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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Florida's "Sunshine Week" Highlights the Importance of Open Government

Nancy Kranich, past President of the American Library Association, sent an interesting message to the NCDD Discussion list today about “Sunshine Week,” a March 13-19, 2005 event that generates editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons and news stories about the importance of open government. Begun in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Sunday and Sunshine Week spawned similar initiatives in several other states. Click below for the full announcement.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Dialogue Needed to Handle Looming Economic Crisis, Atlee Says

Click below for a powerful message from Tom Atlee, Founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute. In this message, Tom points to the substance of our looming economic crisis in the context of other crises, emphasizing the need for dialogue and deliberation to generate the collective intelligence to deal with the emerging “Age of Consequences.”

As Tom says, “Now is the time to invest in widespread, high quality dialogue — and for the dialogue-promoting community (e.g., members of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation) to plan on how to meet the demand — now, while time and resources may still be on our side.”
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

September Project to Run Again in 2005!

I just received this inspiring announcement from the September Project – the highly successful project that got hundreds of public libraries to hold events on democracy, citizenship and patriotism on and around September 11, 2004. The message announced that the September Project is going forward again in 2005, and it is my hope that the dialogue & deliberation community can make a real splash in the program this year.

This is a great opportunity for D&D activists, organizers and facilitators to build ongoing relationships with their local public libraries in order to introduce more people in their area to dialogue and deliberation. If you are interested in helping NCDD mobilize the D&D community around the 2005 September Project, please email me at sandy@thataway.org right away to let me know. Click below to read the September Project’s announcement.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims

In its March 2 newsletter, the elite World Security Network Foundation put out a strong call for Muslims and Christians to engage in dialogue. According to the Foundation, there are a lot of well-intentioned Muslim-Christian dialogue initiatives, “but progress is close to zero.” Click below for their reasoning, and for the rest of the message.

The aim of the World Security Network is to rouse people out of their apathy, to raise awareness of trouble spots before wars break out, to outline proposed solutions and to draw media attention to security issues at an early stage. Above all, however, it aims to network the “strategic community” – politicians, journalists, academics and opinion-leaders around the world – and to convey new creative ideas and policy recommendations to decision-makers at lightening speed via the Internet. Their weekly newsletter goes out to over 160,000 members of the global information elite all over the world.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Taos Institute Publishes Two New Books on Appreciative Inquiry

Taos Institute (www.taosinstitute.net), a longtime supporter of Appreciative Inquiry techniques, has announced the publication of two new books that will be of interest to Happenings readers. Experiential Learning Exercises In Social Construction: A Field Book for Creating Change (2004) presents exercises that have been organized into Learning Labs that will invite innovative thinking and practice with those familiar with social construction theory as well as those who are newcomers to constructionist thinking. In Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge: Leveraging Knowledge Management for Strategic Change (2005) Tojo Thatchenkery describes a brand new methodology for change management called Appreciate Sharing of Knowledge [ASK] and provides a step-by-step tool kit for anyone interested in knowledge management. For more information on the books, or to place an order, visit www.taosinstitute.net/publishing/publishing

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Choices Program Offers Discussion Materials on North Korea

Discussion materials about North Korea and Nuclear Weapons-Policy Options are now available online from the Choices Program. The downloadable materials include background reading and four policy options to consider. Each of the four policy options includes: an overview of the option, goals, U.S. policies, underlying beliefs, and criticisms. Go to www.choices.edu/twtn.cfm?id=40 to learn more.

The Choices for the 21st Century program is a project of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. A listing of other topics for discussion available from the Choices Program can be found at www.choices.edu/curriculum_twtn.cfm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Research Project to Model Citizen-to-Citizen Deliberation and Use and Impact of Online Tools

I learned about this interesting initiative on the NIFI (Nat’l Issues Forums Institute) website. Andrea Kavanaugh from the Center for Human Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech announced a new research project (September
2004-2007) supported by a grant from the NSF Digital Government program to the Center for Human Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the research is to model citizen-to-citizen deliberation at the local level and the related use and impact of online tools. They are also investigating the role of information and communication technology in incorporating deliberation into local government decision making. Where necessary and appropriate, they are designing and prototyping innovations to software. Learn more on the project’s website.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) recently launched “Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities,” an eight-month initiative that will foster public dialogue about the balance between civil liberties and homeland security. The League will develop materials, train local facilitators, and encourage citizen participation in large League-led conversations about this topic. Click below for the full press release for this exciting project.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Report on Engaging Armed Groups in Peace Processes Available Online

Conciliation Resources’ Accord (www.c-r.org/accord) programme has just published a report
of the 2004 joint analysis workshop: Engaging Armed Groups in Peace Processes. The report presents some of the challenges presented by engaging armed groups, and a series of recommendations for future work,
including the need to: better understand armed groups and how they make choices; improve how we articulate the case for engagement; consider engagement within the wider context of peace and conflict; counter the state-actor bias of the international system in peace processes; and improve the track one / track two relationship in the process of engaging armed groups.
The full text is available free online at www.c-r.org/accord/ansa/index.shtml or can be ordered in print online.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Purple America Poster & Products

I just stumbled upon something online that I fear everyone else may already have seen, but it struck me as such an important image that I had to post something about it. Professor Robert Venderbei at Princeton created a map of the U.S. depicting the 2004 presidential election results in shades of red and blue – not by state – but by county. And the result is a strikingly purple map.

This is a red/blue map that is not so black and white (aren’t I clever?) – and a more realistic, truthful image for people to see during these polarizing times. You can buy all kinds of products with the purple map on it (I like the tote bag and the Ringer T-shirts), which I think is a good thing. The more people who can replace the red/blue state map in their mind with this purple map, the better. You can view the map at www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/.

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