The Saguaro Seminar is an ongoing initiative of Professor Robert D. Putnam at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. They have recently updated their website with a bunch of resources including a new civic report from National Conference on Citizenship called “America’s Civic Health Index: Broken Engagement,” and news stories related to this and other research on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. To find out what’s new at Saguaro, visit their website: www.ksg.harvard.edu/saguaro.
The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has just announced it will extend the early bird registration deadline for its upcoming annual conference in Montreal. Register for the conference by October 25 and receive a substantial discount on conference fees. The conference takes place from November 10-15, 2006, and features many training sessions in addition to conference workshops. For more information and to register, visit www.iap2.org/displayconvention.cfm
I was just reading the great online magazine Open Democracy, which aims to promote human rights and democratic practice through dialogue and debate, and came across some exciting news. The news is from the European Citizens’ Consultations, the first-ever pan-European debate involving citizens from all 25 Member States who have gathered to discuss the future of the European Union across the boundaries of geography and language. The participants — including many ordinary citizens — wound up agreeing on a discussion agenda for the Future of Europe debate taking place over the coming months. Topics include Environment and energy; social welfare and the family; and Europe’s global role, its external borders and immigration. To read Open Democracy’s story about this amazing event, visit www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-europe_constitution/european_citizens_3975.jsp
Conciliation Resources (CR) has re-launched its website to be more user-friendly, informative and accessible in an effort to bring to life the peacebuilding work they do in areas affected by armed conflict around the world. Their Accord publication series is also now easier to navigate and remains a great source of free online information about peace processes and agreement. New language sections and an improved search engine also make it easier to find available resources in Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. Other new features include allowing people to listen to some of their partners’ radio projects, buying Accord publications online or making regular and one-off online donations to Conciliation Resources. Check it out at www.c-r.org.
The legacy of September 11, Hurricane Katrina’s lingering racial tensions, church bombings in Alabama, the Duke University lacrosse team scandal, and the growing debate about undocumented workers in America all underscore the ongoing challenges of intergroup relations in America today. What does it all mean? To answer that and other questions, The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) presents Taking America’s Pulse III (TAP III), the third in its series of large-scale nationwide surveys of American attitudes about intergroup relations. (more…)
Alison at the Public Conversations Project asked us to share an announcement with you about their upcoming workshop “The Power of Dialogue: Constructive Conversations on Divisive Issues” this November 9-11 in Watertown, MA. I know from experience that PCP’s trainings are some of the best in the field, so don’t hesitate to sign up. The sliding scale fee is $375 to $600 for three full days, including catered lunch, light breakfast, and snacks. To register for the workshop, call 617-923-1216 or 888-727-8326 x13.
For my first post, I’m excited to share with you a success story from this weekend: a 24-hour retreat for a university’s student government association complete with opening ice breakers & team-building, OrangeBand, World Cafe, Open Space Technology, Conversation Cafe and a “nominal group technique.” It may sound like a lot to put into a weekend, but these methods flowed seamlessly into each other! The result was spirited and authentic conversation and a rich list of priorities for their academic year.
These methods and NCDD have wonderful resources that explain how they work, so I’ll just briefly focus on the role each had to play.
John Gastil of the University of Washington asked us to post a notice about the upcoming INGRoup (Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research) Conference. The conference takes place at Michigan State University, in Lansing, Michigan next July 12-14, 2007. The second INGRoup conference is planned to facilitate conversations among group scholars across disciplines, such as communication, education, history, information systems, nursing, organizational behavior, philosophy, psychology, political science, public health, and sociology. In addition to paper and symposia sessions, innovative sessions designed to facilitate interdisciplinary conversation will be programmed. An on-line submission system will be available from December 1, 2006 to January 15, 2007 (Jan. 15 is the deadline for submissions). For additional submission and conference location information, visit INGRoup’s website: www.INGRoup.info.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (www.knightfdn.org/) invites proposals for innovative ways to shape the future of news and community. The Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge is seeking new ideas, pilot projects, commercial products, and leadership initiatives that will improve the flow of information and news in the public interest. In 2007, the foundation will award a total of $5 million to individuals, organizations, or businesses that can demonstrate how their ideas will transform community life. (more…)
If you are an Education researcher studying dialogue or civic engagement, you may be interested in the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This non-residential postdoctoral fellowship funds proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.