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Who do you want to meet at NCDD 2014?

We thought we’d create a space for attendees to jump-start their networking efforts before next month’s conference.

For the past 12 years, NCDD events have brought together more than 2,500 people in the dialogue and deliberation field―practitioners, scholars, public leaders, trainers, artists, activists, philanthropists, students and more―to learn, collaborate, and network. NCDD conferences are wonderful networking opportunities, with about 400 of the most active and influential people in public engagement coming together this year in the DC area.

NCDD2012-wFranKorten-borderMany friendships, professional relationships, and new partnerships have been hatched at NCDD conferences, and we suspect NCDD 2014 will be no different.

We chose the Hyatt Regency Reston, in part, because there are lots of cozy spaces for you to meet up during our three days together.  We’ll help you coordinate your meetings through a whiteboard and signage at various seating areas. But you can also start organizing meetings and dinners NOW!

Thursday night, the night before the conference begins, is a great time to hold 7pm dinner meetings or afternoon mini-trainings. You’re on your own for dinner on Friday night after 6pm (after the reception and showcase), so planning for 6:30 or 7pm that night would work as well. Saturday evening also offers some space for networking, whether you decide to participate in a field trip or not. And breakfast meetings would work on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Check out the conference schedule to determine what might work best for you and your colleagues. And look over the list of registrants at www.ncdd2014.eventbrite.com (scroll down; then click “show more” twice to see everybody).

NCDD2006-SteveAndSusanThere are lots of small meeting nooks in the hotel, as well as a nice restaurant, bar, and a Panera Bread. But for larger groups or for something outside of the conference space, check out the restaurant list and map for Reston Town Center. The Hyatt is marked as K on the map — so you can see there are tons of options right by the hotel.

So who do you want to meet up with? Use the comments to propose a breakfast for those interested in tech for engagement, or drinks on Thursday for folks from the West Coast. Perhaps you’d like to organize a dinner on Friday night for those who work in/with local government? Be creative, and make it happen!

We’ll keep pointing people to this post up until the conference.

Sandy Heierbacher on FacebookSandy Heierbacher on LinkedinSandy Heierbacher on Twitter
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. Anyone with a current or future University Center want to get dinner on Thursday or Friday? Email me–I’d love to chat. david-supp-montgomerie@uiowa.edu

  2. Anyone who is a member of IAF (the International Association of Facilitators) or is interested in ‘facilitation’, join us for dinner, drinks and networking on Friday night after the showcase event? Once I get an idea of numbers I will make reservations. The more the merrier!

  3. Lisa Stiller says:

    Anyone interested in Interfaith Dialogue? Want to get together for Saturday dinner, networking? I am especially interested in facilitating Interfaith dialogue on those controversial, hot button topics!

    • John Backman says:

      Count me in, Lisa (as long as I’m not forgetting some prior engagement). And/or a meet-up about spirituality and its potential impact on dialogue would be great too.

    • Susan Partnow says:

      Keep me posted: I love bringing people together across divides including Interfaith and have had some experience (Jewish/Palestinian dialogues, for example)

    • Lisa Stiller says:

      How about meeting at the hotel registration desk at 6:30pm Saturday? I’ll have my name tag on….we should have some great conversation! I have also done interfaith dialogue around the Israeli/Palestinian issue! If there is a conflict with Saturday, I’d like to propose Friday as an alternate night…Lisa

      • John Backman says:

        Sold. Saturday at 6:30 works for me. The only caveat is that I have a session to co-present on Sunday, and I may have to join my partners in crime for last-minute session planning. Otherwise, I’m good to go.

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        John, would Friday eve for dinner work better? Susan, does that work for you?

      • Susan Partnow says:

        Friday night works better… I signed up for a Field trip… My cell: 206.310.1203

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Susan, I might be able to do Friday too….I can just have two evening s of interfaith conversations….

      • John Backman says:

        Lisa and Susan, if Friday is better for both of you, go for it. I can’t do Friday but can do Saturday.

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Susan, and anyone else, do you want to plan on Friday? Meet by the registration desk? John, Saturday breakfast or lunch works for me, so we could also do that. I am,sure the discussion about Interfaith dialogue and also about Social Justice can spam many meals!
        My cell us 775 232 2823

  4. Tom Atlee says:

    Great Approaches You May Not Be Familiar With: Certain approaches “hidden in our midst” arise from some pretty different – and very special – assumptions about people and what can happen when they talk together. Because of this they take a little time to “get”. Since we think they have great gifts to offer the next generation of democracy, we’d like to take that time – both to share the ones we know about and to hear about the ones you know about.

    Come explore unusual approaches that may challenge your (and our!) assumptions about what is possible in our field and in democracy – approaches like Dynamic Facilitation, Participatory Narrative Inquiry, Canada’s “The People’s Verdict” experiment, Community Wisdom Councils, the public wisdom inquiry, and … what else? What would you like to offer? We’ll learn more about what’s special in these approaches and explore ways they and other approaches in NCDD might work better together to help push/invite democracy into its next profoundly better iteration. Saturday 4:00 pm until “it’s over” (as we say in Open Space). We’ll meet first in the Hyatt lobby and then decide which “nook” or restaurant or other venue will best suit our purposes.

    Please RSVP to me at cii@igc.org with “Other Cool Approaches” in the subject line to help us know how many of us there will be. Coheartedly, Tom Atlee

  5. Thanks Sandy – this is a great idea. I’m coming to NCDD and to the USA in general to learn more about the way civic engagement and especially online civic engagement is carried out.

    I’m in planning stages for launching our online engagement platforms EngagementHQ into the USA but know that time spent learning how things are done now will save me lots of agony later on! I’m hoping to not just learn but to form some friendships and partnerships while I am there.

    So I’d be really glad to meet and talk to anyone who has had a go at engaging communities online, people interested in participatory budgeting or online story telling and use of discursive online engagement techniques.

    I’m also interested to chat to those who have decided not to use online techniques – to learn why and how we can up our game to meet your concerns.

    We do a lot of work with local government here in Australia and in New Zealand and Canada and I love working with local issues so I’d love to meet anyone working in municipal or local government.

    Also I’m on the hunt for consultants who can tell me how to pitch our offering so it works for their clients (and for their businesses too).

    Finally – I’d like to meet anyone who enjoys a few drinks, some good food and a good chat at the end of a hard day’s conferencing!

    I think that covers just about everyone 🙂 I’m already packing my bags and am very excited about my first trip to the US since I was 14 (and that is a long time ago!).

    • Jill Miller Zimon says:

      Matthew – I’d be happy to meet up and chat about civic engagement and online civic engagement. I was with the Civic Commons (http://theciviccommons.com) for a couple of years, was a local elected in a Northeast Ohio suburb for a few years and am currently working on open data and open gov projects, among others. My email is jillzimon@mac.com and cell for texting is 216-402-2394. I arrive on Thursday 10/16. Safe travels!

  6. Manisha Paudel says:


    I’d love to meet people interested in outreach strategies – preferably to less represented individuals and groups. Please write back!



  7. Hi all,

    Anyone working in public radio want to meet up Friday eve for dinner and talk community engagement? Let me know. jmr@praxisprojects.net

  8. On Sat. after the Close Up field trip or Sunday morning, I invite those interested in talking about how LGBT people and their allies can best reach out to and engage with those who do not know us so that we can build bridges of understanding and empathy. Sat morning I’m part of the session on “Making Space for Sacred Convictions in D&D: Threat, Necessity or Opportunity?” so this is somewhat related. I have a ~40 minute presentation program called the Heart of What Matters I’m doing that with now for “mixed support” audiences that I designed in my role as Program Manager of Marriage Equality USA. I am happy to share what we’re doing with that now in our Southern pilot sites (Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA and soon to be Nashville, TN) and am seeking ways you may know about with people you may know to suggest that people continue the conversation after the presentation.

  9. My colleagues and I at the Interactivity Foundation (IF) are interested in making connections between our own dialogic and exploratory projects (the website link has examples of our project areas) and the more decision-oriented deliberative work being done by others. Our work is big-picture, future-oriented, and exploratory. We are interested in seeing how this could connect to deliberative work that is being done in narrower contexts. In general we’d like to see if we can uncover and generate possibilities for connecting our work now and in the future.

    We cover a wide range of topical areas (one particular area might focus on Sustainability and our projects connecting to Climate, Energy, Fresh Water, etc.). We see this as an opportunity for discovering and building future possible relationships. There will be 7 of our Fellows at the meeting (and several associated individuals) starting on Thursday. We could try to meet all together–or make separate arrangements by topical (or regional) areas of interest. Let us know!

    • Hi Jeff,

      I would love to talk to you or one of your colleagues at the IF about how your climate-focused projects might intersect with our work in the US to support climate practitioners at the municipal level.

      Will look for you in Reston…


      Gretchen Elias

    • Hi Jeff: Yes, I would be very interested in meeting up with you and your colleagues about your exploratory work using dialogue. See my post as well. When can we meet?

      • Linda–sounds good. Precise timing for me is a bit up in the air at present (since I’m coordinating a lot of things) but there are several of us attending from the Interactivity Foundation (and we’ll have a display table, so likely often there will be some of us circulating around there). We will also have a “short-talk” session as an intro to what we do (1 pm Friday), so that might be a good place and time to meet a lot of us!

    • Hi Gretchen,

      I’m a colleague of Jeff Prudhomme and interested in your work. Let’s try to get together in Reston.

      Once you’ve had a chance to look over the program, email me with a couple of meeting options.

      You can use this email: adolfgundersen@gmail.com



  10. Roshan Bliss says:

    I am really interested in meeting up with people who are in the D&D field but are also involved in social justice work. I have talked with a couple people, and we would like to try to aim to have a dinner meet up on Saturday evening for folks who are in both of these worlds. We want to have some space to discuss how social justice and D&D overlap, where they are in tension, and what we as practitioners of both kinds of work can do to bring them closer to each other. Plus it’s always great to get to know other people passionate about social justice!

    Look for me and/or Polly Riddims during the conference, and let’s connect about a time and place for a dinner meet up!

    • Polly Riddims says:

      Looking forward to meeting other activists as well.

    • Lisa Stiller says:

      I would love to meet up…but am already meeting people Saturday, night….
      Can we do this friday?

    • Susan Partnow says:

      I am passionate about social justice (very engaged with restorative justice, restorative circles)… I can be reached at 206.310.1203 – maybe Friday night?

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Oh..got my conversations mixed up……I guess we can do social justice and interfaith on Friday!!

      • Keiva Hummel says:

        Very interested in joining the conversation on Interfaith Dialogue and Social Justice. I am attending the Close Up field trip on Sat but would love to know when the convos times get set to see if I can make it. Thanks to all for initiating. Looking forward to seeing you all at NCDD!

    • Roshan Bliss says:

      OK so it sounds like a Friday evening gathering of social justice workers is better for more people. What would folks say to trying to get together for dinner around 6 or 6:30pm that evening? We could gather in the hotel lobby and try to decide on a place to go then

      • Keiva Hummel says:

        Yeah sounds good. Looking forward to it.

      • Polly Riddims says:

        I was mixed up – field trips are on Saturday!! Yes Friday can work for me…

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Looks like Susan P posted something about this too…meeting at registration desk at 6:15 for social justice/interfaith conversation!

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        So….we are all meeting at about 6:15 tonight, Friday, i
        .the lobby for social justice, interfaith, dialog and dinner, drinks, etc.

  11. Polly Riddims says:

    Not sure as I know some folks are going on field trips Friday. I’ll see what Roshan says and if we can meet after dinner or some other time during the conference. thanks!

    • Lisa Stiller says:

      That would be great!! I am involved in a few social,justice groups, one as a national board member, and we do a lot of dialogue work at the conferences we attend (and we are now planning our own differences).

    • John Backman says:

      Goodness knows I don’t want to add more confusion here, but aren’t the field trips on Saturday? That’s what I’m reading on the schedule.

  12. Lisa Stiller says:

    Yes, field trips are Saturday. John, I can also meet Saturday for breakfast.

    • John Backman says:

      ARRRCH. I’m busy then too. How about Saturday lunch? Susan?

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Polly, if you still want to discuss social justice Saturday, that’s great…I know there is some confusion because of the field trips Saturday, but as I am not going on one, a dinner or other informal meetup on Saturday evening would work for me. I’m involved in a few groups that deal with some very controversial issues, and one of my biggest reasons for attending this conference is to gain some more skills in this area….so just let ne know,when a good time is!!
        My cell is 775 232 2823

  13. Nikola says:


    I’d love to meet with people interested in one or more of the following topics: a) community civic infrastructure; b) people centered learning and impact evaluation at an organizational level; c) systemic infusion of civic engagement/community engagement at an organizational level.

    I feel like D&D has a central role to play in all of these topics so chatting with those doing the work already and/or who have an interest would be wonderful!

    E-mail: npavelic@cityofdubuque.org

    See you all soon!

    • David Plouffe says:

      Nikola – I am also interested in these areas and would be interested meeting over a coffee during the conference. let me know if you are interested

      email: david.plouffe@calgary.ca

    • John Spady says:

      Please include me too Nickola. I have an interest in civic infrastructures and broad based dialogue.
      Please call or text me at the conference so we can find each other.
      Thanks! John Spady, 206-465-6963

      • Nikola Pavelic says:

        Hi John-

        Will do! David, Susanna Haas Lyons and I will be meeting at the hotel lobby at 8am on Sunday. Depending on time we may go and eat somewhere or we may just find a cozy place to connect.

        See you soon!

  14. David Plouffe says:

    Are there any Canadian delegates that want to meet up during the conference?

    Side-note – It was to bad that the Nationals (aka Expos)were knocked out of the baseball playoffs or we could have cheered on these Expos.

  15. Lisa Stiller says:

    Saturday lunch is good…I can just plan on doing both….Friday or Saturday evening and Saturday lunch. I’m not doing a field trip.

  16. Sara Drury says:

    I participated in the July Confab Call about “Event Closings.” (check out https://ncdd.org/15697) I’d love to continue that conversation about best strategies, ideas, and methods for effectively closing dialogue and deliberation events. Email: drurys “at” wabash.edu if you are interested, and perhaps we can grab a table for a working lunch.

  17. I am interested in talking with others who are interested in exploring Gamifcation and other ways to foster viral or self-sustaining civic discussions. In the Interactivity Foundation we are exploring ways to help people convene their own discussions (whether in-person or online).
    I (along with some of my colleagues) have been thinking about how gamification could be used positively to enhance the depth of engagement and expand participation with civic discussions like the ones we facilitate. In the context of our “public discussions,” we have been talking about ways to enable more self-guided access to our discussion experiences—perhaps along the lines of a game-like experience. This could be a way to help people unleash their thinking power, to think more creatively about public matters.
    In this context, I have also been thinking about how we could help people with the progression of their skills—as a discussion participant and perhaps as a facilitator (since game experiences typically involve some sort of progression loop and marking of skill development).
    My schedule is not yet very set, but perhaps Friday evening or Saturday evening?

    • Kim Crowley says:

      I have background in recreation therapy and psychoeducational skill development. I would love to explore further. I will look for you at tonight’s reception and chech back here later if we don’t connect.

  18. I would like to meet with others who might be interested in talking about the topic of education and D&D, especially in the context of learning discussion skills/using discussion skills to enhance learning. I (and some of my colleagues) would also be interested in meeting with people (especially educators) who might be interested in possible collaborative partnerships with our Interactivity Foundation work on education (you can poke around here for more info: http://goo.gl/EFzq4c).

    • Roshan Bliss says:

      Jeff, is this discussion primarily focused on teaching D&D in the classroom? I’m hosting a workshop called “Democratizing (through) Higher Education” that is going to focus on that to some extent, but that will more be looking at how to democratize the actual governance infrastructure our schools use outside of the classroom. I’d love to talk more about that, but if it’s mostly about classroom methods, that’s fine too

      • Roshan–yes, I am (& we are) very much interested in seeing how democratizing discussion can expand out of the classroom (for students, faculty, administrators…). Your session sounds great!

  19. Susan Partnow says:

    SO: social justice/interfaith interests are meeting for dinner Friday night (including Lisa Stiller and me at least!). We’ll meet by registration desk – there are lots of nearby restaurants. Shall we meet at 6:15 (reception ends at 6 so we can quickly freshen up). My cell is 206.310.1203

    –then people may also meet for lunch Saturday and/or dinner Saturday night, including John Backman. I cannot meet Sat. eve but perhaps lunch…

  20. Nancy Gansneder says:

    NIF Caucus at NCDD – Dinner Friday

    Are you an NIF moderator/facilitator? Are you part of the NIF network, past or present? Do you remember the PPIs or are you part of its successor, Centers for Civic Life?

    Can we talk? Let’s do it over dinner. Friday, October 17 at the NCDD conference.

    Share our common past, and build on our rich experience and chart a bright future.

    Conveners: Patty Dineen, Craig Paterson and Nancy Gansneder.

    Want to join us? Shoot Nancy an email (nancyg@virginia.edu) so we can make reservations.

  21. Lisa Stiller says:

    Hey, I am arriving Thursday about 2 or 3, (if all goes well with the four flights I have to take from Portland, Oregon!) and was wondering if there are any informal evening plans for Thursday….a drink, a night out, etc…

    • Nancy Gansneder says:

      If you get in early come to Bowman Board Room and help stuff bags – a great place to meet others

      And there is a pre-conference reception at 6:00 in the 1st floor central lounge and bar.

    • Kathy Sferra says:

      Hi Lisa
      First time conference goer here also looking to meet a few folks for dinner Thurs evening. My interests are community (town) dialogue, civic infrastructure and planning/environment/climate. See you at the stuffing party/reception!

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Hi Kathy,
        Looks like,i’ll ne getting to the hotel about 5:00, maybe earlier,….my first flight wax
        delayed, so had redo all the,others. I’ll probably make the reception, and will.ne very ready for dinner afterwards!
        My cell is 775 232 2823

      • Kathy,

        Am also a first time conference goer and with similar interests (civic infrastructure and planning/environment/climate). Would love to join you and others for dinner after the reception. I’ll look for you at the stuffing party/reception or email me at gretchenelias at mac dot com


      • Lisa Stiller says:

        I am hoping to make it to the reception….i’ve been in the Phoenix airport
        all night….my flight from Portland was very delayed and
        I missed my connections last night… so not sure just when i’ll
        get there….

      • Nicole says:

        I’m a first time conference go-er as well and trying to get oriented to the D&D field, coming from a background in non-profit evaluation, strategic planning, and organizational development.

        I’ll join you this afternoon to stuff bags & would love to join dinner tonight.

      • Lisa Stiller says:

        Hi Nicole.my background is in education and some nonprofit..a just hit,jund s lot just got to Dulles if social justice oganizing….i’ll ne there by 5:00

  22. Polly Riddims says:

    Yes, we can use the help with the bags and meet everyone! Thanks Nancy!

  23. Laurie Richardson says:

    Greetings to all!

    Is there any interest in either of the following proposed meet-ups?

    1) Discussing the use/development of D/D & peacebuilding tools and infrastructure in low resource settings with entrenched polarization and “fragile state” (ex: Haiti, where I lived and worked for over 15 years). Challenges? Breakthroughs? Use of technology? How to build avenues for constructive collaboration between rights holders and duty bearers in this setting…

    Suggested time: Saturday evening (in lieu of a field trip) – open to other options if this does not suit….Meet in Hotel Lobby and decide on a destination for dinner. If there is interest, we could do our own “field trip” – out to some Ethiopian food in Adams Morgan in DC or something, leaving early enough to be back for the evening film…

    2) A get together for folks from the New England “neck of the woods” – putting faces to names and looking at opportunities for collaboration.

    Suggested time: Saturday 8 AM over coffee – at the Panera or somewhere close and easy.

    Save travels to all!

    • Laurie —

      I’m from Vermont and like the idea of meeting other New Englanders. Sat at 8 am could work for me. Have you gotten any other interest?


      • Laurie Richardson says:

        Hi Gretchen – No other manifestations of interest yet – but perhaps they will come. I am at 617-417-5432 so check back with me at some point before Sat AM.

      • Kathy Sferra says:

        I’m from Mass. ..breakfast on Saturday sounds great!

      • Christa Daniels says:

        I am from Antioch in Keene NH and would love to meet with other New Englanders as well. I may have a conference call on Sat at 8 am – but will be looking for you folks at other times!

      • Kim Crowley says:

        I won’t make it to the Sat breakfast,but it was nice chatting with some of you at the reception tonight!

  24. Susan Partnow says:

    Hi Laurie. This interests me (but I’ve signed up for a field trip…): I’ve worked in West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia)… There are several of us meeting to talk about interfaith and social justice on Friday night… Some overlaps, though divergent as well… If we miss each other at the conference feel free to call some other time!

    • Laurie Richardson says:

      Hi Susan! I noted the Fri eve social justice/interfaith circle and will likely join you for that. However and as you note, this is a somewhat distinct topic so I am curious as to whether there are folks who would like to take it up separately – whether on Sat. late afternoon/eve or at another time.

  25. Lisa Stiller says:

    Great….see you there!!!
    My cell is 775 232 2823

  26. Would love to connect with any IAP2 colleagues, or on the professional side, anyone involved in large infrastructure projects, like electrical transmission, pipelines, public transit, so we can share best practices about getting more of the public involved in providing direction, knowing they can positively affect the outcome of such a project, etc.

    • Hi Kevin. There are a dozen or so IAP2 USA members registered for the conference. Join us Sunday morning for breakfast. Likely start time is 7.30am, but to be confirmed. Look forward to meeting you!

      • Bonnie Parker says:

        Hi Tim and Kevin, As an IAP2 member, I would also like to meet up with this group on Sunday morning. Please include me when you share any details on location. Thanks!

    • Sarah Thomson says:

      Kevin, I’d be happy to chat with you about work I previously did in the UK on large infrastructure projects – including water and electric utilities and a large transportation project. You can text or call me on 917-702-0503 to arrange the meetup. Cheers Sarah

  27. Hey all,

    Since this conference is focused on the next generation, I wonder if any of us in that generation (under 30?) want to get together to discuss the future of D&D, democracy, and civic engagement as we see it.

    Apologies for the late post!

  28. Kathy Sferra says:

    I’m from Mass. ..breakfast on Saturday sounds great!

  29. Hello all,

    As a communications and outreach person (from the Public Conversations Project), I’m interested in meeting with folks who are writing about dialogue and deliberation, whether for an organization or another outlet/blog, and would be interested in meeting up to discuss how to tell the story of this work to a broader audience. I’m open to whatever time would work best if there’s interest…so let me know!



  30. Hey, everybody! Just a quick note for those of you who have organized meet-ups, dinners, mini workshops, etc. that others can still participate in… Look for the large networking board outside the ballroom. We worked with a local artist group called “dog & pony dc” to create a few cards modeled after classifieds ads. You can fill out one of those, or flip them over and use the blank side to just jot down your activity however you’d like to. Yay – we’re here!

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