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D&D Marketplace Presenters

Friday 4-5:30 pm

Meet some of the movers-and-shakers in the field, and learn about some of the newest and most innovative D&D tools, resources, and programs during this 90-minute plenary session. Presenters include… (more…)

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Saturday’s Reflective Panel

We will end our second day together on Saturday (October 4th) with our signature “Reflective Panel” featuring four prominent leaders in our field: Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Bill Isaacs, David Campt and Najeeba Syeed-Miller. The Reflective Panel is the closest we come to a “keynote speech” at NCDD conferences, enabling conference participants to hear from D&D figureheads without enduring long speeches without any dialogic quality to them.

Each panelist will address major challenges facing the D&D community as part of an Inquiry Circle.  Unlike traditional “talking head” panel presentations, conversation in this space flows among the panelists without long monologues.  The Inquiry Circle builds collective intelligence while honoring and modeling the spirit and power of dialogue.

After a couple of rounds of the inquiry circle, you will have the opportunity to discuss what you heard and what question your table would like to submit to one of the panelists. In the final segment of this session, the panelists will respond to some of these questions, touch on emergent themes and insights, and share closing thoughts.

Steve Pyser will be moderating the Reflective Panel. Learn about our panelists… (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New AARP Report on Civic Engagement among Elders

I just got an email from uber-connected Cynthia Gibson (you know – author of Citizens at the Center) about an AARP report that will be rolled out tomorrow as part of the Service Nation event. The report, titled More to Give: Tapping the Talents of the Baby Boomer, Silent and Greatest Generation, is authored by Robert Putnam, John Bridgeland and Harris Wofford.

It discusses the civic behaviors and attitudes of Americans as they transition from work to retirement.  The primary purpose of the report is “to spark a national dialogue and movement around the civic engagement of [the Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation, and the Greatest Generation]” and is based on a series of focus groups and a nationally representative survey that was conducted of Americans age 44-79. Download the AARP Report now.

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NCDD Austin’s 5-Person Graphic Recording Team

The Graphic Recording Team at NCDD 2008 included Sunni Brown, Julie Gieseke, Mariah Howard, Marilyn Martin and team leader Avril Orloff. NCDD owes each of these women a huge debt of gratitude for the incredible contributions they made to the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation!

Graphic recording has long been a feature of NCDD conferences, but for the 2008 conference we took it up a few notches. Instead of just one or two graphic recorders, we had a whole team — and rather than having them record quietly in the back of the room, we closely integrated the graphics with the rest of the program.

In addition to recording the plenaries and sub-plenaries, the graphic recording team created mural-size posters for each of the five challenge areas we focused on at the conference. The posters were displayed throughout the conference, and the graphic recorders worked with our challenge leaders to add to the posters each day as new thoughts, insights and ideas emerged related to the challenges.

Conference participants were also urged to contribute ideas to the posters, and many did. And to help people along, our Graphic Recording Team offered a graphic recording demo/session at the D&D marketplace on the first day of the conference, giving dozens of conference attendees the opportunity to try their hand at graphic recording and learn some basic graphic recording skills.

Avril Orloff created the mural that captured themes related to the Framing Challenge, which explored the question “How can we talk about and present dialogue and deliberation work in ways that are accessible to a broader audience?” At the 2008 conference, we focused on the need to attract more conservatives to D&D work in particular. Click on the image below to see a larger version of this mural on Avril’s website. You can learn more about Avril’s work at www.avrilorloff.com.

Mural by Avril Orloff

Many more images of the graphic recordings created at NCDD Austin have been uploaded to Flickr by conference participants. Be sure to check them out at www.flickr.com/search/?q=ncdd2008&w=all.

What are Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation anyway?

According to graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck (www.loosetooth.com), graphic facilitation is the practice of using words and images to create a conceptual map of a conversation. A graphic facilitator is the visual, usually silent partner to the traditional, verbal facilitator, drawing a large scale image at the front of the room in real-time.

Agerbeck describes graphic facilitation as both a process and product. Watching the graphic facilitator create the map as the group speaks is highly experiential and immediate. It focuses the group as they work, aiding concentration by capturing and organizing their ideas. Everyone can watch their ideas take shape; the manifestation is most resonant with the visual, spatial and systematic thinkers in the group, but it’s a powerful tool of recognition for everyone. After the event, the map becomes a document; evidence of the meeting’s progress and direction. This resulting conceptual map is an engaging and meaningful tool, because the audience watched its creation in relationship to their experience. Images being emotional and subjective, participants can interpret the image and recall their own ‘Aha!’ moments.

According to visualpractitioner.org, graphic facilitators (or ‘visual practitioners’) use visual methods to assist learning and communication between groups and individuals. Graphic facilitators tap into the power of ‘visual thinking’–they literally draw information out of people, functioning as facilitators and scribes to get the wisdom of groups into a tangible form. Some use visual presentations to ‘PUSH’ information to people. Other use a ‘PULL’ approach, gathering the information that is pulled out of people, into graphic displays or renderings. Whatever approach is used, the artifacts that are created have a very graphic or visual nature.

What Are the Benefits of Working Visually?

As human beings our world is speeding up and the amount of information that we are forced to digest is growing exponentially. One of the prime benefits of working visually is that it is humane! The human brain processes information visually – pictures help convey reams of data efficiently. Visual Practitioners know and use the efficiencies of visuals. We know how to extract and distill the key messages, wisdom and knowledge held within an individual or group.

Working graphically is efficient and effective – as such it saves time, money and much aggravation. Comprehension increases, participation increases, the quality of decision-making tends to increase; all in all, working visually helps people more effectively see their circumstances, understand themselves and one another, and results in smoother decisions and agreements.

The ease of reproduction is another large benefit of working visually, particularly in the case of business meetings or settings where meeting minutes and summary notes are of prime importance. No longer does someone have to slave over the transcription of an important meeting – most of the approaches that visual practitioners use do not require additional writing work; the minutes are literally created as we go (particularly in graphic recording and graphic facilitation venues).

Benefits of interactive, highly facilitated approaches to graphic recording:
Increases Clarity And Comprehension (People Literally See What They Mean); Boosts Learning For Visual And Kinesthetic Learners (Over 88% Of People); Heightens Thinking Levels (Enables Higher Level Of Dialogue And Discussion); Saves Time And Increases Efficiency By Reducing Repetition And Redundancy; Lowers Misunderstandings And Helps Resolve Conflict; Increases Quality Of Decisions And Understanding Of Commitments And Accountabilities; Shrinks The Need For Traditional Meeting Minutes And Reports (The Charts Become The Report).

Benefits of passive, off-on-the-side scribing approaches:
Collects Key Information Without Invasive Questioning Or Interruption; Expands Retention And Understanding Of Key Themes And Main Ideas; Increases The ROI For Speakers & Presenters (Documents Their Crucial Points); Builds A Graphic Summary That Leaders Can Use To Summarize/Interact With; Equips Participants With A Unique ‘Takeaway’ Of Their Experience (Paper Or Digital); Makes For Easy Sharing And Communication Of The ‘Gestalt’ Of The Event.

Resources on Graphic Facilitation

Grove Consultants International, a well-established group of graphic facilitators based in the San Francisco Bay area, feature a number of video demos on their website.  The short videos walk users through using their most popular planning templates.  At grove.com, you’ll find a number of other great resources on graphic facilitation.  A great place to start is at the resources section of their online learning center.

The International Forum of Visual Practitioners website, at visualpractitioner.org, features a nice database of graphic facilitators you can hire. For over 25 years, business people, artists, communities, governments, educators, and individuals have been leveraging the power of their Visual Practitioner community of graphic recorders and graphic facilitators.

This introductory text about graphic recording and graphic facilitation was excerpted from www.visualpractitioner.org and www.loosetooth.com.

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Saturday's Poetry Slam at NCDD Austin

Thought I’d add a quick post about this… Our thanks to Central Texas Team member and NCDD Board member Taylor Willingham for coordinating this performance!

Austin City-Wide Youth Poetry Slam

This performance during Saturday’s lunch is sponsored by the Texas Youth Word Collective (TYWC) – a nonprofit youth literacy program that encourages middle school and high school students’ interest in writing through youth poetry slams, open mics and online anthologies. It is our hope that the performance will inspire you and get your minds all warmed up for the sub-plenaries taking place after lunch.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

"Strengthening our Nation’s Democracy" Gathering Addresses a New Democracy Agenda

A diverse group of 50 advocates, scholars and philanthropists – including many NCDD members – met in Washington, D.C. in late July to develop a democratic engagement agenda for the next administration. Sponsored by Demos, Everyday Democracy and AmericaSpeaks, the conference was unique in bridging the gap that commonly separates the electoral reform, deliberative democracy and community development worlds.

Participants set three primary goals for themselves:

  1. Strengthen the democracy movement by identifying shared goals and values across the fields of electoral reform, deliberative democracy and community development
  2. Articulate a list of recommendations that the next administration can pursue to strengthen our democracy, as well as a set of actions that we can each take to advance the movement for stronger democracy
  3. Develop a strategy to advance the agenda that emerges from the conversation

Final recommendations, now being refined, will be released by October 1. They will call for the establishment of a White House Office of Participation and an executive-level commitment to greater participation; convening a national discussion to provide citizens with a voice in the policymaking process and build capacity for greater participation at all levels of government; and adoption of policy reforms for increasing local participation in public life. Specific action items will include passage of laws that make voting easier, public financing of state and federal elections, and elimination of obstacles preventing federal agencies from using higher quality public participation practices. See Strengthening Democracy doc for more details.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NLC Job Opening: Democratic Gov. Project Manager

An interesting job opening was posted on the National League of Cities website on July 21st. NLC is looking for a project manager of Democratic Governance – a new 3-year program funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Click “more” for the full job description, pay range and application instructions. (more…)

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The Youth Dialogue Project at NCDD Austin

Finding Our Way: Trans-Generational Leadership

Although we are inheritors of the future, too often younger people, who are also committed to dialogue as a process for sustainable change, lack a seat at the table and a voice in the conversations that shape our future. In today’s world, as people are recognizing the need for more collaborative approaches to problem solving and decision making, D&D processes need to include spaces for younger leaders to be effective in meeting those challenges.

NCDD welcomes the Rockrose Institute’s Youth Dialogue Project (YDP) at NCDD Austin to ensure that the voices of young leaders are included in creative and innovative ways. Toward this end, the YDP is hosting three separate and inter-related sessions at the conference: one workshop for people under 30, one for people over 30, and a trans-generational sub-plenary session. The first session and the sub-plenary will be co-designed and hosted by six young leaders from the On the Verge leadership training program in partnership with a team of mentors and elders currently active in the D&D community. The second session will be co-designed and hosted by the YDP mentoring team.

Note: The photos on this page were taken at the YDP’s recent planning meeting, so you’ll be meeting these young people at the conference! (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Engaging Youth in Community Change

Yesterday’s e-newsletter from the Annie E. Casey Foundation mentioned a publication some of you may be interested in called “Engaging Youth in Community Change.”  Here’s what they had to say about it:

“Youth programs and organizations have developed a variety of approaches for including young people in decision-making processes that affect them, their peers, and their communities. Despite these efforts, little is known about these approaches. The Annie E. Casey Foundation funded the Finance Project to produce a report on the state of knowledge on financing and sustaining youth engagement programs.”

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Books by Conference Attendees for the Bookstore?

I wanted to give all conference attendees the chance to recommend books we should include in the NCDD 2008 conference bookstore. I already provided the folks organizing our bookstore with a list of suggestions, but I’m sure I’ve missed some books you guys would recommend we include. I’m especially interested in books YOU folks (conference attendees) have published recently.

Phil Neisser, who will be joining us in Austin, just sent a message out to the NCDD discussion list about his new book, United We Fall, which posits that ordinary political conversations, neighborhood encounters, and public debates need to include the “extreme” points of view that are often hidden on the sidelines, considered to be too “radical,” or dismissed as the work of “the enemy.” It sounds like a great book, and I think we should have it at the conference bookstore if possible.

Phil’s message made me think our conference presenters and attendees have probably written a bunch of other books we should consider for the bookstore.

Now, I can’t guarantee that your book will end up being sold, but local planning team member Sherry Lowry will certainly ask the bookstore folks to consider it. So please use the comment field below to submit your suggestions. Include the title, author, year published, and publisher if possible.

I’d like to have any additional book suggestions submitted to the bookstore folks by Friday, August 29th at the latest, so don’t delay!