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Highlights from the Kettering Newsletter – November 2017

In case you missed it, NCDD organizational member the Kettering Foundation sent out their November news and we wanted to share with some of the exciting updates! There’s a lot going on over at Kettering and below are some of the highlights, like the 2017 Kettering Review think piece, how the Connections 2017 publication is almost ready to be released, the impact of the new book Deliberative Pedagogy has had in the higher ed community, and the recent Kettering Research Exchange. There’s more to the newsletter that we didn’t share so make sure you sign up for their monthly updates by clicking here to stay up-to-date on all that Kettering is working on.


Kettering Foundation News & Notes – November 2017

This month, we’re feeling particularly grateful for a productive year collaborating with all of you–the fruits of which you can read more about below! 

2017 Kettering Review: This Is Not Another “The Problem with Democracy Is Voters” Think Piece
By Nick Felts, Coeditor, Kettering Review

Thanks to public opinion polls, social media, and pundits, we hear quite a bit about what people think. We hear a lot about what people support, what they oppose, what makes them mad, and what makes them cheer. We hear significantly less about the hows and whys of public thinking. How do people arrive at the thoughts they hold and express? Why do they feel the way that they do? How do the places they live and the people they care about influence their thinking? Why is sound judgment so seemingly hard to reach nowadays? These are important questions to ask, especially in times like these, when the public’s capacity for sound decision making—so essential to democracy–is coming under question.

This year’s Kettering Review argues that understanding how and why citizens can and (more…)

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NCDD Confab on Community-Police Relations 12/19

NCDD is excited to announce our next Confab Call will take place December 19, 2017 1:00-2:30pm Eastern/10:00-11:30am Pacific. Register today to join us for this exciting call with the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, an NCDD Organizational Member who will share with us their experience with community-police relations work in San Mateo County, California.

We will be joined by PCRC Executive Director Michelle Vilchez and Engaging Communities Initiative Director Malissa Netane on the call, who will share the story of their work, and the lessons they have learned. Be sure to register for this call to learn more!

From PCRC:

Silicon Valley is one of the most unique, diverse, exciting, and enlivening regions on earth, with seemingly abundant opportunities for achieving a high quality of life. Despite these unique characteristics, there are stark social and economic divides among us that sometimes lead to interpersonal misunderstandings and feelings of disconnectedness and disenfranchisement.

Many recent events across our nation involving racial tensions between communities of color and law enforcement (Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, Dallas, and others) and the associated uncivil manner of discourse appear to be amplifying ideological and political differences, making this an uneasy time in our community and nation. In this region, we are extremely fortunate that we have not experienced such extreme incidents, yet we should never consider ourselves immune. Such tragedies, no matter how geographically distant, affect us all at some level, and our thoughts, reactions and emotions come with us when we go to school, or work, or out in the community.

For the past 20 plus years, PCRC has drawn from their foundation of mediation, training, facilitation and conflict coaching to bridge the divides between many different communities and law enforcement agencies. The success of this work depends on building and sustaining respectful and mutually beneficial working relationships among all of the participating partners, which is PCRC’s area of expertise. The vision of PCRC is a future where all members of society engage and collaborate to create a strong, vibrant community. Our mission is to partner with individuals, groups and institutions to empower people, build relationships, and reduce violence through collaborative and innovative processes.

PCRC has over 30 years of providing conflict resolution, mediation, violence prevention and community building services. By engaging in authentic dialogue, building capacity through leadership development, and focusing on action that lends itself to personal and collective transformation, the targeted five communities will have stronger relations inside the community and with other groups and institutions.

Don’t miss out – register today to learn more about this important work!

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!

NCDD NewsNCDD News

NCDD Launches an End-of-Year Fund Drive!

Since 2002, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation has served as a hub, a resource clearinghouse, and a facilitative leader for the dialogue and deliberation community.  Together, we have achieved extraordinary connection and progress across our field, in particularly polarizing times in our world. We are turning to our community to help ensure that NCDD remains strong to continue to serve in these valuable roles and to help keep this network connected.

We are asking you to contribute to the organization’s end of year fund drive. It begins today and will run through the end of the year.  Our goal is $15,000 and will greatly help NCDD start 2018 off on the right foot.

We hope you’ll consider NCDD’s accomplishments and potential and then follow this link, www.ncdd.org/2017-funddrive, to support the work we’re all committed to…

  • NCDD supports and connects the growing dialogue and deliberation community — our conferences, listservs, blogs, forums and resources offer a unique and valuable way to expand and enhance the work of practitioners as they engage and mobilize people across partisan, ethnic, and other divides. 2018 is a conference year! Stay tuned for more information soon. 
  • Our Blog, where we keep you updated on some of the most important happenings and opportunities in our field, and our Resource Center, which boasts over 3,100 discussion guides, videos, evaluation tools, reports, books, and other tools.
  • The site also provides access to the wider public through our Beginner’s Guide, our Engagement Streams Framework, the 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement, and other essential resources.
  • Our launching of the Emerging Leaders Initiative, to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in dialogue & deliberation.
  • Our recent partnership with the American Library Association to bring trainings to librarians and connect them to dialogue & deliberation models and practitioners.
  • And more!

If you believe in NCDD’s mission and find value in the resources, connections and opportunities we provide, we urge you to show your support by making a donation during our fund drive. All contributions are welcome, whether they are $15 or $1,000. And your contributions are tax deductible!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a day created to celebrate and support giving and philanthropy. Please consider making your donation to NCDD on Giving Tuesday! Please check out the NCDD Facebook Page tomorrow and click our fundraiser link to donate!

If you are not a Facebook user, you can use our Donation Page to make your Giving Tuesday contribution!

Outside of tomorrow’s opportunity on Facebook, please visit www.ncdd.org/2017-funddrive to make your donation!  Help us reach our $15,000 goal, and thank you so much, in advance, for supporting NCDD.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Helpful Tips to Navigating the Holiday Conversations

As we face the holiday season, we wanted to share this article written by NCDD member Parisa Parsa, Executive Director of Essential Partners, with some tips on dealing with those tricky conversations that may come up. The holidays can be an exciting and also stressful time, uniting people who you may not see eye-to-eye with. While many of these conversations can be challenging, these helpful guidelines may hold the opportunity to connect deeper with those around you on important issues this holiday season. We encourage you to read the article below or find the original on Essential Partner’s blog here.


Facing the Holidays – And Each Other

My kids and I just flew across the country, making that annual sojourn home for the holidays. The airports were packed, and nerves were frayed. Between flights we sat down to a quick meal of expensive and unsatisfying food. Wedged in the only empty seats in the dining area, it was impossible not to overhear the intent discussion of the family next to us.

“Do not engage Uncle Matt in any topic related to the election,” the father told his college-aged son. “I know you have strong feelings. I am just telling you that if you bring it up, the whole house is in for a two hour tirade. Please don’t do that to us.”

“If I can’t talk about what I believe in, especially now, what’s the point of even being in the same room with Uncle Matt? If he won’t change his mind, he at least needs to know how wrong he is,” replied son. My own teen son raised his eyebrows and his younger brother looked alarmed. A little later, he snuggled up to me on the plane and asked if there would be fights at our Thanksgiving.

That family is in good company. As many of us leave our comfortable bubbles of (more…)

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Recap from the Nov. Tech Tuesday Featuring Gell

In case you missed it, we had another great Tech Tuesday event last week featuring NCDD member Loren Bendele, CEO and Founder of the new engagement platform, Gell! Joined by over 60 participants from our network, Loren walked us through how to use this online/mobile platform to help better facilitate civil discourse.

Gell was created to provide a platform which harnessed the wisdom of a larger group in order to discuss vital issues, with systems built-in place for the discussion to not degrade because of spam, personal attacks and/or insults. Loren showed us how to post discussion questions either publicly or within a private invited group, how to like or respond to submitted points of view, how to bring in expert opinions, and other interesting aspects of the platform. Many in our network have been working on bridging divides and so we understand the importance of a tool like Gell in an era of immense partisanship and societal divides.

If you were unable to join us on the call, never fear! We recorded the webinar which can be found on the archives page here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).  We had an active chat discussion which raised some really interesting points, and you can check out the transcript of this chat by clicking here.

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeThanks again to Loren and everyone who participated and made this an engaging and educating call! We encourage you to check out this tool and get started on contributing to the discussions at www.gell.com.

To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays.

NCDD NewsNCDD News

Giving Thanks to You!

Word cloud about NCDD

This week, as many of us gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, we share what we are thankful for, and reflect with gratitude on our year. We at NCDD want to share our thanks for YOU, this fabulous network of people that comes together to learn, connect, and grow together in our practices of dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. You are why we are here, and you keep us going with your fabulous contributions of time, skills and other gifts, and of course your support of NCDD. 

This time of the year is a time for giving thanks, but it is also a time where some of us find ourselves in tough conversations with people we hold dear to us. As a reminder, NCDD has gathered helpful resources anyone can use to help navigate these potentially tough topics. Check out our previous post including six tips for thoughtful holiday conversations, and additional guides in our Resource Center, including these great tools:

  • The Quick How-To Guide for the Conversation Café process includes agreements and questions that can be helpful ways to start and manage conversations that might prove difficult
  • For another good list of tips about keeping things civil during holiday dinners, check out the “Holidays or Hellidays?” blog post from NCDD member organization Essential Partners
  • If things are likely to be especially bad at your holiday get togethers, check out NCDD’s list of sample groundrules. You might be able to ask Aunt Susan to agree to a few guidelines for conversation at the table before dinner gets started

We hope you have a happy and full Thanksgiving holiday. And, we hope you will share your thanks for NCDD next week with a donation of any amount on Giving Tuesday.

As we round out the year, we can use your additional support to help us launch in 2018 on solid footing. We will be sharing more information next week about this opportunity and how you can help support NCDD through our end of the year fund drive. In the meantime, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

Thanks again for making NCDD so special and for all the work that you do!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Opportunity to Win 100K with the Engaged Cities Award

Has your city worked through a local issue by engaging its community? Then check out the incredible opportunity to win $100,000 with the Engaged Cities Award from Cities of Service! There is a webinar on Nov. 29th to learn more about the award and its application process. Make sure you register by clicking here in order to join the webinar. You can read more about the award below or find the original on the Engaged Cities Award site here.


Introducing the Engaged Cities Award

Cities, more than ever, are facing an array of public challenges. Many cities are tapping into the expertise and talent of citizens to tackle these challenges head on.

That’s why Cities of Service is launching the Engaged Cities Award. We aim to find and elevate the growing number of diverse and creative ways city leaders are harnessing the power of people to solve problems.

Is your city solving problems together with citizens? Perhaps you are tapping the power of citizen science initiatives to map neighborhood issues. Or using new methods to measure satisfaction with public services. Or crowdsourcing resident ideas to find new fixes for old problems.

The Engaged Cities Award will celebrate the best and most creative strategies we (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount on Upcoming Future Search Workshops

We are thrilled to share with you that the Future Search Network is offering NCDDers a discount on their upcoming workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here] and make sure you register for the workshops ASAP to enjoy this great offer! You can read the announcement below or find the original on FSN site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops in Philadelphia

Future Search Network is offering 2 workshops in Philadelphia, December 11-13 and 14-15. Participants are coming from Australia, UK and across the US to learn how to use Future Search for planning and innovating in their Community, Business or Congregation.

Sign up with a Special Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD – 5% off the early registration fee. Save as much as $800! Let us know if you need more help with tuition. Contact Sally at fsn@futuresearch.net.

Future Search is among the best-established and most effective methods for enabling people to make and implement ambitious plans. At the Managing a Future Search workshop, you will (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Strengthening the Bridge of Civic Engagement

As the field continues to grow and address the deep divides in our country, we wanted to share this thoughtful piece written by NCDD member, Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. In the piece, she talks about how building and bridging civic engagement in this country is very similar to building actual bridges. She writes that for a long term solution to be able to support the community, both sides of the bridge need to meet in the middle in order to function. We encourage you to read the piece in the post below or find the original on the New America blog here.


Building Bridges from Both Sides

This blog is part of the civic engagement blog series released in tandem with the “Building Civic Capacity in a Time of Democratic Crisis” white paper. To read the rest of the series, click here.

Today, we face an interesting political challenge, not just in our legislation, but in how we address the strength and capacity of our civic processes. It has become clear that our country must consider more than just physical infrastructure to truly address the nation’s durability, endurance, and stability.

However, infrastructure and architecture can offer useful sources of inspiration.

The arch-style bridge is one of the most ancient, used in the aqueducts of Rome and in designs from the present day. Building these bridges has become more efficient with modern technology, but the original design is still so commonly relied on because of its natural strength. However, it must be built from both sides. It bears tremendous weight across chasms, but only when both sides meet in alignment. What a beautiful picture of what renewed civic engagement must look like here in the United States!

In June, we welcomed an extraordinary group of men and women to Pepperdine’s beautiful Malibu campus for a deep dive into public engagement. The cohort were majority (more…)

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Don’t Miss Tech Tuesday with Gell, Tomorrow Nov. 14

In case you missed our original announcement, we wanted to remind everyone that we are hosting our next FREE Tech Tuesday, tomorrow November 14th from 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern/10:00-11:00am Pacific. We’re very excited to welcome Loren Bendele, Founder and CEO of Gell, a new mobile/web platform for civil discourse on important issues.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn about Gell – register today!

Gell is a free mobile/web platform that brings elected officials, parents, students, educators, administrators and concerned citizens together for civil discourse on issues that matter. Gell encourages, facilitates and moderates healthy discussions and debates. They then make it easy for users to find the top rated opinions for and against important issues and candidates, so the community can form its own opinions from a balanced and diverse set of facts and opinions. Columns of opposing views are displayed side-by-side, so users can quickly get a balanced viewpoint and formulate their own opinions. The community can flag inappropriate content (personal attacks, spam, off topic, etc.) for removal from the site. That way, the discussion stays focused on what matters most, while not being distracted by “noise” or irrelevant conversations.

Loren will walk participants through Gell and answer your questions about this new and (more…)

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