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Centers that integrate different methods of dialogue & consensus-building

A few days ago, one of the members of NCDD’s Facebook group posted this question to the group, and I was hoping some NCDD members would give Gabriel your advice.

“Do you have information on a center (or centers) that integrate different methodological approaches to dialogue and consensus building?”

I told Gabriel that many NCDD members were affiliated with programs that could be described this way, and when I asked him for more details about what he’s looking for, he explained…

“The reason why I am very interested in learning about the NCDD member centers that include different approaches to dialogue and deliberation is due to the fact that presently I am promoting the creation of a center of this type in a Colombian University in the city of Ibaqué. The idea is to offer an academic institutional capacity to provide training, research and outreach on different forms of dialogue, consensus building and conflict resolution in a Colombian region that, although rich and propreous, has sufferd from armed conflict and different kinds of organized crime that curtailed trust among the native population, the rural migrants and the displaced people.

“This Colombian region (Tolima) and this particular University (Universidad de Ibagué) are characterized for their economic and cultural importance and for its strategic proximity to Bogotá (200Kilometers), Colombia’s capital city (9 million people). The city of Ibagué has 800.000 inhabitants and is sourrounded by rice, coffee and sugar plantations. It has energy sources and cattle. Industry is also growing quite significantly. The University is modern, technolological and highly regarded as a school of academic excellence. Recently it opened a Political Science Program aimed at the fulfillment of its institutional commitment to become one of the outmost centers for the promotion of regional development, human sustained development and democratic governance.

“I will be presenting this project in 10 days and would like to offer examples of comparable ventures and centers in other countries and woulb really appreciate all the possible information that you and the members of NCDD could share with me!”

If you have advice/ideas for Gabriel, please add your comments to the blog post here. I’ll make sure Gabriel sees 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. Catherine McCracken says:

    Hello Gabriel — Please take a look at the following web site: http://www.csus.edu/ccp to learn about the Center for Collaborative Policy, which is part of California State University, Sacramento. The Center’s work sounds very much like what you and your colleagues are envisioning at your University. The Center is also part of a network of university centers that focus on deliberative democracy, citizen engagement, and public policy issues. Regards – Catherine McCracken

  2. What kind of activist are you?!? What sort of activist role might you play in supporting your cause?

    Play the Activist Mirror game in English or Italian to find out!


  3. Michael Sayler says:

    Try Fielding Graduate University inSanta Barbara, CA. They have a certificate program i dialogue and deliberation.

  4. There are two networks I am a part of that may be helpful, the National Issues Forum network (www.nifi.org) and the University Network for Collaborative Governance (http://www.policyconsensus.org/uncg/index.html). My center, the Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation, is a part of both.

    There are a number of useful articles and reports about the roles of centers. If you want to email me at cpd@colostate.edu, I’d be happy to send PDFs. I’ve written on the concept of “democracy’s hubs,” the Policy Consensus Institute has a report focused on universities as neutral forums for decision-making, and Kettering has published Scott London’s report “Doing Democracy.”

    • Gabriel Murillo says:

      Dear Martin, all this information is really valuable for me. I will send you an e-mail requestig the pdfs of your “democracy hubs” and the Policy Concensus pieces. I am sure this is going to be very useful!

  5. David Rosenberg says:

    You might want to look at the Consensus Building Institute’s web site at http://cbuilding.org/

    • Gabriel Murillo says:

      Thanks David, given that the Consensus Building Institute is so big, I wonder if you know of someone there with an interst in Latin America or in consensus building in conflictive societies? Please tell me.

  6. Iain Walker says:

    Hi Gabriel – have a look at some alternative models governments can adopt at http://www.newdemocracy.com.au . If this seems like what you are looking for feel free to email me and we can set a time to chat through what we do (iain.walkernewdemocracy.com.au)
    Good luck!

    • Gabriel Murillo says:

      Iain, I will go to your newdemocracy webpage and then will send you an e-mail with specific questions Thanks!

  7. Terry Amsler send me this suggestion via email:

    He might try Partners for Democratic Change. I believe they have centers in two or three Latin American countries.

    • Gabriel Murillo says:

      Yes Sandy, please tell Terry that I am already aware of their existance. The operations in Mexico and in Argentina are very impressive. I understand the one in Colombia is younger and somewhat differnt, is that correct? Thanks to both of you!

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