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NCDD 2010 Boston

Friday, October 29, 2010 at UMass Boston (see attendees here)

Images from Eight Years of NCDD's Events.We had a full house for NCDD 2010 Boston:  From Polarization to Problem Solving, with about 130 attendees and over two dozen on the waiting list.

The Boston NCDD event brought together New England’s top public engagement practitioners–facilitators, public officials, community leaders, and others–to discuss practical methods and policies for productive dialogue. The event featured a blend of interactive formats to maximize the exchange of ideas and take advantage of the wealth of experience attendees brought to the table.

Check Out These Materials from the Event

  • Reports from the event’s “Workspace” sessions (pdf) at the end of the day, which were prepared by the facilitators/convenors of those sessions.
  • The Session Descriptions (pdf) give you a sense of the fantastic regional and national programs that were featured at the event.
  • Vicky Schubert shared her observations in a thoughtful post on her blog.
  • Photos from the event can be found here on Flickr and on the Public Conversations Project’s page here on Facebook.

Kudos to the Boston Event Planning Team!

Thank You to Our Host and Sponsors

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration

Our local host for From Polarization to Problem Solving is the MA Office of Public Collaboration at the University of Massachusetts Boston (MODR). Formerly known as the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution, the office recently changed its name to better reflect its expanded mission which includes consensus-building, collaborative problem-solving and public deliberation, in addition to public policy dispute resolution.

Our Sponsors for the Boston Event

UMass Boston

The University of Mass. Boston’s Office of Public Collaboration (MODR) is a statutory state institute at UMass Boston that functions as a neutral forum and state-wide resource for public policy dispute resolution and collaborative governance. MODR builds capacity for conflict resolution and prevention and facilitates collaboration and consensus-building within public entities and across sectors state-wide. MODR works with government agencies, courts, businesses, non-profits and citizen groups to address complex issues related to economic development, environmental resource management, land use, agriculture, transportation, housing, health care and other important community objectives. www.umb.edu/modr/

The Democracy Imperative

The Democracy Imperative (TDI), a national network of multidisciplinary scholars, campus leaders, and civic leaders in the fields of democratic dialogue, public deliberation, and democracy-building. TDI’s mission is to strengthen public life and democracy in and through higher education. www.unh.edu/democracy

Consensus Building Institute

The Consensus Building Institute (CBI) works with leaders, advocates, experts, and communities to promote effective negotiations, build consensus, and resolve conflicts. CBI improves the way that leaders use negotiations to make organizational decisions, achieve agreements, and manage multi-party conflicts and planning efforts. CBI uses proven principles, processes and techniques that improve group decision-making on complex public and organizational issues. Many of these strategies have been developed through the Program on Negotiation and MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School www.cbuilding.org

Difficult Dialogues initiative at Clark University

Premised on attentive listening, Clark University’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative, launched in 2005, is a campus-wide initiative aimed at developing skills and awareness of dialogue – encouraging engagement across differences in both our classrooms and community. www.clarku.edu/difficultdialogues

Meister Consultants Group, Inc.

Meister Consultants Group, Inc. (MCG) is an international consulting firm founded on the principle that global best practices can inform even the most localized decisions. Our extensive experience in both U.S. and international business and governmental affairs has made MCG a leader in the rapidly expanding sustainability field. By leveraging our international network of more than 100 consultants, we help our clients anticipate and adapt to the shifting global landscape. MCG specializes in alternative energy, environmental sustainability, international dialogue, and corporate responsibility. www.mc-group.com

Englewood Area Community Foundation

The Englewood Area Community Foundation (EACF), is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1998. Its leadership represents the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of northern Bergen County (New Jersey). The Foundation’s core mission is to enhance this region’s community life. The EACF provides opportunities for citizens to meet and collaborate in resolving issues of common interest. Face-to-face dialogue develops mutual trust, respect, and understanding that enable area residents to become informed and effective citizens. The EACF also makes grants supporting community-based initiatives that address current and emerging needs in the areas of education, public health, and community building. Through collaborative partnerships that afford resources and knowledge, the EACF helps citizens help themselves. www.cfnj.org/funds/donor/eacf/

Sponsoring the Boston event at the Partner level…

New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University

The New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University was founded in 1998 on the premise that an engaged, deliberative public is vital to healthy communities. A member of National Issues Forums, the Center seeks to foster and teach the theory and practices of deliberative democracy within the context of an academic community dedicated to excellence in liberal education. Our mission is to help people develop a more effective public voice, communicate across differences, and cultivate the commitment, knowledge, and skills for active and effective participation in our life in common. www.franklinpierce.edu/institutes/neccl/index.htm


Diapraxis is a consulting business led by Rosa Zubizarreta, which works with people who want to transform misunderstandings, clashing perspectives, and even long-standing conflicts into opportunities for greater creativity and collaboration. We partner with you to host the kinds of conversations that lead to improved productivity and increased morale, by turning everyday challenges into greater trust, shared understanding, and creative breakthroughs. One of Rosa’s main areas of specialization is Dynamic Facilitation. Rosa has studied intensively with Jim Rough since 2000, uses DF extensively in her own work with clients, and leads workshops in it. www.diapraxis.com

Orton Family Foundation

The Orton Family Foundation, based in Middlebury, Vermont, and Denver, Colorado, seeks to help small cities and towns discover and describe their heart and soul – the collective attributes that make communities unique – and build on those attributes in planning for a vibrant, enduring future. www.orton.org

Supporters of the Scholarship Fund…

John Backman, The Dialogue Venture
Rosalind Cresswell
Heidi Klein, HK Consulting
Victoria Schubert, Inspired Alliance Coaching
Jean Tennyson, Holistic Health Opportunities

Stay Connected in New England

We kept people updated on the event via the New England network list, our discussion list for people throughout New England who work in dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. Subscribe by sending a blank email to NewEngland-network-subscribe-request@lists.thataway.org.

We also encourage you to subscribe to our main Conference Updates announcement list, to receive periodic updates about all upcoming NCDD events. Send a blank email to this email address to subscribe.

On Facebook?

Visit the Boston event on Facebook to connect with fellow participants.