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NCDD 2008 Pre-Conference Workshops

We’re offering a wonderful selection of full-day and half-day workshops on October 2nd – the day before the conference begins. The pre-conference workshops are designed to provide high-quality, intensive skill- and knowledge-building opportunities for conference participants, and for people from the local area who just want to learn more about dialogue and deliberation. They are also an opportunity to learn from and get to know some of the thought leaders in the D&D community.

And don’t forget to check out the 2-day post-conference workshop on Disaster and Crisis Intervention our friends at the Global Facilitator Service Corps are offering on October 6th and 7th!

The full-day workshops (only $95) are:

Managing Difficult Conversations: An Introduction to Group Dialogue Processes

Today’s communities are challenged by polarizing, often intractable conflicts – yet people too often lack the tools to engage in respectful, civil discourse regarding differences in values, religious beliefs, and politics. This workshop will demonstrate two dialogue approaches to exploring differences: Conversation Café and National Issues Forums. Through demonstrations, exercises and discussion, workshop participants will analyze and contrast dialogue processes, explore the role of questions in promoting understanding, and identify practical applications for use in community and organizational conflicts. A great opportunity for those new to dialogue and deliberation!

Facilitators: Cathey Capers and Leilani Rose, Partners in Wellspring Resources; Mary Thompson, President of Corder/Thompson & Associates; and Taylor Willingham, Director of Texas Forums, LBJ Presidential Library

Choosing Deliberation and Dialogue Techniques that Work

Back by popular demand from NCDD’s 2006 conference, this day-long workshop is a lively exploration of a variety of deliberative and participatory techniques including 21st Century Town Meeting, Citizens’ Jury, Consensus Forum, Open Space Technology, World Café, Multi Criteria Analysis Conference, Deliberative Poll and online deliberation. Learn more about how to apply, adapt and combine these models in the practice of public engagement to influence policy development and decision making. Bring to the training your own issue(s) that could benefit from such an engagement, explore the most appropriate methodologies to address that issue, the drivers and constraints, and steps to implement. The day will include opportunities to apply some of the techniques and to use the wisdom of the group to explore the issues and create useful responses.

Facilitators: Janette Hartz-Karp, Director of 21st Century Dialogue and Professor at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Western Australia; and Brian Sullivan, Director of Practical Evolution, LLC.

Creating “We the People” in our Groups, Organizations, Communities & Society

As a society, we are faced with a growing collection of crises that require us to evolve to new levels of thinking, talking, and organizing in order to co-create our future. At the root of these crises is a system on autopilot enforcing unsustainable attitudes, behaviors, practices, and processes. How do “we” change this system in our communities, in our organizations, and as a whole? That’s just it, there is no “We” that includes all of us looking creatively and collaboratively at the issues we face and generating solutions and the will to implement them. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to how Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council allow us to bring this “We” into being in our communities and living organizations. The workshop will include an introduction to the theory behind these methods, an experiential demonstration and debrief, some sharing of where and how these methods are making a difference, and next steps for how participants can apply these methods in their own communities or organizations.

Facilitators: Jim Rough and DeAnna Martin, Co-Founders of the Center for Wise Democracy

The Whiteness Learning Lab: A Deeper Understanding of Racism and White Privilege as Essential to Inclusive Community-Building

If dialogue and deliberation practitioners are unaware of the complex dynamics of racism and white privilege, we may stumble in our community-building efforts. As facilitators, organizers and visionaries, we need to develop a critical understanding of the barriers of race, racism and white privilege–not only on a head level, but also on a heart level. The Whiteness Learning Lab is an experiential learning and sharing opportunity for white folks committed to taking the next steps toward building more sustainable movements for social justice. In an environment free from judgment or blame, we will explore how institutional racism hurts everyone and creates barriers that harm our alliances. As we develop a greater sense of our cultures, ethnicities and racial positions, we will be better prepared to embrace our full humanity and play a part in society that is not at the expense of people of color. We will learn tools and language for interrupting racism, strategies for becoming better allies to people of color, and will gain a better understanding of our own culture as white folks.

Facilitators: Lauren Parker Kucera, director of coAction; and Catherine Orland, diversity trainer and facilitator

Deliberative Democracy and Higher Education: A Workshop on Innovative Democratic Education and Leadership

This workshop is based on the assumptions that American public life and democracy are strongest when citizens come together, engage in dialogue and deliberation, and then work together to solve pressing social, economic, and political problems — and that colleges and universities are critical partners in this work. This workshop is designed for college and university faculty, administrators, students, and community partners committed to strengthening their institutions’ role in American public life and democracy. By the end of the workshop, participants will be better prepared to make the case for this work on their own campuses. They will have explored some exemplary programs and practices on campuses. They will know more about resources available to them. And they will be more involved in the national network of educators and democracy builders deeply immersed in this work.

Facilitators: Bruce Mallory, Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of New Hampshire; John Gastil, Professor of Communications at the University of Washington; and Michele Holt-Shannon, Administrative Director for Discovery (General Education) at the University of New Hampshire

The Underlying Dynamics of Conversations that Matter

The 21st century is rife with crises and opportunities that have implications for generations to come. How we converse – and the role that conversation plays in our societies – will be key factors in evolving into a sustainable, vibrant world that works for all people and life. What do we, as conversational practitioners, need to understand to contribute to such a future? What are we learning about the dynamics of interactivity and conversation, that can make them more generative and powerful? Join two of the most well-known thought leaders in our field in an exploration of the underlying dynamics of interactivity and conversation and to weave them together into a “pattern language” – a coherent map of the elements needed for conversation to uplift and transform our lives, organizations, communities, and societies. The session leaders have done work understanding interactivity in an evolutionary context to meet the challenges of our times, and this session will be a collaborative continuation of that work with you.

Facilitators: Tom Atlee, Founder and President of The Co-Intelligence Institute, and Peggy Holman, Co-Author of The Change Handbook

The half-day workshops (only $50) are:

Taking Dialogue to Work: Leading from the Heart (2 pm to 5 pm)

When tensions flare or differences are actively or passively avoided in the work setting, organizational effectiveness suffers. This highly experiential workshop will employ a case study, exercises, coaching and discussion to explore the competencies leaders need to engage divisive differences within their organizations. The ability to foster constructive conversations (one-to-one or in groups) that build trust, strengthen relationships and allow organizations to fulfill their missions is a critical leadership skill. We will focus on concrete ways that leaders can model, initiate and support practices that enhance assessment, planning, communication and overall leadership skills.

Facilitators: Meenakshi Chakraverti, Bob Stains and Dave Joseph from the Public Conversations Project

Cancelled – The Process/Action Continuum: From Exploration and Understanding to Collaborative Action

We’re so sorry, but the facilitators of this session needed to cancel. If you registered for this pre-conference workshop before July 30th (and missed our email about this), let us know if you would like to switch to the other half-day workshop, switch to one of the full-day workshops at no additional charge, or receive your $50 fee back.

Andy Fluke
Andy Fluke is the co-founder of NCDD and currently provides creative support to many of NCDD's publications and events. He also works with a handful of other NCDD members on a variety of projects as consultant and designer. More about his work can be found at www.andyfluke.com.

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