On August 13 and 14th the Great Lakes Chapter of the International Association for Public Participation is offering two full days of training in Madison, Wisconsin. On August 13, the Chapter presents “Using Online Tools to Support Public Participation” and on August 14th, the Chapter presents “Affirmative Design – Inclusive Public Participation in Diverse Communities.” Each training is $175 each or $325 for both days. Training Location: Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. Madison, WI 53706. For more information and registration, visit http://www.iap2.org/cde.cfm?event=173523. Or read on for more detailed descriptions of the workshops. (more…)
The American Political Science Association invites political scientists and graduate students to submit proposals for the fifth annual Conference on Teaching and Learning in Political Science. Using a working-group model, this meeting is a forum for interested individuals to develop models on teaching and learning as well as to discuss broad themes and values affecting political science education. The meeting will consist of tracks constructed around such themes as: Program Assessment, Simulations and Role Play, Graduate Education, Diversity and Inequality, Teaching Research Methods, Internationalizing the Curriculum, General Education, Civic Engagement, Teaching Across the Discipline and Professional Development. In addition, participants may attend two workshops in addition to a themed track. Workshop topics include Integrating Technology in the Classroom, Classroom and Program Assessment, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Teaching Sessions for Graduate Students.
Paper and Workshop proposals should be submitted online through MyAPSA (www.apsanet.org) by September 17, 2007. For more information please visit the Teaching and Learning Conference webpage at http://www.apsanet.org/section_602.cfm or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCDD Member Juli Fellows just sent us word about a new book published by the United Nations called Participatory Dialogue: Toward a Stable, Safe and Just Society for All. According to the UN’s summary, the book “offers an overview of social integration and related concepts, explores the role and principles of participatory dialogue in creating more socially cohesive societies, and provides practical examples of dialogue use and dialogic tools…[It] also reviews global trends influencing social integration dynamics, and examines what elements are essential to creating societies that are resilient with respect to social tensions/disintegration.” The book is available for order for $39, and can be ordered in English, French and Spanish. Check it out at: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?pid=16779.
Globalisation for the Common Good’s Sixth Annual Conference “A Non-Violent Path to Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding” has just finished up in Istanbul. By all accounts the conference was productive and stimulating, and culminated in the writing of the “Istanbul Declaration” which highlights the success of their meeting. Check it out at www.globalisationforthecommongood.info/conferences/past-conferences/2007-istanbul-declaration/. If you are interested in learning more about the 2008 conference in Melbourne, Australia, visit the conference website: www.gcgmelbourne2008.info.
On July 10, FOCUS St. Louis officially launched its online Community Conversations Forum featuring insights from key regional leaders regarding critical issues. The program is an opportunity for everyone in the region to have a conversation with leadership and with each other. The idea behind this is to bridge divides (e.g., geographic, cultural, social) and build understanding about complex issues.
Conversational threads focusing on priority regional issue areas have been started by the following regional leaders: St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay (Regional Stewardship), Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith (Public Education), Missouri State Senator Joan Bray (Immigration Reform and the Role of State Government), St. Louis Post Dispatch Columnist Sylvester Brown (Race and Economics in our Region), Partner at Edward Jones Emily Pitts (Workplace Diversity), and Director of the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri Pat Sullivan (Regional Workforce Housing). Other leaders committed to contributing include Founder of River City Professionals Scott Lapp (How to Promote a More Young, Diverse and Vibrant Community).
Attention NCDDers involved in the Arts! The theme of the 2008 Americans for the Arts Convention is “American Evolution: Arts in the New Civic Life.” They’re currently seeking conference proposals on current issues or trends in arts-based community development and propose solutions and/or discuss implications. Innovative formats that engage audiences are encouraged. Check out this Website for details: www.AmericansForTheArts.org/Convention/Proposals. The proposal deadline is August 3, 2007.
The Canadian Institute for Public Engagement (CIPE) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to building and improving best practices in public engagement. They are offering a 2 day National Issues Forum (NIF) Moderator course (August 28-29, Ottawa, ON) to introduce this unique public deliberation methodology to Canadian practitioners. This course will give participants the tools and knowledge necessary to conduct NIF’s. This is a unique opportunity for facilitators to build their capacity to engage citizens and stakeholders on controversial or complex issues.
Registration is $250, and paid NCDD members receive a 15% discount (see all members’ discounts). Download the registration form at www.instituteforpublicengagement.org/docs/nifmtc.pdf. Visit www.instituteforpublicengagement.org/docs/nifmtc.pdf in order to learn more, and to register now for this exciting training opportunity. You can also visit www.nifi.org to find more information on National Issues Forums.
Starting in August, the coffee company Starbucks will bring the story of “Arctic Tale,” a new family-friendly wild life adventure movie, to its stores. The goal of this promotion is to help generate interest in the film as well as educate customers about the climate crisis and inspire them to be a part of the solution through simple, everyday decisions. On August 15, across multiple U.S. markets, Starbucks will host a “National Day of Discussion” featuring environmental leaders who will direct conversations with customers about solutions to address the vital issue of climate change. Organizations such as The Climate Group, Conservation International, Earth Watch and Global Green USA will participate in in-store events across Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Boston, Phoenix, and other U.S. markets.
Socratic Dialogue is blooming everywhere. Recently I posted about the Socrates Cafe movement. Now another story about a Socratic dialogue initiative has come across the wire. Columbia University is sponsoring Socratic conversations. The conversations, which are sponsored by the Gottesman Libraries, 525 W. 120th St., range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life, as did Socrates’ encounters that launched Western philosophy. Students are engaging in spirited discussions of ideas and issues ranging from “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “Democratic Leadership,” to “Holidays Deconstructed” and “Bullshit” (impelled by a best-selling book by a professor of philosophy at Princeton).
Ronald Gross conducts the sessions, which are based on methods described in his book Socrates’ Way (www.SocratesWay.com). Gross co-chairs the University Seminar on Innovation in Education (www.columbiaseminar.org) and has launched groups to revive meaningful conversation and civic discourse throughout the U.S.and abroad. The conversations are informed by the latest literature which is at hand at each session for reference and follow-up. The conversations have already generated thinking and insights of keen interest to the whole campus community.
NCDD member Juli Fellows recently sent us this interesting resource on collaborative decision-making. The “Collaborative Decision Process” questionnaire was originally developed in the 1980s and 1990s and has been used extensively to assess the effectiveness of collaborative decision processes. Professor Sandor Schuman and colleagues would like to make the questionnaire available to group facilitators as a tool for helping groups improve their collaborative decision making processes.
Preliminary to making it available, they want to collect a broad baseline of data. If you would like to participate in this study, please respond to the survey below. You will be asked to think about a specific meeting (or series of meetings) in which you had a role as participant, facilitator, or observer and respond to the questions with that meeting in mind.
I’ll keep you posted about the dissemination of the Collaborative Decision Process tool for facilitators.