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Engaging in Aging (Featured D&D Story)

D&D stories logoWe are highlighting another example of dialogue and deliberation in action today, and this time it is a project called Engaging in Aging. This mini case study was submitted by Doug Ross of Collaborative Solutions via NCDD’s Dialogue Storytelling Tool, which we recently launched to collect stories from our members about their work.

We know that there are plenty of other stories from our NCDD members out there that can teach key insights about working in dialogue, deliberation, and engagement. We want to hear them! Please add YOUR dialogue story today, and let us learn from you!

Title of Project:

Engaged in Aging


Engaged in Aging was previuosly known as Continuing the Conversation. The “conversations” originated in day long conferences about aging called Winter Forums. These took place every Winter in Sarasota, FL.

My role was to allow some of the participants to meet to continue these provocative conversations. Attendees were common, ordinary citizens with some interest in the challenges of an aging population.

Sarasota County has more people over the age of both 65 and 85 than any other large county in the USA — 32% and growing — so we have trhe right field to study these things.

Which dialogue and deliberation approaches did you use or borrow heavily from?

  • Open Space / Unconference
  • World Cafe
  • Sustained Dialogue
  • Bohm Dialogue

What was your role in the project?

Mostly facilitator, and also a participant.

Lessons Learned

Dialogue, by whatever name applied, is the key value in getting people to open up about what touches them on this issue. From several years of using “World Cafe” and a decade ago using “Open Space”, I’ve learned to value the smaller group sizes. Even introverts can manage a group of 4 or 5! I also facilitate “Mastermind Groups”, and again size and trust are keys to success.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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  1. Doug Ross says:

    I am flattered that you used my Summary of work I have been involved in supporting dignity and independence for aging citizens. Dialogue encourages equality and contribution in group processes.

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