NCDD 2014 – shared on an announcement on our NCDD Discussion Listserv about a couple job openings at the CRS that we wanted to mention here, too.

The CRS is hiring for Conciliation Specialists, and we encourage our NCDD members to apply or share about the opportunity with people in your networks. The CRS seeks to serve as a neutral convener and mediator for communities dealing with conflict, and we know that some of our members would make great additions to their national staff.

Here’s how the CRS describes the positions:

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career? Join the U.S. Department of Justice!
The Department of Justice (DOJ), Community Relations Service (CRS) is seeking to hire highly qualified Conciliation Specialists for various Regional Offices. CRS has responsibility for assisting state and local units of government, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony.

You can find the job announcements at www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/431163900 and
www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/431163900. But the deadline to apply is Monday, April 4th, so if you think you’re a good fit for this position, be sure to apply soon!

Good luck to all the applicants!