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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Presence Walkabouts Coming Up in Santa Fe

Glenna Gerard (www.glennagerard.net) has just announced that she will guide two Presence Walkabouts in Santa Fe, New Mexico from June 18-25 and Sept. 24-Oct. 1, 2006. “Presence” means: paying attention to that which is immediate; noticing what is emerging; discerning what is important; listening deeply and responding authentically. A “Walkabout” is an experiential practice of heightened awareness, moving upon and in partnership with the Land and Nature. Such connection with the natural environment invokes inner resonance that opens the individual and collective to different ways of knowing. This challenging practice of commitment to a Walkabout, originated with the indigenous peoples of Australia as a means of attuning with the powers of place (landscapes) and rhythm (seasons) in search of a deeper knowing and wisdom. The essential structure of this Walkabout is a weave of specifically selected practices for Presencing with intentional movement and deep listening on the Land. Each individual will use themselves as an instrument to gain clarity and to create new possibilities in their lives. They will in turn use their increased Presence and attunement to what is emerging to practice deep listening and conscious co-creation as a group. The people who step into the Presence Walkabout groups are expected to be willing to walk into unknown territories, i.e., at the edge of their present personal, social, political and economic narratives. They will gather to hone their individual capacities for Presence, while at the same time exploring the nature and practice of Collective Presencing. Each group is limited to 12-15 persons. For more information, visit www.glennagerard.net/pw_seasonal.pdf or contact Glenna Gerard directly at glenna49@earthlink.net.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Conference on Collective Wisdom Coming Up in Germany

Collective Wisdom:New Perspectives for Resolution in Small and Large Group Conflicts, Families, Social Groups and Politics is a conference taking place from Friday, 28 April 2006, 9:00 a.m. to Sunday 30 April 2006, 4:00 p.m. in Würzburg, Germany. The conference gathers together people from diverse fields to share their wisdom and build collective intelligence. The effects of collective intelligence are appearing as a topic world wide, in the natural sciences as well as the social sciences, under such names as: group-wisdom, cointelligence, transpersonal-creative knowledge or the zeropoint field. In various areas of enquiry, information from a shared field offers solutions that extend far beyond the best efforts of an individual and, at the same time, exercise a strong developmental influence on the individual. Among the presenters will be Robert Kenny, Rupert Sheldrake, Marshall Rosenberg, Eckhart Tolle, Tsultrim Allione, and individuals who have worked on resolving apparentlyintractable conflicts, including the Middle East, Rwanda and South Africa. Conference fees are 400 Euro for registration until 15 March 2006; 450 Euro for registration from 16 March 2006 to 28 April 2006 and a 50% reduction for students is available. The downloadable conference program can be found at www.congress06.collective-wisdom.org. The registration form is at www.congress06.collective-wisdom.org/kontakt_e.html. For more information or to register, contact: Dr. med. Albrecht Mahr ISAIL, FPA e. V.; Brigitta Mahr FAB e. V.; Mittlerer Dallenbergweg 37 a; 97082 Würzburg / GERMANY. Tel.: +49-(0)9 31-78 40 100
Fax: +49-(0)9 31-78 40 101 or Mobile: +49-(0)172-6 61 29 55. Email:
a.u.b.mahr@t-online.de or brigittemahr@gmx.de
Internet information can be found at www.mahrsysteme.de.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New CIRCLE Paper on Influence of Institutions on Youth Civic Engagement Available Online

A new CIRCLE Working Paper edited by Peter Levine and James Youniss collects
14 short essays by leading scholars in political science, psychology, education, communications, and sociology. Each of the 14 short essays suggests ways to expand the study of youth civic engagement to include institutions and cultural contexts as well as the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of individual youth. The collection, entitled “Youth Civic Engagement: An Institutional Turn,”can be found here: www.civicyouth.org/research/products/working_papers.htm

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join the OrangeBand Anti-Apathy Campaign

The OrangeBand initative (www.OrangeBand.org), a group dedicated to promoting civil conversations about important issues, is challenging 10,000 people to add their voice to the new online OrangeBand Mosaic. You will also be able to start a profile in the new OrangeBand Online Community. Visit http://orangeband.org/profile/image.php to sign up to participate in the anti-apathy campaign.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Sustained Dialogue Conference Coming Up April 7-9

This year’s Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) National Conference will be held at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ. The conference title this year is “Returning to our Roots”. The SDCN National Conference is open to current SD practitioners and interested parties alike. It will feature workshops on Saturday and Sunday designed to introduce Sustained Dialogue as a process, help student leaders build programs on their campuses, help moderators lead their groups and more. It’s also a great chance to meet, share, and network with students engaged in dialogue from all over the country! If you are a member of an SD organization at your school, make sure you’ve talked to your Student Leaders about attending the conference, and have them sign you up. If you’re not currently involved with SD, but would like to learn more about our efforts, there’s no better place than the conference to do just that—feel free to contact us (info@sdcampusnetwork.org) for more information. All SD Alums are invited to join the conference. For conference, lodging, hotel, and transportation information, visit www.sdcampusnetwork.org/conference_information.htm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

News About Visual Dialogue on World Aids Day

[via Deliberative-Democracy.net] On World AIDS Day (December 1st) 2005, the “visual voice” of more than 1,200 young people affected by, living with or concerned about HIV/AIDS in over a dozen countries was exhibited at sites around the world. Part of the first International Peace Tiles Project World AIDS Day initiative, young people who participated in arts and discussion workshops in advance of World AIDS Day contributed more than 100 wood “tiles” on which they had created intimate collages. These personal works of narrative art, when combined with others from around the world, created powerful messages of hope, prevention, and advocacy. Murals were installed in South Africa, India, and at the Global Fund in Geneva and exhibited on World AIDS Day. For more information about this unique visual dialogue, please visit: www.telecommunity.us/peacetiles/wad

From the CommunityFrom the Community

"We Media" Conference Discusses Journalism as Dialogue

[From mediacenter.org via Deliberative-Democracy.net] Increasingly, media is coming to be understood as engaged in a dialogue with its consumers, who are beginning to contribute as much as they consume. The days of a passive audience are receding as new social technologies create opportunities for citizens to report about the stories they experience. The We Media Global Forum brings together innovators who are wiring the connected society – the thinkers, innovators, investors, executives and activists who seek to tap the growing connections among people everywhere. This year’s We Media Forum will be conducted at and hosted by The BBC and Reuters in London. from May 3-4. It will include a series of keynote, general and small group conversations and workgroups, as well as networking receptions and a World Café – a global “town hall” meeting with Web, satellite, television and other avenues of participation from around the world. Inaugurated in New York in 2005, We Media gathers about 300 international participants: senior executives, decision makers, storytellers, artists, investors and innovators from media, advertising, public relations, marketing, news, entertainment, finance, telecommunications, technology, philanthropy, government, NGOs, social activism and academia. They come together to learn from each other and to think about, explore, be inspired by and build upon the shared knowledge and the collective intelligence of the connected society. Their collective efforts spawn new ideas, information, services and businesses. This will be an exciting gathering and there will be much for deliberative democrats to learn and to share. For more information, please visit the We Media website: www.mediacenter.org/pages/mcevents/06/london/home/

From the CommunityFrom the Community

News on the Torino Youth Peace Meeting

[From comune.torino.it via Deliberative-Democracy.net] In fulfillment of its role as host of the 2006 Olympics, the Youth Policy and International Cooperation and Peace department of the City of Torino invited young people from around the world to participate in “Young words happening,” an international peace dialogue in September, 2005. The program consisted of three days of dialogue around the key issues of access to information, economic development, and cultural integration in the context of the Olympic Truce Torino 2006. The purpose of the event, which engaged more than 1,000 Italian and foreign youth, was to experiment with dialogue between people of opposing opinions, cultures, and faiths, creating room for listening and reflection to prevail. During the three-day dialogue, the city of Torino became an “arena of participation” in which plenary assemblies were held using an adaptation of AmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meeting method, an approach to participatory discussion used for the first time in Italy. For more information about this unique gathering of young people, please visit the “Young Words Happening” site at: www.comune.torino.it/treguaolimpica/youngwords/

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Vermont Public Radio Features Documentary on Town Meeting

[From vpr.net via Deliberative-Democracy.net] More than a century ago, lawmakers designated the first Tuesday in March as a day for a town meeting. However, changing times are threatening the health of this democratic institution. On March 1, 2006, Vermont Public Radio presented an hour-long documentary exploring the tradition of Town Meeting Day, its importance to Vermont life, and the challenges to grassroots democracy during changing times. With stories and comments from voters, moderators, clerks, the governor, the secretary of state, the legislature, and the political scientists, the show also includes ideas that are being put forward to strengthen town meetings in the future. To listen to the audio documentary, visit: www.vpr.net/vt_news/commentaries/town.shtml

From the CommunityFrom the Community

CDC Wraps Up Deliberative Consultation on Pandemic Flu

[From keystone.org via Deliberative-Democracy.net] In one of the most exemplary recent US government efforts to engage the public around an urgent issue, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a series of public consultations on pandemic flu in the last quarter of 2005. According to one of the project’s sponsors, “To conduct this public consultation, the sponsors engaged stakeholders from various organizations with an interest in pandemic influenza (the National Stakeholder Group), and individual citizens-at-large from the four principal regions of the United States, including Georgia (South), Massachusetts (North East), Nebraska (Midwest), and Oregon (West)…  The purpose of the Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza (PEPPPI) was to inform decision-makers about the public’s priorities for the use of pandemic influenza vaccine during a period of anticipated shortage. This information is intended to lead to a sounder, more supportable decision and to demonstrate that citizens can be productively engaged in informing vaccine related policy decisions thereby leading to more public engagement in the future.”

According to Patty Dineen of the National Issues Forums Institute, “This is the best public engagement project and report that I have seen. I really think that what you’ve done is groundbreaking and should be required reading for all of us who are involved in–or care about–public engagement.” To view a report of the consultation, please visit the Study Circles Resource Center, which carries an excellent article and links: www.studycircles.org/en/Article.393.aspx.

The official PEPPI Report is available for viewing on The Keystone Center’s website at www.keystone.org/spp/health-pandemic.html. The section of the Department of Health and Human Services’ pandemic flu plan mentioning the work of PEPPPI can be found at www.hhs.gov/pandemicflu/plan/appendixd.html/.