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Recap from the Nov. Tech Tuesday Featuring Gell

In case you missed it, we had another great Tech Tuesday event last week featuring NCDD member Loren Bendele, CEO and Founder of the new engagement platform, Gell! Joined by over 60 participants from our network, Loren walked us through how to use this online/mobile platform to help better facilitate civil discourse.

Gell was created to provide a platform which harnessed the wisdom of a larger group in order to discuss vital issues, with systems built-in place for the discussion to not degrade because of spam, personal attacks and/or insults. Loren showed us how to post discussion questions either publicly or within a private invited group, how to like or respond to submitted points of view, how to bring in expert opinions, and other interesting aspects of the platform. Many in our network have been working on bridging divides and so we understand the importance of a tool like Gell in an era of immense partisanship and societal divides.

If you were unable to join us on the call, never fear! We recorded the webinar which can be found on the archives page here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).  We had an active chat discussion which raised some really interesting points, and you can check out the transcript of this chat by clicking here.

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeThanks again to Loren and everyone who participated and made this an engaging and educating call! We encourage you to check out this tool and get started on contributing to the discussions at www.gell.com.

To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays.

NCDD NewsNCDD News

Giving Thanks to You!

Word cloud about NCDD

This week, as many of us gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, we share what we are thankful for, and reflect with gratitude on our year. We at NCDD want to share our thanks for YOU, this fabulous network of people that comes together to learn, connect, and grow together in our practices of dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. You are why we are here, and you keep us going with your fabulous contributions of time, skills and other gifts, and of course your support of NCDD. 

This time of the year is a time for giving thanks, but it is also a time where some of us find ourselves in tough conversations with people we hold dear to us. As a reminder, NCDD has gathered helpful resources anyone can use to help navigate these potentially tough topics. Check out our previous post including six tips for thoughtful holiday conversations, and additional guides in our Resource Center, including these great tools:

  • The Quick How-To Guide for the Conversation Café process includes agreements and questions that can be helpful ways to start and manage conversations that might prove difficult
  • For another good list of tips about keeping things civil during holiday dinners, check out the “Holidays or Hellidays?” blog post from NCDD member organization Essential Partners
  • If things are likely to be especially bad at your holiday get togethers, check out NCDD’s list of sample groundrules. You might be able to ask Aunt Susan to agree to a few guidelines for conversation at the table before dinner gets started

We hope you have a happy and full Thanksgiving holiday. And, we hope you will share your thanks for NCDD next week with a donation of any amount on Giving Tuesday.

As we round out the year, we can use your additional support to help us launch in 2018 on solid footing. We will be sharing more information next week about this opportunity and how you can help support NCDD through our end of the year fund drive. In the meantime, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

Thanks again for making NCDD so special and for all the work that you do!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Opportunity to Win 100K with the Engaged Cities Award

Has your city worked through a local issue by engaging its community? Then check out the incredible opportunity to win $100,000 with the Engaged Cities Award from Cities of Service! There is a webinar on Nov. 29th to learn more about the award and its application process. Make sure you register by clicking here in order to join the webinar. You can read more about the award below or find the original on the Engaged Cities Award site here.


Introducing the Engaged Cities Award

Cities, more than ever, are facing an array of public challenges. Many cities are tapping into the expertise and talent of citizens to tackle these challenges head on.

That’s why Cities of Service is launching the Engaged Cities Award. We aim to find and elevate the growing number of diverse and creative ways city leaders are harnessing the power of people to solve problems.

Is your city solving problems together with citizens? Perhaps you are tapping the power of citizen science initiatives to map neighborhood issues. Or using new methods to measure satisfaction with public services. Or crowdsourcing resident ideas to find new fixes for old problems.

The Engaged Cities Award will celebrate the best and most creative strategies we (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount on Upcoming Future Search Workshops

We are thrilled to share with you that the Future Search Network is offering NCDDers a discount on their upcoming workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here] and make sure you register for the workshops ASAP to enjoy this great offer! You can read the announcement below or find the original on FSN site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops in Philadelphia

Future Search Network is offering 2 workshops in Philadelphia, December 11-13 and 14-15. Participants are coming from Australia, UK and across the US to learn how to use Future Search for planning and innovating in their Community, Business or Congregation.

Sign up with a Special Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD – 5% off the early registration fee. Save as much as $800! Let us know if you need more help with tuition. Contact Sally at fsn@futuresearch.net.

Future Search is among the best-established and most effective methods for enabling people to make and implement ambitious plans. At the Managing a Future Search workshop, you will (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Strengthening the Bridge of Civic Engagement

As the field continues to grow and address the deep divides in our country, we wanted to share this thoughtful piece written by NCDD member, Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. In the piece, she talks about how building and bridging civic engagement in this country is very similar to building actual bridges. She writes that for a long term solution to be able to support the community, both sides of the bridge need to meet in the middle in order to function. We encourage you to read the piece in the post below or find the original on the New America blog here.


Building Bridges from Both Sides

This blog is part of the civic engagement blog series released in tandem with the “Building Civic Capacity in a Time of Democratic Crisis” white paper. To read the rest of the series, click here.

Today, we face an interesting political challenge, not just in our legislation, but in how we address the strength and capacity of our civic processes. It has become clear that our country must consider more than just physical infrastructure to truly address the nation’s durability, endurance, and stability.

However, infrastructure and architecture can offer useful sources of inspiration.

The arch-style bridge is one of the most ancient, used in the aqueducts of Rome and in designs from the present day. Building these bridges has become more efficient with modern technology, but the original design is still so commonly relied on because of its natural strength. However, it must be built from both sides. It bears tremendous weight across chasms, but only when both sides meet in alignment. What a beautiful picture of what renewed civic engagement must look like here in the United States!

In June, we welcomed an extraordinary group of men and women to Pepperdine’s beautiful Malibu campus for a deep dive into public engagement. The cohort were majority (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Don’t Miss Tech Tuesday with Gell, Tomorrow Nov. 14

In case you missed our original announcement, we wanted to remind everyone that we are hosting our next FREE Tech Tuesday, tomorrow November 14th from 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern/10:00-11:00am Pacific. We’re very excited to welcome Loren Bendele, Founder and CEO of Gell, a new mobile/web platform for civil discourse on important issues.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn about Gell – register today!

Gell is a free mobile/web platform that brings elected officials, parents, students, educators, administrators and concerned citizens together for civil discourse on issues that matter. Gell encourages, facilitates and moderates healthy discussions and debates. They then make it easy for users to find the top rated opinions for and against important issues and candidates, so the community can form its own opinions from a balanced and diverse set of facts and opinions. Columns of opposing views are displayed side-by-side, so users can quickly get a balanced viewpoint and formulate their own opinions. The community can flag inappropriate content (personal attacks, spam, off topic, etc.) for removal from the site. That way, the discussion stays focused on what matters most, while not being distracted by “noise” or irrelevant conversations.

Loren will walk participants through Gell and answer your questions about this new and (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Participatory Budgeting Host Training in NYC, Nov. 30th

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and how to bring it to YOUR community? Well, there’s an exciting opportunity for those who happen to be in the NYC area! We encourage you to check out this upcoming training with NCDD member org, the Participatory Budgeting Project and their PB 101 training in NYC at the end of November. You can read the announcement from PBP below or find the original on their site here.


PB 101 Training in NYC, November 30 2017

You know that participatory budgeting (PB) is a better way to empower communities. You know that PB engages them in finding solutions. You know that PB builds new connections that make communities more resilient.

PB makes increases trust in government and reduces corruption by making budgets transparent. PB is making healthy, actively engaged communities.

We know it’s a tough time to be working on engagement and democracy. People are tired of politics as usual, tired of their voices not being heard. Our democracy is not working. At PBP, we have a solution: Share real power over real money, launch PB in your community!

Are you ready to get started?

Thousands of people across North America and around the world are already taking budgets into their own hands and building civic power with PB. Your next step is to join us to learn the skills necessary to launch PB in your community.

NOVEMBER 30, 2017 | 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004 | 10a-5p
REGISTER NOW

Leaders like you, in more than 3,000 cities, municipalities, schools, and organizations have started PB, for three main reasons: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Getting More Involved with Deliberative Democracy

Today’s election day and in addition to voting, NCDD Sponsor – the Jefferson Center – recently shared this piece written by Annie Pottorff to encourage people to further stretch their civic muscles and get involved with deliberative democracy. We recommend you check out this list they’ve compiled [complete with entertaining GIFs!] and find the ways that work for you to tap deeper into deliberative democracy. You can read the post below or find the original version on the Jefferson Center’s blog here.


10 Ways to Get Involved in Deliberative Democracy

Creating local change can be difficult, between finding the time, motivation, and opportunities to participate. For this week’s blog, we’ve put together a few simple ways you can become a civic leader in your own backyard (even from your own couch).

1. Listen to Community Members
Head over to your city’s website to see when the next community meeting is. For instance, here’s the calendar the City of Minneapolis publishes. You’ll likely hear grievances and suggestions from your fellow citizens, but these local gatherings may only attract a few vocal participants. While these meetings may be poorly attended, you’ll have the chance to directly introduce yourself to leaders and make your voice heard.

You can also actively listen for issues in your town while talking with your neighbors, teachers, and other community members on a daily basis. Some cities even have digital engagement interfaces where citizens can submit work requests, complaints, or suggestions to laws and ordinances. You can check out a few examples here.

2. Attend training sessions, webinars, and local events
If you want to learn more about engagement techniques, try searching for (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

EvDem Host Intergenerational Webinar This Thurs. Nov 9

Our friends at Everyday Democracy – an NCDD member org – are hosting an intergenerational webinar this coming Thursday, November 9th from 12pm – 1pm Eastern/9am – 10am Pacific. The webinar will feature Families United for Education, who will share their experience on building an intergenerational network to address racial and educational inequities in Albuquerque.  We encourage you to register ASAP for this webinar! You can read the announcement below or find the original on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.


EvDem Logo

Intergenerational Equity Webinar: Spotlight on Families United for Education

Intergenerational equity is the practice of treating everyone justly regardless of age and considering the structural factors that privilege some age groups over others. We do this by building strong relationships and partnerships, sharing power across generations, creating mentorship and cross-generational learning opportunities, and making space for youth voice.

This webinar will explore best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work. Families United for Education will talk about their work building an intergenerational network to address racial inequities in Albuquerque schools. They will discuss their successes and challenges.

Join us for our intergenerational equity webinar on November 9th at 12pm ET.

What: Best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work, through the experiences of Families United for Education. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CGA Forums and Trainings Coming up in November

We wanted to let everyone know about several updates this month from NCDD member org, Kettering Foundation on their Common Ground for Action online forum. Throughout the month of November, Kettering will be holding several CGA opportunities using the recently released Opioid Epidemic issue advisory. Also available are two training events for those interested in learning to moderate CGA forums; a general one for those new to CGA and another tailored for K-12 and college educators. Register to join these online forums and trainings by clicking on the links in the announcement below. This announcement was from the October Kettering newsletter – sign up here to start receiving their newsletter.


Common Ground for Action Activities in November

As usual, there are several opportunities to participate in a deliberative forum from the comfort of your desk. Please register at the links below if you’d like to join, or, if you can’t make any of the dates yourself, please help us spread the word and reach new audiences by sharing the links via email or social media. All of this month’s forums will use the What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic? issue advisory.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 11a.m. EST | REGISTER

Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Monday, Nov. 20 | 5 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST | REGISTER

There are also two upcoming moderator training sessions for those who want to learn to hold their own online forums. These online sessions are held in two-part sessions of two hours each. (Please plan to attend both parts of the workshop.)

CGA New Moderator Training
Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, Nov. 16 | 6 p.m. EST
REGISTER

CGA for K-12 & College Educators Moderator Training
Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST
Friday, Dec. 1 | 12 p.m. EST
REGISTER

If you’ve been trained as a CGA moderator, but it’s been a while and you’d like a refresher (or you just have some questions), Kara Dillard will hold online “office hours” on November 3, 10, 17, and 27 at 11 a.m. EST. Just hop on this link to talk with her.

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