Tiny House
More About The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation • Join Now!
Community News

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 details and focus on solution-making and innovative thinking. Karina-GraphicFac These graphics are an engaging way to: • Help people track and engage with complex information • See organizational systems and seemingly disparate ideas are connected • Encourage action and maintain motivation after an event • Distill and share the key ideas from an important event such as an executive retreat or strategic planning meetings • Teach a new concept in a way that facilitates better memory of information • See a different way to approach a challenge • Find common ground between different stakeholder groups • Get a group on the same page quickly • Energize and have fun with your group! More about Karina Mullen Branson Karina_headshotKarina Mullen Branson is a graphic recorder and facilitator based in Fort Collins, Colorado and founder of ConverSketch. Graphic recording is a method of visual note-taking; simply put, Karina listens to your group talk and distills key ideas from the conversation/meeting/presentation/etc. She uses hand-drawn images and text to make a large-scale map of your ideas in real-time so participants can see the conversation as it emerges and develops. Karina was a member of the graphic recording team at NCDD’s 2012 conference in Seattle. She has also worked locally and internationally with clients including the United Nations University, BASF, the City of Fort Collins, the National Park Service, Colorado State University, and the Center for Public Deliberation. Follow on Twitter: @ConverSketch Resource Link: www.ConverSketch.com

Working Together to Remove Racial and Ethnic Barriers to Student Achievement (Facilitators Discussion Guide)

The 44-page guide, Working Together to Remove Racial and Ethnic Barriers for Student Achievement (Facilitator Discussion Guide) by Everyday Democracy, was published January 2009. The facilitators guide discusses the Montgomery Country Public Schools (MCPS) Study Circles Program and provides minute-by-minute details for how to facilitate this six session Dialogue-to-Change program. This Study Circles Program was created to remove the racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement within the Montgomery Country Public School system. The objectives of this program were to build a unified group of diverse parents, teachers, and students that understand the challenges and benefits of a diverse school; encourage an environment in which racial and ethnic issues are talked about openly and productively; and create personal and group action steps that address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement. More about the guide

ED-Remove-Student-BarriersThis facilitator guide is organized to help participants: -Build lasting relationships among diverse stakeholders -Become more aware of the issues, their own beliefs, and the perspectives of people who are from different backgrounds -Develop action plans that will address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement.

Each session, and each activity, are designed specifically to meet these goals. As a facilitator, you need to pay attention to all three of these goals throughout the study circle. Study Circle groups however, are always different. They won't respond the same way to all activities. You may need to adapt the sessions or activities to meet the specific needs of your group. To do this successfully, you must understand the goals of the activities, how they fit in with one another, and how they fit into the overall design of the study circle.

-Sessions One and Two are designed to develop trusting relationships. -Sessions Three and Four are designed to have honest and challenging conversations about race and the impact of race on the student achievement and parent involvement. -Sessions Five and Six are meant to develop actions steps that will address the racial and ethnic barriers.

To learn more and access the full workbook guide, download the PDF below.
About Everyday Democracy Everyday DemocracyEveryday Democracy (formerly called the Study Circles Resource Center) is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States. Since our founding in 1989, we’ve worked with hundreds of communities across the United States on issues such as: racial equity, poverty reduction and economic development, education reform, early childhood development and building strong neighborhoods. We work with national, regional and state organizations in order to leverage our resources and to expand the reach and impact of civic engagement processes and tools. We have learned that some of the key components to ensuring racially-equitable systemic change include building relationships, establishing a diverse coalition, having trained peer facilitators during dialogues, building on assets, and linking actions to individual, community, and policy change. We provide online tools and in-person trainings on organizing, racial equity, facilitation, communications, and action planning. We act as a catalyst and coach for communities, knowing that the people of each community are best suited to carry out and sustain the work that will make a difference. The communities we serve are the focal point of our work. Our ultimate aim is to help create communities that value everyone’s voice and work for everyone, and to help create a strong national democracy that upholds these principles. Follow on Twitter: @EvDem Resource Link: Remove-Racial-Ethnic-Barriers-to-Student-Achievement.pdf

UC Davis Extension: Conflict Resolution Courses

From UC Davis Extension, The Conflict Resolution Professional Concentration, which has proven tools to resolve conflicts, negotiate agreements, deal with difficult people, facilitate groups and build consensus. In a streamlined format composed of three courses, the program prioritizes theory and practical tools to equip students to resolve every type of conflict and positively impact people, organizations, programs and policies. These courses are designed for professionals seeking to further develop their effectiveness and leadership skills in a broad variety of fields including government, business, health care, education, human resources, law, land use, water and natural resources. Who should attend This program is designed for a broad audience—for those seeking conflict resolution skills to benefit their current careers and for those interested in a new career in conflict resolution. It is recommended for anyone interested in developing knowledge and skills in mediation, facilitation, collaborative decision-making and other forms of problem solving and conflict resolution.
The professional concentration can be completed in less than a year while working in a full-time position.
Courses required

Fall: Introduction to Conflict Resolution (online, 2 units) $795 Winter: Fundamental Conflict Resolution Skills (Sacramento 3-day course, 2 units), $795 Spring: Advanced Conflict Resolution Skills (Sacramento, 3-day course, 2 units) $795

If you enroll in all 3 courses at once, you pay a discounted price of $1,995.

***Please note, you must call (530) 752-0881 to enroll and receive the discounted price.

About the courses Introduction to Conflict Resolution: Become a vital problem-solver in your organization or community. Build a solid foundation in the basics of conflict resolution, and learn theory and new techniques for mediating conflicts and facilitating group dynamics. Discover leading models in the field and apply these to current cases using practical strategies to effectively transform conflicts. Fundamental Conflict Resolution Skills: Learn the communication skills and mediation models essential for successful conflict resolution. Practice facilitation skills and techniques required for successful group and team meetings. Learn strategies to minimize and address conflict in difficult conversations and with difficult people. Explore tools to assess and meaningfully engage diverse interests and participants. Advanced Conflict Resolution Skills: Discover collaborative methods and techniques for consensus building, negotiation and resolving complex conflicts. Learn to find mutually agreeable solutions to challenging situations so projects and programs can move forward. Gain leadership skills to address tough conflict and negotiation settings. For more information or to enroll, call (800) 752-0881, email extension[at]ucdavis[dot]edu or visit the website here. More about UC Davis Extension UCD_Collab_CtrThe continuing and professional education division of UC Davis, has been an internationally recognized leader in educational outreach for individuals, organizations and communities for more than 50 years. With 62,000 annual enrollments in classroom and online university-level courses, UC Davis Extension serves lifelong learners in the growing Sacramento region, all 50 states and more than 115 countries. Follow on Twitter: @UCDExtension Resource Link: https://extension.ucdavis.edu/areas-study/collaboration-center

The Future of Work: How Should We Prepare for the New Economy? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The National Issues Forums Institute published the 13-page Issue Guide, The Future of Work: How Should We Prepare for the New Economy?, in February 2015. This guide is designed to help facilitate balanced deliberation about how we should prepare for the future economic reality of work. From the guide... NIFI_futureofworkThe nature of the work we do has changed in ways that few Americans a generation ago could have imagined, and it will undoubtedly be dramatically different in yet another generation. These changes will bring both opportunities and difficulties... The stakes are high. Many Americans share concerns about the nation's competitive edge, stagnant wages, and a sense that young people today will be worse off than previous generations. We have choices to make together in shaping the future of work. Business, government, individuals, and communities all play a role in addressing this issue. This guide presents some of the options we might pursue, along with their drawbacks. This issue guide presents three options for deliberation: Option One: "Free to Succeed" Give individuals and businesses the freedom they need to innovate and succeed Option Two: "An Equal Chance to Succeed" Make sure all Americans have a chance to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment Option Three: "Choose the Future We Want" Strategically choose to support promising industries rather than simply hoping that the changes in work and the economy will be beneficial More about the NIFI Issue Guides NIFI’s Issue Guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, Issue Guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit. Issue Guides are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). All NIFI Issue Guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/en/issue-guides. Follow on Twitter: @NIForums. Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/issue-guide/future-work

Does Culture Matter for Deliberation? Linguistic Speech Cultures and Parliamentary Deliberation in Switzerland

This 27-page case study, Does Culture Matter for Deliberation? Linguistic Speech Cultures and Parliamentary Deliberation in Switzerland by Seraina Pedrini, was published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. The study explores the effects of culture on parliamentary deliberation in Switzerland.
Even though culture is seen as an important aspect of deliberation, empirical research on culture’s effects on deliberation is almost completely absent. This paper offers one of the first systematic empirical studies of cultural underpinnings on deliberation. It explores two conceptions of culture, namely ‘holistic’ vs. ‘contextual’. In the ‘holistic’ approach, culture is assumed to be a constant, while the ‘contextual’ approach assumes adaptive rationality of actors to different contexts. As an extension of the ‘contextual’ approach, this paper also explores the effects of different compositions of cultural groups on the quality of deliberation. The effects of the two approaches are evaluated by linking linguistic groups in the committee and plenary debates of the Swiss parliament to a broad variety of deliberative standards. The findings reveal that linguistic groups do not differ much in their deliberative behaviour, which defies ‘holistic’ approaches to culture. Rather, the results underline that speech culture is highly context-driven, which is indicative of a ‘contextual’ approach to culture. However, culture still plays a role, but mainly in the context of group composition: the proportion of minority-language speakers affects several deliberative indicators such as respect, common good orientation and clarifying questions.
Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public Deliberation Journal of Public DeliberationSpearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter:@delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art8/

Diverse Discourse: Analyzing the Potential of Public Affairs Magazine Online Forums to Reflect Qualities of the Public Sphere

Diverse Discourse: Analyzing the Potential of Public Affairs Magazine Online Forums to Reflect Qualities of the Public Sphere (2015), written by David Wolfgang and Joy Jenkins, was published in Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. This study explored the quality of public discourse within public affairs magazines and how the quality of discussion varied depending on whether the magazine was moderate and directed at a broader audience, versus liberal/conservative specific magazines which also held diverse perspectives.  From the Abstract
Public affairs magazines have expanded beyond their print editions to offer online editions with forums for readers to discuss important public issues. For magazines that cater to ideologically specific audiences, online forums could serve as forms of alternative publics for presenting diverse viewpoints and values. The conversations that emerge also hold potential for portraying characteristics of the public sphere. This study used textual analysis to examine online comments associated with 21 articles from six different U.S. public affairs magazines representing various positions on the ideological spectrum. Using Dahlberg’s (2001) six-part assessment of quality public discourse, the analysis showed that moderate magazines serving a broad readership induced a lower-quality discussion. In contrast, liberal and conservative publications, when encouraging diverse and ideologically heterogeneous perspectives, produced quality discourse. These forums showed higher levels of quality characteristics such as exchange and critique of normative positions, reflexivity, sincerity, and constructive dialogue.
Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public Deliberation Journal of Public DeliberationSpearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art5

Deliberating While Voting: The Antecedents, Dynamics, And Consequences Of Talking While Completing Ballots In Two Vote-By-Mail States

The study, Deliberating While Voting: The Antecedents, Dynamics, And Consequences Of Talking While Completing Ballots In Two Vote-By-Mail States (2015), by Justin Reedy and John Gastil was published in Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. The paper explores how the deliberative process occurs for citizens who voted by mail in Oregon and Washington, and how this influenced the way voters felt about the process itself. From the Abstract
An overlooked context for citizen deliberation occurs when voters discuss their ballots with others while completing them at home. Voting by mail (or “absentee voting”) creates an opportunity for informal deliberation in the midst of exercising a basic form of citizen power. We examined this understudied context by blending prior theory with qualitative observations of dyadic and small-group absentee voter discussions to identify common features of such talk, which range from cynical joking and speculation on election outcomes to observing norms of politeness and engaging in heated argument. The hypothesized antecedents and consequences of those behaviors were examined in a survey of 295 Washington and Oregon voters’ recollections of their ballot discussions. Results showed that pro-deliberative features of discussion were reported most often by voters with more formal education and political knowledge. Contrary to hypotheses, the strength of voters’ partisan identities bore no relation to deliberative behavior. Finally, the presence of key discussion features had many of the expected effects on voters’ confidence in ballot choices and their respect for the electoral process, particularly for those voters with less political knowledge.
Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public Deliberation Journal of Public DeliberationSpearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art6/

Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy

The 368-page book, Public Participation for 21st Century Democracywritten by Matt Leighninger and Tina Nabatchi was published May 2015. The book aims to improve public participation infrastructure, the way that citizens are engaged, addressing issues that arise and strengthening the community. Public.ParticipationPublic Participation for 21st Century Democracy explores the theory and practice of public participation in decision-making and problem-solving. It examines how public participation developed over time to include myriad thick, thin, and conventional opportunities, occurring in both face-to-face meetings and online settings. The book explores the use of participation in various arenas, including education, health, land use, and state and federal government. It offers a practical framework for thinking about how to engage citizens effectively, and clear explanations of participation scenarios, tactics, and designs. Finally, the book provides a sensible approach for reshaping our participation infrastructure to meet the needs of public officials and citizens.

From Chapter One...

The problems we face are daunting, and our capacity to address them is remarkable. Climate change, terrorism, financial instability, and other challenges are indeed formidable, but our power to address them is more advanced than ever before.

The greatest element of our improved problem-solving capacity lies in citizens themselves. We enjoy higher levels of education and communication, and we are more committed than ever to the notion that all people deserve certain inalienable rights. Our ability to understand, use, and improve technology is growing by leaps and bounds: everyone, it seems, is a potential scientist, analyst, or inventor. The power of ordinary people, and the ability of government, civil society, and other institutions to unleash that capacity, is the key to our progress as a civilization.

The reality of rising citizen capacity is not, however, a comfortable fact for public leaders. Trapped in systems designed to protect their expertise from citizen interference, besieged by people who no longer believe their data or respect their authority, and faced with hostile constituents at public events, public officials, managers, and other leaders are understandably skeptical about the virtues, capabilities, and good sense of their fellow men and women.

In turn, citizens are skeptical about virtues, capabilities, and good sense of their public officials. Highly polarized policy debates, the inability of elected leaders to agree on seemingly common-sense measures, and the massive influence of moneyed interests have helped produce the highest levels of citizens distrust in government that we have ever seen.

The official, conventional processes and structures for public participation are almost completely useless for overcoming this divide between citizens and governments; in fact, they seem to be making matters worse. In large part, that is because the infrastructure for participation is inefficient and outdated; it does not recognize citizen capacity and it limits our collective problem-solving potential.

To supplement or circumvent this official participation infrastructure, local leaders have devised a host of new processes, formats, and structures for engaging the public. These include intensive face-to-face deliberations, convenient digital tools, and online networks that add dexterity to the power of face-to-face relationships. Many of these innovations not only satisfy the fundamental needs and goals of citizens, but also demonstrate that potential of public participation for making difficult decisions and solving formidable problems. So far, however, they have been pursued primarily on a temporary, ad hoc basis and have not been incorporated into the way that governments and communities operate.

Public participation can help protect our liberties, ensure justice and equality, and improve our quality of life. It is sometimes characterized as the interaction that makes democracy work- but it might be more accurate to say that public participation is the democracy in our primarily republican political systems. The greatest challenge we now face is how to transform those systems in ways that allow us to tap citizens' full, democratic, problem-solving potential.

Illuminating that challenge is the purpose of this book. Before we explore the potential of participation (in Chapter 2), we will first examine the new attitudes and capacities people bring to public life. We also describe the existing infrastructure for participation and begin to explore why it typically fails to provide the things that citizens want.

Check out more of the book here on Amazon. About the Authors Tina Nabatchi is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. The author of several book chapters, monographs, research reports, and white papers, her research focuses on citizen participation, collaborative governance, and conflict resolution. Matt Leighninger is the executive director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, an alliance of organizations and leading scholars in the field of deliberation and public participation. With twenty years in the field, he has worked with public engagement efforts in over 100 communities, forty states, and four Canadian provinces. Resource Link: www.amazon.com/Participation-Century-Democracy-Nonprofit-Management

Variations of Institutional Design for Empowered Deliberation

Written by Carolina Johnson and John Gastil, Variations of Institutional Design for Empowered Deliberation (2015) was published in Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. The study explores the characteristics of empowered deliberation as a distinct variation of deliberative processes, then some case study examples of empowered deliberation from around the world. From the Abstract
This paper lays out the practical and theoretical characteristics of formally empowered deliberation as a distinctive subset of deliberative processes. As part of a recent broad shift toward a more deliberative conception of democratic politics, participatory deliberative processes increasingly have been formally empowered as part of democratic governance. Governments have moved to delegate authority and deliberative responsibility from elite bodies to lay publics more quickly than scholars have been able to fully identify the implications of this institutionalization for the quality of both deliberation and democracy. This paper describes the emerging characteristics of formally empowered deliberation as a distinctive subset of deliberative processes, in which deliberation between members of the general public is given credible formal authority over policy development and decision making. We first develop a clearer conceptualization of empowered deliberation within the general trend toward participatory governance. We also review critical and supportive perspectives on empowered deliberation, making explicit tradeoffs inherent in the decision to develop an empowered deliberative process. Next, we identify four key dimensions of variation in the design of empowered deliberative institutions, in particular embeddedness in the social/ political context and the scope of authority of the deliberative decision. To illustrate these dimensions, we discuss key cases from around the world, noting which forms of empowered deliberation have seen less common innovation and documentation. Finally, we briefly consider how specific processes may become empowered or transform over time, as they transition from experimental or one-off pilot projects to recurring and institutionalized aspects of democratic governance.
Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public DeliberationJournal of Public Deliberation Spearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art2/

Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems – The Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process

This 29-page case study, Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems- The Case of the Estonian Citizens' Assembly Process (2015) by Magnus E. Jonsson and published in Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. This study focuses on the ‘Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process’ (ECA), which sought to operationalize a systemic approach to deliberative democracy and how this could be used to evaluate democratic innovations.  From the Abstract
With the proliferation and application of democratic innovations around the world, the empirical study of deliberative and participatory processes has shifted from small-scale environments and experiments to real-life political processes on a large scale. With this shift, there is also a need to explore new theoretical approaches in order to understand current developments. Instead of analyzing democratic innovations in isolation, the recent ‘systemic turn’ in the field encourages us to broaden our perspective and evaluate democratic innovations as complementary parts of a political system. This paper will draw upon a qualitative case study, based on interview and supported by survey data, of the ‘Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process’ (ECA), in order to operationalize the systemic approach to deliberative democracy and illustrate how this can be applied to an analysis of democratic innovations. The ECA spanned more than a year (November 2012 to April 2014) and covered three political arenas: the public sphere, democratic innovations and representative institutions. The systemic analysis highlights the deliberative strengths and weaknesses of arenas and institutions, and illuminates how various arenas and democratic innovations did and did not complement one another in the creation of a deliberative process. The systemic analysis offers two possible interpretations of the ECA. The more affirmative interpretation is it constituted a deliberative system, as it did perform the three main functions fulfilled by different arenas and institutions. The more critical interpretation is that the ECA partly failed to be a deliberative system, due to social domination and decoupling of institutions
Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public DeliberationJournal of Public Deliberation Spearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art7
-