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It’s Finally Here! NCDD 2012!

Ten years ago today, Sandy and I were in a rented van cruising south through Pennsylvania on our way to Alexandria, VA and the first-ever National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. The van was filled with hundreds of hand-assembled three ring binders whose contents represented five years of work for both of us–the entire collection of D&D resources that we had assembled online. We chose to share our work with every participant of the first conference because our main goal was to introduce them to each other, and to the greater community which was just beginning to see how broad and impactful it really could be.

It was a very hot October. The Washington DC area was being terrorized by a pair of gunman randomly shooting people and the shock of 9/11 had finally started to become less of an incident and more part of our nation’s identity. It was a timely moment to gather and talk about how best to find common ground.

And it was, and still is, the best event I’ve ever had the pleasure of presenting to our community. There’s always something about the first time for everything. But NCDD2002 was amazing in all ways, and by its end Sandy and I realized we had had the fortune to give space for something remarkable to happen. And we are still very grateful to all those who helped bring it about and the participants who made it a fantastic event.

Now that’s not to say the follow up events weren’t great as well. 2004’s election-influenced gathering at Regis University in Denver taught us so much about participatory events. Two year years later, we caught up with the 21st century in San Francisco, experimenting with new technologies and exploring the role of our work. 2008 brought us into the open arms of Austin, TX, where everything was larger, including local generosity and the demand for social media. 2010 was a year of experiments and NCDD found itself running one-day events in not one, but five cities, including new visits to Boston and Portland, OR.

And now we’re in Seattle. What a great town, and what great people. I’ve always said that with our community all you really need to do is set up a couple of chairs and invite folks to come on in and start talking. Well, we’re going to start setting up the chairs today. We can’t wait for you to get here!

Andy Fluke
Andy Fluke is the co-founder of NCDD and currently provides creative support to many of NCDD's publications and events. He also works with a handful of other NCDD members on a variety of projects as consultant and designer. More about his work can be found at www.andyfluke.com.

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