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Open Space Technology Learning Workshop

An Open Space Technology learning workshop will be held April 24-26 in British Columbia, Canada. This 3-day workshop is Session One of the Genuine Contact Program™. In this workshop, which will take place at The Haven Resort, Gabriola Island, B.C., you will develop your own understanding of Open Space Technology, including its form and essence. The workshop will also cover preparatory work with a sponsor prior to an OST meeting and post-meeting follow-up. We will also cover personal preparation as a facilitator and the role of OST in helping organizations achieve and sustain organizational health and balance. Note: paid NCDD members will receive a 20% discount on this training!

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From the CommunityFrom the Community

SFCG Recognized With Two Awards

We’re pleased to congratulate Search for Common Ground (SFCG) on two recent awards! First, the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for Institutional Excellence will be presented to SFCG at a Gala Event in Washington DC on April 25th. The Awards, launched in 1999 by the Arab American Institute Foundation, promote the positive effects of diversity and cultural interaction, and to showcase programs that foster democratic and humanitarian values across racial, ethnic and religious lines. The Award recognizes organizations whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting coexistence and inclusion in all walks of life. If you are interested in attending the awards ceremony, call (202) 429-9210, or email aaif@aaiusa.org.

Second, SFCG’s Participatory Theatre for Conflict Transformation program was one of three initiatives selected in the “Entrepreneuring Peace” competition held by Ashoka Changemakers. In addition to receiving a small grant of $5,000, Lena Slachmuijlder, SFCG Country Director in DR Congo, is participating in the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. Great work SFCG!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Loyola University Chicago Unveils New Center for Public Service

Loyola University Chicago (www.luc.edu) announced last week the creation of a new academic unit, the Center for Public Service. Housing the papers of several retired Congressmen, the center, a non-partisan academic unit, will primarily focus on leadership, highlighting the impact that individual men and women can have upon a civil society through their dedication to public service. It will also sponsor non-partisan research and discourse on relevant public policy issues, while emphasizing the legacies of a number of public servants, rather than one particular individual. The center will concentrate on five main program areas: sponsoring research and scholarship; hosting special exhibits, conferences, a speaker’s series, and workshops; publishing newsletters and journals; sponsoring public outreach programs focused on civic education and public discourse; and engaging Loyola’s alumni network in a comprehensive internship and career services program.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

IAP2′s 1st "Skills Symposium" in November

Mark your calendars for the first-ever IAP2 Skills Symposium, which is scheduled to take place November 12-16, 2007 in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Chaparral Suites Resort.

In addition to IAP2’s certificate program, there will be dozens of professional development opportunities featuring Large group dynamics, Cultural identity, diversity and conflict, and Specific techniques for effective public participation. There will also be a research seminar, a core values awards celebration, and the annual general membership meeting.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Institute for Global Leadership Announces Fifth Anniversary Events

The Institute for Global Leadership is organizing several Fifth Anniversary Events from April 28-May 6, 2007. Virginia Swain, Founder and Director of The Institute for Global Leadership, is convening a Conference and a week-long series of events marking the Institute for Global Leadership’s Fifth Anniversary. The “New Leadership Models for the United States and the World: A Call to Action Conference” will take place Tuesday, May 1, 8:30 am-4:00 pm at the Beechwood Hotel, Worcester, MA RSVP at 508-753-4172 ext 2. The conference sill include a World Cafe, Luncheon and book talk and signing. Cost is $95.00 including luncheon. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

ABA Announces 9th Annual Dispute Resolution Conference

The American Bar Association’s Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Conference is coming up April 25-28 in Washington, DC. The core of the conference features 97 sessions organized into 14 subject and practice areas tracks: Arbitration, Communication, Community/Peer, Construction, Corporate and Business ADR, Court, Ethics, Family, Government/Environment/Public Policy, International, Labor and Employment, Mediation and More, Practice Development/Diversity, and Representing Clients in ADR Processes. There will also be pre-conference skills training sessions, and meetings on thematic issues such as expanding opportunities for women and minorities in dispute resolution. Cost of the conference is $450 for non-members of the Dispute Resolution section of the ABA. For more details, visit http://www.abanet.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=DR013200.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Mediators Without Borders Launched

A community of conflict resolution professionals (including facilitators, dialogue leaders, and others) has come together as Mediators Without Borders™ to partner with communities worldwide to build their capacity for preventing, resolving and healing from conflict. They invite all those who are interested to contribute their expertise to making a difference internationally.

MWB goes where invited by NGOs, universities, political and activist groups, community organizations, professional societies, governments, environmental, and commercial and other entities. All projects are rooted in local priorities and problem-solving methods and all MWB teams are staffed by local as well as MWB volunteers. The aim is sustainable projects such as developing skills for group facilitation, public dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation work, strategic planning, collaborative negotiation, peer mediation, restorative justice, and public policy consensus building. They also work in the U.S., in conjunction with student chapters, to use culturally sensitive conflict resolution methods to assist refugee communities in navigating and integrating into U.S. communities. (more…)

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Open Space Learning Workshops Coming Up in June & December

Lisa Heft,Vice President of the Open Space Institute USA is organizing two Open Space Learning Workshops from June 20-22 and December 19-21 in San Francisco, for people of all experience levels. In Open Space, participants co-create their own agenda around a central theme of strategic importance; and they facilitate their own discussions — the facilitator’s role is quite different than for other methods. Experience an Open Space and learn how to convene your own Open Space event, including pre-work, design, logistics, ‘what-ifs’ and ‘when-not-to’s’. In this workshop participants will share their earning and thoughts about systems and chaos theory, grief and transformation cycles, and how organizations and individuals embrace, or resist, change. (more…)

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Announcing the First Story Field Conference

This August, the Co-Intelligence Institute will be sponsoring a pioneering interdisciplinary gathering of storytellers, artists and experts around the theme of “Invoking a New World through Story.” Participants are invited to this conference from many story disciplines. The hope is to shape a new cultural narrative together — made of a myriad of different stories — that none could shape alone, and that may re-make the world with diverse insights, struggles and dreams. The conference takes place August 26-31, 2007 at the Shambhala Mountain Center, Colorado. The conference fee is $400 ($600 after July 15 — $750 after August 15) and accommodations range from $296-$820. If you need financial help to participate, contact Heidi Nelson at storyfieldinfo (at) comcast.net or 510-843-6824. For more information, visit http://co-intelligence.org/StoryFieldConference.html.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Int'l Journal of Public Participation Launches

Our good friend Michael Briand emailed me today announcing the inaugural issue of IAP2’s new International Journal of Public Participation (IJP2). The IJP2 is an online, multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information among researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and citizens about public participation and its impact around the world. It has been created with the specific intention of bridging the arenas of research and practice within the field of public participation.

Look over the current issue, or go to the Journal’s home page at www.iap2.org/ijp2. I’m particularly excited to see the Journal connected to a Forum (bulletin board) where some real conversations can take place about the articles, and it looks like they’re planning to add a wiki as well.

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