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Register for Frontiers of Democracy Conference July 16-18

Tufts-logoIn case you hadn’t heard already, we wanted to make sure to tell encourage our NCDD members to consider attending the “Frontiers of Democracy” conference this July 16-18 in Boston, MA. Hosted annually at Tufts University, the conference has become an important venue for leaders in democratic thought and practice to gather to share ideas and network.

This year’s conference will feature talks from, among others, Ambassador Alan Solomont, the dean of Tisch College; Gloria Rubio-Cortes, president, National Civic League; Josh Lerner, Participatory Budgeting Project; John Gastil, Penn State (communication); Tina Nabatchi, Syracuse University (public administration); Shelby Brown, Executive Administrator, State of Connecticut’s Office of Governmental Accountability; Tim Eatman, Research Director, Imagining America; Sabeel Rahman, Harvard (government and law).

And to top it all off, the NCDD board and our director, Sandy Heierbacher, are hosting a workshop on engaging engagement practitioners. That workshop and others can be found in the detailed agenda, which features talks, discussions, and workshops on some of the most exciting and innovative work being done in our field, and you won’t want to miss it, so make sure to register here today!

You can get a taste of what the conference will focus on by reading the conference framing statement:

Who’s on the bus, and where is it going? The state of the civic field

Civic work is proliferating: many different kinds of people, working in different contexts and issue areas, are expanding the ways in which citizens engage with government, community, and each other. It is increasingly clear that growing inequality, social and political fragmentation, and lack of democratic opportunities are undermining our efforts to address public priorities such as health, education, poverty, the environment, and government reform.

But attempts to label the responses – as “civic engagement,” “collaborative governance,” “deliberative democracy,” or “public work” – or to articulate them as one movement or policy agenda under a heading like “civic renewal” or “stronger democracy” – immediately spark debates about substance, strategy, and language.

Though it is clear we have many principles and practices in common, we differ on what we should call this work and where it is headed. In order for “overlapping civic coalitions”* to form, the potential partners would have to work through goals, assumptions, and differences. Join us on July 16-18 at the 2014 “Frontiers of Democracy” conference, in downtown Boston, for an invigorating, argumentative, civil discussion on the state and future of the civic field.

Frontiers of Democracy is sponsored by Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, the Democracy Imperative, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, all of which have NCDD members in their leadership.

We know this conference will be a great space for NCDD members to gather, and we hope to see you then!

More information about the Frontiers of Democracy conference is available at http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/civic-studies/frontiers.

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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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