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Showcase Sessions at the 2016 NCDD Conference

Showcase2014-1We’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 2016 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.

Assessing Civic Engagement Needs

Susan Jeghelian, Executive Director and Madhawa Palihapitiya, Associate Director, MA Office of Public Collaboration

A recent legislative study by MOPC, the MA state dispute resolution agency, assessed civic engagement needs around destructive public conflict in local communities and provided policy recommendations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for improved societal results.

Citizen Science

Chris Santos-Lang, Facilitator, Citizen Science Belleville

The most famous use of citizen science may have been to instigate reform of the Flint, Michigan, water supply. As science advances–especially science of the mind, of values, and of the divide–so does the importance of this form of dialog.

Conversation Café

Keiva Hummel, Conversation Café Coordinator, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Conversation Cafés are 90-minute hosted conversations, held in a public setting like a café, where anyone is welcome to join. A simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants it a chance to speak.

CU Dialogues Program

Pilar Prostko, Program Coordinator/Facilitator, University of Colorado Boulder

The CU Dialogues Program facilitates dialogues that engage diverse members of the University community in honest conversation with one another across differences of all kinds. The Program also offers a 3-credit undergraduate course, “Dialogue Across Difference,” which offers students the opportunity to learn what dialogue entails, practice dialogue, and be trained as dialogue facilitators.

Dialogue Playing Cards

Peter Nixon, Founder, Potential Dialogue

Dialogue Playing Cards are regular playing cards featuring a different dialogue behavior on each card. They are great for stimulating discussion on ways to improve dialogue in teams and organizations as well as teaching and training dialogue to people of all ages, in families, schools, university and business.

Drawing Lines

Lynn Osgood, Principal, GO Collaborative

The Drawing Lines project was an arts-based civic engagement project funded by ArtPlace America, that asked the question – what role can the arts play in the context of historic political change? What emerged was a spectrum on arts-based engagement projects and a LOT of lessons learned on how to administrate such projects.

Harwood Institute

Marla Crockett, Certified Coach, The Harwood Institute

Learn about The Harwood Institute’s Turning Outward approach and how to develop a deep knowledge of your community and use it as a reference point to make better choices and judgments. Find out how you can be trained in this approach and deepen your impact.

Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

Robin Prest, Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue

Know someone who has demonstrated, internationally, excellence in the use of dialogue? Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue is now accepting nominations for the 2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, and would love to hear your suggestions.

Journal of Public Deliberation

Laura Black, Associate Professor, Ohio University

JPD is a place for NCDDers to find published research on tools and methods and to potentially publish reflections from their practices. Large System Change Steve Waddell Principal NetworkingAction Large systems change (LSC) is a new field of knowledge and action. It engages many, many people and organizations over significant geographic expanse; it addresses issues in need of transformation and radical change.

Learning to Deliberate

Katy Harriger, Professor and Department Chair, Dept. of Politics and International Affairs

At Wake Forest we have just completed a study of the long term impact of learning to deliberate (to be published by the Kettering Foundation this fall as a monograph). We incorporated deliberative dialogue into our first year experience course for new students and have used it to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion on campus.

Let’s Talk About It

John Ungerleider, Professor, SIT Graduate Institute

“Let’s Talk About It: A Guide to Leading Youth Dialogue” presents dialogue principles, structures, and activities that can help a facilitator of youth dialogue prepare to deepen participants’ positive experience. The short manual presents simple steps of youth dialogue planning and design, communication training for participants, and effective facilitation–with explanations of rationale behind approaches, and examples that have been tested in years of multicultural youth empowerment programs at the School for International Training.

Liberals Guide to Conservatives

J. Scott Wagner, Founder, Reach the Right

Working with the world’s leading academic experts on ideology, J. Scott Wagner has written an informal, inspirational, story-filled guide that wends its way through neurology, personality, and biases to help us understand and work well with each other.


MJ Kaplan, Lead for US Growth, Loomio

Loomio is open source software that enables inclusive, collaborative decisions for groups in 110 countries globally – in and across communities, universities, governments, businesses and networks. Loomio is a social enterprise and a worker owned cooperative. Loomio’s innovative, flat structure is a leading model of emerging workplaces that are more creative, engaging and productive.

NarraFirma: Story Project Software

Cynthia Kurtz, Independent Consultant and Researcher

NarraFirma is open source companion software to the textbook “Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization“. NarraFirma helps your group collaboratively plan a story project, collect stories, ask questions about them, look for patterns in what you’ve collected, plan workshops, and reflect on what you’ve learned.

National Dialogue Network

John Spady, Founder, National Dialogue Network

NDN is the recipient of the 2012 Catalyst Award from NCDD. Come and learn about the $20,000 available in grants to all NCDD members. NDN seeks to coordinate collaborative local conversations into mindful national dialogue.


Pat Scully, Managing Director, Participedia

The Participedia Project is an open-source, global research partnership whose primary goals are to map and make sense of the growing universe of new channels of citizen involvement in government and other forms of public problem solving. Anyone can join the Participedia community and help crowdsource, catalogue, and compare participatory political processes around the world. In addition to our Showcase, we will also make available a brief online survey for conference participants who would like to share their ideas about how the information we are gathering can best inform and support the work of practitioners in the field of dialogue and deliberation.

The Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation

Virginia Swain, Founder and Director, Institute for Global Leadership

PPR is an approach and practice that is uniquely inclusive, visionary, reflective and restorative–healing the cycle of violence through inner governance, re-envisioning the common humanity of perpetrators and victims, socially responsible action that transcends self-interest, and mobilizing the will of the people for common issues.


Colleen Hardwick, Founder and CEO, PlaceSpeak

How do you consult with people online within specific geographical boundaries… and prove it? The answer is PlaceSpeak, a pioneering location-based smart city civic engagement platform. Currently, online citizen engagement is anonymous and not tied to place. This has led to the proliferation of trolls, sock puppets, astroturfing and other forms of online dysfunction designed to skew and distort public opinion. PlaceSpeak’s vision is to improve the quality and legitimacy of decision-making and public policy development by modernizing authentication of digital identity, protecting privacy by design and ‘making it real’.


Joshua Brooks, e-Government Fellow, and Brian Post, Lead Technologist, CeRI (Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative), Cornell Law School

SmartParticipation, developed by Cornell University, is an innovative and adaptable platform for informed, inclusive and insightful online discussion. Now open source.

The Civility Scorecard

Russ Charvonia, President, National Civility Center

The Civility Center has developed this Scorecard to aid in evaluating the degree of civility in speeches. Just in time for the US Presidential Election!

Transpartisan Review

Jim Turner, Attorney/Partner, Swankin and Turner

Launching alongside the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, The Transpartisan Review will be an online journal promoting new ideas in political engagement and exploring ways to bring people together who are now in conflict to solve problems that otherwise seem insoluble. Learn more at www.transpartisanreview.com.

Trusted Sharing

Ruth Backstrom, Director of Marketing & Outreach, Trusted Sharing

Trusted Sharing is a set of online tools and spaces for hosting deeper conversations using specific facilitation methods.

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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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