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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Call for Proposals for ECR2008 in Tucson

Photo of a treeThe U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution of the Morris K. Udall Foundation invites you to share your knowledge at the fifth national conference, ECR2008, May 20-22, 2008 at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. Proposals from session organizers are currently being accepted for concurrent panel sessions and roundtable discussions. Note that the deadline for proposals is October 26th!

ECR2008 will provide a forum for exchange of ideas and mutual learning about the field of environmental conflict resolution among government representatives, non-governmental organizations, tribal nations and members, community based groups, environmental advocates, corporate entities, resource managers and users, private individuals, and professionals in the conflict resolution, mediation and consensus building fields. ECR2008 conference sessions will examine various ways to enhance the success of ECR processes, through better understanding of emerging and innovative uses of new technology and communication tools; what we are learning from the latest research and evaluation of ECR and other collaborative processes; and how to navigate process choices to make informed decisions that will lead to improved outcomes of all stakeholders.

The program committee is interested in dynamic, interactive sessions. Training workshops, panels, and roundtables that include members of non-governmental organizations, representatives from the corporate sector, tribes, local, state, and federal agencies and private citizens are strongly encouraged. Download the full Call for Proposals at www.ncdd.org/exchange/files/docs/ECR2008Call.pdf.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

2nd Annual Int'l Conference on "Engaging the Other": The Power of Compassion

Members of the D&D community are invited to an extraordinary international conference to address the roots of negative stereotypes, prejudice, and artificial barriers of misunderstanding and distrust that separate us. Join more than 60 leading presenters to cultivate our capacity for reconciliation, appreciation of diversity, and peace. This is an important, timely dialogue that concerns everyone.

Participants at this international, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary conference will examine concepts of “The OTHER” from a universal, cross-cultural perspective to promote wider public dialogue about concepts of “Us and Them.” The conference, which is sponsored by the Common Bond Institute, will take place October 25-28, 2007 in Dearborn, Michigan

The outstanding, diverse pool of over 60 presenters includes:

Sam Keen, Danny Glover, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Maureen O’Hara, James O’Dea, Louise Diamond, Sen. John Vasconcellos, Gay Barfield, Aftab Omer, Imam Hassan Qazwini, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Imam Mohamed Mardini, Lee Mun Wah, Sharif Abdullah, Ahmad Hijazi, Dizzy Warren, Libby and Len Traubman, Maggie Herzig, and many more.

Learn more or register at www.cbiworld.org/Pages/Conferences_ETO.htm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Strategic Collaboration Workshop Draws Together D&D Methods

Christine Sanchez just sent us word of a workshop she’s organizing this December in Arizona. Methods For Strategic Collaboration is a unique experiential learning workshop that provides foundational theory and practice to utilize Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Café and Polarity Management™. Participants will:

  1. Gain a working knowledge of the principles, steps and practices of Appreciative Inquiry, World Café and Open Space Technology
  2. Craft appreciative questions and provocative propositions in your own language and for your environment.
  3. Design a large group project to take home.
  4. Participate in two follow-up coaching sessions. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Host One of “20,000 Dialogues”

Watch a film… Make a friend… Make peace happen… 20,000 Dialogues is a nationwide initiative bringing interfaith dialogue into the hands of ordinary people who want to make a positive difference. NCDD is partnering with 20,000 Dialogues to encourage you to join a nationwide campaign to bring people of different faiths together using films about Muslims to stimulate discussion and promote understanding.

Host a dialogue in your living room, at your school, or with your congregation. Do it during lunch with your coworkers or with your book club. These dialogues can be as small as 5 people or as large as you want. Get involved now to get your free copy of Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain or Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. Learn more about this opportunity.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Announcing Current TV's Video Opinion Wall – and Your Chance to Get Involved!

Here’s an important message to the NCDD community from Leah Lamb, who’s now the Director of Current TV’s Online Election Initiatives. Leah has been actively involved in NCDD since we formed in 2002, and I’m so excited that we have an “in” at Current TV. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Current TV is Al Gore’s youth-oriented cable channel that plays tons of high-quality “user generated content.” It’s starting to do for television what blogs and wikis have done for the web (democratize it). And here’s an opportunity for our community to get involved…

As Al Gore announced at the Emmy’s, he and Current TV are dedicated to democratizing media. I am excited to share with you a new web tool to do just that—be a place where regular people, celebrities, and political leaders can be on level playing ground to express their views on pressing social issues of the upcoming election.

But here’s the cool part — because here we are…in the future. The tool is designed to use video to show personal opinions. During its beta phase, Video Opinion Walls will be focused on the most urgent and important topics of debate: election-related issues. Users will be able to explore public opinion by selecting the topics they’re interested in—Iraq, health care, the environment, abortion, eventually even the local zoning ordinance — and then dive straight into first-person commentary from real people. Because it’s video, and because it’s real people (not pundits), the 60 second Video Opinions will offer an unprecedented view of politics: Instead of polarization and abstraction, you’ll see nuance and emotion….


From the CommunityFrom the Community

Gardeners of Peace Call on Saturday, Sept. 29

Gilles Asselin wrote to NCDD to tell us about his new “Gardeners of Peace” initiative. Gardeners of Peace came out of his life as a result of my many years of ‘inner gardening’ practice and seeking the ‘right way’ to contribute to the world we are living in, and to respond to crises on many levels. He writes, “The two elements of Gardeners of Peace – gardening and peace – appealed to me for two reasons. Whatever it means to each of us, “gardening our self” is a journey that requires effort, discipline and care. It doesn’t come easily and needs to be nurtured regularly. In addition, I believe there can’t be peace in the world unless there is first peace in our hearts. That’s where peace starts and that’s where it grows to reach out to other people and areas of our environment.”

As part of this exploration, Gilles is proposing a conference call to reflect on meaning and purpose, this Saturday, Sept. 29th 12 noon EST. The conversation will consider:

  • What draws people to the Gardeners of Peace invitation?
  • What does it mean to be a human being, and what responsibilities does it entail?
  • How can we acknowledge and honor our human beingness, individually and collectively?
  • How can we respond to the local and global crises that we are facing through the work we do, and inspire one another in the process?
  • How do we widen our network of Gardeners of Peace?

Please see the full text of the conference call invitation at: www.sococo.com/gardeners_of_peace/invitation.html.


C2D2 Early Bird Registration Ends Sept. 30

As many of you know, the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is holding its second conference this November in Vancouver, BC, Canada. From Nov 12-14, the conference will gather D&D practitioners, researchers and policymakers to talk about the theme “Facing Complex Issues Together.” (Check out the program at: http://www.c2d2.ca/default.aspx?DN=707,699,32,Documents). The early bird registration discount, which reduces conference fees by $100, ends on September 30th — so now is the time to register!

C2D2 was inspired by the work of NCDD, and the two organizations continue to have strong ties: at the C2D2 conference NCDD’s own Sandy H. will be convening a discussion on choosing the right D&D method, and yours truly will convene a couple of discussions about how the staff of the Ontario & BC Citizens’ Assemblies on Electoral Reform tackled the complex task of designing a new electoral system. I look forward to seeing many of you in Vancouver!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

SCRC Launches DemocracySpace.org Blog

Picture from DemocracySpace.orgThe Study Circles Resource Center has a great new blog – and I learned about it on our own new Members Network tool! Is this a sign that the D&D community is becoming comfortable with online technology? Seems we’re moving in that direction, and quickly! But anyway, SCRC’s new blog, DemocracySpace.org, is really worth a visit. SCRC’s longtime writer, Julie Fanselow, is organizing the blog, and there’s already a slew of interesting and well-written posts on the blog, and it looks like it just launched on the 10th.

Below is an excerpt from today’s news roundup for the week (Julie plans to do this most Fridays) to give you a taste of what this blog has to offer. As someone who has posted to blogs for years now, I admire the work and the knowledge that goes into a post like this. Julie welcomes you to send her stories about collaborative community action to post about (email her at jfanselow@studycircles.org).

Yesterday’s march in Jena, La., made big news, as thousands of people gathered to protest the disparities between the cases of black teens initially arrested on attempted murder charges for beating a white peer, and white teens who faced no criminal charges after hanging nooses from a tree on their high school grounds. African-American bloggers (including Eddie G. Griffin, Dallas South, Skeptical Brotha, The Super Spade, and many others) were in the forefront of bringing the Jena Six saga to national attention, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers now says he plans to hold hearings in the case.

USA Today reporter Richard Willing tells how “Protestants and Catholics, once mortal enemies but now partners in Northern Ireland’s fledgling government, have begun a new mission: helping Shiites, Sunnis and members of other strife-torn societies to resolve longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts.” The Irish delegation met with Iraqis in Finland this month, and will meet with Israelis and Palestinians in October. Can the power of dialogue bring peace to some of the world’s most intractable conflicts? Read more here….

From the CommunityFrom the Community

UNDP Seeking Democratic Governance Research Analyst

The United Nations Development Programme is seeking to hire a Democratic Governance Practice Research Analyst. The Research Analyst will support the Democratic Governance Practice Facilitator in maintaining the high quality of network knowledge products while also allowing for the Community of Practice to undertake new initiatives, and adapting Network Products to serve the new client base, in light of the growth in membership and commensurate rise in the level and scope of network activity. To apply, visit: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?job_id=2663. To see a list of duties and responsibilities, competencies and required skills and experience, continue reading. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Just for Fun…

Simpsonized Sandy and Andy imageI can add something frivolous once in a while, right? This is a blog, after all.

I just couldn’t resist sharing the Simpsonized version of Andy and I – the powercouple behind NCDD. You can get your own Simpsonized image at www.simpsonizeme.com if you’d like to.

This post is right in line with our goofy mood here today. Andy, Joy and I are starting to add our members to the new NCDD Members Network – an interactive members directory that, because it runs on social network software, allows our members to create groups, post news to their own blogs (everyone gets one!), upload photos from their programs, identify their Colleagues, etc. Working in the Members Network is fun, and we hope all of our members will find using the Network fun (and useful) as well!

We welcome you to go to www.thataway.org/ncddnet to check out the new NCDD Members Network if you’re interested. And if you’re not already a member of NCDD, please join us today! Membership is affordable ($50 for individuals or $100 for organizations), and if you don’t have the money right now or just want to try it out for a while, you can join for free.