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Sign the November 5th Coalition Declaration!

Are you tired of the same old politics? So are we.

And so are millions of other Americans, who, polls show, are frustrated by campaigns and politics dominated by mudslinging, sound bites, money, and polarizing partisanship.

November 5th Coalition logoBut the answer isn’t to walk away. More participation is.

We need to put people back into politics. And we need to start now.

The good news is that there’s a new national coalition focused on doing just that. It’s called the November 5th Coalition, named to send the message that politics and civic engagement isn’t just about election. It’s about what happens after and between elections. It’s about creating what we’re calling a new civic politics—one that truly believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Members of the November 5th Coalition—an all-partisan, grassroots effort—include groups as diverse at the National Civic League, American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project, Mobilize.org, the Association of Young Americans, and NCDD….


Call for Submissions for DIAC Online Deliberation Conference

NCDD is a Partner of “DIAC-2008/OD2008” – a conference on online deliberation sponsored by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and UC Berkeley School of Information. This year’s theme is “Tools for Participation: Collaboration, Deliberation, and Decision Support. The conference will take place June 26-29, 2008 at the University of California – Berkeley. If you are working in online deliberation, you may want to consider submitting a paper or workshop proposal for consideration…

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CogNexus Institute Workshop Update

Just heard from NCDD member Jeff Conklin of the CogNexus Institute (cognexus.org) with the news that they have rescheduled and relocated their January 23rd Dialogue Mapping event to February 20th & 21st on the SRI campus in Menlo Park, CA. Also, their next free public introductory webinar is set for Feb 13 at 11am PST. You can find out more information abut their trainings at the CogNexus website.

Dialogue Mapping is a proven method for tackling “wicked problems” by building shared understanding and shared commitment. Learn more about Dialogue Mapping.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Moo Cards for Everyone

Photo of some of Sandy's Moo Cards

8/7/08 update to this post:  The great folks at Moo are offering all NCDD Austin attendees 10% off up to three sets of Moo MiniCards. Just use the discount code 78DEYK at checkout to save a couple bucks on each pack.

One thing that’s great about NCDD conferences is the feeling you get when you make new connections you know you’ll have for a long time, or when you put faces to the names of people you’ve read about or connected with via NCDD’s listservs or website. But you meet so many people at the conferences that those faces can start to blur even before the event is over!

Ever since I ordered my first set of Moo MiniCards, with images of our first three conferences on them, I’ve been dreaming about how cool it would be if we asked every participant at our 2008 conference to order Moo cards for themselves (yes, I dream about such things). Moo cards are just $20 for 100 full-color cards, and if we can encourage people to upload pictures of themselves for their cards, it will undoubtedly help us remember who we connected with in Austin.

I take my Moo cards with me to every event I attend now, and people’s reactions are always the same: “What a great idea!” “These are the coolest cards I’ve ever seen.” “How can I get some of these?” Well, you order them from Moo.com. They ship from the U.K., but shipping to the states is only about $5. I recommend uploading about 5 to 10 pictures – although you can upload 100 different photos if you want. And I recommend brightening your photos up a bit before uploading them.

Oh – and you can always get Moo cards printed to advertise your workshop (we’re getting some to advertise the conference), a new book, or whatever.

Feel free to add a comment to let me know what you think of Moo cards and the idea of encouraging all conference participants to bring Moo cards with them with their face shots on them. Any ideas you have about HOW to encourage all of our participants to do this would be more than welcome as well!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Notes from our First All-Team Calls

All members of the 2008 conference planning team were asked, if possible, to participate in one of two introductory conference calls. The calls took place on January 17th and 21st, and a total of 41 people participated in the two calls. The calls allowed me to talk to everyone about how NCDD conferences are different from typical conferences and to share some of things I think will make NCDD 2008 our best event yet. They also allowed planning team members to hear each other’s voices and learn a bit about what each other does and what their hopes are for the event.

Both calls went surprisingly well for such large calls, and it was wonderful to start hearing people’s ideas and hopes for the Austin conference. Below are some notes I prepared for my segment of the call, and I’d appreciate it if all planning team members who couldn’t make it on one of the calls (or who just joined us!) could take a few minutes to look this over.

We also have PDFs of the notes for each call, and these focus on what team members had to say during their introductions and during some brainstorming/Q&A time, so please look these over as well.


NCDD EventsNCDD Events

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