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5 Tips from Julia Young on Running Engaging Webinars

There’s a great post by Julia Young on the Facilitate Proceedings blog on tips for running effective, engaging webinars. Click here to see the post, but I’m including it below partly so I don’t lose track of it. Many of us can benefit from these tips! (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CSC Grants to Support Public Engagement Efforts in California

Here’s an important announcement for those of you in California, from NCDD member Pete Peterson. Common Sense California just announced the re-launch of its unique “citizen engagement grant program” for 2009, offering thousands of dollars to California municipalities, school districts and non-profits in support of their efforts to involve residents in local policy-making. Grants will range from $1,000 to $7,500. (more…)

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Phase 3 of Open Gov't Dialogue in Full Swing

Phase 3 of the Obama administration’s groundbreaking Open Government public consultation process (the Drafting Phase) is now in full swing at www.mixedink.com/OpenGov/ and I encourage NCDDers to get involved!  This Drafting Phase invites you to collaborate on creating recommendations for open government policy using a web-based wiki tool.  There’s a video tutorial up at www.vimeo.com/2674991 about how to use the tool.

NCDDers Leanne Nurse and Tim Bonnemann both took notes during yesterday’s conference call with White House staff about Phase III, and I’ve consolidated them below.

You also may want to check out the New York Times article published Monday on the open government dialogue called “Ideas Online, Yes, but Some Not So Presidential.” (more…)

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Huffington Post Article on Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Dialogue

A great article appeared on The Huffington Post on Monday that many of you will want to know about.  “Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Can Work Together,” a piece by Public Conversations Project Associate Mary Jacksteit shares two examples of pro-choice and pro-life activists using dialogue to defuse tension and reduce violence.

Our friends at the Public Conversations Project (an NCDD organizational member) ask that you read the story, add a comment to the post, and send this link out to your family, friends and colleagues:


From the CommunityFrom the Community

New PACE Report on How Local Gov't is Reinventing Civic Engagement

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) just released a great new report called “The New Laboratories of Democracy:  How Local Government is Reinventing Civic Engagement.”  Mike McGrath from the National Civic League authored the report, which can be downloaded from the PACE website at http://pacefunders.org/publications/NewLaboratoriesofDemocracy.pdf.

The PACE report details the innovative methods local governments around the country are using to increase civic engagement by the public. “Local governments are at the cutting edge of finding new tools and methods to increase civic engagement in this country. We hope this report will stimulate new thinking within the philanthropic community, as well as in local governments around the country, and help spread the word about these new and successful approaches,” said Chris Gates, Executive Director of PACE.

Featuring a foreword by National League of Cities Executive Director Donald Borut, the report combines original research with an overview of the literature and history of civic engagement and local government reform while highlighting fresh insights from foundation leaders, civic experts, scholars, local officials and public engagement advocates.

“The New Laboratories of Democracy: How Local Government is Reinventing Civic Engagement” traces the quest for deeper and more authentic forms of public engagement from the anti-poverty programs over the last 45 years through the 1990s when a variety of trends came together to foster a “second wave” of civic innovation. Those trends included a growing skepticism about government’s role in society, increasing concern for the need to re-knit the fabric of struggling communities and a desire for more authentic, civil and “deliberative” forms of public discourse and decision-making. (more…)

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Comments Welcome on Open Gov't Posts on Public Participation

The “participation” questions are starting to go up today on the Open Government Initiative blog at http://blog.ostp.gov.

The first post that is open to comments has been live since 2:00, and at this point there are only 8 comments posted.  A comment added now will stay at the top of the list, so it’s a good idea to post as soon as possible.  Though the post we’re being asked to comment on is super broad, inviting us to dig deeper into ideas brought up during the Brainstorm phase, share best practices, and provide incentives for participation.  NCDD member Nancy Glock-Grueneich has braved the waters and added a great comment worth checking out.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Seeks Executive Director

The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) trains, mentors, and connects students on 15 campuses across the country seeking to build more cohesive, diverse, engaged communities through dialogue. An initiative of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, SDCN seeks an Executive Director to lead its expansion nationally and to deepen its work in leveraging the efforts of student leaders to improve campus climates and build social capital nationwide.

The Executive Director will exercise leadership in defining SDCN strategic directions, broaden SDCN’s funding base, and build and strengthen relationships with partner organizations. The ED will support a 4-person staff and work to build SDCN’s recently formed Advisory Board. At this time of remarkable national energy around civic engagement and citizen-led community building work, we are incredibly excited about our potential to recruit a fantastic leader, to help take SDCN to the next level.

For full job description, visit www.sdcampusnetwork.org/ht/display/AlertDetails/i/615.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

"Free Minds, Free People" Coming up in Houston

We got a message today from Tara Mack at the Education for Liberation Network. She reminded us that there are only two weeks to go before Free Minds, Free People, the national conference on social justice education.

Free Minds, Free People is a national conference that brings together teachers, high school and college students, researchers, parents and community-based activists/educators from across the country to build a movement to develop and promote Education for Liberation. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for sharing knowledge, experiences and strategies to help students understand and challenge the injustices their communities face.

The conference will take place June 25-28 in Houston, Texas. Visit www.freemindsfreepeople.org for more info or to register.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Request for YOUR Participation from Robynn Sturm

I received an email today from Greg Nelson, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He forwarded on a message from Robynn Sturm, Assistant Deputy CTO for Open Government, encouraging our networks’ participation in the Discussion phase of the Open Government dialogue that’s going on right now on the OSTP blog at http://blog.ostp.gov/, and giving us a heads up on the soon-to-come posts about citizen participation and civic engagement, which many of you will surely want to participate in if you’re not already active in this phase.

In his email, Greg said “We’re excited about these initial phases, and want to make sure we engage as broadly as possible.”

Here is Robynn’s email:

Thank you so much for joining us on last Thursday’s call about public participation in the development of the Obama Administration’s Open Government policy. As suggested on that call, we want to provide this list with an update and invite your continued participation. The Discussion Phase is ongoing at www.whitehouse.gov/open/blog/.

At present, we are seeking input for our recommendations on transparency policy. We have discussions open for comment on:

Over the next 48 hours, we will also post a new request for input on:

  • Transparency: Open Government Operations and
  • Transparency: Data, Data.gov and Metadata

As we wrap up the transparency conversation with a final posting about information access and the Freedom of Information Act tomorrow, we want to preview what’s coming this week in the discussion about Citizen Participation and Civic Engagement. Beginning on Wednesday we’ll start conversations on Participation:

  • Creating More Opportunities for Citizen Participation in Government Decision making
  • Increasing Citizen Participation and Civic Education
  • E-Democracy: New Tools and Technologies for Participation
  • Web 2.0 Policy Framework
  • Public Participation in Federal Rulemaking

We need your participation to ensure a productive conversation that informs the Administration’s policies on transparency, participation, and collaboration with your expertise and experience. Perhaps even more important, we need your help to ensure that open processes of policymaking become the norm in this Administration.

Many thanks,

Robynn Sturm, Assistant Deputy CTO for Open Government

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Notes from Call with Open Gov't Folks on Phase II

I was invited via email onto a conference call with members of the White House Open Government team today at noon Eastern, to discuss the launch of Phase II of the Open Government Initiative and opportunities to get involved. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make the call, so I asked two NCDDers (Tim Bonnemann and Lucas Cioffi) who have been paying close attention to the Open Government dialogue process to participate in the call and take notes.

I was able to make the call after all and our combined notes from the call are below. As I posted earlier, you can read about the recent work of the Open Government Initiative at: www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Wrap-Up-of-the-Open-Government-Brainstorming-Transparency/.

My email invitation came from Greg Nelson, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and in his message he noted:

“Phase II focuses on defining the challenges in greater depth. We will be asking for your help with fleshing out the issues, potential solutions, and the pros and cons of proposed approaches. The goal of Phase II is to explore proposals for a Government-wide framework to achieve transparency, participation and collaboration. We want your help with translating good ideas into concrete, measurable and cost-effective solutions.” (more…)