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AmericaSpeaks Seeking Communications Coordinator

AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org) is looking to hire a Communications Coordinator. The Communications Coordinator will coordinate the communications and marketing activities of a fast-growing nonprofit organization with the mission of providing citizens with a greater voice in local, state and national governance. The Coordinator will raise the visibility and profile of AmericaSpeaks and its projects. The Coordinator will plan and implement daily branding and messaging to support AmericaSpeaks outreach to media, clients, prospective clients and donors, partner organizations and the organizations volunteer network. The Coordinator will consult with local clients on the development and implementation of media strategies in support of AmericaSpeaks projects. (more…)

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MySpace to Host Presidential Town Hall Series

Cynthia Gibson just wrote to us with the news that MySpace (www.myspace.com), the online social networking site, will host a Presidential Town Hall Series on college campuses in the US from September through December 2007. Each Town Hall will be an hour long dialogue between one candidate and the MySpace community, and viewers will be able to submit questions via instant messenger. Participating Candidates Include Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, and Tommy Thompson.

According to Business Wire, (more…)

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Social Science Research Council Offers Grants for Katrina Research

Listen up young researchers: the Social Science Research Council (www.ssrc.org) is now offering small grants of up to $5,000 each (in rare cases up to $7,500) to enable researchers to complete projects bearing on Hurricane Katrina, its impacts on people and places, and the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast. Grants may supplement funds from other sources. Preference will be given to students completing dissertation projects and to younger researchers, but applications are welcome from others. The awards are intended to enable people to bring to fruition research they have already begun. See the SSRC Web site for further information and contact details.

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Two Summer Leadership Courses Coming Up in Texas

Leadership Strategies has just announced two leadership courses this summer. The course “The Effective Consultant,” held June 11-13, provides a structured framework for consulting, with foundation techniques and client handling strategies for each stage of the consulting process. This course is $1495.00 normally, enrolling 2 or more people from an organization gets each participant 20% off! (This offer ends at close of business on Tuesday, May 22nd). The course “The Effective Facilitator” will be held July 9-11. The Effective Facilitator devotes 80% of its curriculum to learning and practicing the group techniques that separate great facilitators from good ones. Participants focus on critical skills such as consensus building, keeping the group focused, generating energy, managing dysfunction and gaining agreement. Cost for the course is $1495. For more information contact Jamie Kaye, Client Relationship Manager at tel.  800-824-2850 ext. 27, email jkaye@leadstrat.com or visit www.leadstrat.com.

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Dialogue Mapping Workshop Set for June

Jeff Conklin just sent us a message about a newly announced 2-day training seminar in Dialogue Mapping on June 6 -7, 2007 in Austin, Texas. This 2-day workshop is highly interactive and teaches the twin skills at the core of Dialogue Mapping: using IBIS to listen deeply for the hidden questions, and using the shared display as an amplifier of the collective intelligence and learning of the group. Although this is not a software workshop, reference will be made to Compendium, a graphical hypertext software available for free at www.compendiuminstitute.org. Dialogue Mapping is a powerful new tool for collaboration and sense making, and this workshop is fun, stimulating, and rewarding. For details on cost and registration, visit www.cognexus.org/id18.htm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Registration Open for IGL Course on Designing Interventions for Change

Registration is open for The Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) Course “Designing and Implementing Interventions for Community, Institutional and Global Change at the United Nations.” The course, offered Monday-Wednesday, June 4-6 2007 at the United Nations in New York City, is sponsored by IGL and the United Nations Under-Secretary Anwarul K. Chowdhury, High Representative of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

The program is for people who are searching for a new way to address institutional, community and global challenges that emphasize respect for human rights, peaceful settlement of disputes, ethics, values and systems that will secure greater ecological integrity, economic and social well being. In this course, participants learn how to introduce and sustain change in a resistant system using theoretical and practical skills to create peaceful, ethical, just, humane, culturally sensitive, and sustainable structures and frameworks. The course offers experiential learning as a way to integrate conceptual learning, engenders a cross-sectoral approach to intervening in crises, and elicits participants’ knowledge and wisdom in a course project. Tuition is $595. For more information on tuition, registration and general questions, call Virginia Swain at (508) 753-4172 or visit www.global-leader.org. Applicants must have a prior discussion with course leader Virginia Swain to ensure resonance with the program’s values and ideals.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Case Foundation Seeking "Citizen Reviewers" for New Grants Program

Cynthia Gibson asked us to share an announcement from the Case Foundation with the NCDD network. The Case Foundation is looking for some folks to serve as external reviewers for the first part of its new grantmaking effort focused on igniting citizen-centered community work across the country (a very exciting development!). And it’s doing it in a way that reflects a citizen-centered approach by involving people outside the foundation in every part of the process, starting with reviewing Letters of Intent (LOIs).

The Foundation has received some great applications from a number of people across the country who are interested in serving as reviewers. They’re particularly interested, however, in getting applications from people who’ve been directly and personally involved in community-based public work, deliberation, or collaborative problem-solving. Applications are due by Wednesday, May 23rd.

Interested applicants should first read the job description and are strongly encouraged to review the Foundation’s paper (by Cindy Gibson), Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement (www.casefoundation.org/citizens). An executive summary of the paper is also included in the job description.

And since there might be a small chance you want to know (smile), the Case Foundation plans to award 20 grants (both community-based organizations and individual are eligible to apply) for $10,000 each. Four of the finalists will be selected by an online community to receive additional $25,000 awards.

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Middle East Fellowship Organizing Summer Delegation to Syria

Kelly Hayes-Raitt sent us the news that the Middle East Fellowship will be hosting delegations to Syria this summer. They are the only organization we know of that is taking Americans to this political hot spot to promote person-to-person peace. This 6-week summer service program will be held in Damascus, Syria, from June 24 – Aug 4. Participants will live with a host family for 3 nights, study Arabic at the Berlitz language institute in Damascus, serve the local community through volunteer projects (such as volunteering at a refugee camp) and explore the culture and history of Syria through meetings, discussions and excursions to sites of historical, political or religious significance. A maximum of 12 participants will stay in single and double rooms with private bathrooms near the Old City of Damascus. The cost for the 6-week program is $2,000 and includes rooms, homestays, breakfasts, most lunches and dinners, language and cultural courses, RT airport transportation, and weekend excursions, including in-country transportation. Transportation to Damascus is not included. For more information, visit www.MiddleEastFellowship.org or call Kelly at (310) 392-8715. The deadline to apply is May 24.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Book on "Democratic Dilemmas" Outlines Two Divergent Cases

Julie Marsh sent me an email last week about her interesting new book, “Democratic Dilemmas: Joint Work, Education Politics, and Community” (SUNY Press). Drawing on three years of field research and extensive theoretical and empirical literature, Democratic Dilemmas chronicles the day-to-day efforts of educators and laypersons working together to advance student learning in two California school districts. Marsh reveals how power, values, organizational climates, and trust played key roles in these two districts achieving vastly different results. In one district, parents, citizens, teachers, and administrators effectively developed and implemented districtwide improvement strategies; in the other, community and district leaders unsuccessfully attempted to improve systemwide accountability through dialogue.

I asked Julie if she could send me a little more detail to share with the NCDD network, specifically about why one effort succeeded while the other did not, and whether dialogue was a strong component in both programs (it was).  Learn more or order the book at www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=61456, download the first chapter of the book for free at www.sunypress.edu/pdf/61456.pdf, or click on “more” to read Julie’s great response to my request for more detail.


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NCDD Members Offered 30% Discount for June Future Search Training

Sandra Janoff & Marvin Weisbord, co-authors of the popular Berrett-Kohler book Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations & Communities, will be holding the only 2007 “Managing a Future Search” training in the U.S. from June 3-6, 2007 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania – and they are offering paid NCDD members a huge 30% discount! Future Search trains managers, facilitators and leaders to quickly turn dreams into action plans and reality. At “Managing a Future Search,” participants will learn the theory, philosophy, techniques, and minimum conditions for success that have helped leaders to bridge cultural boundaries the world over.

The regular registration rate is $1,450, so NCDD members who have paid their registration fee can register at $1015. For more info and to register, visit www.futuresearch.net/method/workshops/descriptions.cfm?wsid=1. For more details on joining NCDD as a paid member, click here.