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CM Call on Rural Design, August 20th

CM_logo-200pxWe are pleased to invite NCDD members once again to join our partners at CommunityMatters for the next installation in their capacity-building call series, which is jointly hosted by the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design. This month’s call is titled “How Design Sparks Rural Development”, and it will be taking place next Wednesday, August 20th from 4-5pm Eastern Time.

The folks at CM describe the upcoming call this way:

Urban, not rural, places are usually thought of as hubs of creativity and innovation, but this month’s CommunityMatters® and Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ webinar turns that notion on its head.

Emily Pilloton of Project H and Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert of Energize Clinton County, Ohio use the principles of good design to improve rural places, often in unexpected ways. Join us for an hour-long webinar highlighting community design that kick starts rural development. You’ll learn smart ways to introduce decision makers to design principles and find appropriate roles for “experts” and outsiders in resident-led design projects.

Register today by clicking here, and we hope to hear you on the call!

Before the call, we encourage you to check out the accompanying piece on the CM blog by Caitlyn Horose, which is cross posted below. You can find the original piece here.

Good Design Sparks Rural Community Development

Instead of focusing on developing products and services, now more than ever, architects, industrial designers, graphic artists, landscape architects, and other creative professionals are turning their attention to (more…)

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So many ways to use technology, so many ways to learn at NCDD 2014

Past conference attendees* have approached technology for public engagement, dialogue, and deliberation in so many different ways:

  • Kira is hands-on and pragmatic, interested only in tools that fit into her work, today.
  • Bob’s a skeptic, so it’s tough to convince him that online technology can play a role in his work.
  • Ashante seeks technology that’ll make her dream process a reality.
  • Andrés has just scratched the surface, unsure where to begin.

LaptopsAnd they’ve all found sessions to expand their vision and knowledge at past NCDD conferences.

For all of his skepticism, Bob remembers Steven Clift’s presentation at NCDD’s 2012 conference in Seattle fondly. Clift’s 15 years of experience with email- and web-based community forums, particularly in immigrant and low income communities, and the way Clift’s work has been put to use in communities across the globe, resonated with him. Indeed, Bob surprised friends by asking Clift to help redesign an upcoming neighborhood summit using email to make it more inclusive. And he loves to tell the story of how some of his most important learning was about the value of going door to door and posting sign-up sheets at street fairs.

Few recall that Ashante’s fervor was sparked by her NCDD’s regional conference in Austin, in 2010. There, she first learned of the ways Manor, Texas used the web to harvest ideas from all residents. She realized that if a town of just 5000 residents could do this, her opportunities were far larger than she had thought. And Manor’s emphasis on low-cost technologies gave her hope that she could begin her efforts years sooner than she had planned. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Surprising Results in Online Commenting Study

NCDD has been part of an ongoing conversation about whether online comment sections can be spaces for dialogue and if there are methods or tools we can use to make those spaces more civil. One of our NCDD organizational members, the National Institute for Civil Discourse, recently released on a study on the topic that has some surprising, though not exactly encouraging, results. You can read NICD’s announcement about the study below or find the original here.


NICD_logo3A new study confirms that incivility is common on online news websites. Researchers at the University of Utah and the University of Arizona analyzed more than 6,400 reader comments posted to the website of The Arizona Daily Star, a major daily newspaper in Arizona. They found that more than 1 in 5 comments included some form of incivility, with name-calling the most prevalent type.

“We tracked six different kinds of incivility, but name-calling was by far and away the most common,” said Kevin Coe, a faculty member in the Department of Communications at the University of Utah and one of the study’s authors. “Many people just can’t seem to avoid the impulse to go after someone.”

The study also showed that incivility in comment sections does not fit the stereotype of (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Grant Initiative Seeks to Address Polarization

NCDD members may want to look into the Madison Initiative, an exciting exploratory grant initiative from the Hewlett Foundation. Hewlett is hoping the initiative can address the problem of polarization in the US, especially in Congress. You can learn more from Hewlett’s press release below or by visiting www.hewlett.org.


Exploratory Project Seeks to Strengthen Representative Democracy in U.S.

HewlettFdn-logoMenlo Park, Calif. — It is hard to look at events of the past few years without concluding that democracy in America is in trouble. Surveys routinely find that most Americans think poorly of the federal government and, in particular, of Congress. Such frustration and mistrust do not bode well for our system of government.

Against this backdrop, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that it is launching a new initiative to help alleviate the problem of polarization, with a special focus on the problem in Congress. The foundation will invest $50 million over the next three years in what it is calling the Madison Initiative. It will use this initial phase of grantmaking to assess whether and how it can help strengthen the nation’s representative institutions so that they are better able to address the major issues facing the country—and do so in ways that (more…)

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Visual Mapping Process Leading into NCDD 2014

NCDD is in the midst of an exciting mapping process leading up to our national conference in the DC area this October. We’re conducting this initial mapping project–and a more in depth mapping process we hope to launch at the conference–in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation.

Cool mapping image f

Cool mapping image from www.mindmapart.com.

There is a vast field of organizations, communities and networks whose work centers around collaborative group practices. This work goes by many different names (dialogue and deliberation, deliberative democracy, whole systems change, collective intelligence, collaborative problem solving, etc.), and NCDD was formed to bridge these and other streams of practice to help us learn from, be inspired by, and work with each other.

People use collaborative group practices to reach numerous ends:  planning stronger communities, influencing policy, addressing long-standing conflict, inspiring people to work together to solve collective problems, increasing awareness of the nuances of public issues, and helping people connect with each other across political and social divides.

The purpose of this initial mapping project is to help people working in this broad field of practice – especially those who attend the 2014 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation – get a better picture of the points of connection, the overlaps, and the possibilities for collaboration between the myriad networks and organizations that are innovating in this field.

The first stage of this mapping project is a very visual one, and was born out of a brainstorming conversation I had with Rosa Zubizarreta. We will begin by interviewing ten highly collaborative organizations that work in different spheres of this work. Kathryn Thomson of LeadershipMind Consulting will conduct the interviews, which will be recorded. (more…)

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Peek Into NCDD’s Past Conferences

Here at NCDD, we are in full-on conference planning mode, working closely with our incredible planning team to organize what we hope will be our best conference yet. (Learn more about NCDD 2014 here.)

One of my roles is to design the guidebooks, and I thought this would be a good time to share the guides from the previous conferences. If you’re thinking about joining us in October, these will give you a sense of the kinds of great programming, workshops, speakers, and networking we have in store for you!

2012 Guidebook — Seattle, WA

“The NCDD conference in Seattle was an extremely useful chance to meet others in the D&D field. Everybody makes the time to go, so everybody you could need to meet is there. I don’t know of another opportunity like it.”
– Amy Lee, Kettering Foundation

Learn more about the Seattle event • Download the 2012 Guidebook

2010 Resource Guide — Regional Events

“It was inspiring to connect with so many people working to bring authentic public engagement to the world through state of the art deliberative processes. I was heartened to see so many civic leaders and schools of public policy there, as well all of the grassroots, networked groups who are changing the face of democracy even as I write. Well done all!”
– Kathryn Thomson, PublicForums

Learn more about the Regional Events • Download the Resource Guide on Public Engagement

2008 Guidebook — Austin, TX

(more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Parker Palmer’s book “Healing the Heart of Democracy” now out in paperback

One of NCDD’s most well-known and well-loved members, Parker Palmer, alerted me today that one of his newest books, Healing the Heart of Democracy, is soon to be available in paperback.

Here’s what U.S. Congressman John Lewis, had to say about the book: “We have been trying to bridge the great divides in this great country for a long time. In this book, Parker J. Palmer urges us to ‘keep on walking, keep on talking’—just as we did in the civil rights movement—until we cross those bridges together.”

The paperback edition includes a detailed discussion guide with links to 40 brief online videos where the author talks about key issues in the book. You can download the discussion guide, the videos, tips for organizing a discussion group, and more at www.couragerenewal.org/democracyguide. (more…)

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Local Governments Adopting Online Engagement: An NCDD Tech Tuesday discussion on the state of the field

Join us for our next NCDD Tech Tuesday, on August 26th from 1-2pm Eastern / 10-11am Pacific, with:

  • Della RuckerTech_Tuesday_Badge, Managing Editor of EngagingCities (focusing on the intersection between internet technologies and community engagement), and Chief Instigator at Wise Economy
  • Susan Stuart Clark, Director, Common Knowledge, NCDD board member and consultant to local governments

An increasing number of local governments are adding different forms of online engagement to their public participation activities. There is a proliferation of tools being offered by different vendors, each trying to establish a unique positioning. Join Della Rucker and Susan Stuart Clark as they review examples of how local governments are using online engagement, the state of the industry, key factors to consider in planning and implementing online engagement – and how online engagement can be used to complement and enhance in-person dialogue.

The session has been designed to allow for plenty of time for Q&A and group discussion. We are especially interested in NCDD member experiences with online engagement and local government.  Click here to register.

Want to do some reading ahead of time?

By the way, you do not have to be a dues-paying member of NCDD to participate in our FREE Tech Tuesday learning events — though we greatly appreciate the support! You can join NCDD here or upgrade to a supporting membership here.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

IF Releases New Discussion Guides on Childhood & Intellectual Property

We are pleased to share that our friends at The Interactivity Foundation recently released new Discussion Reports on two important public issues: the future of childhood and intellectual property. The Interactivity Foundation is an NCDD organizational member and we’re also proud to list them as one of the All-Star Sponsors of NCDD 2014.

IF creates these reports by distilling public policy possibilities and materials generated from introductory Project Discussions they have hosted on topics of social and political concern, and the reports then become starting points or guides for future Public Discussions which delve deeper into these possibilities. IF’s Discussion Reports can be downloaded for free and used to help facilitate conversations exploring public policy solutions to key issues.

The first new report, “What Might Childhood Look Like in the Future?,” focuses on (more…)

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Presentation from June’s Tech Tues on MaestroConference

For our June 24th Tech Tuesday, Brian Burt, CEO and founder of MaestroConference, hosted a session that gave a preview of major new changes in their platform. MaestroConference is the leader in “Social Conferencing” technology, serving more than 5 million participants, and is launching a new Social Webinar platform with a visual interface which allows people to see the faces of the people they’re talking to and edit documents together. Click here to see the PPT presentation from this session.

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeMany NCDDers are familiar with MaestroConference, as we’ve used it for past online activities courtesy of NCDD member Ben Roberts who has served as a host for many calls. MaestroConference is well-known in our field because of its alignment with group process techniques — including its unique ability to enable break-out groups to form on conference calls.

MaestroConference is interested in “conversations that change the world” and invited NCDDers to a free 30 day trial.

Look over archives of past Tech Tuesdays and news about upcoming Tech Tuesday events at www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays.

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