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Open Policy Making 101: 10 Questions To Ask Before Launching Your Online Public Consultation

Open Policy Making 101: 10 Questions To Ask Before Launching Your Online Public Consultation (November 2009) is a list of ten important questions to consider before beginning an online public consultation, published by Joseph Peters, a founding Partner of Ascentum, and Joe Goldman, the Vice President of Citizen Engagement at AmericaSpeaks. The ten questions are listed below, and for more details, check out the full document, posted on Ascentum’s website. What do you want to know? What is your commitment to participants? Who needs to […] (continue)

‘Athens’ on the Net

‘Athens’ on the Net (September 13, 2009), by Anand Giridharadas and published in the New York Times, is an article on the relationship between civic participation, open government and social media. This is a must-read for everyone involved in public dialogue and deliberation. NCDD member Jim Fishkin is quoted several times in the article. Part of the article is below; read the full article at www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/weekinreview/13giridharadas.html?_r=1. (continue)

Penn State-Abington Students Learn the Power of Dialogue

This article from Penn State Live, at http://live.psu.edu/story/34749/nw7, describes Steve Pyser‘s work at Penn State-Abington. Steve is an active NCDD member; he coordinated (with Janet Fiero) and moderated the Reflective Panel at the 2008 NCDD conference in Austin. (continue)

Sustaining Public Engagement: Embedded Deliberation in Local Communities

Everyday Democracy and the Kettering Foundation published a must-read research report (October 2009) that provides insights on how public engagement activities can grow into a diverse, ongoing practice in communities. The report, Sustaining Public Engagement: Embedded Deliberation in Local Communities, was written by Harvard University researchers Archon Fung and Elena Fagotto. (continue)

Why Conservatives Should Embrace Deliberative Democracy

Dave Davenport, research fellow at the Hoover Institute and professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, wrote a great article for the Hoover Digest titled Why Conservatives should Embrace Deliberative Democracy. The article refers to some deliberative efforts – CaliforniaSpeaks, a European deliberative poll, the Canadian citizens assemblies for electoral reform, etc. – and talks about how, when he describes these experiments to his political and policy friends, he gets more enthusiastic reactions from people on the Left than those on the Right. “Perhaps,” Davenport […] (continue)

When The Vending Machine Breaks

When the Vending Machine Breaks, an article written by NCDD member Pete Peterson, has been published in Fox & Hounds Daily, a website designed to discuss and explain the confluence of politics and business in California. Pete is the Executive Director of Common Sense California, and was one of the panelists on the “conservatives panel” at NCDD Austin. The last paragraph of this highly recommended article sums it up pretty well: It’s a process I have witnessed many times: as residents learn about the difficult […] (continue)

The New Laboratories of Democracy: How Local Government is Reinventing Civic Engagement issue

A special issue of the National Civic Review (the National Civic League‘s quarterly journal), released in August 2009, focuses on cutting edge forms of dialogue, deliberation and public decision-making at the local government level. NCL teamed up with PACE (Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement) to create this special issue, which is based on the recent PACE white paper by Mike McGrath, “The New Laboratories of Democracy: How Local Government is Reinventing Civic Engagement.” To receive a complimentary print edition of this issue (NCR 98:2), contact […] (continue)

Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age report

The Knight Commission released its report Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age on October 2, 2009. The Commission seeks to start a national discussion – leading to real action. Its aims are to maximize the availability and flow of credible local information; to enhance access and capacity to use the new tools of knowledge and exchange; and to encourage people to engage with information and each other within their geographic communities. All are welcome to participate in the national dialogue on the Commission’s […] (continue)

Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why?

Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why? is an article published as part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Faculty Research Working Paper Series, co-authored by Michael Neblo, Kevin Esterling, Ryan Kennedy, David Lazer, and Anand Sokhey. It was published in the American Political Science Review Vol. 104, No. 3 (August 2010). This research suggests that willingness to participate in deliberative forms of political engagement is less tied to predictors like race, gender and income than willingness to participate in electoral politics. In the words of the […] (continue)

Report on Online Town Hall Meetings from the Congressional Management Foundation

The Online Town Hall Meetings: Exploring Democracy in the 21st Century report (2009, Congressional Management Foundation) tackles the lack of information available about how the internet might facilitate and enable conversations between citizens and Members of Congress. The report is based on 20 online town hall meetings facilitated in 2006 with U.S. Representatives and one event in 2008 with a U.S. Senator, with a total number of participants in excess of 600. The “online town halls” were not remarkable process-wise; the Member of Congress and […] (continue)