Check Out D&D Showcase Line-Up at NCDD 2018!

We’re excited to share the list of featured presenters in this year’s “D&D Showcase” — a highly anticipated, high-energy event held on the first night of the 2018 NCDD conference. The Showcase is a fun way for you to meet some of the movers-and-shakers in our field and learn about their leading-edge projects, programs, and tools.

Showcase presenters are asked to prepare a brief spiel to use as a conversation starter during this un-timed session, to provide handouts so you can follow up after the conference, and to prepare an eye-catching poster so people can easily identify their topic. More about how the Showcase works is up at www.ncdd.org/26775.

A few presenters are being finalized but we’ll share on the main Showcase page here ASAP.

9 Steps to Collaboration – The Art of Convening

Craig Neal, Co-Founder, Center for Purposeful Leadership

Experience a highly interactive and dynamic learning environment with Craig Neal, lead author of the Berrett-Koehler Publishers book,” The Art of Convening “ Travel the 9-Step Convening Wheel experientially to design a meeting or collaboration. Craig will share best practices, common challenges and ways to consistently create trust and authenticity in meetings, gatherings, conversations based on 14 years of delivering training, workshops, and seminars.

Accelerate Collaboration: A Visual Facilitation Tool Kit

Shelley Hamilton, Consulting Associate, Leapfrog Consulting

“I see what you mean!” – There’s no better way to facilitate complex group dialogue and add clarity to deliberative processes than to use visual communication tools. Leapfrog’s visual templates, built from years of experience, bring all voices into focus, guide but do not constrain a conversation, and move a group toward greater understanding and alignment through visually highlighting patterns of ideas. Visual tools provide an immediate, tangible, actionable record of both the group process and shared outcomes. The Tool Kit includes 6 templates, facilitator guides, and an overview booklet as well as 4-hr to 2-day Train-the-Facilitator workshops and coaching sessions.

Ally Conversation Toolkit  & The Dialogue Company

Founder, Ally Conversation Toolkit

The Ally Conversation Toolkit (ACT) focuses on helping people who are not targets but rather allies of an “ism” (e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia) become more effective in using dialogue to influence the opinions of others. The project has engaged about 5,000 people through its workshops, on-line tools, and publications, such as the White Ally Toolkit Workbook. (PDF available at www.AllyConversationToolkit.com)

The Dialogue Company (www.the-dialogue-company.com) is a premier source of expertise in augmenting meetings and conferences by using audience polling to improve engagement, enjoyment, and productivity. In fact, Dr. David Campt, the principal of the project, is the author of Read the Room for Real, (available on Amazon) the only book that focuses on using audience polling to improve meetings outside the classroom.

Civil Pursuit

David Fridley, Founder & CEO, Synaccord

On a mission to engage 500 people (10 per state) in online deliberation of “What Shall We the People Do First to Move our Country in the Right Direction” – that CONVERGES. Then 4350, … 300M!

CivNet – An Integrated Civic Platform Backed By a Network of Member Organizations

Will Ferguson, CEO & Co-Founder, CivNet
Leslie Graves, CEO of Ballotpedia & Board Member, CivNet
Adolf Gundersen, Vice President & Research Director, Interactivity Foundation, and Board Member, CivNet

More than ten years and $10 billion have been spent on civic tech, but the results are decidedly underwhelming. We believe the cause is centrifugal force and are developing a fully integrated civic platform—backed by a network of civic organizations—to reverse it. Stop by and meet CEO Will Ferguson, Board members Leslie Graves of Ballotpedia and Adolf Gundersen of Interactivity Foundation, and other members of the CivNet team to see what we’re up to. We think you’ll be impressed and hope you’ll consider contributing your talents to the effort.

Classroom Dialogues: Advancing Democratic Engagement Across Difference

Ashmi Desai, Postdoctoral Associate, CU Dialogues Program
Karen Ramirez, Director, CU Dialogues Program
Pilar Prostko, Assistant Director for Outreach & Coordination, CU Dialogues Program

If you are looking to engage more people in dialogue or exploring how to use dialogue as a transformative learning experience within in college classrooms, then, CU Dialogues Program’s innovative classroom dialogue model may be of interest to you. Our model offers a way to introduce and practice dialogue principles in classroom settings and reach a wide spectrum of students. Housed under CU Engage: The Center for Community-Based Learning and Research within the School of Education, the CU Dialogues program seeks to advance principles of democracy and citizenship, equity and collaborative community in its activities.

Collaboration Without Consensus

Maura Maher, Senior Engagement Services Coordinator, RAMA Consulting

How do you get various stakeholders to work collaboratively on high-stakes, contentious issues with the understanding that no outcome will make everyone happy? Drawing upon 15 years of experience convening grassroots and government leaders, RAMA Consulting will provide real-world examples of groups who were fundamentally at odds but able to reach outcomes that, although not everyone loved, they were are able to live with.

The Commons: A community of humans and robots bridging the political divide online

Julie Hawke, Associate, Build Up

What we learned from using big data, bots, and volunteers to challenge polarization, and how we’re scaling up to enable constructive engagement in on and offline spaces.

Connect with Bang the Table

Amanda Nagl, Engagement Manager, Bang the Table

Bang the Table was founded by community engagement professionals with a passion for helping public leaders activate their communities. Developed through years of experience in and around government, our comprehensive online engagement platform and strategic guidance help you reach, inform, and involve residents in policy development and decisions that affect their lives. Since 2006, we’ve empowered 750 organizations to engage with well over 9 million people globally.

Connecting Local Leaders Across a Divided City

Seva Gandhi, Director of Programs and Partnerships, Institute of Cultural Affairs

The Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) is a member-driven network that connects grassroots leaders from communities across Chicago to share resources, support each other’s work, collaborate, build a stronger collective voice, and nurture equitable and impactful relationships with policy makers. Come learn about how the network came into being, and a few of the innovative events, shared projects and partnerships that have taken place in its 5 year history.

Consent Decision-Making

Sheella Mierson, PhD
Francine Proulx-Kenzle, Founding Member, The Sociocracy Consulting Group

Consent decision-making is central to sociocracy, a whole systems approach to collaborative decision-making, project management, and organizational governance. This method of making decisions sets the stage for more inclusive & effective meetings where all voices matter. The simple process for this method to consider a proposal uses rounds to ask questions of clarification, express reactions, and raise objections. After resolving any objections, the last step is to celebrate the decision.

Count Me In!

Caitlin Schneider, Public Engagement Coordinator, Colorado Fiscal Institute

Colorado voters are going to see a long ballot in November. Voters will have their work cut out for them. In Colorado, we have a unique responsibility to directly vote on policies that shape our communities, which means it’s important for voters to have the resources to make educated decisions on ballot issues. Count Me In! is a robust civic engagement effort who partners with communities across the state to educate voters on the issues they will see on their ballots. We empower voters with resources they need to make decisions on their ballot.

Discussion Tools for Diversity

Eve Passerini, Director of the Integrative Core and Associate Professor of Sociology, Regis University

What are best-practice deliberative dialogue skills for students wanting to engage across difference to solve our most pressing equity problems?

Expanding Your Toolbox

Kareen Wong, Communications Manager, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Doing dialogue work and want to connect with new resources? Have ideas on people and places excelling in the dialogue work they do? Come visit the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue for an interactive learning experience: hear about how we are creating a hub for knowledge and practice, learn about new tools and how you can use them in your work, and contribute to our search for individuals excelling globally in the field of dialogue! We will have giveaways to help advance your work and look forward to connecting.

Free Intelligent Conversation

Free Intelligent Conversation (FreeIC) is a nonprofit organization that facilitates engaging conversations between strangers. It’s simple: participants simply go to public places and hold up signs that read “Free Intelligent Conversation,” inviting people to talk with them about anything and everything. We learn things we never would’ve learned from people we never would’ve met. We’re doing this because we want to meet people and learn from them through meaningful face-to-face conversations. We believe it’s when people seek to learn from each other, that an intelligent conversation takes place.

Kyle Emile, Founder, Free Intelligent Conversations

Journal of Public Deliberation

Laura Black, Editor of Journal of Public Deliberation and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Ohio University
Tim Shaffer, Associate Editor of Journal of Public Deliberation and Assistant Professor of Communication at Kansas State University

The Journal of Public Deliberation is an open-access, online journal that publishes research and reflective essays about deliberation, dialogue, and participatory civic engagement. It showcases top academic research in our field in a way that is accessible and useful to practitioners, highlights innovative dialogue and deliberation practices, and provides reviews of current books in the field. JPD serves as a place for conversation between academics and practitioners in order to move the field forward in both arenas. It is freely available online because it is generously supported by the newDemocracy Foundation, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and the International Association for Public Participation. The fall 2018 special issue focuses on “Deliberative Democracy in an Era of Rising Authoritarianism,” which offers reflections about the roles our work can play in the current political environment. This showcase provides information about the journal, a look at the current issue, and a chance to meet the editorial team.

Konveio

Chris Haller, CEO, Urban Interactive Studio

Konveio is a connected outreach platform that turns dull PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action.

Let’s Talk About Race

Suzanne Lea, Ph.D., Fellow, Interactivity Foundation
Rashawn Ray, Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology, University of Maryland – College Park

For many of us, it’s scarier than talking about sex but arguably never more needed in our Republic. Come and brainstorm some ideas for adding to the #AmericaStrongChallenge effort that invites all Americans to broaden their social circles and share the connections they make via social media. How do we inspire ourselves to go where we haven’t gone before, make great new connections, and live out the best of our American Dreams? What can we in the dialogue space do to make spaces and opportunities for Americans across the country to connect in new ways and bridge outdated social silos? Enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while you join us for some interactivity and a whole lot of imaginative brainstorming fun!

Managing Groundwater Together in Western Kansas

Stephen Lauer, Graduate Research Assistant, Kansas State University

As the vast Ogallala Aquifer runs dry, farmers work together to conserve groundwater and preserve their way of life. Come hear the story of how the Wichita County Water Conservation Area formed and how it successfully manages processes of negotiation and compromise, and how it can inform efforts to manage groundwater collaboratively at a local level.

Mutualinquiry.org

Jim Anest, Creator, Mutualinquiry.org

Mutualinquiry.org is a new kind of platform to encourage and facilitate more satisfying LIVE conversations. Here you can find thoughtful people (who demonstrate curiosity and respect) to explore shared interests AND differences.

Social Capital Untapped

Annie Makela, Founding Director, Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Hillbrook School
Kevin Moore, Mathematics Educator/ Social Entrepreneurship Coach, Malvern Preparatory

Social capital networks are the lifeline to long term impact. Social Capital Untapped is a movement started by educators to help people break down industry silos, map their current collaborations, and connect their intellectual, professional and personal relationships in order to turn ideas into action.

The Public Square Academy

Michael Freedman, Director, The Public Square Academy

The Public Square Academy is a civic and consumer education platform for independent mentors and program designers, offering classes, forums, and workshops for adults, organizations, and schools. PSA offers program design, development, delivery, and marketing to further your educational mission.

Urgency of Civility Conference

Russ Charvonia, Past Grand Master, Masonic Lodge of CA, Masonic Family Civility Project

Come learn about the Urgency of Civility conference, where we will have the opportunity to discuss how we can work together to restore civility in society. We will facilitate conversations around how to restore civility in areas including government, education, workplaces, communities and online, with the goal of identifying how we can achieve our goals in our individual work and collaboratively.

What to do when the Fit its the Shan

Trent Norman, Partner/Consultant, Affinity Arts Consulting

Participants will get an opportunity to try out different techniques when issues such as race and gender become salient and when YOU are on the spot to facilitate. Practice techniques and hone your skills for having the difficult conversation about identity! Come, listen, learn and interact!

Scholarship Drive Update: Nearly 25% of Our Goal Reached!

As we announced recently, NCDD is in the midst of an effort to raise $10,000 for our Scholarship Fund to bring as many students, youth, and people needing support as possible to the NCDD 2018 conference. Will you consider making a tax-deductible donation today to help us bring twenty-five individuals to NCDD who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend?

In just over one week we’ve raised nearly 25 percent of our goal, and that means we already can support conference registrations for 10 students! However, we have 23 applicants for scholarships currently, many of these students and youth, and we need your support to help us get them all to NCDD 2018! Please help out if you can – no amount is too little, and every little bit helps! 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!

We want to say a special “Thank You!” to our champions who have already donated a combined $2,433:

  • Carolyn Penny, University of California at Davis
  • Jim Hight, Independent writer and consultant
  • Michael Shannon, President, Northern NJ Community Foundation
  • Martha Cox, San Diego Deliberation Network, League of Women Voters of California
  • Jim S.
  • Gail Stone
  • Larry Schooler
  • Caroline Lee
  • Cassandra Hemphill
  • Nancy Kranich
  • John Steiner
  • Jeff Prudhomme
  • Marla Crockett
  • Rachel Eryn Kalish
  • Jacquelyn Pogue
  • Evelyn Thornton

Thank you for helping us make attending NCDD 2018 a reality!

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!

Announcing NCDD June Confab Call with Undivided Nation!

NCDD is excited to announce our June Confab Call featuring Undivided Nation! This FREE call will take place Thursday, June 28th from 2-3pm Eastern/11am-Noon Pacific. Make sure you register today to secure your spot!

David and Erin Leaverton are the founders of Undivided Nation, which aims to serve as a catalyst for reconciliation and unity in America. David, following a career in partisan politics, felt a calling to work to repair the divides in our nation, and to connect with people who he has seen as an opponent, or as a stereotype. David and Erin decided to sell their house, quit their jobs, and spend 2018 traveling the country with their three children, spending a week in each state and learning more about those they once recognized as “other,” as well as exploring what divides us, and what can bring us together.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out their road trip blog and their Facebook page for updates on their journey and reflections on the experience and the people they’ve met so far. David also wrote a piece for NCDD’s blog, which we highly recommend. You can also check out the video of their story below!

David and Erin will join us to discuss their journey, and what they have been learning along the way. They are two wonderful people and they have some powerful stories to tell, so this is sure to be a great call to learn more about their journey and connect with them! You may even have some ideas for them about folks to connect with when they come to your state!

Don’t miss out – register for our call today!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

Announcing NCDD’s May Tech Tuesday featuring Mismatch!

NCDD is happy to announce our May Tech Tuesday featuring Mismatch. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, May 22nd from 3:00-4:00pm Eastern/Noon-1:00pm Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Mismatch.org connects classrooms across the country via video conferencing and allows students to hear from someone different from themselves. It works like a dating service: teachers fill out some information about their school and area, and they are sent their perfect Mismatch. Students then use a conversation guide to talk one-on-one with students in another classroom. Through these conversations, students learn about how to talk civilly with someone who is different than them as well as important digital literacy skills. Recently, Mismatch was opened up to anyone who wanted to participate during the National Week of Conversation and offered conversations on a variety of different topics.

On this webinar, we will be joined by John Gable and Jaymee Copenhaver from Allsides, who have developed the Mismatch platform. They will introduce us to Mismatch and walk us through how it works, and how it has been used in schools and beyond.

About our presenters:

John Gable is CEO and co-founder of AllSides.com and AllSidesForSchools.org. John has 25 years of technology experience where he was the product manager, team or division lead for a number of iconic products including Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Office, and Checkpoint ZoneAlarm. He co-founded Kavi Corp (web-based collaboration, later sold to High Logic) and previously was a professional political campaigner and executive director in the 1980s working for Bush ’41, Mitch McConnell and the Republican National Committee.

Jaymee Copenhaver is the Partner Director and a writer for AllSides.com. She recently completed a year-long Media and Journalism fellowship with the Charles Koch Institute in Arlington, VA and is a December 2016 graduate of the University of Virginia where she studied Government and American Politics.

This will be a great chance to learn more about this . Don’t miss out – register today!

Tech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.

Become a Sponsor of NCDD 2018 Today!

NCDD is working hard on putting together our 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation this November 2-4 in Denver. It’s shaping up to be a phenomenal conference, and like all of our events, NCDD 2018 will be a great opportunity to gain recognition while supporting the field by becoming a conference sponsor!

Looking to heighten the profile of your organization and work in the field? Being a sponsor is a great way to do it! NCDD conferences regularly bring together over 400 of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada (plus practitioners from around the world), and being a sponsor can help your organization can reach them all.

Being an All-Star Sponsor ($10,000+), Collaborator ($5,000+), Co-Sponsor ($3,000), Partner ($2,000), or Supporter ($1,000) will earn you name recognition with potential clients, provide months of PR, and build respect and good will for your organization every time we proudly acknowledge your support as we promote the conference. Plus you’ll be providing the crucial support that NCDD relies on to make our national conferences so spectacular, including making it possible for us to offer more scholarships to the amazing young people and other deserving folks in our field. You can learn more about the details in our sponsorship document.

The earlier you commit to being an NCDD 2018 sponsor, the more exposure you earn as we begin to roll out our sponsor logos on our website. But the benefits go way beyond that – just look at all the perks you get for being a sponsor!

This year, we are also offering some additional opportunities to sponsor, including sponsoring our Friday Showcase Reception, and purchasing ads in our conference guidebook. All of these options are outlined in our sponsorship doc, and if you have other ideas, we’re happy to discuss them!

By supporting an NCDD conference, our sponsors are demonstrating leadership in D&D, showing commitment to public engagement and innovative community problem solving, and making a name for themselves among the established leaders and emerging leaders in our rapidly growing field. We expect to have between 400 and 450 attendees at NCDD 2018, and all of them will hear about our sponsors’ work!

When you sign on as a sponsor or partner of NCDD 2018, you’ll be joining an amazing group of peers you can be proud to associate with. To give you an idea, check out the list of 2016 sponsors or the spread of our sponsors and partners for our 2014 national conference:

SponsorLogosAsOf9-7-14

Interested in joining their ranks and sponsoring the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation? We encourage you to consider investing in yourself, in NCDD, and in the field by becoming a sponsor today! We would deeply appreciate your support – plus you get so many benefits.

Learn more about sponsor benefits and requirements here, or send an email to sandy@ncdd.org to let us know you are interested in supporting this important convening through sponsorship. And thank you for considering supporting the conference in this critical way!

Opportunity to Host a Jefferson Dinner!

We are excited to announce NCDD is working with NCDD member organization The Village Square to support dialogues across the country using the format of the Jefferson Dinner, which invites people with differences of opinion to discuss an important topic over dinner.  These dinners are compelling experiences that The Village Square wants you to experience firsthand, and so we are letting you all know about an exciting opportunity!

Because they are particularly interested in making this surprisingly powerful tool available to NCDD members, they are offering stipends to at least 15 moderators to organize and facilitate a Jefferson Dinner. And the best part is that you can pick the topic for your dinner from any current political or civic topic around which there is substantial disagreement in the public square.

Some history about this tradition: Jefferson hosted his dinners at a time when prospects weren’t good that our new republic would hold together. Early legislators were described as coming to work “in the spirit of avowed misunderstanding, without the smallest wish to agree.” Sound familiar? Jefferson hosted dinners that were profoundly humanizing for these angry opponents. One dinner – with guests Alexander Hamilton and James Madison – resulted in the Dinner Table Bargain of 1790, widely credited with saving the American experiment.

In the same way that Jefferson mastered the art of these dinners as a way to make things happen that mattered to him, The Village Square would like you to experience how you can do the same.  Your dinner is about what’s in your heart  – whether that’s starting a civic project, running for office, contemplating solutions to a problem that deeply concerns you or imagining the future. By intentionally gathering people with diverse opinions – something that doesn’t happen enough these days – you’re harnessing incredible power toward whatever matters to you.

All that’s really required: 8-12 diverse guests, 1 dinner table and a welcoming environment. Could be your home, a private room at a restaurant, or a picnic table at a park. If you’re feeling inspired, put a modern twist on it & make it a brunch. Live a little!

The Village Square also hosts group Jefferson Dinners (a number of conversations in the same room, as part of a public event) and is delighted to support you in offering this format as well.

Find the Village Square’s Jefferson Dinner project online: www.jeffersondinner.org.  Read a feature piece about a dinner here.

This is a great opportunity for members to use this model to connect people who normally wouldn’t share a meal together and experience its potential to form the basis of unique alliances. NCDD would love to see a whole bunch of our members get involved with Dinners across the country. It’s another great way we can work to strengthen community connections and help people bridge divides, at this particularly divisive time in our nation.

If you are interested and would like to connect with organizers to learn more about how the dinner format can be used to achieve your goals, please fill out this quick form here and they will contact you directly!

For more information about The Village Square please visit https://tlh.villagesquare.us/. The Jefferson Dinner project is funded by a grant from the Bridge Alliance and in partnership with the 92Y’s Ben Franklin Circles project (all NCDD Members!).

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ”  — Thomas Jefferson

NCDD to Present at Public Library Association Conference

NCDD is excited to announce that we will be co-presenting a session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, March 23rd at 2:00pm. Along with our partners at the American Library Association Public Program’s Office, NCDD will be talking with public librarians about the Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative and will help them further explore how libraries can engage their communities through dialogue and deliberation. The session is open to all attendees.

The description for the session, titled Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change is below:

Through Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA seeks to strengthen communities by giving libraries the tools they need to bring disparate voices together and lead change. Public librarians who have completed LTC: Models for Change training will share real-world experiences with World Café, Future Search and Everyday Democracy’s methods for dialogue and deliberation. Participants will break into triads to try out tools with each other and discuss next steps for taking this learning home.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Learn specific context applications for dialogue and deliberation models

2: Gain confidence with facilitation instruments through modeling

3: Learn where to go and how to acquire skills aligned with specific deliberation models (e.g. Everyday Democracy, World Café) following the session

The session will also include an exercise in crafting questions to promote good dialogue and deliberation, as well as sharing updates on the initiative, such as the upcoming opportunities for librarians to learn more about Conversation Cafe and Future Search. More information on the current webinar series now underway for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and rural communities can be found here.

About Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change

This session is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). The initiative seeks to introduce libraries to various dialogue and deliberation approaches, enabling libraries to foster conversation and lead change in their communities.

LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant RE-40-16-0137-16.

Announcing the March Tech Tuesday Featuring Synaccord

NCDD is excited to announce our next Tech Tuesday featuring David Fridley of Synaccord. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, March 20th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00-Noon Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Public deliberation can engage communities in discussions that lead to awesome solutions with tremendous support! Online deliberative tools should help achieve this by augmenting and extending face to face deliberative structures, not replacing them. It is not a question of one or the other, it’s about how the two work together to achieve bigger better results.

David Fridley is the founder of Synaccord, LLC and member of NCDD since 2015 and he has been taking the best practices of face to face deliberative discussions and translating them into online experiences to enhance and expand face to face deliberative discussion. David will demonstrate the latest release of tools for online deliberation and explain the discussion stages in terms of their face to face analogs.  He will show where face to face discussions and online discussions add value to each other, creating better results than either can achieve separately.

He will lead a discussion of the challenges facing online discussion and the concerns public bodies have, and how they are overcome. And, he will have a special offer for NCDDers who want to help a public body discover awesome solutions with tremendous support.

This will be an interesting session, with demonstration of online deliberation tools and thoughtful discussion. Don’t miss out on this great exchange – register today!

Tech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.

 

Register for NCDD’s February Tech Tuesday with Iceland’s Citizens Foundation!

NCDD is happy to announce our February Tech Tuesday, featuring Iceland’s Citizens Foundation and their digital democracy tools. This event takes place Tuesday, February 13th from 2-3pm Eastern/11am-Noon Pacific – register today to join us!

Róbert Bjarnason, from the nonprofit Citizens Foundation in Iceland, will present digital tools for upgrading democracy in Iceland and beyond, outlining the Foundation’s digital democracy work since 2008. Projects including policy crowdsourcing and participatory budgeting using open source tools will be demonstrated in this webinar. As highlighted in the Financial Times, since 2011 the citizens of Reykjavik have voted online to select close to 1,000 community improvement projects totaling over $20 million dollars.

The Citizens Foundation open source digital democracy tools have been used in over 20 countries and by over 1 million people to change policy and help rebuild trust between citizens and their governments. Collaborating with E-Democracy.org in the United States to help others deploy and measure civic digital outreach efforts, a new case study (request a copy) comparing paid Facebook and Google advertising used to reach nearly every citizen of Iceland will be shared in brief.

Róbert is a successful entrepreneur that introduced the web to Iceland in 1993 and in 1995 to Denmark. Before co-founding the Citizens Foundation in the year 2008 he worked in the online gaming industry where his team received many industry awards.

Robert has many years experience and much success in using digital tools for democracy, and he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with us. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity – register today!

Tech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.