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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Clinton Global Initiative U. Invites Student Applications

Thought some student NCDDers might be interested in this…

The Clinton Global Initiative, a nonpartisan initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation, is accepting applications from college students for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2009 meeting.

CGI U is dedicated to the distinct potential that young people and higher educational institutions have to make a difference on their campuses and around the world. President Clinton will host the second annual meeting of CGI U at the University of Texas at Austin, February 13-15, 2009. Building on the success of CGI U 2008 in New Orleans, the meeting will bring together young leaders, university presidents, and activists to address pressing global challenges in the areas of education, energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation.

The deadline for early decision applications is November 7, 2008. The final deadline for applications is December 12, 2008. Attending CGI U is free, and travel assistance is available for those who qualify. CGI U actively seeks a range of students who have a variety of experiences, interests, talents, and goals.

In order to attend, all students must make a commitment to a new, measurable plan for addressing a specific problem on their campuses or around the world. Visit the CGI website for complete program information.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Civic Health Index Shows 80% of the U.S. Public wants National Deliberation

Here’s a great post by Joe Goldman from the DDC’s blog at www.deliberative-democracy.net/blog/

The National Conference on Citizenship just put out its third Civic Health Index. Lots of really interesting stuff, including:

  • 87% of the American public support giving every young person the opportunity to earn tuition money by completing a year of national or community service
  • 80% of the American public favor holding a national deliberation on a major issue and requiring Congress to respond to what citizens say
  • 76% would like to see service-learning (combinations of classroom learning and community service) required in schools
  • 67% would strengthen civic education by requiring new tests in the subject

At AmericaSpeaks, we’ve been waiting to see national polling results on what people think about the idea of conducting national discussions for a long time. It’s great to see that 80% number. What is really interesting is that the 80% goes across ideological lines. 60% of Republicans were “strongly in favor” and 70% of Democrats were “strongly in favor.” Support was strong across demographic groups.

Thanks so much to everyone at the National Conference on Citizenship for bringing this data to light. Lots of other interesting stuff. Check it out.

Trackback: www.deliberative-democracy.net/blog/wp-trackback.php?p=283

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Publication Not to Miss: "Where is Democracy Headed?"

I’m on a webinar right now about a new Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) publication titled “Where is Democracy Headed?”  The webinar is sponsored by PACE and Grassroots Grantmakers.

Matt Leighninger presented about this new publication during the D&D Marketplace at NCDD Austin.  The publication summarizes four years of the DDC’s learnings about deliberation, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Download Where Is Democracy Headed report now.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Job Opening at CPRN for Director of Civic Engagement

Just found out about this from our friends at the Canadian Community for Dialogue & Deliberation…

CPRN logoCanadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) has an opening for a Director of Civic Engagement.  This person will supervise a senior researcher, two researchers, and a project manager, and the salary range is $85,000 to $135,000. The position can be designed for a full-time or part-time commitment.  While it is important to spend some time in Ottawa, the position can also be designed for someone based in another location.  The position can also be designed for someone seeking an interchange or sabbatical opportunity.

The Director, Civic Engagement, in collaboration with the President, provides the intellectual leadership of this program to build on CPRN’s pioneering research with respect to citizen involvement in the public policy process. The position requires dynamic leadership that combines exceptionally strong content, policy and management skills with a keen interest in core social values and the evolution of social policy in Canada.

Visit www.cprn.org/doc.cfm?doc=1940&l=en to download the full position description.  Applications should be forwarded to hr@cprn.org and include a cover letter stating your interest in this position and your vision for this research area, a detailed CV, two or three of your recent articles which demonstrate your policy skills and the names and contact information for three references.  Deadline for applications is November 14, 2008.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

More Musings from Michael Ostrolenk on the Conference

On October 17th, Michael Ostrolenk, one of the speakers in Saturday’s conservatives panel, posted the following to the Transpartisan Alliance website about his experiences at the conference (see the original post here)…

Conservatives and Dialogue

by Michael Ostrolenk

Thanks to Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD), I was invited to the October 2008 NCDD Annual Conference in Austin Texas to participate on a panel entitled “Walking Our Talk: What Our Field Can Learn From Conservatives.”  I joined Grover Norquist (President of Americans for Tax Reform), Pete Peterson (Executive Director of Common Sense California) and Joseph McCormick (Director, Transpartisan Alliance) We spoke about conservatism, conservatives and the various reasons why conservatives may be hesitant to participate in dialogues.  I spoke about various philosophical, psychological, political and social issues related to the topic at hand.  It was a good dialogue and expertly moderated by Dave Joseph (Program Director, Public Conversations Project.)   According to the feedback I got and was told to me via others, our panel was a hit, educational and thanks to Grover entertaining and very useful to grist for the dialogue mill.

I know Grover from various center-right activities in DC and Joseph who I worked with at Reuniting America for a few years but got a chance to get to know Pete and Dave while at the conference.   Pete is a communitarian conservative, which I find to be interesting and I will need to learn more about his orientation.   From what I gathered in our brief conversations and the panel itself, I probable would not have too much disagreement with him except for the greater role he would seem to allow for the state in community life.   I have a communitarian streak as long as it voluntary and does not subsume the individual.    It was fun to engage in a conversation prior to the panel with Dave and learn that he is also a marriage and family therapist.  I look forward to learning more about his work as well.  Through Dave, I met Theo Brown, who is a Senior Associate of America Speaks.  He is based in DC, so it will be easy to learn more about his work in the near future. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Viewpoint Learning’s Online Dialogue on Health Care

Viewpoint Learning would like to invite NCDD members and friends to get involved in Voices for Health Care, a national online dialogue on health care reform. They would love your thoughts and feedback on this effort – and encourage all of you to spread the word to anyone in your networks who is concerned about improving health care.

The first phase of this project, funded by the Kellogg foundation, has been focused on face-to-face dialogues in three target states (Ohio, Kansas and Mississippi).  Viewpoint Learning is now ready to launch an online dialogue to include US-wide perspectives and priorities for health care reform.

There are two phases to the dialogue. It begins with a personal deliberation via an “interactive choicebook” open now through November 14th; then an opportunity for small group dialogue Nov. 18-25. The results of the online dialogue will be reported to decision makers in DC this December – and everyone who completes the choicebook will get a customized participant report comparing their results to everyone else’s.

If you have questions about the project, contact Isabella Furth, Ph.D., Manager of Special Projects at Viewpoint Learning, Inc. Her email address is furth@viewpointlearning.com (some of you may have just met Bella at NCDD Austin!). And visit www.voicesforhealthcare.org to check out the project or participate.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Reflections on "Attracting Conservatives" Workshop

During the conference, Tim Erickson posted the following reflections on his Politalk blog at http://politalk.org/archives/138. It’s a nice summary of some of the main points made in a great workshop that was offered at the conference, so I thought I’d post it here as well.

Conservatives and Dialogue

One of the themes that has come up at every dialogue and deliberation conference that I’ve attended, is the challenges that we face as a community of attracting conservative viewpoints to our conferences and oftentimes to our dialogues.
Yesterday, I attended a workshop called “Attracting Conservative Citizens to Dialogue Events: Liberal-Conservative Campus Dialogue & Mormon-Evangelical Interfaith Initiatives.” The workshop was lead by Jacob Hess (Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Illinois) and Rev. Greg Johnson (Pastor and Director of Standing Together).

The Rev. Greg Johnson gave a very personal and inspirational account of his personal relationship with a Mormon professor, Robert Millet. This video captures much of his story.

Jacob Hess talked about his experiences facilitating a class that brings together a specially selected group of students with both liberal and conservative viewpoints, for a series of discussions about “hot” political topics.  He provided a very interesting outline of three “fears” that conservatives bring to the table.

  1. Doesn’t Dialogue assume that all truth is relative? (Fear of having to give up the truth).
  2. Is dialogue part of a larger effort to convince me of something? (Fear of hidden agenda)
  3. Does dialogue mean I’m going to have to compromise my beliefs? (Fear of being changed)

He suggests, that facilitators or organizers wishing to engage conservatives in their dialogue or deliberation events, need to carefully frame and organize their events, taking these fears in mind.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

NCDD Austin Photo Journal by Tim Thomas

Everyone who attended the closing remembers fondly the gorgeous, moving photo journal produced by photographer Tim Thomas, which we played at the beginning of the closing plenary session. Many, many thanks to Tim, and to our friends at the Generative Change Community, who made this photo journal possible.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Michael Ostrolenk blogs on Conservatives and Dialogue

The day after the conference (October 6th), Michael Ostrolenk added a post to his blog about his experiences at the conference.  Michael was one of four panelists in our “conservatives panel” sub-plenary on Saturday – unquestionably one of the best-received programs at the conference.  Here’s an excerpt from his post…

I was invited to the October 2008 NCDD Annual Conference in Austin Texas to participate on a panel entitled “Walking Out Talk: What Our Field Can Learn From Conservatives.”  I joined Grover Norquist (President of Americans for Tax Reform), Pete Peterson (Executive Director of Common Sense California) and Joseph McCormick (Director, Transpartisan Alliance) We spoke about conservatism, conservatives and the various reasons why conservatives may be hesitant to participate in dialogues.  I spoke about various philosophical, psychological, political and social issues related to the topic at hand.  It was a good dialogue and expertly moderated by Dave Joseph (Program Director, Public Conversations Project).  According to the feedback I got and was told to me via others, our panel was a hit, educational and thanks to Grover entertaining and very useful to grist for the dialogue mil.

I know Grover from various center-right activities in DC and Joseph who I worked with at Reuniting America for a few years but got a chance to get to know Pete and Dave while at the conference.  Pete is a communitarian conservative, which I find to be interesting and I will need to learn more about his orientation.  From what I gathered in our brief conversations and the panel itself, I probably would not have too much disagreement with him except for the greater role he would seem to allow for the state in community life.  I have a communitarian streak as long as it voluntary and does not subsume the individual.

We’ll be posting more about this eye-opening panel soon, I promise!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Framing the Conservative & Progressive Conversation

Originally contributed to the NCDD Event Blog in 2008 by David Messerschmidt…

Walking Our Talk: What Our Field can Learn From Conservatives

David Joseph introduced the session. David is from Massachussetts. He recalled living through the election when only Massachussets went for …  And he described the first NCDD conference where the answer to the publicly asked question–Who did you vote for?–there were hands indicating “Bush” fewer in number than the panel of five on the stage.

Joseph recommended a new book: The Big Sort which describes the growth of landside counties, more counties with strong single party representation. Joseph suggests we are becoming a “re-segregated” country, segregated by more people living with others like them.

Michael Ostrolenk, Joseph McCormick, Pete Peterson, Grover Norquist

Values Driven –

Quotes from Panelists –

Norquist recalled the Paul Newman clips in the last week and the quote, “There are no rules in a knife fight.”

Michael

The use of language. How do you frame an event — National Conference on Energy Change and Climate Change.

Norquist – “The word “consciousness” should only be used in boxing movies.”

The marketplace is civic engagement. It’s going on all the time, reflected in what people choose to spend their money on.

“I’ve always felt talked down to by progressives.”  As if you are more “evolved.”

The expense of community in our policy decisions.

Subjectives, citizen, customer….

Joseph – Tools of dialogue and deliberation were applied to business in the ’80s.  I think it can be applied government.

Personal level, interpersonal level, then transpersonal level.  A growing transpartisan movement. There’s a consciousness  — (oops) ok future pull.

Integrative medicine, organic food, organic schooling….

Norquist and Nader

Mao said talk, talk, fight, fight.

Spend a weekend with them. “They’re stupid, not evil.”

The small group — There is a value in a the continuing conversation across difference, it is about understanding. We’re likely to find some common ground.

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