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Who Wants to Deliberate? – Important Article for our Field

NCDD member Tiago Peixoto (European University Institute) sent this to the main NCDD listserv this morning…

A new article was just published as part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Faculty Research Working Paper Series titled Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why? (co-authored by Michael Neblo, Kevin Esterling, Ryan Kennedy, David Lazer, and Anand Sokhey).

The abstract is compelling, to say the least:

Interest in deliberative theories of democracy has grown tremendously among political theorists over the last twenty years. Many scholars in political behavior, however, are skeptical that it is a practically viable theory, even on its own terms. They argue (inter alia) that most people dislike politics, and that deliberative initiatives would amount to a paternalistic imposition. Using two large, representative samples investigating people’s hypothetical willingness to deliberate and their actual behavior in response to a real invitation to deliberate with their member of Congress, we find: 1) that willingness to deliberate in the U.S. is much more widespread than expected; and 2) that it is precisely people who are less likely to participate in traditional partisan politics who are most interested in deliberative participation.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount for Upcoming Facilitation Courses

Dues-paying NCDD members are eligible for 20% discounts for the upcoming courses offered by our friends at the Center for Strategic Facilitation. CSF is a partnership of consultants in the San Francisco Bay Area experienced in training, facilitation and organizational development. The CSF Senior Partners are Marti Roach and Jane Stallman.  CSF is affiliated with the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), a leader over the past four decades in promoting lasting change in communities, nonprofits and businesses, which utilizes a distinct and proven approach called the Technology of Participation.

These are just a few of the many great discounts we’ve negotiated for dues-paying NCDD members. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Proposals Due October 16th for Community-Campus Partnerships for Health Conference

Friday, October 16th is the deadline for proposals for Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) conference, May 12-15, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. The conference, “Creating the Future We Want to Be: Transformation through Partnerships” promises to be CCPH’s best yet as hundreds of community and campus partners convene for 4 days of skill-building, networking and agenda-setting!

You are invited to share your knowledge, wisdom and experience by submitting one or more proposals to present at the conference.  Proposals for skill-building workshops, arts-based discussion sessions and posters are being sought for these conference sub-themes:

  • Journeys of transformation
  • Sustaining partnerships and the outcomes they achieve
  • Building capacity
  • Innovative and promising partnership practices
  • Community-based participatory research as a tool for social justice
  • Advancing health equity
  • Interprofessional, interdisciplinary and/or intersectoral collaborations
  • Youth and student leadership

Download the call for proposals at http://depts.washington.edu/ccph/conf10-cfp.html


From the CommunityFrom the Community

An Online National Issues Forum on Healthcare

As a past Board member of the National Issues Forums Institute (yes – I’m very important!), I’ve been asked to help spread the word about an important new NIFI project. To foster public dialogue on the rising costs of health care, NIFI has developed a website based on their issue book titled Coping with the Cost of Health Care: How Do We Pay for What We Need? This is NIFI’s first online issue book and online deliberation, and you are all welcome to get involved.

Here’s how: Go to the health care workbook website at http://nifi-healthcare.dialoguecircles.com and complete the quick and simple registration. Then you’ll be ready to log in and give your responses, and share your own stories in the online workbook. Completing the workbook takes about 30 minutes, but you can spend some time on it, log out, and come back later to complete your workbook or to add your own stories.

By completing the workbook and sharing your stories and ideas, you can contribute to a national dialogue on health-care affordability. After you complete the workbook, you will also be asked if you would like to register for the chance to be part of a series of online deliberations this fall.

You can also watch a new online documentary produced by the Kettering Foundation and ThinkTV about the choices now confronting the public. The documentary, Coping with the High Cost of Care: Where is the Public Voice? can be viewed in three parts (each approximately 10 minutes long):

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Important Survey for D&D Professionals

Two NCDD members who are respected scholars in this field – Francesca Polletta and Caroline Lee – are administering an important survey of dialogue and deliberation professionals.  If enough professionals in D&D and public engagement respond to this survey, the data gathered will be of incredible value for our field.

The field of public dialogue and deliberation is growing dramatically– so dramatically, in fact, that no one fully knows what the field looks like:

  • Who is doing public dialogue and deliberation work?
  • What forms is their work taking?
  • What common challenges are they facing?
  • How would they like to see the field develop?

Caroline and Francesca are two sociologists who want to find answers to those questions by asking you, the experts.  They believe that your insights will help to strengthen the field, and plan to share the data they collect with the NCDD network.  The survey at the link below will take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Your answers will be anonymous, but if you complete the survey they will enter a charitable organization of your choice in a raffle for a $200 donation.

The survey is up now at https://opinio.lafayette.edu:443/opinio/s?s=1176 and I encourage all of you who do dialogue & deliberation work to take the time to complete it asap.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Amy Lazarus Named SDSN’s First Executive Director

Amy LazarusThe Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) recently announced that Amy Lazarus has been selected from a strong pool of candidates to serve as their first Executive Director. SDCN trains, mentors, & connects student leaders using dialogue to ease social tensions on campuses nationwide. SDCN is a project of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (an NCDD organizational member), headquartered in Washington DC and founded by Dr. Harold Saunders in 2002. IISD seeks to promote the process of sustained dialogue for transforming racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted conflicts in the United States and abroad, and has programs on 15 campuses across the country.

As the first SDCN Executive Director, Amy will lead SDCN as it pursues new partnerships and growth. She will work with SDCN’s team, which includes Deputy Executive Directors Christina Kelleher and Chris Wagner and Program Directors Rhonda Fitzgerald and LaTia Walker.  See the full announcement at www.sdcampusnetwork.org/ht/display/ArticleDetails/i/963.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Report from Knight Commission on Democracy in the Digital Age

The Knight Commission released its report Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age on Friday (October 2, 2009). The report was officially released at an event at the Newseum in Washington, DC on Friday, with a series of panels of government officials and others.

The Commission seeks to start a national discussion – leading to real action. Its aims are to maximize the availability and flow of credible local information; to enhance access and capacity to use the new tools of knowledge and exchange; and to encourage people to engage with information and each other within their geographic communities. All are welcome to participate in the national dialogue on the Commission’s recommendations by commenting on the report via the internet or through twitter at #knightcomm.

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is a group of 17 media, policy and community leaders. Its purpose is to assess the information needs of communities, and recommend measures to help Americans better meet those needs. The Knight Commission sees new thinking about news and information as a necessary step to sustaining democracy in the digital age.

Here are the 14 recommendations in the report: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

OMB to issue open government directive within a few weeks

Gary Bass, director of OMB Watch, alerted me to an article by Aliya Sternstein posted yesterday (October 2nd) at nextgov.com. The article, titled OMB to issue transparency directive within a few weeks, announces that the Obama administration will issue the open government directive two to three weeks from now.

AneeshChopraOMB (Office of Management & Budget) Director Peter R. Orszag will issue the formal guidance. “It will echo many of the recommendations made by the public,” said Tom Gavin, OMB spokesperson.  Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer responsible for issuing the recommendations (pictured here), revealed some of his recommendations on September 9th at a government transparency conference in Washington.  Chopra said federal agencies will be directed to create their own individual plans for open government.  They will have to flesh out certain required items, including an explanation of how they will engage the public in policymaking.

As I’m sure you remember, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy conducted a three-part consultation with the public and stakeholders this summer through forums, blogs and wikis on the three principles outlined in Obama’s memorandum on transparency and open government:  transparency, participation, and collaboration.

Our community got involved in force, and the NCDD blog is a good place to go for archives of all that happened.  The “open gov” tag in NCDD’s News blog will take you through months of developments (here’s a direct link to the tag: http://ncdd.org/tag/open-gov).  Our post, Obama, Public Engagement, and the D&D Community… An (Extraordinary) Half-Year in Review, is also a great piece to look over for a refresher of all that went on and how the NCDD community got involved.

Read the full article, OMB to issue transparency directive within a few weeks, at www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20091002_5291.php?oref=topstory.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

20% Discount on Jim Fishkin's New Book

NCDD member Jim Fishkin (creator of Deliberative Polling and director of Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy) wanted to extend a 20% discount to all of you on his new book, When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation. The book includes the impressive Europe in One Room DVD, which some of you viewed at the 2008 NCDD conference.

Go to www.us.oup.com and enter 28333 into the promo code box at the top right to purchase the book at the discounted rate.



10% NCDD Discount for National MultiCultural Institute Conference

In our continuing efforts to reach new audiences and provide greater benefits to our members, NCDD has been strengthening its relationship to the longstanding National MultiCultural Institute. NMCI is welcoming NCDD members with open arms to its 2009 annual conference/training event, offering a 10% discount to dues-paying NCDD members on its Diversity Leadership Institute and Emerging Issues Forum. Depending on what you are interested in attending, that’s a savings of up to $97 for nonprofits and individuals, or $145 for corporate attendees.

NMCI’s 2009 conference, “Forging New Pathways for Diversity and Inclusion: Building Skills for Collaboration and Dialogue,” takes place November 18-21 at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. If you are interested in professional development and dialogue on cutting-edge diversity and inclusion issues, the NMCI conference is for you. NCDD is an official sponsor of the conference.

Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s Director, helped design and organize the innovative Emerging Issues Forum on November 18th, a day-long event designed to convene engage leaders from different sectors and disciplines in thoughtful dialogue on controversial diversity and equity issues they face in their organizations, communities, and greater society. NCDD members David Campt and Leilani Henry will help this session succeed, using electronic keypads and Playback Theatre techniques (respectively) to enable top thought leaders in diversity and inclusion to identify and explore the major challenges they face, now and in the future, in achieving their goals of a truly equitable and inclusive society.

Learn more about NMCI and this year’s training program at www.nmci.org or download the PDF program at www.nmci.org/documents/NMCIProgramFinalWebVersion.pdf.