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Call for proposals for this year’s Engaging The Other conference

Engaging the Other bannerThe 4th Annual International Conference on “Engaging The Other:” The Power of Compassion is taking place November 13-15 in San Mateo, California (outside San Francisco), and we encourage all NCDDers interested in conflict resolution and intergroup relations to attend! NCDD is co-sponsoring this event with the Common Bond Institute and the International Humanistic Psychology Association, and registration will be discounted for NCDD members ($290 rather than $350 for the early rate).

Engaging The Other (ETO) is an innovative interdisciplinary conference examining concepts of “The Other” from a universal, cross-cultural perspective to promote wider public dialogue about concepts of “Us and Them.”

Now is the time to submit your proposal for a concurrent session (workshop), and/or to sign up as a dialogue group facilitator.

The 3 day ETO Program schedule is composed of concurrent sessions, plenary panels, facilitated topical dialogue groups, and intentional community experiences, as well as evening social/cultural events to relax and recreate with one another. Presentations are multidisciplinary and focus on issues related to concepts and experiences of The Other, including dynamics of identity, fear-based belief systems, negative stereotypes, prejudice, polarization, and forming enemy images.

1) Concurrent Workshops and Roundtables (Typically 80-90 minutes in length):
Session format should engage participants as both learners and teachers – learning from prepared material while also bringing participants’ own wisdom to the table. Proposals are sought for workshops and roundtables that offer skills training, active learning, interaction, and dynamic dialogue.

2) Dialogue Group Facilitation (Typically 75-90 minutes in length, occurring once or twice each day. Teams of two facilitators are preferred, and individuals can be paired up as wished):
Session content provides stimulus for these facilitated dialogue break-out groups woven throughout the days of the conference that all participants take part in. Groups are intended to process the conference experience, explore issues not raised in the prepared program, brainstorm practical applications, and network for important collaboration building beyond the conference. Each group is loosely framed around one of several themes and dialogue occurs within the general context of that theme. Themes are repeated and participants can choose to follow the same or different themes in each time period.

Scribes are assigned to each group to record content highlights for compiling and posting on the conference website, giving participants an evolving overview of what is brewing in the community. This information is also included in conference proceedings and outcomes, and utilized for future planning.

Since we are co-creating a process that builds over the days of the conference toward strategies, collaboration, and outcomes meant to be applied beyond the conference, we encourage all presenters attend the  conference if possible.

Complete the presenter proposal form at www.cbiworld.org/Pages/Conferences_ETO_ProposalForm.htm (copy the text into an email or Word doc), email conference director Steve Olweean at Solweean@aol.com and let him know you’d like to be a dialogue group facilitator, or visit the conference website at www.cbiworld.org/Pages/Conferences_ETO.htm.

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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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