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A New Form of Online Deliberation – Meaning Map is Now Online

Meaning Map is a new, web-based form of discussion designed to make collective decision-making more democratic and efficient by democratizing framing and agenda setting, emphasizing reasons and principles, and removing the need for any stable group of elites to act as gatekeepers. Meaning Map creator Ray Pingree encourages you to experiment with Meaning Map at www.meaningmap.com (click on “Try Meaning Map now!”). Ray also says that groups of 50 to 500 who want their own Meaning Map should contact him at ray_pingree@hotmail.com. He may be able to host it on his server for you for free. Also email Ray if you have constructive feedback on the tool.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Rogue Valley Wisdom Council Video Available Online

You know that amazing picture that’s posted on NCDD’s main page right now? The one with the people holding up a banner that says “We the People”? Well, that’s the Rogue Valley Wisdom Coucil, an important democratic experiment that’s been going on in Oregon. I just received an email letting me know that the video footage of the first Rogue Valley Wisdom Council, which took place in November, has been incorporated into a 22-minute video. If you’re curious about Wisdom Councils or Dynamic Facilitation, this video allows you to watch the process unfold, as the panelists grapple with issues and find common ground. Click below for more info.
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Michigan Making Inroads in Interreligious Dialogue & Peacebuilding

I received an inspiring email from my friends Libby and Len Traubman today. The message talks about the media attention that some peace activists, artists and dialogue practitioners in Michigan have been getting for their phenomenal programs. “A handful of people in Michigan are causing Muslims, Jews, and Christians to open their hearts and minds,” say Len and Libby. Read the full email by clicking below. To get on the Traubman’s mailing list, email them at LTraubman@igc.org. The Traubmans are hubs in the Jewish/Palestinian dialogue community.
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Game Used to Increase Citizen Engagement in Queens Spurs Query

An email from Harvard Ph.D. candidate Alexandra Samuel to the Do-Consult discussion list today asked: “The Community Board in Queens, NY has developed a cell phone-enabled game that is intended to boost awareness and use of its citizen engagement web site (www.cb3qn.nyc.gov/). Has anyone else used games to promote an online engagement process?” Click below for a description of the game used in Queens. Email Alexandra at samuel@fas.harvard.edu if you have any info to share.
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CIVICUS Announces Results of Study on Resisting Repression

In a March 23 press release, CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations, announced the release of a study on the legislative frameworks and country practices governing civil space in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. The study relates specifically to freedom of association, expression and assembly in these four countries, with a focus on the grave and worsening situation in Zimbabwe.
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Resource Binder Available from ADI's National Exchange

The fabulous resource/program binder that Animating Democracy compiled for participants in their October 2003 National Exchange on Art & Civic Dialogue is now available for purchase. Drawing together participants from across disciplines, this 2003 conference offered a lively exploration of the philosophical, practical, and aesthetic aspects of arts and humanities activities that seek to stimulate civic dialogue on important contemporary issues. This resource includes session notes and descriptions, participant biographies, essays and case studies about arts-based civic dialogue work, and a list of resources (including some great stuff taken directly from NCDD’s website, with permission of course). The binder is $25. Go to www.AmericansForTheArts.org and click on the bookstore icon.

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Report Emphasizes Need for Public Involvement in World's Water Problems

Pat Bonner of the EPA forwarded this interesting press release to me the other day. On World Water Day 2004, a new report was released from the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council WSSCC. The report emphasized that the world’s severe water and sanitation problems will not be solved by “business as usual” – delivering solutions from the outside to communities who have had no involvement in, or ownership of, the process. An important report in its implications for public involvement. Click below for the full press release.
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New Network of Scholars Interested in Collaborative Policy

The Center for Collaborative Policy (one of NCDD’s newest members) is developing a network of international, multi-disciplinary scholars in collaborative planning, public administration, and political science to explore how collaborative policy can enhance democratic governance. Scholars from the disciplines of collaborative policy/planning, public administration, and political science are included. Panels and round tables are planned for various upcoming conferences. Contact CCP Research Director Dr. William Leach (bleach@ccp.csus.edu) for details about how you can get involved.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CIRCLE Releases Indicators of Civic Engagement

What does being “civically engaged” mean? What types of behavior should civic egagement programs look to encourage? A team of leading researchers, in collaboration with CIRCLE, have developed Indicators of Civic Engagement to help identify different dimensions of civic behavior. The indicators, which include community problem solving, regular volunteering, and active membership in a group, can be found at www.civicyouth.org/practitioners/Core_Indicators_Page.htm.
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Grants for K-12 Teachers who Emphasize Cultural Connections

This year’s National Geographic Society Education Foundation is awarding $100,000 in grants (up to $5,000 each) to K-12 teachers in the U.S. or Canada who prepare children to embrace a diverse world, succeed in a global economy, and act as stewards of the planet’s resources. This year’s program emphasizes “cultural connections” – projects that promote understanding of and respect for differences between cultures, as well as explorations of students’ own heritage. Application deadline is June 10, 2004. Click below for full announcement.
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