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NCDD 2016 Workshops

NCDD2016 · Boston Metro Area


The 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is over and we had an amazing time at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center in the Boston Metro Area, October 14-16!

We received so many exciting submissions for workshops this year that we expanded our workshop sessions to include a second set on Friday! Below you’ll find a nearly complete list (there were some last minute changes) and have included location and participant level at the end of each description.

Friday 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Reconciling Injustices: What Affected Communities Might Tell Us If We Only Asked

Using a storytelling approach, this interactive workshop will explore a set of principles developed to support the reconciliation of government-sponsored injustices. The session will present ideas from Reconciling Injustices, one of the most comprehensive events ever held in Canada to bring communities affected by injustice together with government representatives and other stakeholders. Come prepared to connect workshop ideas to the context of your own communities, as well as to learn from the organizers’ own success stories and mistakes. (Commons I – Advanced)

Dr. Robert Daum
Advisor & Faculty Associate, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice, The University of British Columbia

Robin Prest
Program Director, Civic Engage & Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue


From Dread to Possibility: Pre-Meeting Practices to Help Participants Succeed

Drawing on experience in related fields, the presenters will discuss common concerns that participants bring to efforts to bridge divides and offer guidance on pre-meeting practices that address those concerns, minimize risk, and enhance the possibility that participants will enter with readiness and motivation for constructive engagement. The session will involve a brief role play, presentations on the dynamics of despair and escalation, practical methods, case examples, and discussion.  (Middlesex East – Intermediate)

Maggie Herzig 
Sr. Associate, Public Conversations Project

Elissa Tonkin
New England Regional ADR Program Director, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Building Inclusive Dialogue Across Difference: A Civic Science Approach

Public rhetoric swirling around hot-button, polarizing science issues, such as the vaccine debate and woman’s reproductive choice, emphasizes the need to create more inclusive public dialogue on these topics. The emerging field of Civic Science is responsive to this crisis in public civility by building dialogue that respects diverse beliefs and inspiring curiosity and empathy. Our interactive session offers hands-on strategies to practice dialogue on science issues that will help participants share conversations that break down stereotypes and ask questions that build mutual understanding.  (Middlesex West – Beginner)

Jonathan Garlick
Professor, Director of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, Tufts University

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships at Public Conversations, Public Conversations Project

Opening Budgets to Public Engagement

Public officials generally agree that the most important policy document in local gov is the budget. Ironically it gets little to no attention from the public. The reasons? Budgets are complex and inaccessible and – to be honest – it takes a brave public official to invite the public to a discussion about money. This session will highlight efforts of two very different capitol cities – Austin and Hartford – that have each undertaken their own budget engagement initiatives. Participants will get the chance to try out some tools and consider the possibilities of new tech and simulation-based learning.  (Concord – Advanced)

Chris Adams
President, Engaged Public

Linda Bayer
Legislative Assistant to the Mayor, City of Hartford

Larry Schooler
Mediator, Facilitator, and Manager of Community Engagement Division, City of Austin

Civility In Your Community

Community Civility Counts is a grassroots group in Indiana formed in April 2015 between the Gary Chamber of Commerce and The Times Media Co. Join us to hear about how this group has pursued opportunities to increase civility and news literacy in their community through school curriculum, social media campaigns, a daily civility pledge, encouraging reader submissions, being out in the community preaching civility and more.  Several government councils have since adopted civility resolutions, and it has been recognized by the Indiana legislature. We also just won the Associated Press Media Editors Innovator of the Year award for our civility campaign. We’ll talk about our success and challenges, and discuss your ideas for how to strengthen this effort and how to get a Community Civility Counts campaign going in your area. (Carlisle – Intermediate)

Bob Heisse
Editor, Times Media Co.

Summer Moore
Audience Engagement Editor, Times Media Co.

Bridging the Campus-Community Gap via Student Involvement

This session aims to provide professionals in higher education and civic leaders alike the knowledge to use students as the conduits between the campus and local community through D&D. To fulfill this, five institutions will first share brief case studies of experiences, and facilitate workshops titled: Students as the Driver: Students Taking Ownership of Planning Community Event, Deliberation as a Way of Life: How Deliberation Work Transcends into Other Aspects of the Student’s Life, and Addressing the Elephant in the Room: How to Plan and Discuss the Topics that Make People Uncomfortable.  (Ashland – Beginner)

Dr. Sara A. Mehltretter Drury
Director of Wabash Democracy & Public Discourse Initiative, Wabash College

Jack Kellerman 
Wabash Democracy & Public Discourse Fellow, Wabash College

Additional Presenters: Martin Carcasson, Lori Britt, Lisa-Marie Napoli, Timothy Shaffer, Sidney Harris

Story with a Thousand Faces: Surprising Strategies for Story

You already know when people tell and listen to stories, bridges are built across divides. Just as knowing language doesn’t make us all poets, knowing story doesn’t mean we see the universe of diverse approaches inside the idea of story for dialogue. Join us and experience several dazzling story exercises led by a team of world-famous masters in the story field. From telling to listening, we’ll circumscribe the space, and you’ll leave the session with specific techniques and methods to harness the power of story immediately. Who says you can’t become a poet?  (Wayland – Intermediate)

Madelyn Blair, PhD
President of Pelerei, Pelerei, Inc. and Columbia University

Annette Simmons
Brookings Faculty & Author, Group Process Consulting

Cynthia Kurtz
Independent Researcher & Consultant

Friday 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Where’s the pie?

When we come to the table to talk about public issues, there can be a lot of plate throwing as fear and anger motivate us to be there. And civic engagement can feel like eating your veggies — you know it’s good for you, but it’s not the most fun part of the meal. What about civic engagement triggers pleasure? Where’s the pie part of the meal? We’ll share some of the research and thinking from presenters then take a look at examples of the pleasures of civic gathering and engage in discussion to identify what kind of pleasures we want in a civic experience. (Commons I – Intermediate)

Sarah Giles
Project Manager, Oregon’s Kitchen Table / National Policy Consensus Center / Portland State University

Wendy Willis
Executive Director, Kitchen Table Democracy

Additional Speakers: Kate Leary, Rob Gregory

The Physiology of Dialogue: Learning from Brain Science and Social Psychology

Brain science now confirms “neuroplasticity” and our ability to develop new cognitive capacities. We will look at the science behind what conditions help promote constructive dialogue and shared inquiry and what conditions are likely to trigger reactivity, stress and polarization. Drawing on academic research plus practitioner research, this interactive session will invite you to discuss how the science corroborates your current dialogue practices and provides insights into better design. We will also share examples of how brain science has helped shift the perspective of dialogue skeptics. (Commons II – Advanced)

Susan Stuart Clark
Director and Founder, Common Knowledge

Martin Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Assessing Deliberative Pedagogy: A Design Workshop on Measurement Tools

Deliberative pedagogy imagines how democratic values and practices can shape teaching and learning to foster the skills, attitudes, and dispositions that democracy requires. Participants will consider how they might use two and improve two assessment tools: (1) An observation protocol for recognizing features of high quality deliberative engagement across social and political differences. (2) The Deliberative Pedagogy Learning Outcomes (DPLO) rubric provides a tool for instruction, learning, and assessment of a set of seven deliberative practices in the classroom. (Sudbury – Intermediate)

Leah Sprain
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder

Sara Drury
Director/Assistant Professor, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse/Wabash University

Karen Ramirez
Co-Director, CU Dialogues

Practicing Civil Dialogue to Bridge Divides

As an interactive session, the use of the Civil Dialogue (CD) format in dealing with divisive subjects will be demonstrated. CD is a structured dialogue that features provocation and inclusion of divergent viewpoints to help participants learn and model principles of civility. Panel participants will share their work using CD to promote civility within the Freemasonry across the globe, processing community responses to a ballot proposition in Arizona by pairing CD with a nonpartisan informational session, and the use of CD to gauge viewers’ responses to presidential debates. (Middlesex East – Beginner)

Clark D. Olson, Ph.D.
President, Institute for Civil Dialogue

Russ Charvonia
President / Past Grand Master, National Civility Center / Masonic Grand Lodge of California

Jennifer Linde
Senior Lecturer/Artistic Director, The Empty Space

A Public Voice: Capturing Our Collective Insights on Police and Community Relations

In May 2017, the Kettering Foundation and NIFI will be presenting insights from conversations taking place around the country on police and community relations. In an effort to intentionally bring the whole network’s collective capacity to bear, we will be exploring opportunities for active collaboration at this session. We are inviting participants to organize conversations on the topic and brainstorm with us on how we can weave insights from all our various forums, circles, and series together to give elected officials the most useful information about how the public is coming to judgment on this important issue. (Middlesex West – Intermediate)

Amy Lee
Program Officer, Kettering Foundation

Etana Jacobi
Director, National Issues Forums Institute

Campus Community Building Through Dialogue

Campuses are dynamic gatherings of people with diverse life experiences. The Sustained Dialogue model engages students, faculty and staff on campuses to listen deeply enough to be changed by what they hear. Presenters will demonstrate how courses and co-curricular experiences create space for the campus community to learn from each other across lines of difference and to build a more welcoming and inclusive community. We will share impact data and brainstorm with the whole group strategies for broadening reach and engaging across hierarchy and organizational silos to make lasting impact. (Concord – Beginner)

Elizabeth Wuerz
Program Consultant, Sustained Dialogue Institute

Carolyn Penny
Director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California, Davis

Gina Firth
Associate Dean of Wellness, The University of Tampa

Cristina Muyshondt
Student Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Tampa

That Unfound Gap Between Immigrant and Refugee Communities, and Local Gov’t

Through dialogue and activities, participants will recognize the importance of civic engagement among immigrant and refugee communities, identify the current gap and barriers these communities face between them and their local government, and brainstorm ideas towards solutions. Above all, participants will create a common language around what it really means for immigrant and refugee communities to participate in local government decision-making.  (Carlisle – Intermediate)

Manisha Paudel
Senior Policy Analyst, City of Tacoma

Taj Suleyman
Equity Outreach Coordinator, City of Dubuque

Bridging the Climate Change Divide

Climate Change is a “wicked” problem: complex, multi-faceted and systemic in nature. It impacts every aspect of society: environmental, political, economic, and social. It is extremely polarizing and disturbing as it confronts us that life will not continue as it has. How do we talk about climate change in ways that engage everyone and creates new visions for a sustainable future? Those of us with process skills may be our best hope. Join our D&D Climate Action Network in an exploration of the ways we are engaging the believers to the deniers on this most urgent topic. (Ashland – Intermediate)

Linda Ellinor
Co-Founder, Action Dialogue Group

Rosa Zubizarreta
Principal, Diapraxis

Additional Presenters: Barbara Simonetti, Rick Lent, Jim Webber, Rosa Zubizarreta, Sharon Joy Kleitsch, Marti Roach, Nancy Glock-Grueneich

Race, Violence, & Policing in America: Pathways to Truth & Reconciliation

What role will NCDD members play in resolving issues related to slavery, racism & police brutality in the U.S? In this interactive session, we will review together what’s currently in motion nationally around peace & reconciliation, how NCDD members can contribute, & start working together on what a national process might look like-in terms of structure, implementation and impact. How can NCDD collaborate with other organizations to create a national peace & reconciliation process in the US and how might those experienced with similar processes in Africa be involved & of support? (Wayland – Intermediate)

Suzanne Goodney Lea
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Amanda Buberger
Assistant Director, Tulane University’s Center for Public Service

Dian Killian, PhD
President, Work Collaboratively

Troi Bechet
CEO, Center for Restorative Approaches

Making Friends with Agitators

One challenge we face in civic engagement is the disruptive energy of agitators. We plan a thoughtful process and invite the public. Then THAT person shows up who seems to live in a different world where our process looks like domination. In this session, we explore how to shift ourselves in relationship to agitators to accept their gifts for the community and look for breakthrough opportunities. The presentation will offer living examples of success and ask participants to share their challenges and successes. (Marlborough – Intermediate)

Debilyn Molineaux
Managing Partner, Living Room Conversations

J. Scott Wagner
Founder, Reach the Right

Sue Senecah
Pracademic, SUNY-ESF & Groundwork

Saturday 9:00 – 10:30 AM

How to Start a Bridge Building Initiative: Success Stories & Lessons Learned

How does one initiate or manage an organization that heals across divides? Join Mark Gerzon, John Steiner & Debilyn Molineaux as they explore the challenges & opportunities of building boundary-crossing organizations. Projects highlighted will include: bridging across the Iron Curtain during the Cold War; bipartisan retreats for US Congress; bridging between US political parties and activists; and their recent participation in the Bridge Alliance. All veteran bridge-builders as well as those who are contemplating launching an initiative are invited. (Commons I – Intermediate)

Mark Gerzon
Founder & President, Mediators Foundation

Debilyn Molineaux
Managing Partner, Living Room Conversations; Co-Director, Bridge Alliance

John Steiner
Vice President, Mediators Foundation; Board Member, Bridge Alliance

Designing an Integrated Digital Commons for Deliberation and Dialogue

The session leaders have been working together to propose an integrated “digital commons” playfully called The Democracy Machine. This session provides a quick overview of that idea but then invites participants to share their ideas for how the online tools they have created (or the online experiences they have had) could inform the design of this digital commons. The project aims to garner substantial foundation funding to design, test, and sustain a digital commons that will continuous adapt to new technology. This NCDD session will be the first open gathering to solicit fresh input. (Commons II – Intermediate)

John Gastil
Professor, Penn State University

Amy Lee
Program Officer, Kettering Foundation

How Cities Bridge Racial and Ethnic Divides

Cities are bridging divides through conversation and action. In Somerville and Boston, teens and police melt stereotypes through community walks and talks. In Providence, immigrants benefited from programs that built language skills of their children. As a partner in the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative of the WK Kellogg Foundation, the National Civic League is helping cities to understand and correct racial inequities, and will share what cities around the U.S. are doing to bridge racial divides. In addition, civic leaders from two communities will describe their efforts to address racial divides through youth programs and city policies. (Middlesex East – Intermediate)

Carla Kimbrough
Program Director/Racial Equity, National Civic League

Stanley Pollack
Executive Director, Center for Teen Empowerment

Angel Taveras
Former Mayor, Providence, Rhode Island

Building Communities of Wellness by Dismantling Structural Oppression

This experience will open a space for participants to engage in Wellness-Centered Deliberative Dialogue, experiential and collective learning activities on how to develop healthy relationships and incorporate well-being within their communities across cultural and human differences (race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, ability, sexual orientation and more). There will be a particular focus on ally building and generating sustained civility. Participants will: Explore how oppression operates in their daily lives; gain skills to unlearn and dismantle cyclical oppression; construct Action Plans! (Middlesex West – Intermediate)

Deborah Wilcox, PhD
Founder/ CEO, Confluency Consultants and Associates,

Jacquelyn Y. McCray, PhD
Organizational Development Consultant, Confluency Consultants and Associates,

Discovering Unique Ways to Address Wicked Problems: Role of Locally Based Centers

Individuals who participated in the year-long training program of the Kettering Foundation’s Centers for Public Life (CPL) will share stories about how they are carrying out their work to bridge divides between citizens and others with different social/economic/racial/generational differences, government/non-profit groups and town-gown divides. Participants will gain an understanding of the promising work being done by CPL, the challenges experienced in offering deliberative democracy to address wicked problems and how opportunities for developing Centers take a variety of forms. (Concord – Intermediate)

Lisa-Marie Napoli
Director and Associate Director, Voices For Democacy; Political and Civic Engagement Program – Indiana University

Martin Carcasson
Director and Associate Professor, Center for Public Deliberation; Communication Studies – Colorado State University

Additional Presenters: Sara A. Mehlretter Drury, David Supp-Montgomerie, Timothy Shaffer, Amanda Buberger

Opening the Heart to Open the Mind

Experiential based workshop that looks at how true collaborations can be nurtured, strengthened and sustained through mindfulness practices. By creating a space of open-mindedness and open heartedness, we will provide an opportunity to “”see”” through our own blindspots, labeling and biases through shared insights, perspectives and methodologies. (Carlisle – All)

Michelle Bach-Coulibaly
SR lecturer, Brown University Contemplative Studies Inititiave

Eunmi Kim, PhD
Research Scientist, Center for Neuro-Science Research and Mindfulness in Seoul, S Korea

Getting Engaged: Partnering with Libraries in Your Community

Libraries offer a safe space where diverse voices can come together as a community, in troubled times or times of change. Many libraries have seized the opportunity to engage their communities in authentic dialogue in partnership with other local organizations. As trusted and neutral community institutions, libraries nationwide are engaging as well as informing citizens about issues of common concern and helping them take collective action. This interactive session invites you to share ideas about working together with libraries to build bridges across divides in your communities. (Ashland – Intermediate)

Nancy Kranich
Special Projects Librarian and Lecturer, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Susan Stuart Clark
Director and Founder, Common Knowledge

Can-Do Consensus Decision-Making: Facilitating at the “Jedi” Level

Consensus and group decision-making can get a bad rap—as messy, ineffective, or inefficient. In this workshop, learn practical skills based on Nonviolent Communication practices to take your group facilitation to the next level! We will explore how compromise (and majority decision making) actually often misses the mark. And how through skillful facilitation and group decision making (with some very tangible tools), greater connection, understanding and movement forward can get clear results. (Wayland – Intermediate)

Dian Killian
Director and Lead Trainer, Work Collaboratively

Uma Lo
Facilitator and Trainer, Work Collaborately, Inc.

Bridging Multiple Divides by Uniting Dialogue, Deliberation, & Social Change

Inclusive Dubuque’s multi-year effort to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity has been groundbreaking both in its conscious reliance on a network and in intentionally uniting dialogue, deliberation, and social change. The network has more than 50 mission partners, including: civic organizations; businesses large and small, local colleges, and multiple departments of local government. This session offers a timely opportunity to deepen and expand the process through audience reflection and conversation. Attendees will learn about how networks differ from partnerships, alliances, and coalitions, as well as the advantages of networks as an approach to civic discussion and social change. (Marlborough – Advanced)

Adolf G. Gundersen
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Katrina Neely Farren-Eller
Coordinator, Inclusive Dubuque

Saturday 11:00 – 12:30 PM

Transportation 2040: Engaging Metro Vancouver

Transportation is the lifeblood of cities. What is it about bike lanes, transit referendums and new bridges that sparks such passion and engagement? In this workshop, we will explore two extensive public-engagement processes that demonstrate the trials, the tribulations and the successes of bridging complex divides in local transportation planning. Marnie McGregor, the architect of the City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 engagement plan and Shauna Sylvester, the convenor of the Moving in a Livable Region consortium will share tales from the trenches and moments of pure engagement bliss. (Commons I – Intermediate)

Shauna Sylvester
Director, Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue

Marnie McGregor
Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Partnerships, City of Vancouver

The Listening Campaign: Confessions from a Mayor and Congressional Candidate

Kai will discuss the struggle of implementing dialogue processes in government, and the vital role of credible community conveners. Participants will see and discuss detailed examples of using D&D methods as an elected official and candidate. Kai focuses on integrating Open Space, World Cafe, and Fish Bowl panels for large summits that focus on big themes. The session will also emphasize designing events from the perspective of facilitating listening, not just talking. Kai will also introduce a small group process called The Listening Cafe. (Commons II – Intermediate)

Kai Degner
Founder, The OrangeBand Initiative and U.S. Congressional Candidate

Bridging Campus Divides? Student-Facilitated Discussions to Promote Inclusivity

How could students facilitate peer-to-peer discussions outside the classroom to bridge campus divides? Where and how can they gain the skills to do so? This session collaboratively explores possibilities to develop students’ capacity for facilitating discussions to foster inclusivity on campus. Participants will share various campus and organizational experiences and insights. We’ll explore where conversations are happening, and how these can expand, go deeper, and feel safer so that more diverse opinions are welcomed. We hope to develop a community of learners that extends beyond NCDD2016. (Sudbury – Intermediate)

Jeff Prudhomme, Ph.D.
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Lori Britt, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue, James Madison University

Additional Presenters: Shannon Wheatley Hartman, PhD, Timothy J. Shaffer, PhD, Debilyn Molineaux, Oyiwodu Bianca Eche, Katie Lese, MA, Tzofnat Peleg-Baker, John Sarrouf

Teen Speak Out: A Model for School Community Dialogue

For many years Sharon High School has been a model for creating school community dialogue across all kinds of differences. The Teen Speak Out brings together students and teachers for a program of large and small-group activities designed to foster greater respect and to help them make a difference in the school environment. NCDD workshop participants will explore this model first hand from program creators, learn how to implement and evaluate this program in their schools and organizations, and discover the challenges and opportunities associated with adolescent dialogue work. (Middlesex West – Beginner)

Tabitha May-Tolub
CEO and CoFounder, Roots & Wings Training and Consultation

Beth Hoke
Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Professor

Margie Mitlin, LICSW
School Psychologist, Sharon High School

Creating Unlikely Alliances for Action

Presenters will highlight the transformative power of dialogue to create unlikely alliances among conflicting stakeholders to drive social change. The stories will draw upon Convergence projects addressing education, nutrition, and long-term care. Attendees will participate in an exercise to simulate the Convergence method of developing a dialogue that leads to action. They will identify three national issues, determine the conflicting stakeholders to bring together, and develop a neutral and engaging approach that suggests a way forward through cooperation. (Middlesex East – Intermediate)

Sharona Shuster
Engagement and Learning Manager, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Aakif Ahmad
Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Pat Field
Managing Director, Consensus Building Institute

Connecting Journalists and Communities

Communities and journalists are both served by making meaningful connections. Too often, our needs are filtered through market-driven mechanisms that abstract the public interest from journalistic practice. What might a more direct relationship between communities and news producers look like to get to the heart of the public-interest’s needs? What are the conversations, topics and tools that would make this possible? In this session, we’ll share some stories of journalism and community engagement and have a conversation, guided by your questions, about what’s possible. (Concord – Intermediate)

Kyle Bozentko
Executive Director, Jefferson Center

Peggy Holman
Executive Director, Journalism That Matters

Joshua Wilson
Director, Watershed Media Project

Using Deliberative Dialogue to Promote Inclusive Communities by Bridging the Racial Divide

The session will focus on research about the use of deliberative dialogue to engage residents in an exploration of life experiences about race and racism. Using experiential exercises and deliberative dialogue, participants will engage in rigorous exploration of the impacts of racism on communities and neighborhoods. Participants will also learn how to effectively apply deliberative dialogue to promote and develop healthy inclusive communities by building relationships across cultural differences and bridging the racial divide. Participants will be given tools to convene effective deliberative dialogues in communities, neighborhoods and with other groups. Additionally, session participants will learn about the results from research demonstrating the outcomes that can be achieved and the interplay between dialogue participants and facilitators in the course of working with apprehension, tension and disagreements that are natural when discussing the difficult topic of race. The session will conclude with personal stories, questions and answers, and insights about ways to promote sustained dialogue and civic engagement in local communities. (Carlisle – Beginner)

Jacquelyn McCray, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Confluency Consultants

Deborah Wilcox, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Confluency Consultants

Immigrant Engagement and Language Access: Innovations & Best Practices

In this session we will explore the latest innovations and best practices of immigrant engagement with a focus on language access. How might we support individuals to overcome language or cultural barriers and feel welcomed in a community? Are the perspectives of immigrant and receiving communities adequately considered in public engagement work? How can policy makers, nonprofits, academics, faith, community and philanthropy build solutions together? Best practices will be shared and session participants will be invited to share their lessons learned through small group scenarios. Bring your smart phone as this session will begin with real time instant polling to understand how participants are immersed in these issues and the challenges they face. (Ashland – Intermediate)

Sarah Rubin
Program Manager, Instittute for Local Government

Alejandra St. Guillen
Director, Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

Text, Talk, Revive Civility for Politics and Everyday Lives

This session will introduce a text messaging tool, Text, Talk, Revive Civility, that dialogue practitioners can use to initiate a conversation on reviving civility in our politics and everyday lives. Participants will experiment with the tool to understand how cell phones can inspire face-to-face dialogues and how it can be used to help bridge our divides and encourage civility in these tumultuous times. Participants will also brainstorm how this might be used in their practice, and how they might design follow-up activities to encourage action. The tool will be free to use through November. (Wayland – Beginner)

Raquel Goodrich
Director of Digital Communications, National Institute for Civil Discourse

Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer
Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse

Sunday 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Leveraging and Scaling-Up Group D&D to Bridge Larger Social Divides

“How can we leverage and/or scale D&D group work, to bridge divides and stimulate collective learning and change among much larger populations? We’ll explore 3 examples – Maclean’s/CTV’s “The People’s Verdict”, South Africa’s Mont Fleur scenarios and Vorarlberg, Austria’s Civic Councils; touch on some others (BC’s citizen assembly, study circles, consensus conferences, etc.); and welcome additional examples from participants. Then, as a group, we’ll come up with a rough first draft of principles for scaling up D&D initiatives to whole-society levels. (Commons I – Intermediate)

Tom Atlee
President, Co-Intelligence Institute

Rosa Zubizarreta
Principal, Diapraxis

On the Table, A Large Scale Participatory Dialogue

What you do matters and when we come together as a community to learn from and with each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives. On the Table is an annual forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience across the region. Thousands of Chicago-area residents gather in small groups to share a meal and discuss the challenges and opportunities they face. This session will provide a brief overview of how a region-wide dialogue can bring thousands to engage with one another and the impact of these conversations. (Commons II – Advanced)

Joseph K. Hoereth
Director, University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement

Norma Ramos
Director of Marketing and Communications, UIC IPCE

Kathryn James
Research Associate, UIC IPCE

Matt E. Sweeney
Research Specialist, UIC IPCE

How Do We Talk About Guns?

Can anyone bridge the gap in the great gun debate? Organizers of this session are working on it and in a number of ways: large groups and small, formal and informal, face-to-face and online. We will talk about our experiences and invite participants to share their own, bringing together a wealth of frameworks, best practices, and stories on this pressing topic. We will explore how to productively facilitate conversations about guns and society in a way that prioritizes openness (not polarization), anticipates obstacles, and selects the best frameworks to fit the audience and desired outcomes. (Sudbury – Beginner)

Shannon Wheatley Hartman, Ph.D.
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Timothy J. Shaffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Director/Assistant Professor, Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy/Kansas State University

Additional Presenters: John Backman, Lori Britt Ph.D., John Sarrouf, Katie Lese

Building the Movement from the Community Up: The Power of Local Efforts

As the D&D movement matures, overall strategy becomes more relevant. This session explores what we gain by focusing on the local level. We believe the best long-term solution to addressing democracy’s broader challenges is to transform our neighborhoods, cities & counties into more deliberative and collaborative communities. When people have positive experiences with deliberation at the local level, they see what change is possible at higher levels too. Those working locally will share the strengths of this perspective as well as how to use local gains to press for state and national change. (Middlesex East – Intermediate)

Martin Carcasson
Director and Professor, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Susan Stuart Clark
Director, Common Knowledge

Building Political Friendships in the Digital Age: From Voice to Influence

In our deeply divided political realm, how can we build political friendships with those who hold different viewpoints? In this interactive workshop, participants will learn the Top Ten Principles developed by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network aimed at helping to design successful civic-political participation in the digital age. Through hands-on activities, participants will apply the principles to their own cases and think through major issues/strategies imperative to rebuilding the center. This workshop is open to organizers/activists, platform designers, educators, and other practitioners. (Middlesex West – Intermediate)

Chaebong Nam
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University/ Government Department

Danielle S. Allen
Professor, Harvard University/ Government Department

Public Deliberation: Creating Space for Racial Justice

This presentation will introduce participants to how public deliberation, associated with the Kettering Foundation and practices drawn from the community-based dialogue model developed by the National Issues Forums (NIF) can help citizens address and engage issues of racial justice. This session will examine best practices for developing dialogue around racial justice between universities, community colleges, and the surrounding community. In addition identify methods for institutional efforts at transformation, organizing, and building capacity for alliances/coalitions across differences. (Concord – Intermediate)

Scott Corley
Associate Professor, SUNY Broome

Lea Webb
Diversity Specialist, Binghamton University

Additional Presenters: Brian Rowland, Lisa V. Blitz PhD, Venessa Rodriguez

From Empowered Deliberation to Political Action: Engaging Youth in Democracy

This interactive workshop will explore school and community efforts that promote youth dialogue, voice, and decision making in order to bring the next generation into the political process. Participants in this session will analyze cases of different approaches to engaging young people in democracy. Two of the cases provide young people with opportunities to directly engage with the political process through participatory budgeting in Boston and organizing to lower the voting age in San Francisco. The other three cases are school-based efforts that allow students to engage in deliberative decision-making that begins in the classroom but quickly moves beyond the walls of the school. (Carlisle – All)

Arielle Jennings
Massachusetts Program Manager, Generation Citizen

Kiel Harell
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Minnesota, Morris

Sara Lam
Education Instructor, University of Minnesota, Morris

Francesco Tena
Mayor’s Youth Council Manager, Boston Center for Youth and Families

Brandon Klugman
Vote16 Campaign Coordinator, Generation Citizen

Make Your Mission Matter: From Vision to Voiced Values

The Touchstones pedagogy and the Trinity College School (TCS) implementation of highly structured and systematic discussion-based programming builds essential behavioral and cognitive skills through inclusive and student-centered discussion activities. This workshop will provide educators and administrators with the framework for implementation and a hands-on experience of the powerful impact discussion-based learning can have on your school community. Teaching and inspiring civil discourse is the goal and the outcome. (Ashland – Beginner)

Gregory Hodges
Director, International Learning/Head of Languages and Culture, Trinity College School

What If We Are Hard-Wired To Disagree Across Political Divides?

Linda and Chris are surprised to reach the same conclusions about the nature of the divide because they come from such different perspectives. Their initial point of convergence was the 20 years of research presented in Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Difference which concludes that the liberal/ conservative divide is pre-wired. This notion of predispositions extends to Santos-Lang’s GRIN model, Jung’s MBTI, and Wilbur’s/Grave’s Spiral Dynamics. Please join this dialogue about how knowledge of predispositions might inform dialogue practice. (Wayland – Intermediate)

Linda Ellinor
Co-Founder, Action Dialogue Group

Chris Santos-Lang
Belleville, Wisconsin

J. Scott Wagner
Founder, Reach the Right

Bridging Economic Divides . . . One Community at a Time

Across the nation, statewide and local coalitions are bringing people together to talk and work with another to build stronger local economies—and they’re building ongoing practices for public dialogue in the process! Through the stories of these What’s Next initiatives in Alabama, Kentucky, and West Virginia, workshop participants will learn how community members are addressing some of the most challenging issues of our time. This highly-interactive session will provide a platform for a collegial exchange of insights and a process for staying connected for continued learning when we return to our own communities.  (Marlborough – Intermediate)

Betty Knighton
Director, West Virginia Center for Civic Life

Gayle Hilleke
Director, Kentucky Campus Compact

Justin Wayne Lutz
Assistant Program Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Sunday 11:00 – 12:30 PM

Community as Classroom: Engaging Students and Teachers in Deliberative Learning

This session will highlight insights, stories, and lessons learned from the Mathews Center’s Teachers Institute and Students Institute. These programs aim to increase civic knowledge, build civic skills, and enhance civic dispositions among young citizens and their educators. During action-oriented, small-group discussions, we will seek to answer the question: “How can we forge new pathways within higher education, community organizations, K-12 schools, and local government to more effectively engage young people in public deliberation and active civic learning?” (Commons I – Beginner)

Rebecca Cleveland
Assistant Program Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Justin Wayne Lutz
Assistant Program Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Jessica Holdnak
Intern, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Leverage Tech Tools to Deliberate, Agree and Act

Groups collaborate face to face AND use digital tools more than ever. The question isn’t whether to use technology – it’s how to leverage tech tools for more inclusive, productive and effective agreements and accountable action across divides. We’ll explore tools that participants have used and share about Loomio as a case study to consider when and how digital tools are likely to add value. (Commons II – Intermediate)

MJ Kaplan
Board Member & US Lead/Adjunct Professor, Loomio/Brown University

Adding Discipline to the Field of Facilitation – the IAF Story: Ethics, Values and Competencies

This workshop shares about the internal dialogues and deliberations that IAF members undertook to evolve a set of facilitator competencies and ethics, to support its endeavour to be the professional membership association in the field of facilitation practice. It is a story of perspectives meeting and being bridged, and we understand that the question of D&D practitioner standards have long been debated and discussed. Hence, in an exploratory and facilitative posture, the presenters offer a potentially helpful path for our fellow delegates. Participants have an opportunity to encounter and deepen their understanding of the International Association of Facilitators’ Ethics and Core Competencies that guide and set global standards for the facilitation that its members do in organisations, communities and society. (Sudbury – Intermediate)

Noel E K Tan
Chair, International Association of Facilitators

Jo Nelson
Past Chair, International Association of Facilitators

Kimberly Bain
Vice-Chair, International Association of Facilitators

Mara Svenne
Secretary, International Association of Facilitators

Bridging the Methodology Divide: Cross-Mapping with the Group Works Deck

“You may have used the Group Works Deck to help you facilitate. You may have used it to understand D&D methods by mapping their essential elements. Now you can use the Deck to explore synergies between D&D methods. Join us as we explore cross-mapping, a process for bridging divides among methods. Together we will discover surprising similarities and differences across D&D approaches. You’ll have a hands-on experience comparing a method you know well with a method someone else knows well. You’ll gain a new tool to work with other practitioners developing custom facilitation solutions. (Middlesex East – Intermediate)

Cynthia Kurtz
Independent Researcher & Consultant, Participatory Narrative Inquiry

Sue Woehrlin
Core Faculty & Chair, B.A. Liberal Studies Program, Antioch University Seattle

Bridging Differences, Enhancing Conversational Intelligence via Empathic Inquiry

“Developing high levels of safety in groups allows diversity of opinions to become a productive force. We’ll illustrate this with some of our experiences: Community Listening Circles (working across community/governance divides); three-year dialogue group with politically diverse participants (working across political divides); Food Policy conference (enhancing learning across knowledge divides). We’ll then engage in a facilitated conversation drawing on participants’ own experiences in creating safety across divides, where we will be modeling our facilitation approach. (Middlesex West – Intermediate)

Ruth Backstrom
Founder/Marketing & Outreach Director, Solution Generators Network/Trusted Sharing

Rosa Zubizarreta
Principal Consultant, DiaPraxis: Awakening the Spirit of Creative Collaboration

Building Civic Infrastructures to Engage a Diverse Public in Local Decision-Making

In this era of governmental gridlock, local governments are championed as pragmatic arenas, unaffected by partisan divides, where residents can experience real opportunities to participate in helping to address the complex, ‘wicked problems’ that challenge communities across our nation. For this promise to be realized, however, local governments must address one of the wickedest of all problems: how to move beyond the ‘usual suspects’ to engage, learn from, and involve their community’s diverse population. This workshop is facilitated by teams representing fruitful partnerships in several cities. Each team includes one representative from city government and one from a nongovernmental agency that partners with the city to facilitate pubic engagement. Drawing resources from ongoing work in Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, each team will will provide a brief introduction to strategies they are using to leverage collaboration among multiple agencies and multiple organizations to maximize limited resources, increase diversity of participation, and transform relationships between residents and public officials. Working in small groups on public engagement planning activities, participants will have a chance to experiment with the strategies– Mapping Civic Infrastructure (Pittsburgh), Conversation Corps (Austin), and Designing for the Margins and for Virtual and In-Person Engagement (Boston). Participants will then provide feedback to the presenters as they discuss how they might make use of the strategies for their own work. (Concord – Intermediate)

Tim Dawson
Founder & Co-Principal, The Art of Democracy

Larry Schooler
Manager of Community Engagement Division, City of Austin

Andrea Nagel
Senior Associate, Interaction Institute for Social Change

Sally Stadelman
Deputy Manager, Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, City of Pittsburgh

Bridging the Generational Divide: What Are We Learning About Closing This Gap?

Americans now spend much of their lives on separate generational islands — age segregated — to a similar extent as they are by race. This gap can sow distrust and prejudice between generations, rob people of the chance to learn, and affect the economic well-being of a community by making people blind to each other’s needs. We will review the research on this gap and explore how D&D practitioners are working to close it. We begin with brief stories from an american, an international and a women’s inter-generational event, and then invite your stories before harvesting what we are learning. (Carlisle – Intermediate)

Barbara Simonetti
Board Chair/Founder/President, NCDD/GenHERous/Meetings That Matter

Linda Ellinor
Co-Founder, Action Dialogue Group

Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops

There is a growing disconnect between citizens and police officers in many cities across the US. In no one group is this disconnect more pronounced than among our youth. Research shows that in some minority communities, entire generations of young people have grown up not trusting the police and this means that youth are often scared of and unwilling to cooperate with police, causing many police contacts to escalate into confrontations or arrests due to misunderstandings and fear between young people and police officers. In recent years, Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) has seen an increase in concerns from Denver youth and their family members about minor contacts with police that escalated unnecessarily. A common theme among these incidents is a lack of communication and knowledge on the part of youth and officers. Youth may not understand their rights or their responsibilities during contacts and officers may not understand how a lack of emotional maturity shapes the way teens act when confronted. The Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops Program seeks to proactively improve relationships between youth and law enforcement in Denver by educating youth on their rights and responsibilities when in contact with law enforcement, and educating officers on adolescent development and de-escalation techniques when contacting youth. In this session, we will share our programming model, which is based on authentic dialogue between these two entities. The tool kits given to officers and youth has the capacity to keep youth out of the criminal justice system and improve community ownership of public safety. (Ashland – Advanced)

Gianina Irlando
Co-Founder, Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops
Ombudsman, Office of the Independent Monitor, City and County of Denver, CO

Captain Gary Wallace
Middletown, Connecticut Police Department

Gianina Horton
Youth Outreach Coordinator, Office of the Independent Monitor, City and County of Denver, CO

Sgt. Jonathan Cameron
Cambridge Police Department, Youth and Family Services

Engaging Across Difference

This highly interactive session will shine a light on differences in groups that cause tension and can lead to cycling and frustration. We’ll explore difference from the inside out beginning with engaging across internal differences in how we learn, process and communicate. We will look at how preferencing certain ways of knowing can affect who feels marginalized and who has power in the group. Understanding these dynamics is critical to effectively communicating across difference and creating environments where all voices can be heard and valued. (Wayland – Beginner)

Nancy Gabriel
Consultant, New Directions Collaborative

Beth Tener
Principal, New Directions Collaborative