If you are based in the U.S., I’d like to ask for your help with an important project. The vast majority of members of congress are not aware of the expertise and skill our community has to offer. They do not know how to tap into the dialogue and deliberation community to serve the purposes of good government – or even that there is such a community. One project spearheaded by NCDD members Kim and Barnett Pearce aims to begin to change this.
If you’re willing, we ask that you to contact your congressional representative as soon as possible and try to schedule a meeting with them during the first two weeks of April (when they’re in their home districts) in order to: (1) talk to them about what the dialogue and deliberation community has to offer them and (2) extend an invitation to them, on behalf of NCDD, to attend (and/or send a representative to) a meeting on May 30, 2007 at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, titled “Reclaiming Democracy: Changing Public Conversations About Critical Issues.”
We have just added a couple more videos, include an iPod versions of our 5-minute Overview, to the events section of our website. We are especially happy to present a 5-minute remembrance from the closing session of the conference which we just added to YouTube.com.
The National Charrette Institute has just announced its only Meeting Facilitator Certificate Training for 2007: June 18-20 in Portland Oregon. During this training participants will gain the lessons learned from some of the toughest charrettes and learn how so many potential problems can be defused by knowing how to properly set up and facilitate public meetings. Pariticipants will leave equipped to conduct a large meeting with confidence, knowing effective tools and preventions. For more information and to register, visit the NCI website at www.charretteinstitute.org or call 503-233-8486 ext. 3#.
The Alliance for Conflict Transformation Summer Institute on Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution (IPCR) will be held June 9, 2007 – July 7, 2006 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. IPCR is an intensive 4-week, 6-credit residential program intended to build the capacity of current and future professionals in a variety of fields to make a critical difference in furthering peaceful relations in the world. IPCR will be held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with travel to La Paz and surrounding communities. They are currently accepting applications for participation from English speaking professionals, graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in peace and conflict resolution, international affairs, political science, Latin American studies, anthropology, development and related fields. (more…)
If you have some meeting facilitation experience but want to attain the next level of skilled meeting facilitation, you may want to consider this retreat. Led by Craig Freshley and limited to just eight people, the group will explore theory of all aspects of meeting facilitation and will apply specific specific techniques for a variety of situations. Two workshop series are coming up: Winter Weekdays – March 26, 2007 – March 29, 2007, and Spring Weekend – May 10, 2007 – May 13, 2007. To learn more visit www.GoodGroupDecisions.com/Intensive.aspx.
AmericaSpeaks is recruiting facilitators for Town Meetings in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Chicago. Volunteer facilitators will work with small groups of ten people to deliberate about a series of questions that will be asked over the course of the full day meeting. Via laptop computers and keypad polling devices, individual tables will share the results of their conversations with the hundreds of participants in the room. Facilitators will be oriented to the program and are expected have experience with small group face-to-face deliberation, comfort with diversity and difference of opinion. For more about AmericaSpeaks, visit www.americaspeaks.org. (more…)
We just heard about a useful new resource for citizens to keep track of what’s happening in Congress. OpenCongress.org makes it possible for anyone to get the big picture when reading about a bill, Member of Congress, or an issue area, and to track developments easily by subscribing to RSS feeds. OpenCongress brings together, for the first time in one place, all the best information about what’s really happening in Congress: official government info from THOMAS, made available by GovTrack.us; news articles from Google News; blog posts from Technorati and Google Blog Search; campaign contribution information from OpenSecrets.org; and more. The website creators hope to focus effective public scrutiny on the bills that are most important, expose corruption, and help make the Congressional process open to everyone.
The Taos Institute has opened registration for “Transformative Dialogues: A Summer Workshop Institute” — to be held June 24-29, 2007 at the University of New Hampshire. This Summer Workshop Series is designed to bring together academic leaders and outstanding practitioners in diverse professional fields for Transformative Dialogues with an international array of participants. Each morning will begin with cross-cutting conversations among the entire community generated by inspiring speakers, many of whom have been headliners at previous Taos Institute meetings. Following this “whole group” time, participants will enter into their chosen workshops. As their focused activity, registrants will select two workshops from a wide-ranging group led by Taos Institute founders and board members and other Taos associates. Early bird registration lasts until March 30, 2007. For lists of workshops, fees and other information, visit www.taosinstitute.net, email email@example.com or call 440-338-6733.
I returned from a 3-day Dynamic Facilitation workshop last week inspired, challenged, and healed. For those unaware of the method, as I was prior to attending Jim and Jean Rough’s workshop in Port Townsend, let me vouch for its unique place on our D&D toolbelts – or, rather, its own color on our D&D practioner palettes. DF is different, as it relies on intuitively following the energy of the conversation and purposely probing participants to get at their root concerns and ideas. Please do check it out (3-minute audio intros).
And I want to share another simple thought: our work to provide spaces for people to be their authentic selves, share their authentic creativity and concerns, and do so in community is perhaps at its root about facilitating meaningful relationships built on genuine care for each other. As many lists are brainstormed, strategic plans are written, and human resource issues are resolved, there is potential to facilitate in a way that lets people be their full selves, rather than only their “thoughts” or only their “feelings.” When the space is designed to share both and more, problems aren’t just solved – relationships can build that transcend the problem.
When we talk from time to time about the urgent need for a movement, and struggle about what that movement is about, perhaps we can add this: a movement to elevate our process consciousness has at its root the potential and/or desire to facilitate love in a world that can make such connection a rarity.