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Showcase Sessions at the 2014 NCDD Conference

LocalistoShowcaseWe’re excited to share the final list of our featured presenters in this year’s “D&D Showcase” — a highly anticipated, high-energy event held on the first night of the 2014 NCDD conference. The Showcase is a fun way for you to meet some of the movers-and-shakers in our field and learn about their leading-edge projects, programs and tools.

Showcase presenters are asked to prepare a brief spiel to use as a conversation starter during this un-timed session, to provide handouts so you can follow up after the conference, and to prepare an eye-catching poster so people can easily identify their topic. More about how the Showcase works is up at www.ncdd.org/15606.


Chris Heuer, CEO and Founder of Alynd

Alynd’s goal is to get you aligned with others, with your teams and with your organization to accelerate your productivity, improve your performance and bring greater balance to your life, whether you are a manager or a contributor. Alynd supports the natural process of collaboration which creates a system of accountability where people do what they say they are going to do because they want to do it, they want to win for themselves, and for each other.

Bang The Table

Matthew Crozier, Director and CEO of Bang the Table

Bang the Table was established because no matter how well designed, current consultation processes inevitably only reach part of a community or stakeholder group. The internet provides an opportunity to give vastly more people access to information and to have their say. Bang the Table is a company that offers tools for engaging in collaborative learning, discussion, and debate.

Civil Dialogue

John Genette, President of the Institute for Civil Dialogue

For the past decade, Civil Dialogue has been used nationally as a technique to help people with varying opinions on controversial issues unstop the many blockages that preclude civil conversation and invites guided dialogue to increase understanding.

The Civity Initiative

Palma Strand and Malka Kopell, Co-Founders of The Civity Initiative

“Civity” is people working together to solve important civic problems — building and strengthening relationships to reach across social, political and organizational divides. The Civity Initiative offers the story of civity to counter prevailing stories of division and disempowerment. We also conduct projects that focus on bridging relationships, such as our current project in Silicon Valley with young leaders that uses transformative one-on-one Civity Conversations to reach across the tech/non-tech divide.

Common Ground for Action

Amy Lee, Program Officer at the Kettering Foundation and April McKay, Product Manager at Conteneo

Common Ground for Action (CGA) is a new online platform that is infused with the Kettering Foundation’s proven techniques for framing issues and practices of thoughtful deliberation.


Kevin Miniter, Founder of Consider.it

Consider.it is a technology that allows large groups of people to deliberate on defined issues.  Our PhD research shows that consider.it encourages users to consider both sides of an issue, listen to people with whom they disagree and actually change their minds based on something they have read.

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Laura Perrault, Director of Operations at Convergence

Convergence convenes diverse and influential stakeholders — who are either in conflict or working at cross purposes — to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on critical national issues. We call our process “dialogue-leading-to-action” and are currently organizing projects on nutrition, education, long-term care, and US-Pakistan relations.

Ethelo Decisions

Kathryn Thomson, Consultant with Ethelo Decisions

Ethelo is an online decision making tool designed to promote group harmony by finding and ranking outcomes that optimize satisfaction and minimize the resistance due to unfairness and polarization. It can be used for corporate board decisions, large scale community stakeholder engagement and for any process where you have complex, contentious issues and need people’s input to provide a solid, inclusive way to move forward on the issue.


Laura Lo Forti, Co-founder of A Fourth Act

Harvis is a mobile web application that empowers individuals to share their perspectives and be active participants in collective action-oriented dialogue by capturing their real-time emotional responses to recorded or live-media.

International Facilitation Week

Kimberly Bain, Global Chair of the International Association of Facilitators

Launched last year and taking place the week after the NCDD conference in 2014, International Facilitation Week is spearheaded by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) to publicize the power of facilitation and create an international sense of identity and cohesion.

Liberating Structures

Amanda Buberger, Assistant Director, Academic Community Engagement Partnerships at the Center for Public Service, Tulane University and Julianna Padgett, Assistant Dean in the School of Social Work at Tulane University

Liberating Structures introduce tiny shifts in the protocols of how we meet, plan, decide and shape the future together. They put the innovative and facilitative power once reserved for experts only in the hands of everyone.


Dave Biggs, Co-Founder of MetroQuest

MetroQuest is an online community engagement platform for planning projects. It’s a powerful, flexible and cost-effective way to collect informed input from the public and stakeholders. MetroQuest software enables the public to learn about your project and provide meaningful feedback using a variety of fun and visual screens.

The newDemocracy Foundation

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, Founder and Director of The newDemocracy Foundation

Throughout Australia, the newDemocracy Foundation works with elected officials to operate innovative democratic processes on a non-commercial basis. We do this through projects like the the City of Melbourne People’s Panel, Moorebank Intermodal Citizens’ Jury and Marrickville Infrastructure Jury.

No Labels

David Nevins, National Grassroots Coordinator at No Labels

No Labels is an American political organization composed of Republicans, Democrats, and independents, whose mission is to move America from the old politics of point-scoring toward a new politics of problem-solving.


Michael SmithPresident of OneCounts

Text messaging is just beginning to change how we communicate nationally and internationally. OneCounts provides technical integration solutions for interactive meetings to engage your audience. OneCounts provides the texting platform for “Text Talk & Act” and ” Text, Talk, Vote.” We also provided the technical directing and audience response services to AmericaSpeaks and GlobalVoices for 15 years.


Colleen Hardwick, CEO of PlaceSpeak

PlaceSpeak is a location-based community consultation platform, advancing public consultation to a whole new level by enabling evidence-based decision-making by allowing citizens to influence the process in an open, safe, secure and transparent manner.

Polarities: Exploring Assumptions and Diversity in Deliberation

Tom Murray, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

There are a number of process frameworks based on Polarities that help participants see a broad range of possibility, identify assumptions, manage tradeoffs, gain systemic perspectives, cope with paradox, and see more deeply and empathically into other’s views. The polarity framework can be applied in many ways, and can be added to many other methods to complement them.


Rachna ChoudhryCo-founder, POPVOX.com

POPVOX bridges the gap between the input the public wants to provide and the information Members of Congress want and need to receive. Designed by people who understand Congress, POPVOX is different from other political sites. It is not a discussion forum. It is a place for action.

Research & Evaluation of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review

John Gastil, Director of Penn State University’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy and Katherine KnoblochAssociate Director of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University

Support from the National Science Foundation, Kettering Foundation, and public universities has enabled the intensive study and evaluation of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review in 2010 and 2012. This showcase presents some of the research findings and explains how the research team built a successful research partnership with a not-for-profit organization and the Oregon state government.

Strong Towns

Jim Kumon, Executive Director of Strong Towns

Strong Towns is a national non-profit who mission is to advocate for policies and actions that allows America’s cities and towns to become financially strong and resilient. A Strong Town approach emphasizes obtaining a higher return on existing infrastructure investments, and ultimately requires a renewed understanding of what it takes to build and maintain a town or a neighborhood. Preview their work at curbsidechat.org and strongtowns.org.

The Next Generation of Democracy Practitioners

Caroline Lee, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Sociology at Lafayette College

Based on 6 years of research on NCDD and other public engagement organizations, my forthcoming book Do-it-Yourself Democracy studies the everyday and extraordinary challenges of dialogue and deliberation practitioners.

UNCG Guide to Collaborative Competencies

Sarah Giles, Special Projects Manager for Policy Consensus Initiative and John B. Stephens, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Government

The University Network for Collaborative Governance has identified specific collaborative competencies to help public officials and managers improve their own or their staff’s collaborative competence through continuing education and training.

Wisdom Council

Jim Rough, Co-Founder of the Center for Wise Democracy

The Wisdom Council is a social innovation that has the potential to facilitate the people of a community, state or nation, to get involved in solving difficult public issues, where “We the People” take thoughtful responsibility for our collective choices.


Tim Bonnemann, Founder, President and CEO of Intellitics, Inc. 

Zilino is a web-based solution that enables practitioners to host deliberative online forums and other types of well-designed, well-facilitated and outcome-oriented group processes, both stand-alone and in combination with in-person activities. With its modular toolkit approach, Zilino supports a wide range of engagement scenarios and is currently being used in the United States in the public, non-profit and higher education sectors.

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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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