Round Three of NCDD2018 Workshop Now Available!

In case you missed it, we have been announcing workshops for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation over the last few weeks! This is round three of workshops and you can check out the line-up of sessions we’ve announced so far on the main conference page (and this is just half..we have 30 more to announce!). NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver, but we encourage folks to get an early start on the NCDD fun with the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). If you are looking to split the cost on a hotel room, we’ve created a space on the blog to coordinate room shares. Finally, we invite folks to contribute to the Scholarship Fund Drive we recently launched and support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Participatory Systems Change – Engagement for Big Impact
Addressing many of today’s societal, economic and environmental problems requires a systems lens that takes into account the values of citizens and stakeholders, identifies leverage points for intervention, and builds collaboration among multiple actors. Through hands-on activities, participants will explore how dialogue-based engagement and systems approaches can be connected to create Participatory Systems Change, by rethinking key aspects of engagement, i.e.: ownership; issue framing; sequencing; the nature of democratic exchange; the method of analysis; and communications strategies.

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Martín Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Libraries Transforming Communities: Working with Your Local Library to Bridge Divides
Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change (www.ala.org/ltc) was a two-year initiative of the American Library Association and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation that sought to strengthen communities by giving libraries the tools they need to bring disparate voices together and lead change. In this session, ALA and NCDD will share the experience of training librarians to lead dialogues in their communities, including opportunities and lessons learned from the project. Participants in this session will discuss ideas for continuing this work, collaborating with their local library and building a community of practice for facilitators and library practitioners. (Intermediate)

Mary Davis Fournier
Deputy Director, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Courtney Breese
Managing Director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Samantha Oakley
Program Officer, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Facilitating Deliberation Online – Reflections and Advice on Tools and Practice
This session will bring together platform designers, consultants, and practitioners from the world of online deliberation for a survey of currently used tools and best practices. Panelists provide a range of experiences from research to nonprofit boards to citizen participation. We will provide a brief overview of research in online deliberation over the past 20 years, and discuss findings of the ParticipateDB 2018 Digital Engagement Census. Tool designers and online deliberation facilitators will share reflections and advice applied to different deliberative contexts.

Todd Davies
Associate Director and Lecturer, Symbolic Systems Program, Stanford University

Tim Bonneman
Interim Director, Center for Applied Community Engagement (CACE)

Flavors of Free Speech on Campus
Campuses across the country are grappling with the tensions between two core values: free speech, as protected by the first amendment, and inclusion of diverse people in the campus community. Explore the boundaries of free expression and inclusion by asking questions such as: Should universities try to establish “safe spaces”? Are provocative speakers allowed to speak on public campuses? Is dialogue a realistic option to address some of these free speech challenges? Come discuss these questions and raise your own in an interactive discussion with representatives from Rutgers and UC Davis.

Carolyn Penny
Director, Campus Dialogue & Deliberation, University of California – Davis

Nancy Kranich
Lecturer, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Confronting the White Supremacy Culture of D&D
This session will pose the question: how does the field of D & D encounter the culture of white supremacy? Using a combination of individual reflection, small group, and whole group discussion, participants will be asked to reflect on questions about how white supremacy manifests itself within the thinking and practices of dialogue and deliberation as well as how D&D has confronted the challenges of white supremacy.

Frank Dukes
Distinguished Institute Fellow, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Tanya Denckla Cobb
Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Bridging Divides through Dialogue and Digital Narratives
We all know how digital media too often distracts/detracts from constructive dialogue. How can digital narrative production be used instead to promote individual self-awareness, empowerment of underrepresented voices, and dialogue across difference? This workshop highlights a multi-step, dialogic process for just that, as utilized by the national Story Center in recent collaborations with groups at the University of Colorado. Students and staff together will share sample narratives and lead participants in exercises and discussion around lessons learned and methods for productive dialogue.

Ashmi Desai
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Colorado – Boulder

Jim Walker
Norlin Teaching Faculty, University of Colorado – Boulder

People’s Movement Assembly for Envisioning an Inclusive Democracy Movement
Democracy begins at the community level, and it requires intentionality to create inclusive spaces that bring together as many voices to the conversation. Since 2010, Move to Amend has facilitated Peoples’ Movement Assemblies as a mechanism to promote democratic dialogue and deliberative problem solving for democratizing the US Constitution. PMAs will help participants to develop a shared analysis of the current crises we face, create a shared vision of the world we want to build, and collaborate strategically across social movements and fronts of struggle towards coordinated action.

Keyan Bliss
Grassroots Volunteer Coordinator, Move to Amend

Jessica Munger
Program Director, Move to Amend

Designing Community Deliberation in College Courses
The design of public deliberation and dialogue varies depending on community needs, goals, context, and audience. Presenters will provide deliberative pedagogy models and syllabi for involving students in research, design, facilitation, assessment, and reporting of different community dialogues and deliberations. Through examples of integrating deliberation into college curricula and the accompanying student learning outcomes and community results, participants will develop strategies for bringing college curricula and deliberation theory into effective, sustainable community-based practice.

Leila R. Brammer
Professor/Chair/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Pamela Conners
Associate Professor/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Addressing Coercive Power in Dialogue and Deliberation
Facilitators may encounter interactions that leave a dialogue participant feeling uncomfortable, silenced, or even feeling their identity is threatened. We call these interactions instances of coercive power. This workshop raises awareness about instances of coercive power in dialogue settings and provides a chance to workshop responses to two cases of coercive interactions. We conclude by sharing the facilitator’s actual responses and analyzing effects of their intervention. You will develop a nuanced understanding of coercive power and build a deeper repertoire of ways to respond.

Roudy Hildreth
Associate Director, CU Engage: Center for Community Based Learning and Research, University of Colorado – Boulder

Karen Ramirez
Director, CU Dialogues, University of Colorado – Boulder

ELEVATE: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Develop a New Strategic Plan
How do you develop a community-driven strategic plan with a large, diverse group of people? Adams 12 Five Star Schools, north of Denver, spent a year using the Appreciative Inquiry process to bring together over 7,000 parents, community members, students and staff from 49 different schools to develop a five-year strategic plan to elevate student success. Learn about the Appreciative Inquiry process and how it can be used to mobilize and motivate diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve a collective effort in developing organizational goals.

Mark Poshak
Culture and Engagement Coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Barbara Lewis
Principal, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change

More to come soon!

Participatory Budgeting Lessons Over Last 30 Years

Participatory Budgeting has been rapidly growing across the world for the last 30 years, in all levels of government, in organizations, and in schools. There was a report released by the Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network on the current state of PB and its future; and NCDD member org, the Participatory Budgeting Project, recorded a webinar with the report authors, Stephanie McNulty and Brian Wampler. You can listen to the webinar in the article below and find the original on PBP’s site here.


Lessons from 30 years of a global experiment in democracy

The Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network recently funded a major new report on the lessons learned from 30 years of participatory budgeting (PB). In July, we hosted a webinar about the state and future of PB with report authors Stephanie McNulty and Brian Wampler.

Check out the webinar recording, slides, and key takeaways below.

We asked Stephanie and Brian about what it meant to write this report in 2018, a time of great change for PB and for democracy.

Stephanie spoke to how PB has grown since beginning in Brazil in 1989: “It’s sort of exploding, and happening all over the world in places that are very different from Brazil… It’s taking place faster than we can document and analyze.”

Brian shared about experimentation in PB happening with a variety of focus areas and in new contexts. Part of the power of PB is in how adaptable it is. Many folks experiment with how to design PB to best serve their community. And so, PB looks different in the more than 7,000 localities it exists in around the world.

“PB is probably the most widespread public policy tool to undertake what we consider democratizing democracy.”- Stephanie McNulty

In 30 years, PB has created significant impacts. Doing PB and studying it need more investment to further impact democracy. We’re still learning about the ways that PB can transform individuals and communities.

Early research suggests PB strengthens the civic attitudes and practices of participants, elected officials, and civil servants. Beyond changes at the individual level, the report documents changes at the community level. Changes at the community level include greater accountability, stronger civil society, improved transparency, and better well-being.

But, in the end, good PB doesn’t just happen; it has to be built. It requires intentional effort to ensure that PB practice lives up to its promise. It can yield benefits for those who participate in the early stages, but it takes time for those to expand to broader areas. PB is growing faster as more people learn about it’s potential. We need further research to  learn from what advocates on the ground know about PB’s impact—as well as it’s areas for improvement. The future of PB will require effort and sustained resources to support new ways of placing power in the hands of the people.

The report documents key ways PB has transformed over 30 years.

  • Scale. PB started at the municipal level in Brazil, and now exists in every level of government, and even within government agencies. PB is now being done for schools, colleges, cities, districts, states, and nations—places where people are looking for deeper democracy.
  • Secret ballots to consensus-based processes. When we spoke about what was most surprising or unexpected while writing the report, Brian talked about the shift in how communities make decisions in PB often moving from secret ballots to consensus-based processes.
  • Technology. New technologies are used for recruitment, to provide information, and to offer oversight. We don’t fully understand the benefits and limitations of this particular transformation, and look forward to more research on this question.
  • Increased donor interest. More international donors are interested in promoting and supporting PB.
  • A shift away from pro-poor roots. PB in Brazil began as a project of the Workers Party to pursue social justice and give power to marginalized communities and the disenfranchised. This is a core reason why many look to PB to solve deeply entrenched problems of inequity in the democratic process. Unfortunately today, many PB processes around the world do not have an explicit social justice goals.

We’ve learned that focusing on social justice actually makes PB work better. PB processes that seek to include traditionally marginalized voices make it easier for everyone to participate in making better decisions.

To wrap up our webinar, Laura Bacon from Omidyar Network, David Sasaki from the Hewlett Foundation, and our Co-Executive Director at PBP, Josh Lerner shared takeaways for grantmakers.

They discussed what we need to make the transformative impacts of PB be bigger and more widespread.

  • Medium and long term investment is important for PB success. One off investments don’t create the impacts of PB and can lead to a decline in quality.
  • Government support is crucial. PB works best when it complements government—not opposes it.
  • Watch out for participation fatigue. If the conditions for successful PB are not fully in place, residents and advocacy organizations can grow weary of continued involvement.
  • Funders should focus PB grantmaking in areas that have conditions in place for it to be successful. They should look at political, economic, and social contexts before funding the process.

Want more updates on the state and future of PB? Sign up for PBP’s Newsletter

You can find the original version of this article on the Participatory Budgeting Project site at www.participatorybudgeting.org/lessons-from-30-years-of-pb/.

ENGAGING IDEAS – 08/17/2018


Democracy

Why a Free Press Matters (The Atlantic)
Journalists have been keeping a check on power since the creation of the First Amendment. Now, they're being tested. Continue Reading

On the Ambiguity of "Democracy" in America (commondreams.org)
In American public discourse - articulated by public officials, media outlets, and ordinary citizens of virtually all political stripes - the United States is called a democracy. However, this attribution is false and has been so since the foundation of the republic. Many know this, but many don't. And the misuse of the term has become unusually, politically consequential since November, 2016. Continue Reading

What Americans want from reform in 2018 (Brookings Institution)
The rebuilders now have the momentum to win a plurality in the midterm elections and are on track to becoming a president-maker in 2020, even as the dismantlers fight to maintain control. Continue Reading


Opportunity/Inequality

Maybe Worker Inequality Isn't Inevitable After All (Bloomberg)
In the 2000s and coming out of the great recession, increased inequality between educated knowledge workers and less-educated and goods-producing workers seemed inevitable. Continue Reading

2017 was a great year for CEOs. Not so much for the average worker. (Vox)
A new study shows that CEOs made about 312 times more money in 2017 than the average worker. Continue Reading

What American inequality looks like from above (Fast Company)
The story of inequality in the United States is written in its streets. In Silicon Valley, it looks like a homeless encampment carved out of a scruffy patch of land that's separated from Facebook and Instagram headquarters by the expressway filled with private tech buses. In Baltimore, it looks like an empty highway that displaced thousands of families and was never even completed. In Detroit, it looks like a cinderblock wall that was built in the 1940s to separate black and white neighborhoods and shape the street grid. Continue Reading


Engagement

State Rep. supports civics education bill (The Landmark)
Senate Bill 2631, An Act to promote and enhance civic engagement, passed the House of Representatives and Senate unanimously on July 25 by votes of 151-0 and 37-0, respectively. The bill, which is now under review by Governor Charlie Baker, represents a compromise between two earlier versions of the legislation previously approved by the two branches. Continue Reading

Despite the Risks, Some States Are Handcuffed to Limited Online Voting Options (Government Technology)
Top computer researchers gave a startling presentation recently about how to intercept and switch votes on emailed ballots, but officials in the 30 or so states said the ease with which votes could be changed wouldn't alter their plans to continue offering electronic voting in some fashion. Continue Reading

Need help understanding the city budget? Grab a toy car and get to work (Denverrite)
Starting on Thursday, and for five days only, Denverites interested in art, weird machines or civic engagement can catch a blend of all three of those things in a new installation by Warm Cookies of the Revolution, the quirky "Civic Health Club" whose mission is to connect people with their city in innovative ways. Continue Reading


K-12

Florida told its low-scoring schools to make their days longer. It helped, new research finds (Chalkbeat)
In Florida, the extended-day push began in 2012 with the state's 100 lowest performing schools and expanded to 300 schools in 2014. Continue Reading

Undocumented students face hurdles getting into college. Here's how Indiana teachers have helped them succeed (Chalkbeat)
Navigating the college admissions process can be a challenge for any student, but in Indiana, undocumented students can face extra hurdles in pursuing higher learning. That's because Indiana is one of just six states that prohibits undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition rates at public universities. Continue Reading

A year of personalized learning: Mistakes, moving furniture and making it work (Hechinger Report)
In the first year of a new program, a large San Diego district experiences small victories despite growing pains. Continue Reading


Higher Ed/Workforce

Surprise Gift: Free Tuition for All N.Y.U. Medical Students (New York Times)
The New York University School of Medicine announced on Thursday that it would cover the tuition of all its students, regardless of merit or need, citing concerns about the "overwhelming financial debt" facing graduates. Continue Reading

Why Does Publishing Higher-Ed Research Take So Long? (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Growth in the discipline, a spike in quality and international submissions, reluctance by scholars to review articles, and focus on a limited number of top publications all contribute to backlogs and sluggish turnaround, say editors of the top three journals in the field. Scholars are buzzing about prospective solutions, including more and bigger journals, honoraria to encourage article reviews, and an increase in online publication. Continue Reading

Vocational Training Is Back as Firms Pair With High Schools to Groom Workers (Wall Street Journal)
The renewed popularity of so-called career education programs marks a shift away from the idea that all students should get a liberal-arts education designed to prepare them for college. Continue Reading


Health Care

Rebates don't correlate to drug price spikes, AHIP study says (Modern Healthcare)
A new Milliman study commissioned by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) downplayed the overall impact of rebates offered by drugmakers to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) on total drug spending. The report blamed spiking costs on lack of competition. Continue Reading

Study links real-time EHR alerts with fewer complications, lower costs (Fierce Healthcare)
When physicians get the right kind of alert in an electronic health record-and actually follow its recommendation-it could result in fewer complications and lower costs among hospitalized patients, according to a new study. Continue Reading

New rule pushes for hospital price transparency (Employee Benefit Adviser)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a proposed rule aimed at providing patients with a clear price listing of the cost of their hospital charges. In an effort to fulfill the proposed rule's objective, CMS suggested an amendment to the requirements previously established by Section 2718(e) of the Affordable Care Act. Continue Reading

Listen to This Webinar on How to Hold a Ben Franklin Circle

Back in the day, Ben Franklin had established a mutual improvement club that he organized for over 40 years, in the spirit of dialogue and self improvement. It is in this vein, that the folks at the 92nd Street Y, created the Ben Franklin Circles (also an NCDD member org) to offer a framework to hold conversations on Franklin’s 13 virtues. NCDD partnered with BFC last year and we are thrilled to find this free webinar recently released that gives the basics on what a Circle entails. You can listen to the webinar below and find the original on BFC’s site here.


Ben Franklin Circles 101

This webinar covers the basics of Ben Franklin Circles – great for anyone looking to start one or brush up on the who, what, when, where and why!

Listen to BFC 101 or read the highlights below. Questions? Email us at benfranklincircles@gmail.com.

What is a Ben Franklin Circle?

  • Small groups of people coming together to talk about how they can do good…in their lives, in their work, in their relationships and in the world.
  • Circles choose one of Franklin’s 13 civic virtues and discuss what that virtue means today.

Where did the idea come from?

  • From Franklin! Franklin wrote about his club for mutual improvement – his junto – in his autobiography.
  • The Ben Franklin Circles team at 92nd Street Y updated Franklin’s structure for the 21st Century and created all the tools for people to host their own Circles.

Who are in the Circles?

  • Circles are for anyone and everyone!
  • Find members by personally inviting 5-10 people, posting on social meeting, creating a MeetUp group…or be brave, and drop some invites in your neighbors’ mailboxes and invite them to get together for a conversation.

Where do people host?

  • Locations vary! Public libraries will often provide space. Some groups meet in peoples’ homes or in cafes or restaurants.
  • You’re looking for a casual space that’s not too loud so you can have intimate conversations.

How often do Circles meet?

  • Some meet monthly, some meet every week, some just meet once to try it out!

What’s next?

  • Check out our toolkit and/or join our Host Facebook Group
  • Set date, invite your members, set a location and you’re ready to go.
  • Let us know when you’ve started so we can add you to our map, social media, host resources list serve and more!

Takeaways

  • Circles are an opportunity to pause, reflect and connect with others around big ideas.
  • Members are encouraged to leave each Circle conversation with one actionable thing they can do for good.
  • Circles are very similar to a salon. The Circle model simply gives you an easy structure/topic to use for your conversations.
  • There’s no wrong way to do this!

You can find the original version of this article on the Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/webinar/ben-franklin-circles-101.

Deliberation and How We Use it in Everyday Life

The National Issues Forums Institute – an NCDD member and NCDD2018 sponsor org, recently shared an update on the work that the Kettering Foundation has found on the nature of public deliberation. While process and design are important parts of engagement work, the reality is that deliberation happens every day, both inside of ourselves and in our casual interactions. Having a structure is immensely helpful in bringing our reactions and decisions into more concrete reality, and yet even outside of the more formal spaces of forums, we are still going through the experience of weighing our options and deciding on next action steps in our everyday life. You can read the article below and find the original version on the NIFI site here.


Deliberation Every Day – An Update on Kettering Foundation Research on Public Deliberation

Two of the most-often-used words in describing public decision-making are deliberation and forums. All forums aren’t deliberative and all deliberations aren’t carried out informally organized forums. However, in this instance, the subject is deliberative forums. These forums serve several purposes. One is to remind people of their own ability to deliberate and to show what distinguishes deliberation from other forms of speech. When people become aware of their innate power to deliberate, it is self-empowering. Another function of deliberative forums is to help move public thinking from first opinions to more shared and reflective judgments. And still another is not just to inspire more forums but to bring deliberation into all the places and occasions where people are talking about the decisions they have to make as citizens.

There are some common misunderstandings that stand in the way of deliberative forums doing what they need to do in order to make democracy work as it should. One is that it is a magical process or technique that will produce a stable and lasting democracy. But, as has been said, democracy is a journey, not a destination. Deliberation helps people keep moving in a positive direction. Democracy does not produce perfect governments (if there are such things), yet it does foster governments that are able to recover from their inevitable mistakes. Another misperception is that only the well-educated and economically well-off citizenry can deliberate. That just isn’t true. Still another error is thinking that public deliberation will only be significant if it gets “up to scale.” Deliberating is difficult sometimes but it is naturally occurring; there are elements of it in everyday speech.[1]In that sense, it is already up to scale. The difficulty is that it is often interrupted by partisan diatribes, blaming, wish-listing, and other common maladies of public talk. Recognizing what deliberation is like and what it can do are the antidotes.

The choices citizens make about what should be done to solve their problems or set policies need to be sound choices. That is the role of deliberation. Without deliberation, discussions easily degenerate into personal pleadings, sound bites, and partisan rancor. Peoples’ first opinions may be store-bought, prepackaged, and unreflective. Originally the word meant to weigh carefully, as was done on the ancient balancing scales used to determine the value of goods sold in the marketplace. Weighing means exercising good judgment, which has also been called moral reasoning. Moral reasoning or judgment is required when decisions have to be made about what is best for all or, in an ethical sense, what should bedone. There are no experts on such normative questions, and in a democracy there is no authority to give answers other than the people themselves.

The most distinctive characteristic of deliberation is giving a “fair trial” to unpopular views. That is difficult, which is why deliberation has been called “choice work.” Deliberation recognizes that our most challenging decisions aren’t between options that are good and those that are evil. Rather they are between options that are both good yet are in tension in given situations. For instance, doing something that will make us more secure may well restrict our freedom. In a democracy, there is no one authority everyone accepts who can tell us what is most valuable to us. We are the only ones who can do that. However, different people, being in different situations and having different experiences, will have different priorities. And these differences, which won’t go away, can only be harmonized or made less polarizing by the collective exercise of judgment. And that is the purpose of public deliberation.

Deliberation is intertwined with acting and isn’t a separate process; the experience of acting continually shapes the decision-making, just as the decision-making shapes the action.[2]It makes no sense to think of deliberation as separate from action. In fact, past actions or experiences, when filtered through the things people consider most valuable, often become the “facts” most relevant in making decisions. The public deliberation that Kettering has seen uses expert and professional knowledge but adds the information people create as they look at their experiences through the lenses of what they hold dear.

Although deliberation is difficult, it is a natural act. The human brain is wired for deliberation. And ancient languages around the world have a term for collective decision-making because it is essential to collective survival. The purpose of forums isn’t to introduce a new methodology, “deliberation,” but rather to make people more aware of a natural faculty. That recognition is empowering—self-empowering.

In daily conversations, people talk about the problems that concern them, what action should be taken to respond, and who is needed to act. Yet their casual conversations may not sound very deliberative. Deliberation isn’t something apart from ordinary speech but goes on in multiple layers of talk. At times people may just be complaining or posturing or looking for someone to blame. Carefully weighing alternatives may be interspersed with comments that don’t appear to have anything to do with deliberating. People may start conversations by telling a story about some troubling experience and then move on to explaining who they are in order to establish their identity. “Don’t think I am heartless when I say. . . .”

Everyday deliberation often begins to take shape over backyard fences, during coffee breaks, and at the grocery store. People start by talking to those they live and work with—sometimes including even those who aren’t of a like mind. (People who look alike don’t necessarily think alike.) And while people often take comfort in opinions they like, they may also be curious about contrary views, provided those views aren’t being advanced in an offensive manner. People certainly try to persuade one another as they hold on to cherished beliefs. Yet they may do more; they may begin to weigh the options they like best more carefully.

Although found in many neighborhood conversations, deliberation can’t always be heard because much of the careful weighing of options for action goes on inside people’s heads. Still, deliberation involves listening as much as it does speaking. By listening attentively, we can take in the experiences of others without necessarily agreeing with what they are advocating.

One of the main contributions of formally organized forums is to help people recognize ways they can move informal, top-of-the-head chatter in a deliberative direction. There, one may hear helpful questions like, “How does what we are seeing affect you personally or your family?” This gets at what people hold dear. Or a question like, “What else do people consider valuable?” broadens the focus beyond things purely individualistic. “Do you know of anybody else who is concerned but might have a different opinion?” expands the focus, as does the follow-up question, “Why do you think they care?” And asking, “If that is what bothers you, what would you do about it?” moves the conversation to options for action. That opens the door to a follow-up, “If we did what you propose but it had negative consequences for what you said you cared about, would you still favor your proposal?” This kind of question brings out tensions among all that people consider valuable. And it encourages careful weighing of options. Note that these deliberative-friendly questions are quite ordinary. There isn’t anything that they require before asking them.

The citizens’ briefing books that NIF uses follow the same basic line of conversation. They describe the things people consider valuable, present options for action that follow from these concerns, and then show the tensions or trade-offs that people have to work through in order to reach shared and reflective decisions about what they are or aren’t willing to do.

I should be clear that I am not suggesting that organized forums use these questions as a script for a moderator to follow. Nothing would be more likely to inhibit the exchange that must go on in order for people to deliberate with one another. These are just illustrations of what “working through” sounds like.

[1]See Jane Mansbridge, “Everyday Talk in the Deliberative System,” in Deliberative Politics: Essays on Democracy and Disagreement, ed. Stephen Macedo (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Her concept of a “system” helps locate deliberative forums in the larger context of political speech.
[2]Daniel Yankelovich, Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991), 95-96

You can find the original version of this post on the National Issues Forums Institute blog at www.nifi.org/en/deliberation-every-day-update-kettering-foundation-research-public-deliberation.

Help Students Attend NCDD 2018 – Scholarship Drive Launches Today!

The 2018 NCDD national conference is coming up this November, and as we share more and more details with you all, the interest in the conference continues to grow! Not everyone who wants to join us has the ability to cover all their expenses, however, and so today we are launching our NCDD 2018 Scholarship Fund Drive to help those who need some financial assistance in attending the conference, particularly students and young people.

Would you like to make a difference in sponsoring someone to be able to attend the conference?

Our amazing NCDD community has stepped up year after year to make sure that students, young people, and those who need a little support can join us for this exciting gathering. We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships, if not more, and we can’t do it without you! Whether you can give $5, $500, or beyond – please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund today!

Scholarship applications have been coming in over the last several weeks, many from students looking to explore more deeply the field of dialogue and deliberation, and make those essential connections for growing their practice. As part of the theme for this conference, Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators, we will focus on how to bring D&D work into more widespread practice; a big part of which, is expanding the inclusivity of our field. We must consider who will continue to carry on this work and that contributing to the Scholarship Fund is a concrete way to support our fellow innovators and ultimately, the future of our field.

We’ve heard from 5 individual students who would love to attend NCDD, several for the first time – but are unable to get there without a little help. If you have resources to make a difference, even a little can go a long way for these students!

Student registration is $250. Our hotel room rate is $82.50/night for a shared room. Airfare costs $300 roundtrip on average. That means, for a student, young person, or someone with a limited income, the overall cost of $250-$1,000+ can make attending NCDD feel impossible. If we can raise $10,000, we will be able to help at least 25 people attend this conference who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The more we raise, the more people we can help attend NCDD 2018!

Who Your Donations Support

Please take a minute to read the 5 quick stories below, from some of the students seeking scholarships, who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend the conference. If you’d like to help support their attendance at NCDD 2018, please contribute to the scholarship fund here and enter “Scholarship Fund” in the “Donation Note” field!

Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping us provide travel reimbursements, shared hotel rooms, and registration for scholarship hopefuls. Plus, anyone who donates $50 or more will have their contribution acknowledged in the printed conference guidebook!

1. One senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Fletcher, hopes to attend as a co-presenter in a workshop called, Bridging Divides through Dialogue and Digital Narratives. As Fletcher put it, “I would like to attend the NCDD conference because I want to continue learning to communicate with people different than myself. I am particularly interested in the 2018 theme because… Although CU has slowly made progress in becoming more racially diverse, it is still very politically homogeneous. Although I tend to fit in with the majority opinion, it feels wrong to me that conservative or independent views are squashed on campus. Attending the NCDD conference would help me to foster an environment at CU in which all views are, at least, listened to and attempted to be understood.”

As a Colorado resident not far from Denver, Fletcher is only seeking support to cover the $250 conference registration fee for students, which they cannot afford at this time.

2. One woman named Brenda describes herself as an undocumented student, hoping to help share other stories from the undocu-community “in order to move the world in a productive direction.” She believes that “dialogue is the way we change the world”.  She recently accepted a student teaching job and as a Colorado resident not far from Denver, Brenda’s also only seeking support to cover the $250 conference registration fee for students, which she cannot afford at this time.

3. Fatima, a Pakistani immigrant, just completed an undergraduate degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo. She dreams one day of “launching an intra-faith dialogue program that allows the Muslim community to dialogue around polarizing topics.” Her positive experience at the last NCDD conference allowed her to “develop many connections and start making a lay-out of my envisioned dialogue program.” She hopes to attend this next conference as a way to “continue learning, continue making connections and continue working on my dialogue program.”

Fatima has a $100 voucher for her airfare and is hoping for some additional support to make the trip from Canada – as well as cover the $250 student registration and lodging.

4. Amanda is a full-time student at Portland State University conducting her dissertation on the educative potential of participatory democracy and dialogue. She’s hoping to attend NCDD for the first time to help present in the session, “The Art of Civic Engagement”. As a mother of two young children, however, she lacks the resources to attend this conference without it creating a financial hardship.

Amanda can contribute $50, but is hoping for help to cover the remaining $200 of student registration. She’s also hoping to find low-cost lodging, and potentially some travel support.

5. Sam is an Asian-American student getting his Master’s in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver. He is hoping to attend NCDD for the first time. Sam’s introduction to dialogue began as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer (current role) for a conservation non-profit in Trinidad, Colorado – a rural city on the southern border with New Mexico. There he was tasked with developing collaborative projects to tackle environmental concerns in the local watershed. “To do this,” he writes, “I set up a committee that included city employees, recreation enthusiasts, conservationists, and ranchers and producers to look at resource issues on a 4.5 mile stretch of the river as it runs through town. Through this process, I learned about the importance of facilitating open dialogue and reaching consensus among a group of people with diverse interests to address environmental concerns.”

Sam can contribute $50, and is seeking an additional $200 to cover the student registration cost. As a Denver resident, the rest of his expenses are covered.

The individuals above are just a few select stories of many who have reached out and have requested support. Can you help these students and others like them join us for NCDD 2018? Contribute on our donation page today!

Second Round of NCDD2018 Workshop Announced!

Check out the second round of workshops happening at the 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th! This year’s exciting convening will take place in Colorado at the Sheraton Denver Downtown – which you can book using our discounted room block by clicking here. We encourage folks attending the conference to consider arriving a little early because we have several fantastic pre-conference sessions available on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks to learn about the rest of the 60 total sessions that will be offered at #NCDD2018!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Respect & Rebellion: Fighting to Preserve a Civic Ecosystem on American Campuses
Like the enormous resources invested to preserve natural ecosystems under threat, it’s time for complementary “species” of dialogue organizations to come together to find creative ways to protect our civic ecosystem under serious threat. Our collaboration brings together premiere student and faculty organizations spanning the sociopolitical divide, with technological innovations that help amplify the work of dialogue. We will also share and gather feedback on our campaign to get “divergent speaker pairs” to model trustworthy rivalry on campuses while inviting students to complete a “subversive friendship” dare.

Liz Joyner
CEO & Founder, The Village Square

Kyle Emile
Founder, Free Intelligent Conversations

Jacob Hess
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Village Square Utah
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Mannie Ajayi
CEO & Co-Founder, Pnyka

Manu Meel
CEO, BridgeUSA
Junior, UC Berkeley

Andrew Evans
BYU Law School, Center for Conflict Resolution

What Did We Just Talk About? How to Turn Deliberative Talk into Deliverable Data
Deliberative events bring community members together to address public problems, but what happens after the discussion is over? How do we turn participant input into useable information? During this session, we’ll brainstorm ways to build data collection into process design. We’ll think about the different information needs of various partners community organizations, government officials, practitioners, and academics and discuss how to generate data that captures the conversation, highlights citizen decisions, and evaluates the process without straining organizational resources.

Katie Knobloch
Assistant Professor and Associate Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Sara Drury
Director and Associate Professor, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Ben Franklin Circles: Small Conversations about Big Ideas
Ben Franklin Circles from the 92nd Street Y are a nationwide initiative to bring together people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to discuss how they can improve themselves and the larger community. At monthly meetings, Circles use Franklin’s 13 virtues (moderation, humility, silence, etc.) as discussion prompts and personal growth commitments. In this presentation/workshop, Julie Mashack and Patty Morrissey from 92Y will provide a general overview of the project and then lead a Ben Franklin Circle-style meeting for people to experience the model.

Julie Mashack
Director of Global Programs, Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, 92nd Street Y

Patty Morrissey
Outreach Consultant, 92nd Street Y

Collective Leadership for Community Change
In an era when community organizations can no longer succeed on their own, shared leadership has ascended as the logical next step toward successful collective action. The co-creators of this session offer a helpful starting point for turning outward toward our communities, explaining how we can harness the collective capacity within and across our organizations to achieve significant and lasting impact. This interactive session will provide an overview of collective leadership and then some case studies how it helps move communities forward by creating sustainable and systemic social change.

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

Cassandra O’Neill
CEO, Leadership Alchemy LLC

Voting, Art, and Dialogue: Building Democratic Capacity through Voting Stories
Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy, yet is often shrouded in secrecy. While ballots themselves should remain private, the process of voting can and should be a social activity. This session will share an event that infused art and dialogue to encourage university students and community members to come together and share their stories of democratic participation. Multimedia products of the event will serve as inspiration to attendees as they have the chance to explore their own voting story and plan how to create a dialogue around voting in their own communities.

Marsha Olson
Instructor of Communication, University of Alaska Anchorage

Donna Aguiniga
Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage

The Definitive Online Public Engagement Checklist
Online engagement can dovetail powerfully with face to face dialog events to dramatically increase the reach of public engagement. Inspired by an extensive review of case studies that have engaged over 10,000 people online, this session will produce the first ever definitive checklist to prepare engagement professionals for the effective application of online public engagement to support their outreach projects. This checklist will be compiled into an eBook based on the research results and the practical experience of NCDD attendees through a fast-paced interactive exercise.

Dave Biggs
Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest

Eileen Barron
Strategic Communications Manager, Utah Department of Transportation

Saying “Yes, and” in a Polarized World
In a polarized world improv has emerged as a tool for bringing people together and transforming conversation. With a focus on ‘yes and’ and ensemble-building, improv helps people create together using everything including disagreements. Participants will be introduced to an approach to development and community building that uses improv to create ensembles with some of the most contentious groups including police/youth, refugees/locals and people across the political spectrum. Participants will perform and lead conversations that embrace differences, encourage risk-taking and meaning-making.

Carrie Lobman
Chair, Department of Learning and Teaching, Rutgers University

Lainie Hodges
Development Specialist, Improv Alchemy

Storytelling, Embodied Cognition and Climate Activism: A Faster Learning Process
Climate campaign organizations typically don’t have time to invest in face-to-face storytelling training for their activists, and climate activists sometimes view storytelling as a gimmick. Former academic and philosopher Maria Talero develops communication interventions based on embodied cognition, a revolutionary area in the scientific study of consciousness. This interactive session will spotlight key practices in speeding up the storytelling learning process for Citizen’s Climate Lobby advocates and lobbyists who work to bridge the partisan climate gap in Congress and around the country.

Maria Talero
Principal, Climate Courage LLC

Thaddeus Cummins
Area Coordinator, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Colorado
Managing Researcher, Economic GPS

A Road Map to Washington’s Future
Instead of establishing a typical “blue ribbon task force,” the Washington State Legislature asked the William D. Ruckelshaus Center to articulate a vision for a desired future, and identify needed additions, revisions or clarifications to the state’s growth management framework. The Center conducted 50+ dialogue workshops across the state, engaging local leaders and elected officials, and will present a final report in June 2019. This session will engage participants in an interactive conversation on tools, tips, and lessons learned conducting state-wide engagement processes.

Amanda Murphy
Senior Project Lead, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Molly Stenovec
Project & Program Manager, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Michael Kern
Director, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Building Bridges: A Community Collaboration for Culture Change
In November 2017, City of Boulder embarked on a two-year experiment working with the community to change the culture of local civic dialogue. In partnership with University of Colorado’s Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement, city staff engaged more than 400 community members in design-thinking workshops, online forums, and multi-generational programs to discover ideas that could lead to more productive communication. In this session, participants will experience elements of the workshop process first-hand as well as learning about the prototypes that were generated in Boulder.

Brenda Ritenour
Neighborhood Liaison, City Manager’s Office, City of Boulder

Lydia Reinig
Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement, University of Colorado Boulder

More to come soon!

Florida Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference!

FCSS_Conference2018 (1)

Well, it’s happening soon, and registration is open, so please come join your friends and colleagues in sunny Orlando at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center from October 19 through October 21, 2018 for the 61st Annual Florida Council for the Social Studies Conference!

You can expect a great many quality sessions across a variety of K-12 Social Studies content areas, from experienced teachers, pre-service educators, college professors, and service providers. These sessions will address both content and pedagogy, and check this space for more information! Once the program is available, it WILL be posted!

The keynote speakers we are targeting this year are leaders in the field and will engage and refresh your energy and passion for the social studies!

We will be posting about the upcoming conference every week. Please be sure to register today! 

Executive Director of Lou Frey Institute is a Finalist for a Civvy Award!

civvys

So we got some excellent news from the civic education community recently. The Executive Director of the Lou Frey Institute, Dr. Doug Dobson, was named as one of the 23 finalists for an American Civic Collaboration Award! Check out the press release, and the list of honorees, below. Dr. Dobson has been an amazing leader and mentor for the staff of the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute, as well as a leading advocate and organizer for civic education in Florida and the nation. We congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition!

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Announcing 23 Outstanding Efforts of Civic Collaboration as Finalists for Civvys Awards

 With the midterm elections just over three months away, in a nation that feels more divided than ever, a treasure trove of hope and inspiration appears. The 23 finalists for the American Civic Collaboration Awards, or the Civvys, showcase exemplar cases of high-impact civic collaboration that bring people together, engage communities in political and social action, and enact long-lasting change.

Now in its second year, the Civvys acknowledge inspiring work that’s national, local, youth-focused or involves the political process. They are sponsored by three highly respected non-partisan organizations: the Bridge Alliance, Big Tent Nation and the National Conference on Citizenship.

Finalists were selected from a competitive field of exceptional submissions from all corners of American life. By recognizing projects and processes that emphasize collaboration, civility and on-the-ground impact, the Civvys are a powerful means to honor this work and inspire more of it.

An esteemed committee of reviewers – comprised of leaders in civic engagement, politics, research and community impact – will select a winner in each category to receive their awards at the National Conference in Citizenship on October 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

If you would like to conduct interviews with the finalists, please contact caroline@bigtentnation.org Additionally, there is room for press to attend and cover the award ceremony on October 18 in Washington, D.C.

 The 2018 Civvys Finalists

Political

Cases of collaborative political leadership, campaigns, or reformed political processes

  • Congress to Campus by USAFMC
  • Leslie Danks Burke, Trailblazers PAC
  • Seattle City Club Washington State Debate Coalition
  • RCV Education Effort (The Chamberlain Project Foundation and The Foundation for Independent Voter Education)
  • Representative Kim Dudik, Montana State Legislature

National

Projects with a nationwide scope and audience

  • ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation
  • Douglas Dobson, Lou Frey Institute
  • Louise Dube, iCivics
  • Make America Dinner Again (Justine Lee, Tria Chang)
  • Maria Yuan, Issue Voter
  • Rob Fersh, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

 Local

Projects with a local, statewide or regional focus

  • Betty Knighton, West Virginia Center for Civic Life
  • Christie Lassen and Alli Jessing, Howard County Library System
  • Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation
  • Interfaith Works El Hindi Center for Dialogue (Beth Broadway, Peter Willner and team)
  • Janet Harris, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
  • Make Shift Coffee House, Craig Freshley

Youth

Projects led by or for children, teenagers or young adults

  • Bridge the Divide
  • First Vote NC
  • Inspire U.S., Hannah Mixdorf and Chelsea Costello
  • Junior State of America’s Council of Governors
  • Lynn University, Project Civitas
  • Montevallo Junior City Council

All honorable mentions and finalists are available at www.civvys.org. Follow the conversation around this exciting work on social media using #Civvys.

The Participation Company Offers IAP2 Fall Trainings

In case you missed it, NCDD member org The Participation Company, has added additional trainings to their line up to carry out the end of the year, that we encourage NCDDers to check out! TCP offers certification in the International Association for Public Participation‘s model, and dues-paying NCDD members get a discount on registration! You can read more about the trainings in the TCP announcement below and learn more here.


The Participation Company’s 2018 Training Events

If you work in communications, public relations, public affairs, planning, public outreach and understanding, community development, advocacy, or lobbying, this training will help you to increase your skills and to be of even greater value to your employer.

This is your chance to join the many thousands of practitioners worldwide who have completed the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) certificate training.

AICP members can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for these courses.

Foundations in Public Participation (5-Day) Certificate Program:

Planning for Effective Public Participation (3-Days) and/or *Techniques for Effective Public Participation (2-Days)

  • Sep. 24 – 28: Chicago, IL: 5-day Both courses
  • Oct 29 – Nov 2: Ashville, NC: 5-day Both courses
  • Dec 3 – 7: Salt Lake City, UT: 5-day Both courses

*The 3-Day Planning training is a prerequisite to Techniques training

IAP2’s Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation (2-Days) formally Emotion, Outrage – newly revised and renamed

  • Oct. 18-19 in Chicago, IL
  • Nov 29 – 30 in Denver, CO

Register online for these trainings at www.theparticipationcompany.com/training

The Participation Company (TPC) offers discounted rates to NCDD members. 

TPC can also assist you and your organization in other endeavors! Our team of highly experienced professionals help government and business clients manage public issues to accomplish client’s objectives. We can plan and manage your participation project from start to finish. We can provide strategic advice and direction. We can coach and mentor your staff and managers. We help you build agreements and craft durable and defensible decisions.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the TPC site at www.theparticipationcompany.com/training/calendar/.