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What would you like to see at this year’s NCDD conference?

For the next ten days, we’ll be crowdsourcing ideas from the NCDD community about what you’d like to see, do, and experience at this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. We’re using Codigital so that we can gather and prioritize your input quickly and easily.

NCDDSeattle-GRs-borderNCDD conferences look and feel a bit different each year because our events are experiments in collaborative planning, and our planning team is highly responsive to our community’s needs and energy.

  • Remember the “conservatives panel” at our 2008 national conference in Austin (with Grover Norquist!), where we dug into when, why, and under what conditions conservatives support dialogue and deliberation work?
  • Remember the huge timelines on the walls at our 2006 conference in San Francisco, where we walked everyone through the process of reflecting on how we’ve got to where we are today, as individuals, as a community, and as a society?
  • Remember Playback Theatre in 2004, the Catalyst Awards process at our last conference, the showcases and networking sessions, and the great speakers and participatory processes we’ve featured at all of our conferences?

NCDD’s national conferences bring together 400+ of our community’s most exciting leaders, innovators, learners, and doers, for an event that enables us not only to network and learn from each other, but to tackle our greatest collective challenges head-on, and to set the direction for our field.

What we cover at our conferences, and how we cover it, is important for this ever-growing, ever-changing field — and we want your input!

Everyone in the NCDD community (members, past conference attendees, subscribers, social media friends) is welcome to participate in our crowdsourcing project. NCDD members are being sent a direct invitation that lets them participate without registering (if you don’t receive it please check for it in your spam folder); everyone else can register at www.app.codigital.com/p/ncdd2 and then follow the simple instructions to get started.

As you consider our intentionally broad framing question, “What would you like to see happen when our field comes together at NCDD 2014?”, think about…

  • What topics would you like to see covered?
  • What ideas do you have for awesome activities?
  • What could we do this year that might improve your work?
  • What could we do that would help us move the field forward?
  • What can we do while we’re together that we can’t easily do virtually?
  • Dream big, or be specific… it’s all good!

For this engagement process, we’re experimenting with an online tool called Codigital, which enables you to gather creative/qualitative input from large numbers of people on any topic, and see which themes resonate with your group. We’d found it to be smooth, simple and user-friendly. We like that people can make edits to each other’s ideas (and then have the group decide which version it prefers), rather than having to add new, slightly different, ideas.

Another clever thing about this tool is that it allows groups to prioritize ideas by asking users to rank two ideas at a time. In other words, you don’t need to rank or vote on every single idea, which allows the tool to scale up and accommodate larger numbers of users. And though this may be painful to some of you, we appreciate the character limit for ideas! 🙂

That said, use the comments below this post to expand on your ideas if you’d like.  While you’re thinking about what you can contribute to this year’s conference, we encourage you also to test out session ideas below, and use this space to connect with potential co-presenters or co-conspirators.

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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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We always encourage a lively exchange of ideas, whether online or off. Questions? Please feel free to contact us directly.

  1. First of all, what do you think about Codigital? Of course, every time we run an engagement project like this for our members, it’s a chance for us all to learn more about online engagement — what works and what doesn’t, what to look for in tools, what kinds of framing works to encourage engagement, etc. Let’s debrief here!

    • And by the way, here are a couple other things I’ve been learning about Codigital that are not immediately obvious:

      – Users have a max of 5 ideas they can add. If they add a 6th, their lowest ranked idea is replaced. This prevents any one user from dominating, and puts a cap on the number of ideas that are possible (#users x 5).
      – Though people can rank as many ideas as they want to, they don’t necessarily need to. Once a bunch of users rank a few times, the system has enough dta to rank them all. This makes group ranking more efficient.
      – Codigital can also be used to help large numbers of people meeting face-to-face, or at multiple locations, submit, edit and prioritize/rank ideas after in-person dialogue and deliberation. Very excited about that!

  2. Jo'el Roth says:

    I do workshops on disability awareness, with strategies for including individuals with a wide variety of disabilities in any group event. “How to Host inclusive events for all (dis)Abilities.” I think this topic fits nicely with this group’s goals and mission: how do you include an individual who is blind into the group activity when doing a white-board brainstorming session?” etc etc. Has the group addressed various issues of disability etiguetter/inclusion yet?

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