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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Center for Collaborative Policy Job Openings

Our colleagues at the the Center for Collaborative Policy – an NCDD organizational member – have recently announced three promising job openings at their California State University, Sacramento campus. We know some of our NCDD members would be a perfect fit for these positions, so we encourage you to find out more in CCP’s announcements below.

Job Announcement – Business Development Director

The Center for Collaborative Policy, California State University, Sacramento is recruiting for a Business Development Director.  The successful applicant will have experience in attracting significant revenues from public and private sector sources for collaborative public processes and activities.   The applicant is also expected to be a senior practitioner in conducting multi-party collaborative public processes with a high degree of complexity.  Responsibilities include:

  • Directly generate revenue for the Center through communicating with prospective clients as well as teaming partners, responding to competitive proposals, pursuing sole source agreements and creating other statewide business opportunities.
  • Develop and implement an annual Business Development Plan, and train and coach Center practitioners to execute the Plan and attract client business.
  • Develop, supervise and provide oversight for the Center business development personnel and data system.

Salary is (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

JPD Special Issue Looks at “The State of Our Field”

JPD logoThis month, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) released a special issue of their collaboratively produced Journal of Public Deliberation, and it is a must-read.  They collected writings from leading scholars and practitioners of our work – including numerous NCDD members and our director, Sandy Heierbacher – to create this special issue focused on “The State of Our Field”:

This is a special issue that assess the state of our field, celebrates our successes, and calls for future innovative work. The authors are scholars and practitioners who represent the diversity of our field and provide a wide range of perspectives on deliberation, dialogue, participation, and civic life. The ideas from this issue will be discussed at the upcoming Frontiers of Democracy conference, after which the editors will write an “afterword” reflecting on lessons learned.

We’re excerpting all of the abstracts of the articles in this issue here on the blog, because we think it will entice you to read these important articles. The special issue starts with an introductory overview, then is divided into three areas of focus: the scope of our field, challenges to our field, and promising future directions that some of us are taking.

Visit www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd to download each article for free.

JPD Volume 10, Issue 1 (2014) Special Issue: State of the Field


The State of Our Field: Introduction to the Special Issue by Laura W. Black, Nancy L. Thomas, and Dr. Timothy J. Shaffer – “This article introduces the special “State of the Field” issue. The essay highlights some of the key tensions that our field is wrestling with at the moment, and advocates that we think carefully about the terms we use to describe our work. It previews the articles in this special issue and urges future work in the field to (more…)


Let us know if you work with legislators — or would like to!

Later this week, Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara and I are both involved in an exciting workshop at the Kettering Foundation that will bring together 26 state legislators from 20 states to talk about effective public engagement.

Les asked me recently to gather information about NCDD members who had worked with legislators (or are currently working with them), and with all the conference goings-on, I haven’t been able to squeeze it in. But I think we can still help Les, and create a list of NCDDers who either (1) have experience working with legislators, (2) are interested in working with legislators, or (3) both!  I know Les’ impression is that there are not many NCDDers working with legislators, and I don’t believe that is the case at all.

Will you help me change Les’ mind and help me better represent you at this meeting by filling out the super-simple survey I’ve created.

Les IharaOver the last few years, I’ve networked with about 50 legislators who operate with a collaborative leadership model, rather than power-based model; and I plan to form a Collaborative Legislators Network when the time is right (we’re getting close).

We’re designing our meeting agenda to support legislators who want to conduct new citizen engagement type activities over the next year, and I’m looking for people who may have relationships with legislators in these states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If you haven’t yet worked with a legislator, I’d also like to know who might be interested in providing assistance to and collaborating with a legislator in your state. Thank you.

Hawaii State Senator, 10th District

If you have worked with local, state or national policymakers, or would like to, please let us know by answering a few simple questions TODAY or TOMORROW. Again, here is the survey link:

Short Survey about Working with Legislators

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Environmental Issue Guide Series from Kettering Underway

We are excited to share that our organizational partners at the Kettering Foundation have a series of at least three issue guides for facilitating deliberation on climate issues in the works. These guides can be an important tool for helping the public deal with this crucial issue. We encourage you to read the brief statement from Kettering’s online publication below. 

kfThe Kettering Foundation is breaking ground on an exciting new project–a series of National Issues Forums (NIF) framings for environmental issues. Amy Lee and Scott London have been doing the preliminary work for about a year now, but in April, they had their first official meeting with an old friend of the foundation’s, the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE). NAAEE actually produced a number of issue guides in the long, study guide-like format back in the 1990s, and they’ve become reacquainted recently with KF through research deputy Michele Archie.

Representatives from NAAEE included board member Bora Simmons, who was involved with Michele in producing the earlier issue guides, as well as other NAAEE staff members from different arms and levels of the organization. NAAEE, much like NIF, has a large, two-way network of local chapters as well (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Let’s Discuss: How Politics Makes Us Stupid

There is a fascinating article up at Vox.com that I encourage all NCDD members and subscribers to our Transpartisan Listserv to give some thought to. My friend Jean Johnson at Public Agenda, one of NCDD’s organizational members, alerted me to it last week, and it ties directly into conversations that are going on in both the NCDD Discussion list and the Transpartisan list.

PoliticsStupidPost1The article by Ezra Klein, How Politics Makes Us Stupid, talks about research that shows that a more informed public has little effect on politics, polarization, and political opinions.  Instead, “Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.”

Researcher Dan Kahan’s findings were that people accepted some information without any problem — but in cases where their social standing and relationships were effected by their take on an issue, people dismissed information as faulty that didn’t line up with their group’s / tribe’s / community’s stances. This was true for partisans on both sides of the aisle.

Here’s an excerpt:

Kahan is quick to note that, most of the time, people are perfectly capable of being convinced by the best evidence. There’s a lot of disagreement about climate change and gun control, for instance, but almost none over whether antibiotics work, or whether the H1N1 flu is a problem, or whether heavy drinking impairs people’s ability to drive. Rather, our reasoning becomes rationalizing when we’re dealing with questions where the answers could threaten our tribe — or at least our social standing in our tribe. And in those cases, Kahan says, we’re being perfectly sensible when we fool ourselves.


From the CommunityFrom the Community

Interview on Games & Engagement

As children run through sprinklers and enjoy fireworks (safely, we hope) over the holiday weekend, we thought it would be appropriate to share a post from the Davenport Institute’s Gov 2.0 Watch blog on games and engagement. As we know, civic participation can be fun, too! You can find it below or read the original here. Happy Independence Day, everyone!

DavenportInst-logoLast month, Project Information Literacy at the University of Washington Information School published an interview with Eric Gordon, a professor at Emerson College and Executive Director of Engagement Lab:

In his role as the Executive Director of the Engagement Lab, Eric leads play-based projects, spanning everything from community engagement in Detroit to disaster preparedness in Zambia. As he explains, the projects are “designed not just to facilitate official processes, education, and real-world action, but to natively be real-world actions themselves.

Through participatory action research in the United States, Europe, and Africa, Eric and his team are partnering with communities and organizations to understand how and where technology, play, and civic life intersect.

You can read the interview here.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CM’s 4 Tips for More Inclusive Communities

Our partners at CommunityMatters recently put together a useful list of tips for creating more inclusive communities to go along with their recent conference call on the same topic. We wanted to make sure to our members see these pointers, so we encourage you to read CM staffer Caitlyn Horose’s write up below or find the original CM blog post by clicking here

CM_logo-200pxWhat do you do to make people in your community feel welcome? How do you create opportunities for people from all backgrounds to participate fully in building and improving your community?

Creating an inclusive community isn’t easy, but many places are finding ways to start building a more inclusive and welcoming culture.

Here are four strategies from cities and towns committed to inclusivity—share your own stories and ideas in the comments!

1. Make a statement. Riverside, California developed a, set of principles for building a more inclusive community. Their Inclusive Community Statement identifies the responsibilities of individuals, groups and institutions for (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register for an Online Conversation on Fixing Politics

The National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD organizational partner, is hosting an exciting conversation next Tuesday, July 8th, that we want to make sure you hear about. NIFI is inviting folks to register for an online conversation on the topic of its new issue guide, Fixing American Politics, utilizing new technology from our partners at the Kettering Foundation.

NCDD’s director, Sandy Heierbacher, and other NCDDers will be participating in this live at a workshop at Kettering, and we hope you can join them! You can find more details in the letter below from NIFI’s Northern Virginia affiliate or by reading NIFI’s original announcement here.

NIF-logoI’m writing to invite you to join a new experiment, an online National Issues Forum.

It takes place Tuesday, July 8 at 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm EDT. All you need to participate is a web browser and the willingness to use chat for conversation.

The topic is “Political Fix – How Do We Get American Politics Back on Track?” You can download the issue guide by clicking here. The issue guide provides the road map for our discussion and essential background. If you’d like to watch a three-minute video that previews the topic, you can view by clicking here.

You can register by completing the online form at the new website of National Issues Forums of Northern Virginia at www.nifnva.org. There are only a few spots left – first-come, first-served – but (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

From the Idea Incubator: Our Very Best “Hello”

The following idea was shared by NCDD member Eric Smiley as a submission for NCDD’s Idea Incubator – a great way for ideas to grow into action. We encourage you to learn more about how the Idea Incubator works, or to submit your own idea by clicking here.

I’m interested in how can we begin a large collective participation model in hopes of generating some positive results for all of us. I know many approaches have been in use on various scales and demonstrated great potential. I believe that if we want to use the web/internet to engage in community relationships, we need to have a solid starting point – even a simple “Hello.”

If an online event for everyone with access to say “Hello” to each other were staged would that be a start? Would it be revolutionary? Would the data about who participated where be of any interest? Who would want to participate? 1? 10? 100? Happy people? Friendly people? Angry people? The rest of us?

The idea I have is to create an NCDD event in which everyone with online access has an opportunity offer their best greeting and salutation to one another as a way to begin a collective online resource to advance online dialogue and deliberation in the global community. Although it would be a NCDD event anyone and everyone would be welcome to particiapate. Part of the plan is to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Fusion Partnerships Wins Social Activist Award

We hope you’ll join us in congratulating NCDD supporting/founding member Polly Riddims and the wonderful team at Fusion Partnerships on recently being awarded the Social Activist Award from the Justice Studies Association. We are proud to count Polly and her team as part of our NCDD community, and we hope you’ll take a moment to read the Fusion team’s statement on their award below. 

On Friday, May 30, 2014, Fusion Partnerships, Inc. received the Social Activist Award from the Justice Studies Association in recognition for their continuing work for justice and well-being in Baltimore. The award was presented during their 16th Annual Conference “Revisiting to Revisioning: Restorative Justice to Transformative Justice” at Towson University, May 29-31, 2014. Polly Riddims, Managing Partner and Jim Kucher, Board Chair were there to accept the award.

Through collaborative action, including fiscal sponsorship, Fusion Partnerships works to be a catalyst for social justice and peace. Fusion currently provides fiscal sponsorship and incubation support for over 65 community based program in the Baltimore region working for social change. These projects are making a difference in areas of youth development, health and nutrition, gender and LGBT issues, criminal justice reform, racial justice, and the arts.

Fusion was established in 1998 to (more…)