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Debate Association Launches Debatepedia.org

The International Debate Education Association (www.idebate.org) has just launched Debatepedia.org, a wiki with the ambitious mission of becoming the world’s “Wikipedia of debate and reason”. On Debatepedia, people can help edit and co-create an encyclopedia of debates by adding pro and con arguments and compiling bodies of supporting evidence within a unique pro/con “logic tree” structure. Debatepedia is also a place for documenting the positions of leaders and organizations. The potential range of debates on Debatepedia is limitless and includes topics that are international, national, and local in scope. It also intends to offer different language versions. Its ambitious mission will have a major impact on the way citizens engage in pressing debates, draw personal conclusions, and even influence their representatives and leaders. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

International Day for Sharing Life Stories Set for May 2008

The Center for Digital Storytelling is joining with the Museum of the Person International Network (Brazil, Portugal, USA and Canada) in a joint call for Listen! – International Day of Sharing Life Stories, on May 16th 2008. The day will be an opportunity for people around the world to gather in community halls, classrooms, public parks, theaters, auditoriums, as well websites, email exchanges, and virtual environments to hear each other’s stories. We want this day to be especially dedicated to celebrating and promoting Life Story projects that have made a difference within neighborhoods, communities, and societies as a whole.

Possible events include:

  • Story Circles in people’s homes, at workplaces, schools, community centers, virtual environments
  • Public open microphone performances of stories
  • Exhibitions of Stories in public venues, as image, text, and audio-visual materials
  • Celebratory events to honor local storytellers, practitioners and organizations
  • Open houses for organizations with a life story sharing component
  • Online simultaneous gatherings, postings, and story exchanges
  • Print, Radio and Television broadcast programming on life stories, and documentaries that feature oral histories and story exchanges

To facilitate this process the two organizations will act as the coordination body for compiling a worldwide calendar of events for the day, and over the entire May 16-18 weekend. Calendar listings will appear, along with a map of the participating organizations, on a special website dedicated to the day. They are looking for other organizations that are interested in participating. If you would like to endorse this proposal, send a note with your name and contact info to internacional@museudapessoa.net.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

USM Students Help Fight Crime in New Orleans

We heard recently from facilitators Maribeth Love and Paul Saputo about how they guided one New Orleans community on behalf of the Southern Mississippi Council of Conversations for Change to develop its first ever community impact statement. This document, created through a deliberative process, addresses the community-wide impact of what New Orleans Police Sergeant Doug Eckert called a “one-man crime wave.” (more…)

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YSA and Office of Juvenile Justice Offer Service Replication Grants

Youth Service America (www.ysa.org) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/) in the U.S. Department of Justice are offering grants of $2,000 each to help organizations that have had a successful youth engagement experience replicate their practices in organizations in a broader network or coalition without a youth strategy. Successful applicants will involve youth in addressing the world’s most pressing social issues, such as climate change, hunger, disease, nutrition, literacy, disaster relief, poverty, and more. Applicants should plan to use Global Youth Service Day (http://ysa.org/NatlGYSD/tabid/59/Default.aspx) as a primary vehicle to engage youth in the issue addressed. The grant can be used to promote participation in Global Youth Service Day 2008 and 2009. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to pursue funding for an effort that takes place over a multi-year period.

Eligible applicants are local, state, or national organizations that are part of a national network, organization, or broader coalition of organizations and want to replicate their successful youth engagement experience (for youth ages 5-25) throughout that network, specifically though participation in Global Youth Service Day. Examples include, but are not limited to, food banks, zoos, housing authorities, and other nonprofit organizations addressing a social issue. Applicants must be located in the United States. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2007. More information is available on the YSA website.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Change Management Toolbook Website Launched

The new Change Management Toolbook website ( www.change-management-toolbook.com ) now has a variety of upgraded features. In addition to the old content, there are several new sections such as book reviews, jobs and events, interactive tools that allow users to interact. Members can now easily contribute to the growing body of knowledge on Change Management, and can advertise their services. They can also download audio training courses, reports, Change Management tools and more. Check it out!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Back From C2D2

We went to Vancouver, we conferred and now we’re back in our home communities with plenty to think about. By all accounts the second conference of the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) was a great successs. For me the most important takeaways were:

  • Keynote speaker Adam Kahane’s argument that as a community of practice, we need to work with power – think about it, grapple with those who have it, and try to generate it – as much as we work with compassion and empathy.
  • The difficulty of extending the work of deliberation outside one-off events into the broader public sphere, and echoing Joe Goldman’s recent post, the necessity of finding ways to do this.
  • The importance of securing a “return on participation” for those citizens who invest their time in our dialogues & deliberation, but…
  • The near-impossibility of systematically tracking how the outputs of dialogue & deliberation are incorporated into political decision-making.

Many challenges lie ahead. But, having met so many intelligent, passionate and committed members of the D & D community in the last few days, I have renewed faith in our ability to meet them. For more on the workshops, plenaries and informal ideas generated at the conference, visit the C2D2 2007 Conference Blog: http://blog.c2d2.ca.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Griswold's Book Forgiveness Now in Paperback

Charles Griswold, Professor of Philosophy at Boston University, wrote to us to tell us that his book Forgiveness has just been published in paperback. It sounds like a fascinating read for anyone interested in conflict transformation. Here’s how the publishers describe the book:

Nearly everyone has wronged another. Who among us has not longed to be forgiven? Who has not struggled to forgive? Charles Griswold has written the first comprehensive philosophical book on forgiveness in both its interpersonal and political contexts, as well as its relation to reconciliation. Having examined the place of forgiveness in ancient philosophy and in modern thought, he discusses what forgiveness is, what conditions the parties to it must meet, its relation to revenge and hatred, when it is permissible and whether it is obligatory, and why it is a virtue. Griswold argues that forgiveness (unlike apology) is inappropriate in politics, and analyzes the nature and limits of political apology with reference to historical examples (including Truth and Reconciliation Commissions). The book concludes with an examination of the relation between memory, narrative, and truth.

Visit www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521703512 to read more about the book or to order.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

10Questions.com Connects Voters to Presidential Candidates

Steven Clift of E-Democracy.org recently posted about “10Questions.com” – a tool for uploading video questions that will be posed to presidential candidates in the 2008 election. You simply tag your question “10questions” and it will show up on the 10Questions site for people to vote on. The top 10 questions will get video answers from the presidential candidates. This tool is generating a lot of buzz, and will likely be used by many political candidates to connect with voters. If you are interested in this kind of tool, check out e-democracy’s E-Debates resource center as well: pages.e-democracy.org/E-Debates.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Transformative Group Collaboration Workshop Set for December

NCDD member Rosa Zubizarreta sent us word of a workshop she’ll be leading called DiaPraxis: Transformational Approaches to Creative and Effective Group Collaboration. The workshop will be held from December 7 – 9, 2007 at the Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, Craryville, NY. This work offers an experiential introduction to new and powerful approaches in the field of practical group creativity. If you already have good listening skills — whether from Focusing, or NVC, or peer counseling, or community mediation practice — you will learn how those skills can be used to help practical, task-oriented groups work together with greater synergy, wholeness, and spirit. If you are already an experienced group facilitator, you will learn how to “manage less” and help the group accomplish more.

This work is grounded in Dynamic Facilitation, a transformational approach to group collaboration developed by Jim Rough. It also includes insights from Gene Gendlin’s Focusing work, and from Jeff Conklin’s Dialogue Mapping. Rosa Zubizarreta brings training and experience in organization development, focusing, social change, and diversity to her work with groups. The cost is a sliding-scale fee of $300 – $500 includes two nights lodging and meals, starting with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Sunday. The workshop will begin at 4 pm on Friday, and end at 2pm on Sunday. $150 deposit due by Nov 16.

To register: e-mail Beatrice Blake at beatriceblake@earthlink.net. Learn more about Diapraxis at www.diapraxis.com/materials.html and about Dynamic Facilitation at www.dynamicfacilitation.com. To learn about the retreat center, visit Pumpkin Hollow’s website is www.pumpkinhollow.org.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program Open for Applications

If any of you are graduate students in New England or California working on dialogue around environmental issues, then this fellowship is for you! The Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program (www.switzernetwork.org), supports graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field. The foundation seeks to select a diversity of students from different schools, programs, disciplines, and career tracks in each fellowship class. Awards have been made to students pursuing environmental policy, economics, conservation, public health, journalism, architecture, environmental justice, business, and law as well as the more traditional sciences of biology, chemistry, and engineering. (more…)