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D&D Methods…

Meaty descriptions of dozens of the most well-known dialogue and deliberation approaches, many written and submitted to NCDD by the creator of the method.

Citizens Jury Process

The Citizens Jury process is a method for gathering a microcosm of the public, having them attend five days of hearings, deliberate among themselves and then issue findings and recommendations on the issue they have discussed. No deliberative method has been more carefully designed or thoroughly tested than this method. (continue)

Civic Reflection

Civic reflection is the practice of bringing together a group of people who are engaged in common civic work to read and talk about fundamental questions of civic life. This form of dialogue draws upon the rich resources of the humanities--using readings of literature, philosophy, and history, and the age-old practice of text-based discussion--to help civic leaders think more carefully and talk more comfortably about their values and choices. (continue)

Civil Dialogue™ at ASU

The term “Civil Dialogue,” as used by colleagues at Arizona State University, refers to a structured format for public dialogue. On their website, at www.civil-dialogue.com, they describe their work as “Using structured, public dialogue to build a bridge across the chasm of polarized viewpoints on hot topics, and to restore civility in public discourse.” The format was created at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University and continues to be developed by John Genette, Jennifer Linde, Clark Olson, and other scholars. (continue)

Clearness Committee

The following text by Parker J. Palmer is excerpted from the Center for Courage & Renewal website at www.couragerenewal.org. This group communication method invented by the Quakers in the 1660’s protects individual identity and integrity while drawing on the wisdom of other people. People who wish to make significant use of the Clearness Committee process are urged to read Chapter VIII, “Living the Questions,” in Parker J. Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2009). There you will […] (continue)

Community Juries

Community juries consist of individuals impaneled to hear testimony related to a specific issue. Jurors, chosen for their impartiality, hear reviews of an issue by neutral experts. The jury discusses and deliberates and subsequently issues its findings. Always non-binding and with no legal standing, the findings of such juries can pinpoint "fatal flaws" or gauge public reaction. The Minnesota DOT assembled a community jury to determine public attitudes toward congestion pricing as a traffic-reduction measure. The jury met for five days of hearings with more than 20 witnesses and voted in favor of reducing traffic but against congestion pricing. The jury then voted for increases in the gas tax and for allowing its use in funding transit improvements. (continue)

Compassionate Listening Method

Compassionate Listening is a process of "listening our way to wholeness." We believe that peace comes through the hard work of meeting one's enemy - the human being behind the stereotype, and acknowledging one another's suffering. Compassionate Listening as a tool for reconciliation is based on a simple yet profound formula for the resolution of conflict: adversaries giving the gift of listening. To help reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides. (continue)

Consensus Conference

Consensus Conferences, developed in Denmark, are used in a variety of settings and typically involve a group of citizens with varied backgrounds who meet to discuss issues of a scientific or technical nature. The conference has two stages: the first involves small group meetings with experts to discuss the issues and work towards consensus. The second stage assembles experts, media and the public where the conferences main observations and conclusions are presented. (continue)

Consensus Forum

Consensus Forums involve large numbers of community, industry and government representatives in a 1-3 day Forum, with the goal of reaching common ground on broad and complex issues. The Consensus Forum provides a way for lay people to deliberate on technologically complex issues, with the support of those who are experts in the area. It is a way of exploring the issues using the best available knowledge, the widest possible views, and a focus on understanding different viewpoints. Where consensus (common ground) is achieved, these views become integral to the decision making process. The goal of the Consensus Forum is strategic partnership between the community, industry and government, in order to jointly make decisions and then implement the key recommendations. (continue)

Conversation Café

A Conversation Café is a 90-minute hosted conversation which is held in a public setting like a coffee shop or bookstore, where anyone is welcome to join. A simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants to a chance to speak. (continue)

Conversation Dinners or Conversation Meetings

The concept of the "Conversation Dinner" seems to have come from Theodore Zeldin. For this simple process, people are split into pairs and given a "conversation menu" from which they can choose their conversation topics. The menu could have a subject area theme such as "intergroup dialogue" or it could be a generic menu listing personal questions designed to help people to get to know each other. Conversation Meetings may or may not happen over meals; sometimes partners are encouraged to take walks together. Whatever the situation, privacy is key. (continue)