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Announcing the Winners of NCDD’s Catalyst Awards

We’re excited to announce the winners of the NCDD Catalyst Awards — two $10,000 prizes for team projects run by NCDD members in the areas of Civic Infrastructure and Political Bridge Building.

The award winner in the Civic Infrastructure category is:

A Collaborative Plan for a National Dialogue Network Infrastructure (main contact: John Spady)

The award winner in the Political Bridge Building category is:

Real Dialogues: D&D Reality Show (main contact: Tim Bonnemann)


NCDD intends to support the winning teams in whatever ways we are able to, and we will certainly keep the NCDD community updated on the teams’ progress and opportunities to get involved down the road.

We used a combination of activities (our Seattle conference, the CivicEvolution platform, the NCDD blog and listservs, and more) to encourage our members to form teams to address challenges facing our field that are too complex to solve on their own.  Voting was open to all members for a ten-day period that came to a close last night at midnight Pacific.  See this document (PDF) for the full voting results.

A special, heartfelt thank you to the donors who made these awards possible. The Civic Infrastructure award is funded by generous contributions from members of the NCDD Board of Directors and the Bridge Building award is funded by a donor advised fund called the Harrison Giveaway Fund.

We are also greatly indebted to NCDD supporting member Brian Sullivan, who donated the use of his CivicEvolution platform and many hours of his time to the Catalyst Awards process.

Thank you also to all six of our finalist teams. Speaking on behalf of the volunteers, donors, and NCDD Board members who made this awards process possible, we are all extremely grateful for — and inspired by — your creativity, innovation, and commitment to finding new ways to work together to move our field forward.  We hope those of you who didn’t win will move forward with your projects, and invite you to keep the NCDD community informed and involved along the way.

Feel free to comment below and let us know what you thought of the Catalyst Awards process.  This experiment was new for NCDD, and we would love your feedback and suggestions for improvement!

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. Lucas Cioffi says:

    Congratulations to both winners! I sincerely look forward to seeing these projects implemented with the strong support of the community.

  2. […] in February, we were thrilled to learn that Real Dialogues had indeed won in the bridge building […]

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