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NCDD's Dialogue Bureau Project Requests your Press Contacts

NCDD is conducting research to assess the extent to which a National Dialogue Bureau would be valued by the dialogue & deliberation community and by journalists (learn more about the Dialogue Bureau at www.thataway.org/projects/index.html). Part of the study will involve interviews with journalists to better understand current practices for gathering the views of informed citizens on current events and the value of a service like the National Dialogue Bureau in their work.

We would like to request your assistance in this effort by sharing with us a few of your press contacts for the purpose of arranging interviews. Email Karla Andreu at kandreu@americaspeaks.org if you have contacts you can share, and please be sure to include the reporter’s name, journal, city, their “beat” (if appropriate), phone number and/or e-mail.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Update from Let's Talk America

I wanted to post today’s Let’s Talk America update since I haven’t posted anything about LTA in a while. LTA is still going strong, and I encourage those of you who haven’t yet gotten involved to participate in the March 16th or April 9th phone trainings for hosts.
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New Deliberation Guide on HIV/AIDS in Africa

“As Africa enters the twenty-first century, finding more practical approaches to the HIV/AIDS situation in the countries in sub-Saharan Africa now seems to be one of the greatest promises and greatest challenges for the future. How do we make use of resources in our countries to tackle this health problem without losing sight of other national problems?”

This is an excerpt from a new guide for deliberation about the AIDS pandemic entitled “HIV/AIDS in Africa: What Should Be Done?” The guide was written by former Kettering Foundation international fellows, Mpho Putu of South Africa and Tokunbo Awoshakin of Nigeria. Learn more and download a free copy on the NIFI website.

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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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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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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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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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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

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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.

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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.

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