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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Insights on Co-Creating Collaboration That Fosters Participation and Equity

NCDD member Beth Tener recently posted the article, Collaboration That Fosters Equity, Participation, and Co-Creation, on the New Directions Collaborative website. In the article, she shares several powerful insights from a co-hosted learning exchange, which offer important reminders on co-creating collaborative spaces that are equitable and liberating. We encourage folks to check out the upcoming workshop, Working in Collaborative Ways, happening next Wednesday March 6th, which will offer skills and methods for collaborating more equitably. You can read the article in the post below and find the original on the NDC’s site here.


Collaboration That Fosters Equity, Participation, and Co-Creation

In the last couple of years in the US, we have witnessed many examples of white supremacy – how the patterns of power, domination, oppression, and separation play out. These patterns are hundreds of years old. What does it take to work and live from patterns and behaviors that embody mutual respect, dignity, equity, belonging, and being more together? I gratefully had the experience of teaming with four other facilitators* to host a learning exchange with people working on collaboration and equity, primarily in New Hampshire. The invitation was to build our collective understanding of how to create collaborative spaces centering on equity and liberation. We offered a spacious series of conversations for these experienced practitioners to share knowledge and experiences.

Here are some key ideas that surfaced from the conversations and insights from the day: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Many Great D&D Online Events Happening This Week

We are excited to share this roundup of the online D&D events happening over the next week! There is a wide offering of topics and most of these events are free to join, so we encourage you to utilize these opportunities to build skills and deepen connections. We’re proud to feature many events from the NCDD Coalition – check out events from NCDD member orgs New Directions CollaborativeMetroQuestBridge Alliance, and Living Room Conversations, as well as, International Association of Facilitators and At the Table Colorado.

Do you have a webinar or other event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Online Roundup: Living Room Conversations, MetroQuest, Bridge Alliance, At the Table Colorado, IAF

Living Room Conversations Inspired Event – Men & Women in Relationships: Building Trust & Intimacy by Honoring Boundaries

Tuesday, February 26th
10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Join us for a free, online (using Zoom), two-hour special event inspired by Living Room Conversations! The topic will be Men & Women in Relationships: Building Trust & Intimacy by Honoring Boundaries. This event has been designed and will be hosted by two of our talented, long-time hosts, Lewis & Sushila. This Living Room Conversations format has been adapted to include Empathy Circles( that will give participants a chance to further reflect on what was discussed.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-inspired-event-men-women-in-relationships-building-trust-intimacy-by-honoring-boundaries/

Living Room Conversations webinar (2 sessions!) – Tribalism 101 (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Listserv Recap on Bridging People Across Divides

Bringing people together across divides is likely to be a challenge that our world will continue to face for a while, and it will be an area our field can offer some unique insight or at least a space to explore this challenge. Adrian Segar posted a thorough recap of an engaging discussion held on the NCDD Main Discussion listserv, which he shared a couple weeks back on the Conferences That Work website. Shout out to Chris Santos-Lang who initially reposted the recap! While this listserv conversation was held almost two years ago now, we still find its commentary and content to be useful. You can read the recap of this listserv discussion below and find the original version of Adrian’s post here.


Bringing People Together Across Divides

by Adrian Segar
originally posted Monday, February 4th, 2019

Note about article: A HT to Chris Santos-Lang who reposted this conversation recently and sparked me to reproduce it here.

How can we bring people together across divides?

In April 2017, I posted the following to the NCDD-DISCUSSION list. (The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation [NCDD] is “a network of innovators who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide, and take action together effectively on today’s toughest issues”.)

The resulting conversation was fascinating and instructive. So I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it here, and have added links when possible to the participants. I hope you find it a valuable dialog on the important issue of bringing people together across divides.

Adrian Segar: It’s an advertisement and carefully staged, but I wonder if there are lessons for NCDD folks in the largely positive response to this recent Heineken ad. – (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Civility Convening Early Bird Extended Until February 28th

Friendly reminder about the upcoming Civility Convening, happening April 30 – May 1 at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA. The event will be a great opportunity for those working to improve civility across sectors, including in government, education, the workplace, media (social and public), and in the family. The list of speakers has been announced and we’re excited to see NCDDers on the line-up, like Russ Charvonia, Joan Blades, and John Gable! We encourage folks to get their tickets ASAP as the Early Bird registration has been extended until Thursday, February 28th. You can read more about it in the announcement below or find the original on the Civility Convening site here.


The Urgency of Civility – A Springboard for Action

You are invited to attend a convening of organizations engaged in improving civility within our world. This important session is intended to open conversations around our various goals, and how we can leverage the strengths of each, while remaining independent.

Date: April 30 – May 1, 2019

Register now at the early bird price of $250.00. Pricing extended to Feb 28, 2019.

Mission of the Convening: Civility is rapidly disappearing in our society today yet sprouting anew as a goal of many organizations throughout the free world. This conference is an opportunity for disparate groups to engage in productive dialogue towards the goal of making a positive impact in current civility initiatives through higher awareness and the discovery of common understanding.

Goals of the Convening: (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Listen to Confab Recording on All-America City Awards

Last week we held our first co-hosted Confab call of 2019 with The National Civic League, who shared more about the All-America City Awards! We were joined by 35 participants to learn more about this prestigious award and requirements for how a city can be eligible to win. This was a particularly timely call, as applications for the 2019 AAC Awards are being accepted until March 6th. That deadline is approaching quickly so we encourage you to listen to the recording to learn more, share this announcement with your networks, and consider organizing your city to apply!

On the call, we were joined by NCL’s Program Director Rebecca Trout and two representatives, Jordan Moore of Las Vegas, NV and Renae Madison of Decatur, GA -both from previous award-winning All-America Cities. Over 500 cities have been awarded the All-America City Award over the last 70 years. Every year, NCL awards the cities who are leveraging innovative civic engagement practices in order to create change on the local level. The focus of this year’s theme is on, “creating healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement” and the award will be given to the cities with projects that promote more equitable health practices and better overall health in the community. Click here to learn more about the award, resources, and where to apply.

The call was an opportunity to hear directly from past recipients of the award and how it has impacted each of their communities. Both shared the projects their cities highlighted for the award, the preparation required, how their teams coordinated logistics, and the overall deep engagement required with each community throughout the whole experience. Jordan, who works for the City of Las Vegas, shared with us the experience of applying for the AAC award and how this process has led to a greater feeling of pride in the city and increased draw for new residents and businesses. We also heard from Renae who works for the City of Decatur and how the award process was a great time for the community to build deeper relationships with each other and with other cities passionate about engaging their communities. The award and the accompanying conference (where the award is announced) work to elevate the powerful community engagement work going on across the country and celebrate those cities best in service to their communities.

We were live tweeting during the call and here are some of our favorite quotes from the Confab:

  • NCL is looking for the cities with programs that are innovative and working to address the real challenges in their city.
  • One thing that surprised me was how welcoming and open everyone was, they didn’t treat it as a competition… communities were so open to sharing and exchanging what works, what was challenging
  • [The AAC awards] is a time to celebrate and connect with other communities doing similar work and it’s an opportunity to learn from different communities.
  • This award attracts new citizens and new businesses. Because Vegas has a reputation for not being a place to live, this [award] helps show that it is a liveable city.
  • This process [of applying for the AAC Award] is unlike any award I’ve ever seen. The amount of transparency and the engagement needed was a lot, and was so worth it.

Confab bubble image

We want to thank our friends at the National Civic League for co-hosting this call with us! Thank you to Rebecca, Jordan, Renae, and all the Confab participants for contributing to this conversation! We recorded the whole presentation in case you weren’t able to join us, which you can access by clicking here. To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Nat’l Institute for Civil Discourse Offers Grant Opportunity

NCDD member organization, the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) recently announced a call for proposals on a new grant opportunity to fund cross-sector research on American civic and political life. With funding from the Charles Koch Foundation’s Courageous Collaborations initiative, they seek to fund five projects, up to $25,000 each, for research projects across disciplinary and ideological lines on a core concept or institution in American civic and/or political life. Awardees would receive the grants to collaborate on research over the next 15 months then present their findings at future public events. Proposals must be submitted by April 1st. You can read the announcement below and find the original on the Charles Koch Foundation site here.


National Institute for Civil Discourse Projects to Provide Models for How to Restore Civility

Though Americans of varying worldviews share a concern over the health of our country’s institutions, the way in which we discuss the topic differs across communities—including academic disciplines. The University of Arizona-based National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) aims to bridge those gaps. In a new project announced today, NICD is issuing a request for proposals to scholars with different ideologies and from different disciplines who seek to come together to research the core concepts and institutions that are vital to American political and civic life.

NICD will select 10 scholars for a total of five projects. Each group will receive grants to enable them to conduct research over 15 months and present their findings at events around the country. Additionally, to demonstrate how – and why – researchers of varying backgrounds and beliefs can work together, each grantee group also will write at least one paper that documents how they collaborated.

Read NICD’s full request for proposals below and find the original here, and read a recent Washington Post article highlighting NICD’s work here. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Special Valentine’s Day Roundup on D&D Online Events

We are sending some extra love your way with this robust roundup of dialogue and deliberation goodness! Check out the webinars being offered over the next week, let us know in the comment section below which ones you joined and if you have some exciting takeaways- we’d love to hear how people are connecting with these D&D practices! Below are events from NCDD member orgs Living Room Conversations,  National Issues Forums Institute, and from the International Associate for Public Participation, Zehr Institute and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).

Do you have a webinar or other event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Living Room Conversations: Special Opportunity – Ongoing All-Women’s Cohort

We are a group of 5 women from around the country who meet online every month to have Living Room Conversations. We have 4 women who call ourselves “liberal” (whatever we mean by that). One of our two “conservative” women had to drop out for personal reasons even though she enjoyed our group. A really nice group. We’re looking for one more “conservative” woman. Learn more about Living Room Conversations at https://www.livingroomconversations.org/. If you think you might be interested, contact Cobie deLespinasse, cdeles@peak.org.

Living Room Conversations webinar – Men: Victims, Perpetrators and Allies (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Creating Visuals that Inspire Real-Time Conversation

We are thrilled to share the following piece written by Lydia Hooper on the powerful way that graphic recordings can both capture a conversation in real time, and as folks saw first hand at NCDD2018, can be a motivator of conversation as well. We were fortunate to work with Lydia during the 8th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in Downtown Denver this last November (view her work here!) and she helped create and facilitate an interactive graphic recording project over the course of the three days. She describes it more in the post below…


By Lydia Hooper

How many conversations have you had this week about something you saw, on TV or happening in front if you? Vision is the primary way we sense and experience our world, and we are social beings who process information with others. We can easily leverage these tendencies if we want to inspire specific conversations in specific moments.

The conventional way of doing so is using presentation slides or videos to introduce or explain important topics. These visual forms, however, emphasize what is important from the perspective of the presenter. They do not necessarily offer opportunities to capture what a larger group of people thinks or feels.

Visuals that can break this norm are known as graphic recordings. Graphic recordings are visuals that capture conversation as it is happening in real time. By doing so they are able to help us literally see what is being said and thereby process this information in different ways.

There is a third way that can ensure both that many people are able to collectively create a meaningful visual and that the meaning is specifically tied to a clear objective. These visuals, which do not yet have a single term associated with them, are typically templates that evolve as the result of participation. Creating them requires little technology nor aesthetic skills, but it does require use of a thoughtful design process.

I recently had the pleasure of creating a visual of this type for the 2018 National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation conference. Here are the basic stages of design, their main elements, and how I experienced them for this project in particular.

  1. Empathize. There are two sides of this coin, both of which are important for planning appropriately. First, think about the audience or group the visual will engage: What kind of support do they need to think, feel, and/or act in ways that help them reach their individual goals? Now, consider the conveners’ or facilitators’ needs: What would help them reach collective goals, whether those be to build relations or to accomplish tasks? For this example, conference organizers were quickly able to articulate their desire to deepen conversation related to their partnership with the White Privilege Symposium. After some discussion they also identified that attendees may have a need to extend dialogue about related topics beyond individual sessions and contribute ideas perhaps anonymously.
  2. Create. A clear understanding of goals and needs is what informs what the visual will look like and how participants will engage with it. At this stage, collaborators work to develop main themes or questions as well as what specific words would be best to use. The purpose of this stage is to design a template that is incredibly clear and that invites active engagement. Conference organizers used a basic sketch of this template to solicit feedback from key stakeholders, in which is crucial for ensuring these purposes are fulfilled. Then I created the visual on a very large (four by eight foot) piece of paper that we planned to place in a highly visible location.
  3. Engage. During the previous stage decisions were made about how exactly ideas will be shared. These decisions will determine to what extent the visual will or will not require any degree of facilitation. In this case, we’d decided on a mix of both: attendees would be able to mark different options with stickers on their own and I would engage those who visited me during the showcase and capture those conversations on the template as well. I appreciated this approach because it allowed attendees to get a quick “big picture” idea of their fellow attendees perspectives and it also allowed them to learn from the individual insights that were captured. In my experience, this stage, like the previous one, is somewhat experimental, especially since some people will test the limits of any creative license you give them while others will be confused or even paralyzed by such an interruption in group norms.

The key thing to keep in mind for these visuals is that, unlike other visuals perhaps, the product or outcome matters less than the fact that group members are being offered an opportunity to participate in a shared experience and to collectively make meaning. Because they are nontraditional, these visuals also provide space for intentional conversations to occur in unexpected ways.

In the co-creation of this example visual, NCDD conference attendees made it abundantly clear how they feel power and privilege impacts them, their work, and the field. They reflected on familiar ideas, posed new questions, and, if nothing else, were heard.

Lydia Hooper is a creative who collaborates to communicate about complexity and create culture change. She is the creator of the 40 day listening challenge. To learn more and download her free ebook Using Visuals to Support Collaborative Work, please visit www.lydiahooper.com.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Reminder to Join This Week’s Confab with Nat’l Civic League

Last week, we announced that NCDD has teamed up with the National Civic League to offer the next exciting Confab call, happening later this week! Join us, Wednesday, February 13th at 3-4pm Eastern/12-1pm Pacific, as we discuss the upcoming All-America City Award and share tips for winning this prestigious award. This free call will offer space to learn more about the award, hear from past awardees, and ask questions. The award deadline is March 6th, so make sure you take advantage of this opportunity and register today to secure your spot on the call!

Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the All-America City Award. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all) recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders. The 2019 All-America City theme is “Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Civic Engagement”. The 2019 All-America City Award is focused on celebrating examples of civic engagement practices that advance health equity in local communities.

Representatives from the award-winning cities, Las Vegas, NV and Decatur, GA will join us on the call to speak about their experiences winning the All-America City Award in 2018. Las Vegas was recognized as an All-America City because they provide residents, stakeholders, staff and elected officials with a collective vision for a future of income equality and economic mobility, building programs and services that remove barriers and address challenges faced by their most vulnerable youth. Decatur, GA was recognized as a 2018 All-America City for its commitment to civic engagement. Through their projects, Decatur showed that it is actively seeking to build an equitable and inclusive experience for its residents and visitors, focusing on racially-just community policing and building diverse and affordable housing.

Don’t miss out – register for our call today!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Member Discount on TPC’s IAP2 2019 Trainings

The new year is a great time to learn some new skills and we encourage folks to check out the newly released training schedule from NCDD member org The Participation Company. TCP offers certification in the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)‘s model, and dues-paying NCDD members get a discount on registration! You can read more about the trainings in the TCP announcement below and learn more here.


The Participation Company’s 2019 Training Events

If you work in communications, public relations, public affairs, planning, public outreach and understanding, community development, advocacy, or lobbying, this training will help you to increase your skills and to be of even greater value to your employer.

This is your chance to join the many thousands of practitioners worldwide who have completed the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) certificate training.

The Participation Company (TPC) offers discounted rates to members of AICP, ICMA, IAP2, and NCDD. 

AICP members can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for these courses.

Foundations in Public Participation (5-Day) Certificate Program:

Planning for Effective Public Participation (3-Days) and/or *Techniques for Effective Public Participation (2-Days) (more…)

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