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From the CommunityFrom the Community

PBP Releases Guide for Participatory Budgeting in Schools

Ensuring that younger generations have opportunities to practice the skills they need to make decisions together about substantive issues is vital to maintaining a democratic society. So we are thrilled to share that the Participatory Budgeting Project – an NCDD member organization – has created a new tool to help schools everywhere give students that opportunity with its new PB in Schools Guide, which is designed to help educators collaboratively launch participatory budgeting processes in their classrooms and school buildings. Learn more in the PBP announcement below or find the original here.

PBP-Logo-Stacked-Rectangle-web1PB in Schools Guide

We all want young people to become civically engaged. This can start now, in school! PBP has developed a free Guide for you to give students a direct experience in civic engagement through Participatory Budgeting.

The Guide shows how to get your school working with Participatory Budgeting (PB). The PB process creates an experiential learning environment for community engagement at a local level. Students are challenged to think about community needs and issues, exploring their environment. They are then empowered to design and implement a solution, taking shared ownership of their school community. They will gain a new attachment to their community; a sense of pride that comes with civic contribution. And they will build a stronger, more collaborative relationship with school administration, one another, and the community at large.

The Guide includes 18 lesson plans and 6 worksheets that are designed to take 45 minutes, once a week, over the course of a semester. You will find sections that explore:

  • Idea Collection
  • Proposal Development (more…)


Participate in NCDD’s Field-Wide Inventory!

What if we knew how many dialogue and deliberation events took place in a typical year? (Or at least had SOME way to guess!) What if we had a sense of which approaches people in the D&D community specialized in and had training in? What if we had a sense of when practitioners and organizations in our field were more likely to collaborate with their peers?

NCDD2012-wFranKorten-borderNCDD’s Inventory Survey was designed to get answers to these questions and more, and we invite you to participate! The results will be shared with our partner in this project, the Kettering Foundation, and will be summarized and distributed widely in the field.

It is our hope to also use some of this data to create a broad-based map of facilitators and organizations, searchable by location, approach used, and issues you specialize in. This map is part of our strategy to connect more people to the facilitation expertise they need, much more quickly than is possible today. We believe that now, more than ever, the skills of dialogue and deliberation are needed to address pressing issues in communities across the country, often in a very quick time frame.

If you or your organization does any kind of dialogue or deliberation work, we ask that you take the time to complete this survey as soon as possible. It should only take you 15 minutes or less to complete and is NOT limited to members of the NCDD community or those based only in the U.S.

Let’s see what we can learn about this vital field!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CII Seeks Support to Develop New “Wise Democracy” Tool

Long time NCDD members John Spady recently sent us news of a project being undertaken by another NCDD member, Tom Atlee, and his Co-Intelligence Institute that we wanted to share here. Tom and the CII are developing a new tool for supporting “wiser democracy,” and are seeking support to obtain a matching grant for the work. We encourage you to read John’s letter about the project below or learn more about the project and how to support here.

Fundraiser request from the Co-intelligence Institute with Tom Atlee

The board of the Co-intelligence Institute (CII) has initiated a fund raiser to support the emergence of “wiser democracy” – Tom Atlee and Martin Rausch have developed a pattern language card desk design (similar in design to the Group Works deck created in 2011) to impart a sense of what is possible and promote wiser archetypes of design, and they are calling on the D&D community for support in funding the project.

The CII fundraiser is at this secure link: https://bit.ly/CII-fundraiser2016. Here’s a bit more explanation from the fundraiser page:

Tom Atlee and Martin Rausch have been working on a Wise Democracy Group Pattern Language deck, that builds on the insights of Tom’s previous books, The Tao of Democracy and Empowering Public Wisdom. In some ways, this new pattern language is analogous to the Group Pattern Language deck, only its focus is on democracy as a whole, instead of on groups. Your contribution will allow us to complete this project, which is already half-way there! We still need to edit the cards, complete the designs, and invest in our first print run.

It’s also a great time to contribute, since your money will be doubled through (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Jobs & Openings in the Field

In the last week, we’ve heard about several jobs and other openings in democracy-oriented organizations, so we wanted to put them all in one place for our members. We know that there are many people in our network who would be great fits for these openings, and we strongly encourage you to apply to these positions or share about the openings with your networks!

There is a list of the openings and links to more information below. Good luck to all the applicants!

Participatory Budgeting Project

  • Community Engagement Coordinator (Greensboro) – learn more here
  • Community Engagement Coordinator (Oakland) – learn more here


  • Seeking new board members – learn more here

Democracy Fund

  • Executive Assistant to the President and VP, Strategy, Learning, and Impact – learn more here
  • Program Associate, Governance Initiative – learn more here
  • Local News Associate, Public Square – learn more here
  • Research Associate, Informed Participation – learn more here
  • Senior Counsel – learn more here
  • Program Internship – learn more here

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Members Host 4-day Transpartisan Tele-Summit

As you may have seen on the NCDD Discussion Listerv recently, several NCDD members are hosting a “virtual roundtable” focused on transcending partisan divides this Aug. 1-4. The American Citizens Summit event will be co-hosted by NCDD members Amanda Roman and John Steiner and will feature many more members and D&D leaders as speakers. We encourage our members to learn more in Amanda’s announcement below or visit www.americancitizenssummit.com.

Join The American Citizens Summit for 3 Days of Political Cross-Training

As you may know, the first decade of my career was dedicated to the center-right political coalition. While my values and philosophical leanings remain. I have spent the second decade getting to know and working to support amazing organizations and innovative individuals that are focused on moving beyond typical political boundaries and getting results.

Just after the RNC and DNC conventions, I will be co-hosting a tele-summit that will recognize and spotlight this transpartisan dynamic. We are anticipating 50,000+ registrants and I would love to have you join us for three days (and an extra evening) of energetic political cross-training!

Are you concerned by our nation’s current political climate? Discouraged that infighting and bitter partisanship is affecting our ability to move forward? Do you feel discouraged and without a place in the political process? Wondering if your vote really counts?

You’re not alone.

Like many Americans, you may feel (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Enter Everyday Democracy’s Youth Grant Competition

We hope that our younger members will take note of a great opportunity that NCDD member organization Everyday Democracy recently announced. EvDem is offering grants for 18-30 year olds to attend their national convening in December of this year, and we encourage you to apply before the August 1 deadline! Learn more in EvDem’s announcement below or find the original version here.

Young Leaders Grant Opportunity

EvDem LogoThe next generation of leaders engaging people in creating positive change has already made waves in communities across the country.  Our goal is to attract 20-40 of those young leaders to take part in learning and networking at our upcoming national convening. Participants will learn, connect, and share their insights with changemakers of all ages.

Several young leaders will be awarded scholarships to enable them to attend the convening, and will have the opportunity to compete for grant money to support their leadership and organizing efforts in their local communities.

What we hope to accomplish:

  • Highlight the work of young leaders at our national convening
  • Provide opportunities for learning and networking among young leaders
  • Provide support for the critical work being done by young leaders across the country
  • Build our network among the next generation of changemakers

What is the grant competition?

Young leaders (ages 18-30) will have the chance to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Depolarizing Discourse by Understanding Emotion’s Role

NCDD member Dave Biggs recently published the insightful interview below via MetroQuest – an NCDD member organization – and we wanted to share it here. Dave interviews the author of a new book, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, on the way emotion and perceived risk contribute to polarization and toxic public discourse, and how understanding the psychology of our “emotional dialogue” can help us build bridges to understanding. We encourage you to read the piece below or find the original version here.

The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up

James Hoggan has influenced my work for two decades. I find myself quoting his work in many of my public speaking engagements and the lessons he has articulated have shaped MetroQuest and the best practices listed in our guidebook in numerous ways. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Hoggan to discuss his new book, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up. After years of research that included interviewing some of the world’s most profound thinkers on democracy, conflict, and consensus-building, Hoggan has cleverly articulated not only what’s wrong with public discourse but also what must be done to fix it. Here’s our conversation.

Dave Biggs: You named your book ‘I’m Right and You’re an Idiot.’ What does that title mean to you?

James Hoggan: The title I’m Right and You’re an Idiot describes today’s warlike approach to public debate. It’s a style of communication that polarizes public conversations and prevents us from dealing with the serious problems stalking everyone on earth.

It is an ironic title, chosen because it epitomizes the kind of attack rhetoric we hear so often today. It reflects the opposite of the real message of the book, which was best said by peace activist and Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh who told me to: “Speak the truth not to punish.”

Dave Biggs: It’s clear that you covered a great deal of ground in researching this book. Tell me about (more…)


Become a Sponsor of NCDD 2016 Today!

NCDD is working hard on putting together our 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation this October 14-16 in the Boston metro area. It’s shaping up to be our best conference yet, and like all of our conferences, NCDD 2016 will be a great opportunity to gain recognition while supporting the field by becoming a conference sponsor!

Looking to heighten the profile of your organization and work in the field? Being a sponsor is a great way to do it! NCDD conferences regularly bring together over 400 of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada (plus practitioners from around the world), and being a sponsor can help your organization can reach them all.

Being an All-Star Sponsor ($3000), Co-Sponsor ($2000) or Partner ($1000) will earn you name recognition with potential clients, provide months of PR, and build respect and good will for your organization every time we proudly acknowledge your support as we promote the conference. Plus you’ll be providing the crucial support that NCDD relies on to make our national conferences so spectacular, including making it possible for us to offer more scholarships to the amazing young people and other deserving folks in our field. You can learn more about the details in our sponsorship document.

The earlier you commit to being an NCDD 2016 sponsor, the more exposure you earn as we begin to roll out our sponsor logos on our website. But the benefits go way beyond that – just look at all the perks you get for being a sponsor!

By supporting an NCDD conference, our sponsors are demonstrating leadership in D&D, showing commitment to public engagement and innovative community problem solving, and making (more…)


Engaging D&D’s Young Leaders in NCDD 2016

As many of you know, NCDD’s 2014 conference in Reston, VA had more students and young people in attendance than any conference before it, and it made a huge difference – the energy and fresh thinking that young people bring to our conferences and to our field was and is inspiring and indispensable. NCDD continues to be committed to cultivating the next generation of leaders in our field, and that’s why we are aiming to have even more youth and student attendees at NCDD 2016 this Oct. 14th-16th in Boston!yardsign_300px

As part of that commitment, we are pleased to announce that NCDD is offering a super-low student registration rate of $250 (that’s $200 off!), and we have opened up our application for NCDD 2016 scholarships. These scholarships are intended to help young people in D&D and other deserving applicants who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend by offsetting the costs of travel, housing, and registration as needed.

The scholarship application can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/NCDD2016-scholarship-app.

But we need our NCDD members’ help encouraging the promising and engaged young people and students in this field to attend the conference! Do you work with an outstanding young person who is passionate about the work of dialogue and deliberation? Are you connected to a student who is working to bridge divides in their community? Make sure to tell them about NCDD 2016 and encourage them to register today!

Also, please note that we are offering group discounts to incentivize teachers and other practitioners who (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

How Elite and Popular Discourse Supress Dialogue

We are happy to share the announcement below about a new facilitation training opportunity in California from NCDD supporting member Donald Ellis from the University of Hartford. Donald shared this piece via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news or thoughts you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!

Me Talk Prettier Than You: Elite and Popular Discourse

One of the divides that has emerged more starkly from the Brexit debate and the candidacy of Donald Trump is the distinction between elite and popular discourse. Just being overly general for the moment, elite discourse is most associated with the educated and professional classes and is characterized by what is considered to be acceptable forms of argument, the use of evidence, the recognition of complexity, and articulation. Popular discourse is more ethnopolitical and nationalistic. It is typically characterized by binary thinking, a simpler and more reductive understanding of the issue, and an ample amount of cognitive rigidity makes it difficult to change attitudes. To be sure, this is a general characterization because both genres are capable of each.

Still, consistent with the well-known polarization of society is the withdrawal of each side into a comfortable discourse structure where the two codes are increasingly removed from one another and the gap between them cannot be transcended very easily. Dialogue is a real challenge if possible at all.

Additionally, elite and popular discourses share some different sociological and economic orientations. Elites are more (more…)