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From the CommunityFrom the Community

The Critical Need for Collective Sensemaking

We recently found this piece we’d like to share from NCDD member, Beth Tener of New Directions Collaborative, and how processes shift the way that change is navigated. She talks about how the essence of understanding and how the way we make sense of things, affects the change we can have.  You can read the article below or the original version of it on the New Directions Collaborative site here.


Navigating Change With Collective Sensemaking

In the news lately, I frequently hear commentators talking about how a particular event or action is unprecedented, such as three hurricanes so close together or the actions this Administration is taking to deregulate quickly. These times call for us to practice ‘collective sensemaking’ to more clearly see what is unfolding and avoid being caught in denial or wishful thinking. We may unconsciously use the same playbook that has worked before…when the game and territory have changed. This is time for key questions such as, What is changing? What is needed to respond now? What is now possible?

This sensitivity to a changing world is a key skill for ensuring longevity and resilience. Arie de Geus, who worked on strategic planning at Shell, got curious and researched corporations with long life spans. To his surprise, he found companies in Japan and Sweden that had existed for 700 years. In these companies, he found common patterns, manifested in unique ways in their context. As he wrote in Harvard Business Review, “living companies have a personality that allows them to evolve harmoniously. They know who they are, understand how they fit into the world, value new ideas and new people, and husband their money in a way that allows them to govern their future.” The four common characteristics he saw across many long-lived companies were: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Creating Community Through Ben Franklin Circles

Back at the end of Summer, we announced NCDD had teamed with Ben Franklin Circles (BFC), an NCDD member org, and we have some exciting updates to share! BFC is a collaborative project with New York’s 92nd Street Y, Citizen University, and the Hoover Institution. We are starting to hear the stories from these Circles and we will continue to uplift them on the NCDD blog over the coming weeks. Learn more about the grassroots development of these self-improvement talking circles, inspired by one of our founding fathers, and the ways in which these experiences have helped to build relationships and community. We encourage you to read the post below or find the original on BFC’s site here.


Why I Started a Benjamin Franklin Circle

Even just a cursory look at headlines these days brings forth an environment of “us vs them” and foretells a path toward greater divisions.

While our society has had a history of deep divisions, this somehow seems different. What seems different is that the people who make this country work – the teachers, the social workers, the police, the tradesmen, the small business owners, the big business employees, are now pulled into a colossal, epic struggle among themselves. We are letting go of the final threads holding us together – the threads that remain after television first brought our attention indoors instead of out; after social media took us from face-to-face contact even with our closest friends and families; after the hectic life style took away our free time to build community. We are now building walls all over. You said this, so I reject you. You believe this, so I will un-friend you.

“Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register to Join Harwood Institute’s Spring Virtual Lab

For those working in community, NCDD member org – the Harwood Institute, has an exciting training just around the corner. Their Spring Virtual Public Innovator Lab extends their signature 2.5-day training over an 8-week interactive online course which teaches participants how to deeper engage in your community. NCDD members receive $50 off the training and to the receive the discount code, email keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org.  Register to join this educational series ASAP, which starts April 5th. You can learn more about the training in the post below and find even more details on Harwood’s site here.


Virtual Public Innovator Labs

Our training platform is built for you.

The Virtual Lab is a robust multi-week online course offered several times each year. Attend sessions from the comfort of your own computer, participate in structured discussions, and practice your new skills with other amazing people. Through our online course, you and/or your colleagues will learn our time-tested approach to creating deeper and more meaningful impact in your community.

Spring Virtual Lab: April 5 – May 24, 2018
Registration Open

Fall Virtual Lab: September 27 – November 1, 2018
Registration Open

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The Lab is for people who are leading or supporting work to help address community problems. We call these individuals public innovators. They can come from nonprofits, faith organizations, businesses, government, academia and other areas. Their organizations can be (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Apply for Technology and Democracy Fellowship by 4/15

As NCDD reflects on the ways in which technology can support face to face D&D in today’s Tech Tuesday, we wanted to share this fellowship opportunity which supports the technological work that enhances democratic governance. [By the way, you can still join the free Tech Tuesday here!] Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, an NCDD member, recently announced they are offering an unpaid, non-resident Technology and Democracy Fellowship; to create space for participants to build relationships, develop their work or research, and have a unique opportunity to dig into the bigger questions behind their practice. The fellowship deadline is April 15th, so apply now if you are interested! Learn more about the details of the fellowship in the post below or find the original here.


Technology and Democracy Fellowship

Applications are now open for 2018 Fellowships. Applications can be found here

The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is part of an Ash Center initiative to explore technology’s role in improving democratic governance—with a focus on connecting to practice and on helping Harvard Kennedy School students develop crucial technology skills.

Over the course of the fellowship, participants design, develop, or refine a substantive project that is salient to their field. This project could entail research, writing, and developing strategy relating to each fellow’s work, or could take the form of a new platform, service, app, or idea.

Technology and Democracy Fellows form a virtual community through which they share ideas and resources, pose questions, offer feedback, and help one another with solving challenges in their projects or other work. The Kennedy School serves as a unique space for (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Reminder to Join Tomorrow’s Tech Tues Feat Synaccord!

In case you missed our original announcement, our next Tech Tuesday featuring David Fridley of Synaccord is tomorrow, March 20th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00-Noon Pacific. You don’t have to be an NCDD member to participate, this free call is open to all. Make sure you save your spot by registering ASAP to join!

David Fridley, the founder of Synaccord LLC and an NCDD member since 2015; has been taking the best practices of face to face deliberation and translating them into online experiences to enhance and expand face to face deliberative discussion. David will demonstrate the latest release of tools for online deliberation and explain the discussion stages in terms of their face to face comparisons.  He will show where face to face discussions and online discussions add value to each other, by creating better results than either can achieve separately.

He will lead a discussion of the challenges facing online discussion and the concerns public bodies have, and how they are overcome. David also has a special offer for NCDDers who want to help a public body discover awesome solutions with tremendous support.

This is sure to be an educational webinar on how to improve engagement results, by utilizing online deliberative tools to augment the deliberative experiences that take place face to face – don’t miss out, register today!

About NCDD’s Tech Tuesdays

Tech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

MetroQuest Webinar on LRTP Engagement Strategy, 3/20

Next week, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, A Winning Public Involvement Approach for LRTPs; co-sponsored by NCDD, IAP2, and the American Planning Association (APA). The webinar is on Tuesday, March 20th and will feature the work of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments about best practices for developing an exciting public engagement strategy on long-range transportation planning. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


MetroQuest Webinar: A Winning Public Involvement Approach for LRTPs

A winning recipe for public involvement – how to build a LRTP the public will support!

Wednesday, March 20th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (CM APA AICP)
Complimentary (FREE)

REGISTER HERE

How can you captivate the public to collect input for your long-range transportation plan? Make it visual. Gamify it. Map it. Learn how on March 20th!

Join Trevor Layton, Christina Ignasiak, and Trevor Brydon from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments for an insider view of their brilliant approach to public outreach. Learn how (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference Recap

Last week, NCDD Managing Director Courtney Breese and I had the pleasure of attending the Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference in the Phoenix area. The conference was hosted by NCDD member organizations – the Participatory Budgeting Project and the Jefferson Center, as well as, the Center for the Future of Arizona, the Katal Center, the Participatory Governance Initiative at Arizona State University, Phoenix Union High School District, and the Policy Jury Group.

It was three exhilarating days of mixing and mingling and learning with folks from across the world about the innovative practices going on to better engage our communities and improve participatory democracy. Huge shout out to PBP and all the co-hosts for such a great event, we heard from several people that this was one of the most engaging conferences they had attended.

NCDD was well represented at the conference with pre-conference trainings and several folks from the network who presented sessions:

    • Courtney and I presented a session with two fellow NCDD members, Cassie Hemphill (of the IAP2 Federation and University of Montana) and Annie Rappeport (of the University of Maryland), on Using art to explore participatory democracy work and connections.
    • There were two pre-conference trainings by NCDD member orgs: One on participatory budgeting (PB) hosted by the Participatory Budgeting Project, and another training on citizen juries, citizen assemblies, and sortition hosted by the Jefferson Center and the Policy Jury Group.
    • Our upcoming Tech Tuesday speaker, David Fridley of Synaccord, presented the session, Up for deliberation using digital tools, with Amy Lee of Kettering, John Richardson of Ethelo, and several others. [Learn more about Synaccord at our free Tech Tuesday webinar next week on March 20th – register here]
    • Martha McCoy of Everday Democracy held a session on Advancing Racial Equity in Government Planning and Participatory Democracy with Sarita Turner of PolicyLink and John Dobard of the Advancement Project.
    • Matt Leighninger of Public Agenda did a session with Patrick Scully of Participedia and Mark Warren from the University of British Columbia on What can we gain from better documentation of participatory democracy? And how can we do it together?
    • Jim Rough from the Center for Wise Democracy had a session with several others on Dealing with Global Democratic decline: What now?
    • The Participatory Budgeting Project held numerous sessions (too many to list here!) but you can check out the full conference schedule by clicking here.

We had an NCDD meet up on Friday night in Tempe, where we had a great opportunity to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Job & Internship Opportunities in the D&D Field

NCDD sponsoring organization, Essential Partners, recently shared with us an exciting job opportunity they have on their team and we wanted to lift it up for our fantastic network. Check out some of the details of the job below, as well as, some additional offers we’ve found recently. You may want to follow up with the orgs that we shared in an earlier post that were hiring, in case any of those positions are still open.

If you’re looking to hear about the jobs we find ASAP, make sure you sign up here for our Making-A-Living listserv where we post opportunities as we find them. To note, access to the Making-A-Living listserv is part of being an NCDD member, so make sure you join/renew your NCDD membership here to receive this great benefit! Finally, if your organization is hiring, send the details directly to the Making-A-Living listserv or to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org.

Essential Partners seeking a Director of Strategic Communications: Essential Partners (EP), a non-profit whose mission is to equip anyone facing divisive difference with skills for connection through conversation and curiosity, seeks someone smart, creative, and dynamic to help us share our mission far and wide. The DSC will report directly to the Executive Director and work closely with the Director of Development. We’re located in Cambridge, MA, and are looking for someone who can begin as soon as possible. Learn more about the qualifications and benefits of this position here.

NCDD member org Everyday Democracy is seeking an Executive Assistant (part-time). The Executive Assistant will provide high-level support for the efficient and effective operation of the Executive Offices. Learn more about the position and requirement here.

Public Agenda, an NCDD member org, is hiring a Development Director. To learn more (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Podcast Round-up on Dialogue, Deliberation, & Democracy

As we finish up this last official week of winter and begin to welcome in the spring, we wanted to share some of the podcasts that have crossed our paths recently related to all things dialogue, deliberation, democracy, or public engagement. Whether to inspire, challenge, or purely for entertainment – these podcasts can help get us through the last bit of winter hibernation or energize us to get ready for any upcoming spring cleaning!

NCDD has put out a few podcast episodes that we encourage you to listen to:

  • Episode One featured NCDD Managing Director, Courtney Breese and our former Board Chair Barbara Simonetti, on a powerful metaphor she realized which compares the D&D field to a multi-purpose public utility – click here to listen!
  • Episode Two told the story of Conversation Café by stewards of the process, co-creator Susan Partnow, past steward Jacquelyn Pogue, and NCDD staffer Keiva Hummel – click here to listen!
  • Episode Three was on the opportunities for D&D in Congress with Brad Fitch of the Congressional Management Foundation and our own Courtney Breese – click here to listen!
  • Episode Four had  Journalism that Matters Executive Director Peggy Holman and Board President Michelle Ferrier discuss their thoughts about connecting journalists and public engagement practitioners – click here to listen!
  • Episode Five featured Julie Winokur of Bring it to the Table and their work on bridging political divides and healing partisanship – click here to listen!

We look forward to releasing more NCDD podcasts in the future – so stay tuned!

We’ve rounded up some other podcasts which you may find interesting, check them out below: (more…)

NCDD NewsNCDD News

NCDD to Present at Public Library Association Conference

NCDD is excited to announce that we will be co-presenting a session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, March 23rd at 2:00pm. Along with our partners at the American Library Association Public Program’s Office, NCDD will be talking with public librarians about the Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative and will help them further explore how libraries can engage their communities through dialogue and deliberation. The session is open to all attendees.

The description for the session, titled Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change is (more…)

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