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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Civic Engagement in Palo Alto

Cynthia Gibson, author of Citizens At The Center, just forwarded us the following article about the growth of civic engagement in Palo Alto, CA. Please note the bold text near the end of the article.

Civic Engagement is New Palo Alto City Priority
city council members see engagement as a tool for achieving city goals, gaining support for library bond
by Becky Trout, Palo Alto Online Staff (January 12, 2008)

Generically endorsing a proposal pitched by a broad coalition of community groups, the Palo Alto City Council Saturday adopted “civic engagement” as one of four top city priorities for 2008.

Continue reading the article… (more…)


Admin: Invitation to Join NCDD

Hi, !  I am the office manager for the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD.org).  Our director, Sandy Heierbacher, asked me to send you an invitation to become a member of NCDD. Our members are some of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people in public engagement and group process work, and Sandy thought you would fit right in!

Joining NCDD means becoming part of an active, supportive network of over 1,800 groups and professionals (www.ncdd.org/map) who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide, and act together on today’s toughest challenges.  NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source, and a facilitative leader for an active community of practice centered around the practices of dialogue and deliberation.

NCDD holds national conferences every 2 years (our 2012 conference in Seattle brought together 400 people (there’s a nice little video up at http://tinyurl.com/kmbxgnk that gives you a sense of it), but we’ve managed to create a very dynamic, active community of practice between our convenings as well, using online tools and lots of engagement opportunities like our monthly “confab calls.”

If you’re interested, please complete the membership form at www.ncdd.org/join. You can become a Supporting Member of NCDD for only $50/year, or a Sustaining Member for $125/year.  If you’d like your organization to be listed as a member, dues are $150/year for organizations.  If dues are a challenge for you or you’d just like to try NCDD out for a while, you can join dues-free as a regular individual Member.  Member benefits are outlined at www.ncdd.org/join as well.

You can learn more about NCDD at www.ncdd.org/about or look over our latest projects, activities and partnerships at www.ncdd.org/tag/ncdd_projects.

Let me know if you have any questions about membership.  I hope you decide to join NCDD; it would be wonderful to have you as a member!

Warm regards,

Joy Garman
Office Manager, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD)
joy@ncdd.org • www.ncdd.org • @ncdd • www.facebook.com/ncddpage

The Idea IncubatorThe Idea Incubator

Tom Atlee Proposes "Phoenix Conversations"

We received an email from Tom Atlee (NCDD member and founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute) on Saturday about a new project he and his colleagues are launching. “Phoenix Conversations” are when diverse people explore the full range of possibilities in various areas of potential crisis, and seriously consider the impacts they might have on each other, for better and for worse. The Phoenix Conversations Project is convening conference calls (and soon a website) where people interested in this approach can talk about what it might mean and what else we might do, separately and together, and learn as we go.

Learn all about their plans for this project after the break. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Early Registration for SoL's Global Forum Ends Soon

C. Sherry Immediato, managing director of the Society for Organizational Learning (solonline.org), has just sent us a message from her sabbatical in India to ask us to remind everyone that early registration for the 3rd SoL Global Forum will end on January 31st. Its a great opportunity to save a considerable amount on travel costs. From her email…

Early registration discounts make it easier to travel to Oman – these end January 31, 2008.  Please visit http://www.solonline.org to download an up-to-date brochure and to register.  And if you’ve already registered, pass this message along encouraging other colleagues to join you.

Read more from her message about the upcoming event in Oman after the break. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Get Students Excited about Elections

As part of Campus Compact’s 2008 Campus Vote Initiative, they’ve launched a new website to encourage students to take part in the upcoming elections. The site features voter registration and education resources, ways to connect service with civic engagement, strategies for encouraging democratic participation, and model campus programs.  The site also offers hands-on tools and templates for students, faculty, and community service staff as well as information on other nonpartisan democracy initiatives.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Join the 2008 Conference Planning Team

Interested in contributing your knowledge, time and talents to help ensure that NCDD’s 2008 conference in Austin is our best event yet? We’d love to have you on the Planning Team!

NCDD’s biennial conferences are unique experiments in collaborative planning, and we have managed dynamic planning teams of about 60 people for each of our three previous conferences. Potential planning team members were asked to complete a short survey so we could find out what you’re interested in doing.

You can also look over an outline of our general planning process below.

Planning process for the 2008 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation

Conference Director: Sandy Heierbacher (secures funding, galvanizes involvement and support from community, manages budget, provides overall direction, ensures continuity, supports Core Team, etc.)

Conference Manager: TDB (facilitates core team calls, manages new volunteers, checks in with team facilitators, serves as go-to person at the conference for design issues)

Core Team:
Sandy, conference manager, and facilitators of the following teams (responsible for overall theme and direction of the conference and for ensuring that all teams remain in communication and collaborate when appropriate)

Design Team: leader TBD (responsible for designing the plenary sessions and ensuring they flow from one to the next meaningfully; deciding which workshops are selected; coordinating any small-group dialogues we have; coordinating “listeners” or another means of handling issues/conflicts/concerns; coordinating a dynamic arts component; and coordinating networking opportunities)

Central Texas Team: led by Diane Miller (responsible for ensuring that D&D programs and innovations in/around Austin are highlighted meaningfully at the conference; determining how Austin can benefit from the conference coming to the city; overseeing local PR and outreach efforts; handling Austin-specific logistics like homestays, entertainment, and a list of local restaurants).

Tech Team: leader TBD (responsible for coordinating the use of online tools to help people connect before and after the conference; blogging on the NCDD 2008 blog before and during the conference; ensuring that photos, video, and audio are handled well at and after the conference; overseeing internet access at the venue; coordinating a workshop on technology and D&D)

Logistics Team:
led by Polly Riddims (responsible for venue logistics, coordinating a conference bookstore, improving the atmosphere at the conference with decorations, flowers, etc., coordinating evening activities and options, creating a list of local restaurants and map to show people where they are, identifying where people can make copies, send packages, etc.)

The 2008 NCDD “Planning Team” consists of everyone serving in any of the above teams or positions.

What happens when I join the Planning Team?

All members of the planning team for the 2008 conference will be subscribed to a main discussion list for the whole team. We will also add you to a planning team group on NCDD’s Members Network so some of your conversations can happen in a place where all NCDD members can observe and even contribute when asked. If you are not already a member of NCDD, we will add you as a member so you can access this Members Network (don’t worry – the membership fee is optional).

You may be asked to serve on one of the sub-teams (Central Texas, Design, Tech, Logistics) depending on what you expressed an interest in doing. You would be subscribed to a discussion list and added to a group for that team as well.

Your team’s facilitator will use the discussion list and group to explore issues, generate ideas, and get a sense of how their team feels about different options. They may also ask you to participate in periodic conference calls (or face-to-face meetings, if you are part of the Central Texas Team). If you are part of the Design Team or the Central Texas Team, both of which will be quite large, fewer calls/meetings will involve your entire team.

Planning team members will also be asked to visit the NCDD Events section in the NCDD News blog regularly so they can see what’s happening, add comments on various ideas and issues, and look over input from the greater NCDD community. Let us know if you are interested in blogging (adding your own blog posts rather than just adding comments to existing posts) about your area of the planning process, and we’ll set you up on the blog.

If you are not-so-comfortable with web technology, hopefully this process will help you to see the value in it and help you to become more comfortable. Planning team members will be from all across the country – and from outside of the U.S. as well, so it is necessary for us to communicate primarily via email and the web. If you find that you need help or advise with anything technology-oriented, we strongly encourage you to email Andy Fluke, NCDD’s Creative Director, at andy@ncdd.org.


BayNVC Offers Training Discounts for NCDD Members

Bay Area Nonviolent Communication Offers NCCD Members Discounted Training with Living Peace Intensive Residential Retreats in 2008.

BayNVC invites NCDD members to come and stretch their heart muscles and explore the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) at one of this year’s retreats led by Bay Area Nonviolent Communication’s senior trainers and paid NCDD members can take advantage of a special discount (learn more on NCDD’s discounts page). The retreats feature tasty (mostly organic) food, beautiful settings, and dedicated support of individual and small group learning. Register for any of these retreats at http://www.baynvc.org/retreats.php.

A list of trainings follows the break… (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

21 Dispute Resolution Job Opportunities

This week we received an email from Emily Menn, Director of Education and Professional Development at the New York State Dispute Resolution Association that included information about 21 open dispute resolution positions located all over the US and in Canada.

In a subsequent email, she explains why she is sharing this info…

I went to law school to focus in dispute resolution. Talking with established practitioners, I consistently heard how wonderful the field is as a profession and how difficult it is to break in. I spent over six months after graduating in 2006 applying to positions all over the country. I was lucky enough to have the time to search extensively and the freedom to relocate to very rewarding job. But I realized that many of my peers leaving dispute resolution graduate programs might not have that luxury.

In searching I realized that there are a lot of opportunities to find work in dispute resolution–but uncovering them takes creativity and connections. I started the email list to make more career services offices aware dispute resolution, allow professors to pass resources to their students and to help educate individual job seekers about the types of positions available.

The job list hopefully will help the “third generation” of dispute resolution practitioners–those who are graduating from the myriad of law and graduate programs across the country–find meaningful work. In the next year, I would like to interview recent graduates to learn more about their ADR job search experience. At NYSDRA this spring, I’m working with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to offer a mini-conference for students about careers in dispute resolution. Visit www.nysdra.org soon for more information.

Its a pretty long and information rich list of job opportunities, so instead of attempting to summarize it I just wrapped the whole thing up in a pdf file. If you’re looking for a job in this field, you might find something here. For future job listings, Ms. Menn invites individuals to join the list by emailing her at emily dot menn at gmail dot com with the subject “ADD TO JOBS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION LIST”

21 Dispute Resolution Jobs (pdf file)
4 More Dispute Resolution Jobs (pdf file)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Sanford Levinson’s interview with Bill Moyers

NCDD member, Nancy Thomas, director of the Democracy Imperative at the University of New Hampshire, shares the following on her website…

To jump start your new year brains, you might want to watch or listen to Sanford Levinson’s interview with Bill Moyers. He talks about the failures of the US Constitution and why we need a national dialogue on what we mean by democracy. He says the most egregious defects in the Constitution include separation of powers and small state powers, “the almost certain presidential dictatorship that will follow a national crisis,” the electoral college, life tenure for Supreme Court justices. He calls for a constitution convention, preferably every 20 years. He wants to reaffirm the preamble (We the people…) and remind politicians that it is the credo for our political and social systems.

Levinson’s latest book is Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Has Gone Wrong and How We the People Can Correct It.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Manager’s Guide to Resolving Conflict

Image of the GuideThe IBM Center for the Business of Government just released a 50-page report called A Manager’s Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks. Written by our friends Lisa Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary, the Manager’s Guide report helps public managers navigate how to manage and negotiate the conflicts that may occur among a network’s members.

From an article at FCW.com by Florence Olsen about the guide:

New public policy research shows that managers can adapt to changing rules of governance in the public sphere by becoming, in essence, better listeners. Multiagency collaboration and decision-making demand a new kind of public manager, one skilled in negotiation, bargaining, collaborative problem-solving, conflict management and conflict resolution, according to a new report published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. Among the managerial attitudes described in the report, adversarial is out, cooperative is in.

Negotiations across organizational lines in which no one person is in command demands a special attitude, said the report’s authors, Rosemary O’Leary, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, and Lisa Bingham, professor of public service at Indiana University at Bloomington. That attitude, they said, must be one of “understanding others when they misunderstand you, consulting others even if they appear not to listen…being non-coercive and not yielding to coercion, and accepting others and their concerns as worthy of consideration.”

Click on the guide’s title above to download the resource, or learn more about the guide in its NCDD Resource Center listing.