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More to Give: Tapping the Talents of the Baby Boomer, Silent and Greatest Generation

More to Give: Tapping the Talents of the Baby Boomer, Silent and Greatest Generation was authored by Robert Putnam, John Bridgeland and Harris Wofford. This was a report by Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates, and copyright 2008 by AARP. It discusses the civic behaviors and attitudes of Americans as they transition from work to retirement.  The central message of this report is that tens of millions of Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation, while not as civically active as […] (continue)

The Outer Limits to the Crowd’s Wisdom

Tim Bonnemann‘s commentary on the January 21, 2010 Federal Computer Week website, titled The Outer Limits to the Crowd’s Wisdom, outlines the limits of “crowdsourcing” techniques in government decision-making and policy creation. Crowdsourcing, which Tim explains as “the concept of applying open-source principles to fields outside software,” is a popular topic in conversations about new public participation requirements in the Open Government Directive. Tim points out that crowdsourcing projects like the online Open Government Dialogue so many NCDDers participated in, which are useful for such […] (continue)

The Path Not Taken (So Far): Civic Engagement for Reform

The Path Not Taken (So Far): Civic Engagement for Reform written by Peter Levine, outlines the Obama Administration’s failure–so far–to engage the public in our great national challenges. Peter writes… Candidate Obama argued that positive change comes from organized social movements, not from the government alone. Social movements should be broad-based, not narrow groups of people who all agree with one another. They should promote discussion and collaboration across lines of difference–including ideological difference. As he said in May 2007, “politics” usually means shouting matches on […] (continue)

Democracy as Discussion: Civic Education and the American Forum Movement

Using primary sources from archives around the country, William M. Keith’s book Democracy as Discussion traces the early history of the Speech field, the development of discussion as an alternative to debate, and the Deweyan, Progressive philosophy of discussion that swept the United States in the early twentieth century. Available at Amazon.com. (continue)

The Talking Point: Creating an Environment for Exploring Complex Meaning

The Institute for 21st Century Agoras is proud to announce an important new book, The Talking Point: Creating an Environment for Exploring Complex Meaning. The authors, Agoras president Tom Flanagan and Agoras founder Aleco Christakis, present user-friendly stories of how Structured Dialogic Design continues to generate significant social innovation. Available at Amazon.com. (continue)

Who Dialogues? (and when and where and how?)

Network for Peace through Dialogue’s new 51-page book Who Dialogues? (and when and where and how?) provides a solid introduction to the subject through the personal stories of 10 practitioners who use dialogue in their work. Among the variety of uses these practitioners describe are: laying the groundwork for conflict resolution, designing a large UN conference, helping to heal the wounds of the Holocaust, teaching in a university, working with youth and conducting dialogue online. The book is available directly from the Network for Peace […] (continue)

Standing in the Fire: Leading High-Heat Meetings with Clarity, Calm, and Courage

Focusing on how to stay “cool” during high-heat meetings, consultant, author, and NCDD member Larry Dressler drew on his 25-years experience facilitating high-stakes meetings and also interviewed 40 other veteran practitioners for this book, co-published by Berrett-Koehler and ASTD. Read a description of Standing in the Fire, sample chapters, and free resources at www.larrydressler.com. You can also order the book from Amazon.com. Description from Larry’s website: Any time people get together to wrestle with serious issues, there is the potential for a high-heat meeting, one […] (continue)

Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD) project

How can collective deliberation by citizens lead to wise and timely action on climate change, including by municipal and provincial governments? Alberta (Canada) is a testing ground for this question over the next five yearsn (2010 to 2015). An international team of scholars, NGOs, businesses, and governments will be addressing it, supported by $1 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and over $3 million in contributions from other sources. (continue)

Creating Spaces for Change: Working Toward a “Story of Now” in Civic Engagement

Matt Leighninger, Executive Director of The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (an NCDD organizational member), wrote the report Creating Spaces for Change: Working Toward a “Story of Now” in Civic Engagement. Creating Spaces for Change draws heavily on the views and experiences of the people who participated in the Kellogg Foundation’s Civic Engagement Learning Year and the conference convened by DDC and The Democracy Imperative called “No Better Time: Promising Opportunities in Deliberative Democracy for Educators and Practitioners.” (continue)

Understanding Participation: A Literature Review

The 50-page Understanding Participation: A Literature Review review brings together different bodies of literature on participation, including literature on community development, volunteering, public participation, social movements, everyday politics and ethical consumption. It looks at the historical and current drivers of participation, the activities and actors of participation and different theoretical approaches that contribute to a better understanding of participation. It closes with our emerging ‘participation framework’ that we aim to further develop and refine in the subsequent stages of the project. This literature review forms […] (continue)