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Goals Set for NCDD Austin

The Core Team made some important decisions during our last call. Based on feedback from the all-team calls and our own conversations, the Core Team agreed on five basic goals for the conference. They are:

  1. Enable supportive, collaborative relationships to form and existing relationships to strengthen.
  2. Equip participants with the skills, knowledge, resources and connections they need to improve and expand their work.
  3. Address head-on some of the major challenges facing the dialogue & deliberation community.
  4. Have a real, positive impact on Central Texas.
  5. Inspire and energize all conference participants.

Click “more” to see what we mean by each of these goals, and how they might play out at the conference.

1. Enable supportive, collaborative relationships to form and existing relationships to strengthen.

This means…

  • fostering mentor-mentee relationships (by design, not by chance) – both at and before the conference
  • providing numerous opportunities for networking – both structured and unstructured
  • offering a variety of opportunities for people to meet others who share their interests (structured networking sessions, workshops, threads/tracks)
  • welcoming new practitioners and first-time attendees into the mix with open arms
  • encouraging new local/regional D&D networks to form

2. Equip participants with the skills, knowledge, resources and connections they need to improve and expand their work.

This means…

  • providing high-quality learning opportunities for beginners, intermediates and experts
  • using NCDD’s Engagement Streams framework (thataway.org/streams) to provide all participants with a common base to build from
  • helping practitioners hone their skills at transforming relationships across social boundaries/divisions
  • equipping practitioners to work together and independently to dismantle institutional racism in society utilizing D&D processes and practices
  • helping practitioners identify how, when and why to integrate multiple D&D processes and practices

3. Address head-on some of the major challenges facing the dialogue & deliberation community.

This means…

  • rather than asking again “what should we, as a community/field/movement be doing,” we directly address some of the action areas identified at past conferences
  • providing the space and the resources for people to make progress on these areas (i.e. in threads/tracks, in plenary sessions, in working sessions, and gathering and making available resources and data on these areas before and during the conference)
  • using what is, has, and could be happening in Central Texas to focus in on challenge areas

4. Have a real, positive impact on Central Texas.

This means…

  • not only learning from what has been happening in Central Texas, but using the conference coming to town (workshop time, pre-conference workshops, the local planning team, service projects during the conference, etc.) to help local organizations and initiatives improve how they handle conflicts and tackle public issues
  • supporting the creation of an ongoing local D&D network that can keep moving things forward and supporting each other

5. Inspire and energize all conference participants.

This means…

  • demonstrating innovative uses of dialogue and deliberation methodologies in workshops and plenary sessions
  • respecting participants’ needs for breaks, down time and self-organized time
  • using the arts at the conference in creative ways to energize participants and get us to deeper levels more quickly

Add a comment below to let us know what you think about these goals and what ideas you have for reaching them!

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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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  1. Judith Mowry says:

    Wonderful work team! I am so excited!

  2. Surely, number 5 (Inspire and energize all conference participants) is well thought of and it is the greatest point among others. If every participant's views are valued and respected then many will get so interested in participating not only in this upcoming forum but also many others in the future. You know, naturally we humans are shamed of our true conditions but when we get motivated with an encouraging word then we tend to learn and make such required improvement in yet a friendly manner.

    I thank everyone who participated for these strong points for making our forum a success.

    God bless you all.

    Robert

  3. […] community has to offer. We look for high-quality, well thought out workshops that help meet our goals for the conference, utilize qualified presenters, and cover topics of interest to a cross-section of our participants. […]

  4. Robin Scott says:

    I'm looking forward to learning more before and during the conference, and I hope to make a contribution that will complement your efforts so far! Thanks for all your inspiring work.

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