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Ben Franklin Circles

The Ben Franklin Circles (BFC) is a collaborative project of 92nd Street Y (92Y), the Hoover Institution, and Citizen University. BFC reflects a shared commitment to fostering civic participation, open dialogue, and ethics-based leadership. Ben Franklin Circles are based on the idea of a mutual improvement club started by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin gathered a group of peers once a week to hash out projects to improve their community and also, to discuss and debate 13 virtues that Franklin saw as the basis of personal improvement and […] (continue)

Change for the Audacious: a doer’s guide

The 240-page book, Change for the Audacious: a doers’ guide by Steve Waddell, was published in 2016. This book explores how we must, and can do much better at addressing issues such as: climate change, food security, health, education, environmental degradation, peace-building, water, equity, corruption, and wealth creation. This book is for people working on these types of issues, with the belief that we can create a future that is not just “sustainable”, but also flourishing. This perspective means that the challenge is not just one […] (continue)

Teens Dream

The Global Co Lab Network is a virtual “do tank” designed to empower cost effective inter-generational engagement with the goal of incubating initiatives out of carefully designed informal gatherings such as living room salons, utilizing facilitated design thinking. Our goal is to help people get out of their silos and work across networks more effectively, utilizing a virtual organization with diverse expertise. The “Co Lab” helps people identify “doable problem sets” of specific challenges and curates invitees of diverse perspective and backgrounds to foster intentional, […] (continue)

Collaborative Communication Processes and Decision Making in Organizations

The 410-page text, Collaborative Communication Processes and Decision Making in Organizations, edited by Ephraim Nikoi (University of Wisconsin-Superior, USA) and Kwasi Boateng (University of Arkansas-Little Rock, USA), was published by IGI Global in August 2013. Although organizational decision-making can be very complex, the understanding of technology applications is significant in not only determining the usefulness of virtual groups in organizations, but also in the designing of electronic collaborative activities. In this work’s 16 chapters, international contributors present research and global case examples in organizational decision […] (continue)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create A Fair Society? (DMC Issue Guide)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create a Fair Society?, is a 22-page historical issue guide developed in 2014 by the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Alabama Public Television (APT), and additional partners for use in a classroom setting. Download the Issue Guide PDF here. In Separate and Unequal in 1963, students are asked to place themselves in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama to deliberate together through the difficult choices faced by those working to address segregation and inequality. Additionally, students are encouraged to […] (continue)

Democratic Rules of Order: Easy-to-use rules for meetings of any size

The 72-page book, Democratic Rules of Order: Easy-to-use rules for meetings of any size (2010), by Fred Francis and Peg Francis, gives straight-forward rules of order for running meetings. Democratic Rules of Order demonstrate that efficient, democratic decision-making is a simple and natural process. Meetings that are governed by straightforward rules enable the Chair and the participants to focus on issues without being preoccupied with the rules. Within the simple meeting structure prescribed, members reach agreements more quickly and easily and ultimately, make better decisions. This book […] (continue)

Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation

The 288-page book, Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation, published September 2015, discusses youth civic engagement in the US and how youth can be more civically engaged. About the book…  Youth volunteerism and civic engagement has changed in America. While the numbers of young people who volunteer have risen substantially, recent studies show that very few find meaning and purpose through serving their communities. For many, volunteerism has become just another school requirement that bolsters a good college resume. […] (continue)

Global Outreach in Local Communities…Bringing Worlds Together One Tip at a Time

The online guide, Global Outreach in Local Communities…Bringing Worlds Together One Tip at a Time (2015), is a collaborative effort from across sectors that began out of the Diversity Outreach Workshops in Multnomah County, Oregon. Read the preface below and access the guide online here. More about the guide… The volunteer Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee (CIC) with staff support from the Office of Citizen Involvement (OCI) began the Diversity Outreach Workshops in 2008. The CIC’s mission is to increase engagement and input by the public […] (continue)

Leading Great Meetings: How to Structure Yours For Success

The 230-page book, Leading Great Meetings: How to Structure Yours for Success, by Dr. Richard Lent was published June 2015. This book discusses how providing structure to meetings can help to create more productive meetings and offers 32 tools to conduct better meetings. More about the book… Recent advances in helping groups talk together to provide new ways to run effective meetings naturally…a structural approach. All meetings come with structures that affect how we behave in them. Structure includes how leaders frame a task, include different views, support […] (continue)

ConverSketch: Graphic Recording and Facilitation

ConverSketch provides high quality multi-media explainer videos for businesses and organizations to succinctly share their story or a product. These popular videos use hand-drawn illustrations and narrative to connect you with the right audience and encourage them to learn more about your story. Using graphic recording helps the group synthesize information, facilitates collaboration, creative thinking, sustained motivation for action, and brings energy to the group. Complex systems are visualized and the conversation is organized so that the group can free their minds from keeping track of […] (continue)