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Looking for Innovative Ideas to Enhance Networking at NCDD 2008

Windy Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Houston – Downtown (and member of the conference planning team) asked me to post the following request to the conference blog. She invites everyone in the D&D community to share their ideas using the comments feature.

Snapshot of Open Space session at NCDD 2006I’m helping to research innovative networking session strategies for the upcoming NCDD conference and I could really use your input.

Sandy mentioned to me that in the past, NCDD has tried different things to help conference participants network – using methods like Open Space (pictured) and World Cafe to help people meet each other, having people self-organize topics during receptions so people can identify others who share their interests, etc. But, as always, we’re looking for innovative new ways to foster quality networking and relationship building at the next NCDD conference – and we’re especially interested in ideas that work well for introverts as well as extroverts.

Beyond the traditional networking that goes on at conferences (time between sessions, meals, etc.), we’d love it if you could tell us about:

  • a networking activity or strategy you’ve experienced that was particularly innovative or effective
  • people or organizations you think we should talk to about this, or resources you’re aware of that could help us
  • any ideas you have about innovative networking activities we should consider for NCDD 2008

Please post your ideas and feedback here, or email it directly to me at LawrenceW@uhd.edu. I will be keeping track of all of the input I receive here.



Windy Y. Lawrence, Ph.D.
Department of Arts & Humanities
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
University of Houston – Downtown
1 Main Street #S1009-C
Houston, Texas 77002

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Mobilize.org Spring 2008 Internships

Mobilize.org, an all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase civic engagement and political participation, has a handful of excellent intern opportunities available in both the Washington, D.C. and Berkeley, CA.

Mobilize.org works to show young people how public policy impacts our lives, and conversely the profound impact we can have on public policy. Their programs and projects are reflective of that belief. For more information on Mobilize.org, and their programs, please visit www.mobilize.org. Internships at Mobilize.org are hands on, high level opportunities to get involved in a fast-paced, youth-led, non-profit that works hard to ensure that the voices of the millennial generation are heard. Securing a Mobilize.org internship is generally a competitive process so they encourage you to get your application in early and contact the Mobilize.org staff if you have any questions or need additional information. For more information on internships available through Mobilize.org please contact Maya Enista, Chief Operating Officer, at maya@mobilize.org.

Read all about the available internships after the break. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join the Global Peacebuilders Initiative


Springboard Opportunities, a leading provider of community peace and reconciliation programmes in Belfast, has launched a fantastic initiative to assemble an international database of Global Peacebuilders. They are currently seeking individuals, small groups, community organisations, charities, NGOs, voluntary organisations or any other organisation involved in building the conditions for a sustainable peace to embrace their initiative and create an online profile of their peacebuilding work — encouraging peacebuilders worldwide to build new partnerships for peace. The Global Peacebuilders database can be used to see what other peacebuilders across the world are making the most of opportunities, to see ‘who else is out there’ in the world of peacebuilding, share news about successes, and build new partnerships for peace.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Nexus for Change II Conference in March

NCDD member, DeAnna Martin, just dropped me a note to ask me to remind all our visitors that Nexus II (the 2nd Nexus for Change Conference) is coming this March to Bowling Green, OH. Last year, over 300 people, including a healthy collection of NCDD members, from around the world who are engaged in whole systems change work gathered to share how we might apply what we know to the current global situation. The conference is made up of two parts, a pre-conference intensive meeting entitled NEXUS U (you) which runs from March 29th – 30th. This is followed by the main conference, March 30th thru the 1st. The purpose of the full conference experience (fee $375 US) is to share what we know and what were are learning so that each of us and all of us are more competent to act in these times. The purpose of this preconference intensive (fee $225 US) is to provide you with a focused experience that will add concrete knowledge to your toolkit for transforming whole systems. More information, including a detailed agenda and registration, is available at www.nexusforchange.com.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

More Jobs in Dispute Resolution

Emily Menn, Director of Education and Professional Development at the New York State Dispute Resolution Association, has sent us her latest lists of jobs in the Dispute Resolution field as first explained in this post. Like the last time, these lists are long and heavy on the detail, so instead of summarizing them I just slapped them into a pdf file. For future job listings, you can join the list by emailing her at emily dot menn at gmail dot com with the subject “ADD TO JOBS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION LIST”

Jobs in Dispute Resolution, Jan. 15 / Jan. 18

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Pollution Fighting Grant Opportunity

(From the Study Circles Resource Center newsletter.)


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting communities to apply for grants from its Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. CARE is a community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxics and environmental pollutants from all sources. The grants range from $75,000 to $300,000. The money can be used to help establish community-based partnerships to develop local environmental priorities and/or to support communities which have established broad-based partnerships, have identified the priority toxic risks in the community, and are prepared to measure results, implement risk reduction activities, and become self-sustaining. Your community’s dialogue-to-change effort could be an effective approach for working on environmental issues. Interested in applying? Go to http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html#0802. The deadline is March 17, 2008.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

International Day for Sharing Life Stories

The Museu da Pessoa (museudapessoa.net) and the Center for Digital Storytelling (storycenter.org) have recently launched a new website (ausculti.org) devoted to their campaign, the International Day for Sharing Life Stories. Dedicated to bringing people together to share stories on May 16th 2008, this event will be an opportunity for people around the world to gather in community halls, classrooms, public parks, theaters, auditoriums, as well websites, email exchanges, and virtual environments to hear each other’s stories. Detailed information can be found on the project’s website.

More about the host organizations after the break. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

International Development Prize Nominations Close Feb. 1

Since 1980, the King Baudouin International Development Prize has awarded €150.000 biennially to an individual or organization for sustainable achievements in improving the lives of people in the developing world. For more information on how to submit a candidacy, please visit www.kbprize.org. For specific questions, call +32 2 549 0273 or send an e-mail to info@kbprize.org. Deadline for receipt of application files is February 1st, 2008. The prize will be awarded in early 2009 at the Royal Palace in Brussels.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

First Planning Team Calls Set for Thursday and Monday

I sent an email out to the Planning Team listserv last Thursday (January 10th) about the two introductory conference calls we’re having for the entire team. I thought I’d post something in the conference blog as well.

The calls are scheduled at times that should allow even our international team members to make one of the calls. The calls will be held:

– Thursday, January 17, at 11 am Eastern / 10 am Central / 8 am Pacific
– Monday, January 21, at 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central / 4 pm Pacific


From the CommunityFrom the Community

SCRC Names Programs for National Race Initiative

SCRC logoThe Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC) just announced that they have selected eight community programs to take part in a national initiative aimed at helping communities create and sustain public engagement and community change on issues around racial equity.

The programs will work with SCRC (soon to be called “Everyday Democracy”) over the next two years as part of the Communities Creating Racial Equity initiative. Programs included in the initiative are from Stratford, Conn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Montgomery County Public Schools, Md.; Lynchburg, Va.; Burlington, Vt.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; and New Haven, Conn. The eight programs will work in their communities to reduce persistent inequality among racial and ethnic groups that show up in areas like education, housing, health care, the justice system, immigration and jobs.

Learn more at www.studycircles.org/en/Article.660.aspx.