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NCDD 2010 NorCal

Friday, October 29, 2010 at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA (see attendees here)

NCDD’s 2010 regional event in Cupertino, California — Making Tough Decisions…Together — was held in the South Bay (Cupertino, CA) on October 29th. This regional event of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) was co-hosted by the City of Cupertino and De Anza College’s Institute for Community and Civic Engagement (ICCE).

We had a full house at the NorCal event, with over a dozen people on the waiting list. Feel free to look over the Program Info PDF and the event flier.

We also encourage you to check out the videos from the event created by attendee Edwin Rutsch from the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. Edwin created a series of great videos from the NorCal event, including the four minute overview which captures, so well, the spirit and energy of the day.

There are nearly two hours of content, including videos from the “Moving from Challenge to Opportunity in Public Engagement” session with civic leaders Jim Keene of Palo Alto, Mark Linder of Cupertino, and Ed Everett of Redwood City; the “Public Engagement: What Makes It the Real Thing?” session with Pete Peterson of Common Sense California; and the “Building Sustainable Community Networks: Collaboration & Partnerships” session with Ed Everett of Redwood City and Daniel Homsey of the San Francisco Neighborhood Empowerment Network. You can watch them all here.

The NorCal event was a community effort, with numerous local organizations sponsoring and the following regional leaders involved in guiding the planning process and leading learning sessions at the event:

  • Terry Amsler, Program Director of the Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance Program of the Institute for Local Government
  • Ed Everett, City Manager of Redwood City, CA
  • Daniel Homsey, Director of the San Francisco Neighborhood Empowerment Network
  • Jim Keene, City Manager of Palo Alto
  • Dave Knapp, City Manager of Cupertino, CA
  • Mark Linder, Director of Parks and Recreation at the City of Cupertino and Chair of the National League of Cities Democratic Governance Panel
  • Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership/Common Sense California

Northern California is facing budget shortfalls, environmental crises, and high levels of political distrust and polarization. Now more than ever, community leaders and politicians of all stripes need to find effective ways to involve the public in addressing today’s challenges, and to help their communities build resiliency and capacity to solve complex, contentious problems. These leaders were consulted by the local planning team to ensure the NorCal event addressed the real issues Northern California practitioners and public administrators face when engaging the public in the region’s most challenging problems.

Thank You to our NorCal Event Planning Team!

Our Local Hosts

NCDD’s Northern California event is co-hosted by the City of Cupertino and De Anza College’s Institute for Community and Civic Engagement (ICCE). De Anza College is a major force in the social, cultural, and economic life of what has come to be known worldwide as the “Silicon Valley.” The college is a large, regional, multicultural community college serving over 23,000 students per year. De Anza’s Institute of Community and Civic Engagement advances education for democracy with full participation of all of our communities as its core value.

Our Sponsors for the NorCal Event

California Forward

California Forward is a non-partisan non-profit, funded by all the major California foundations, committed to creating more responsive, representative and cost-effective government. Their We Are California project is engaging people around the state to gather input on how to modernize and strengthen California’s underlying governance system and create a more vibrant democracy. www.caforward.org

Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership

The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership (formerly Common Sense California) is a multi-partisan non-profit organization based at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy. The Institute offers current and future public leaders an important institution that trains, educates, researches and promotes a vital new leadership skill: how to engage the greater public – along with and beyond “stakeholders.” www.publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/davenport-institute/

Public Dialogue Consortium

Formed in 1995, the Public Dialogue Consortium is a group of consultants, educators, and practitioners committed to high quality communication in the public sphere. Our background, training and experiences lead us to design and facilitate particular forms of communication that result in collaborative problem solving, appreciation for different perspectives, and identification of common ground. Our approach focuses specifically on communication processes that produce mutual understanding, common action and tangible outcomes. Located in the San Francisco bay area, the PDC has worked throughout the U.S. and the world. www.publicdialogue.org

Institute for Local Government

The Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance program at the Institute for Local Government (ILG) provides information and resources to help local officials in California make good decisions about the design and use of public engagement in their cities and counties. ILG is the 501(c)(3) research and education affiliate of the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties. Visit the program website to find best practices, identify strategies to broaden participation, and learn from the experiences and lessons of communities throughout the state. www.ca-ilg.org/engagement


BayNVC is dedicated to transforming lives through teaching conscious communication, also known as Nonviolent Communication. NVC is a powerful process that increases social emotional intelligence and communication skills; using its principles often dramatically improves relationships by helping focus attention on empathic understanding of others, and by expressing our real feelings and values openly and honestly, yet without blame or criticism. BayNVC’s large cadre of trainers work with both individuals and groups–parents, organizational leaders, incarcerated populations, political activists, along with the general public–to leverage social change. www.baynvc.org

Sponsoring the NorCal event at the Partner level…

Neighborhood Empowerment Network

The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) is a constantly evolving collaboration of community organizations, city agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their goal is to empower neighborhoods to take leadership roles in stewarding their community to becoming cleaner, greener, healthier, more inclusive places to live and work. To make this vision a reality they develop resources and strategic partnerships that help streamline stakeholder access to the tools necessary for achieving a sustainable level of resiliency in the face of any challenge as well as the capacity to leverage any opportunity. www.empowersf.org

Community At Work

Community At Work is both a consulting firm and a think tank. As a consulting firm, they specialize in group decision-making, helping clients solve complex problems that cannot be solved by traditional hierarchical structures. As a think tank, they study the dynamics of group decision-making, producing (among other things) their best-selling book, The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision–Making. www.communityatwork.com

SEEDS Community Resolution Center

SEEDS Community Resolution Center has devoted the last 25 years to providing affordable, constructive forums for dialogue and resolution of community issues and individual disputes. The Board, staff, and volunteers of SEEDS are dedicated to empowering people in Alameda County to resolve their conflicts through constructive dialogue and creative solutions, rather than through adversarial or violent means. www.seedscrc.org

Common Knowledge

Common Knowledge helps organizations that are committed to positive social change to be more effective in their message, media and outreach strategies for demographically or culturally diverse audiences. Their primary focus is on developing strategies and programs that engage diverse, multi-layered audiences on complex yet critical issues that fundamentally affect quality of life. www.ckgroup.org

Institute for Conflict Analysis and Engagement at Antioch University Midwest

The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Engagement (ICAE) is a vibrant learning community of enthusiastic educators, students, researchers and professional interveners who are committed to personal growth and responsible relationship. Located with Antioch University Midwest, ICAE focuses on three areas: research, training and service provision. We conduct research into adult development and the impact on identity and meaning-making in conflict and leadership; offer practitioner-focused courses, workshops, and coaching in mediation, group dynamics, reflective practice, conflict resolution, facilitation, negotation, and leadership; and provide a variety of consulting services to the private sector, NGOs, faith communities and government. www.midwest.antioch.edu/cae/

Municipal Management Association of Northern California

The Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) is a non-profit membership organization of local government management professionals located throughout the 49 counties of Northern California. MMANC was formed in 1950 to address the professional needs of public management staff. It is the oldest and one of the largest organizations of its kind in the nation. The mission of MMANC is to provide opportunities for professional growth, training, idea-sharing and leadership for managers in the public sector. www.mmanc.org

Cohousing California

Cohousing communities are old-fashioned neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity. Cohousing California embraces the cohousing mission to bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. That means common facilities and good connections with neighbors. All in all, they stand as innovative answers to today’s environmental and social problems. www.calcoho.org

Deborah Goldblatt has been directing the Youth Dialogue Project (YDP) at the Rockrose Institute since 2006. The YDP creates opportunities for young leaders, ages 18-35, to host and facilitate trans-generational community gatherings on issues that matter to youth. Deborah’s work in the YDP enlivens her passion of advocating for younger educators and other young people wanting to make social change within their own communities. She brings thirty years of small business experience in film production and publishing, years of youth advocacy work from media to public policy, extensive training in shared leadership and mothering three children to the YDP.

Supporters of the NorCal Student Scholarship Fund…

  • Tim Bonnemann, Intellitics, Inc.
  • Michael Briand, California State University at Chico
  • Victoria Chen, Communication Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Eryn Kalish, Workplace Connections
  • Betsy Morris, Planning for Sustainable Communities

Stay Connected in Northern California

We kept people updated on the event via the Northern CA Network list, our discussion list for people in Northern California who work in dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. Subscribe by sending a blank email to Northern-CA-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 NorCal event on Facebook to connect with fellow participants.