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Harnessing Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better

In November 2013, Monitor Institute and the Foundation Center released a new report called Harnessing Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better. As part of the research, we looked at more than 170 different technological tools now available to funders, dove deeply into the literature on philanthropic collaboration, analyzed the results of recent Foundation Center surveys, and spoke with a wide range of experts from the worlds of both technology and philanthropy. The Harnessing Collaborative Technologies report helps readers make sense of the dizzying array of technologies that are now […] (continue)

Integrating News Media, Citizen Engagement, and Digital Platforms Towards Democratic Ends

This 5-page AmericaSpeaks report examines how we might use new forms of media, digital platforms, and citizen engagement principles to reengage the center and those who have turned out due to apathy and disgust. The report discusses some of the issues that need to be considered to bring the power of new technology and the digital world to the complexity of media, citizen engagement, and politics.  What needs to happen in today’s new news space to prevent many of the same structures of inequity, exclusion, and […] (continue)

Public Collaboration in Maine: When and Why It Works

Government by itself cannot address all complex public policy issues. The authors of this 2010 article in the Maine Policy Review write that “public collabo­ration” can alter the discourse on divisive local, regional, and state issues. Public collaboration is a process in which people from multiple sectors (government, business, nonprofit, civic, and tribal) work together to find solutions to problems that no single sector is able to resolve on its own. The authors describe the common features of effective public collaboration and provide detailed case […] (continue)

From Dialogue to Action: Climate Dialogues and Climate Action Labs

This 2008 article by Phil Mitchell shows how a global issue like climate change can be handled gracefully at the local level with little funds by working in collaboration with the existing infrastructure provided by local environmental organizations. (Vol 2 Issue 2 of the International Journal of Public Participation, December 2008) Abstract: The Greater Seattle Climate Dialogues is a climate change education and advocacy project with its roots in dialogue and deliberation. Using an adapted study circles model, the purpose of its Climate Action Labs […] (continue)

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America

Chronic unemployment, deindustrialized cities, and mass incarceration are among the grievous social problems that will not yield unless American citizens address them. Peter Levine’s We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2013) is a primer for anyone motivated to help revive our fragile civic life and restore citizens’ public role. After offering a novel theory of active citizenship, a diagnosis of its decline, and a searing critique of our political institutions, Levine — one of America’s most influential civic engagement theorists — argues that American […] (continue)

Who Do I Trust to Protect My Privacy? (NIF Issue Guide)

The National Issues Forum Institute developed this issue guide in 2013 in partnership with American Library Association.  The guide is designed to help guide deliberative conversations about how our personal information should be protected and by whom.  In our digitized and tech-integrated world, we have to find a way to strike the right balance between information accessibility and personal privacy – this guide can help you engage participants in quality discussions on how we actually get there. This excerpt from the introduction gets to the heart of […] (continue)

Heartland’s Art of Convening Trainings: In-Residence Certification and Virtual TeleTraining

Convening is a leadership capacity that has the power to integrate and magnify the individual and collective, or group, team, whole organization, to enhance business and organizational performance, or individual relationships. How we gather, communicate and deliver the desired outcomes through our meetings is critical to the long-term vitality and success of our organizations and communities and the people within. Using The Convening Wheel, Heartland‘s The Art of Convening Training is a practical map that anyone can navigate and activate as a core leadership competency. […] (continue)

Talking about Guns and Violence: Strategies for Facilitating Constructive Dialogues

This 11-page essay by Greg Keidan, a public engagement specialist and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area, was written for the University of AZ’s National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD).  After the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NICD called for essays to address the challenges of conducting constructive conversations about gun violence in the U.S. As part of their mission, NICD seeks to promote civil discourse on issues of public interest and does not take a policy position on gun violence or gun control but is committed […] (continue)

Divided We Fail: Are Leaders and Citizens Talking Past Each Other on Higher Education?

In 2012–2013, National Issues Forums held around the country have brought college students, high school students, parents, faculty, employers, retirees, and others together to deliberate about the mission of higher education and the role it should play in the nation’s social, political, and economic progress. This interim report by the National Issues Forums Institute Board finds that Americans outside the policymaking arena want to think and talk about the mission of higher education and its role in shaping our collective future. How does their vision […] (continue)

Strategic Planning for Sustainability in Dauphin Island

This mini case study was submitted by Dr. R. Warren Flint of Five E’s Unlimited via NCDD’s Dialogue Storytelling Tool. Title of Project: Strategic Planning for Sustainability in Dauphin Island Description I was contracted to design and facilitate a long-term strategy and implementation plan (more here) to create a more resilient community able to balance economic development with environmental protection and conservation. I facilitated planning meetings that included the public, the Town Planning Comm., the U.S. EPA’s Mobile Bay NEP, the NOAA Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Program, and […] (continue)

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