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Introducing Chinese students to facilitation and public policy discussions

Here’s a post from Peter Shively of the Interactivity Foundation.  Peter is a Sustaining Member of NCDD, and the Interactivity Foundation is one of our Co-Sponsors for the 2012 NCDD Conference.  We encourage you to learn more about all the great work IF is doing!

The Interactivity Foundation was a recent co-sponsor and presenter at the 2012 China Citizenship & Social Innovation SEED Camp held at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government during the week of August 19-26. This week-long intensive conference experience at Harvard for Chinese college and graduate level students—most of whom are now or soon will be attending American colleges or universities—was designed to introduce these future Chinese leaders to a number of leadership and community organizing skills necessary to an emerging civil society.

The conference was organized by the Northshore Society, a group of Chinese graduate students in the Boston area, in collaboration with the Non Profits in China Program at Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Non-Profit Organizations. Other co-sponsors included the Ford Foundation, Narada Foundation in Bejing, and other non-profits and foundations in China.

In over 12 hours of program time spread over 3 days, the Interactivity Foundation introduced about 35 Chinese students and other conference attendees to the practice of facilitating small-group discussions of public policy issues. The objectives for these types of discussions is not to identify a single or specific solution to a narrow policy problem, but rather to demonstrate for the conference attendees how they could facilitate similar group discussions to explore multiple and contrasting policy approaches and allow discussants to further develop their own ideas and thinking about the issues involved, a too often underdeveloped component of healthy civil society both in China and the U.S.

NCDD Community
This post was submitted by a member of the NCDD community. NCDD members are leaders and future leaders in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving. You, too, can post to the NCDD blog by completing the Add-to-Blog form at www.ncdd.org/submit.

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