Democracy Fund Revamps electiononline Website

If you are looking for unbiased news and information on US elections, then check out the newly revamped electionline website! The Democracy Fund – a sponsor of NCDD2018, recently redeveloped the platform, which is a resource for our nation’s elections and offers tools and best practices for improving the voter experience. The site has daily news, an elections calendar, training resources, jobs marketplace – and is a great space for civic organizations, elected officials, or anyone interested in learning more about US elections. You can read the announcement below and find the original version here.


Democracy Fund Relaunches electionline

Today we are pleased to unveil a new and improved electionline — America’s only politics-free source for election administration news and information.

In January 2018, we announced that electionline had become a project of Democracy Fund’s Elections program. We felt then, as we do now, that it is a vital platform for finding trusted news and information about the people and processes that guide our nation’s elections, and for sharing tools, best practices, and innovative ideas for improving the voting experience. Our simple goals for redeveloping the site were to enhance its capabilities and expand content — but our long-term plans are to create a place where readers are exposed to new ideas, opportunities for continuing education, and relationship building.

To do this, we started by thinking long and hard about the site’s current audience and their needs. Starting today, election administrators, academics, voting advocates and other regular readers of electionline will find new items of interest on the site, including:

  • A calendar of national, state and other field-relevant events;
  • A directory of organizations and their areas of expertise;
  • Reports, trainings, tools, guides, and other materials;
  • A marketplace featuring job openings in the elections field and information on used election equipment for sale; and
  • Better search functionality throughout

Electionline remains the only place on the internet to find state-by-state curation of daily election administration news. In addition to publishing the classic electionline Weekly newsletter, we will also begin sharing original reports and exclusive content from leaders and experts in the field — making the site a must-read for local election officials, civic organizations, and journalists who cover elections.

While redeveloping the site, we learned two really insightful lessons that might be helpful for others who are developing virtual spaces for information sharing and engagement.

First, collaborate with your audiences and include some “outsider” perspective. As our team weighed important decisions about the look and feel of the website, we were grateful to receive insight and direction from many readers who already trust and rely on electionline.

Second, reflect your values. Redeveloping or creating a new platform is an opportunity to reinforce essential characteristics that inform readers who your organization is, and what they care about. For us it meant focusing on authenticity (even if it means publishing unflattering stories about ourselves or our partners); transparency about who we support with resources in the field; and cultivating greater interest for under-covered areas of importance like voting trends for overlooked communities.

Through this process, we hope we were able to successfully incorporate the feedback we heard from current readers. We also hope that the new electionline website more deeply resonates with all those who are interested in elections in America. We’re excited to hear your thoughts and reactions as you explore the new website. Please visit www.electionline.org and let us know what you think!

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Democracy Fund site at www.democracyfund.org/blog/entry/democracy-fund-relaunches-electionline.

Join Us for October TechTues Call Feat Konveio on 10/23

In anticipation for the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, we have an exciting October Tech Tuesday that you won’t want to miss featuring Konveio! We have teamed up with Konveio to bring the NCDD conference guide to life by making it digital, interactive, and engaging (in addition to our classic hardcopy version). Learn all about it at the FREE Tech Tuesday on October 23rd from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00am-noon Pacific. Save your spot on the call ASAP and register today!

Konveio helps change agents, community-builders and forward-thinkers turn their collaborations into action, not just a PDF! The software is a digital outreach platform that turns bland PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action. Konveio is one of the easiest-to-use engagement tools on the market. Users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document.

Konveio is a proud sponsor of the NCDD conference. The software will be used to bring this year’s conference guide to life, with videos, maps, recaps, and presentations, as well as ways to provide feedback on sessions. On this webinar, we will be joined by Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, who created Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment). During this Tech Tuesday session, we’ll give a quick overview of the software, look at some real world Konveio examples, will showcase the #NCDD2018 conference guide and ask for feedback on how to improve it and make it more useful.

It’s great for leaders in the government space, non-profits or other fields who need to convey a draft plan, policy or finding, to make an impact or inspire action. Which is exactly what we’ve heard from early customers:

“We have been getting great feedback from our community on the use of Konveio. It was really easy to load our documents and it’s been easy to review and reply to comments within the document as well.”

“I have been consistently pleased with how easy the platform is to use. Konveio has been a great experience for my government client; it has injected a feeling of transparency and customer-friendly service that they are thoroughly enjoying.”

About our presenter:

Chris Haller is a nationally-recognized User Experience designer and Online Engagement strategist, with a broad background in local government, urban and regional planning and communication technologies. These skills, combined with many years of experience in consulting for urban planning projects, are what brings Urban Interactive Studio’s mission – to provide interactive solutions that allow citizens to participate in making our cities better places to live, work and play – to life.

This will be a great chance to learn more about Konveio and see how it comes to life for the #NCDD2018 conference. 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.

Taylor Willingham Grant Accepting Applications Until Nov 20

In case you missed it, the National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD member org is now accepting applications for the 2019 Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grant. The grants are intended to honor the legacy of Taylor Willingham and her contributions to the field of deliberative democracy by supporting projects in the field, and we highly encourage NCDD members to apply for a grant or donate to the fund. Applications are due November 20, 2018, so make sure you submit yours before it’s too late! Click here to learn more about Taylor’s life work and past awardees’ work – 2018 winner Matt Miller, 2017 winner Lauren Gabbard, and 2016 winner Edward W. “Chipps” Taylor III. You can read the announcement below and find the original on NIFI’s site here.


Apply Now for a Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Grant to Help Your Community Talk about Public Issues

Applications are now being accepted (deadline is November 20, 2018) from individuals who are interested in being considered to receive a Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grant. Grants are provided to individuals to enable them to develop an understanding of deliberative democracy and launch one or more deliberative dialogues in their communities and organizations in order to advance NIFI’s overall mission, which is to promote public deliberation about national issues.

Grants are expected to be in the range of $500-1,000.

The Taylor L. Willingham Fund was established to honor the work of Taylor Willingham in the deliberative democracy movement and is administered by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI).

Click here to download an application.

You can find the original version of this announcement on NIFI’s blog at www.nifi.org/en/apply-now-taylor-l-willingham-legacy-grant-help-your-community-talk-about-public-issues.

Journalists Empower Citizens’ View of Role in Democracy

NCDD member org the Kettering Foundation recently shared some takeaways from journalists at the last Deliberative Democracy Exchange (DDEx). The journalists despite being from five different countries shared similar concerns about the growing global polarization and were united in their desire to both inform readers and empower people to engage in working toward solutions. You can read the article below and find the original on Kettering’s site here.


Journalists at DDEx Grapple with Helping Citizens See Themselves in Public Issues

The journalists from five different countries who gathered at the Deliberative Democracy Exchange (DDEx) had many things in common, but most of all, they were worried.

Over the past year, headlines around the world have called out the deepening of divisions, “populist” revolts, and growing polarization. What concerned these journalists was how these divisions were impeding people’s ability to make progress on issues, not just in a single country, but around the globe. And what was more, they suspected that standard journalistic practices were contributing to the deepening divisions and wanted to do something about it, but they weren’t sure how.

The journalists came from Colombia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, and South Africa. They shared experiences and frustrations in trying to encourage citizens to see issues as shared public problems instead of dilemmas to be solved by experts alone.

Each saw polarization, but acknowledged that in each country the fractures emerge in different ways. In the United States, for example, polarization is often defined in political terms, such as Democrats versus Republicans or liberal versus conservative.

Yet in South Africa, class and race emerge as dividing lines.

In Colombia, class, land ownership, and the experiences of decades-long civil war—and the challenges of negotiating a recent, fragile peace—have left citizens polarized.

In Israel, religious differences both between faiths and within them, and the societal power associated with different group identifications, divide people.

In Italy, Kettering Fanning resident Federica Marangio said that politics has become so contentious that people just walk away. They see no clear role for themselves and so become apathetic.

In Kenya, where there are numerous tribes but only a few that typically gain political power, government corruption and tribal identification are both issues that split people and groups.

The journalists at DDEx want to cover the issues, but do so in a way that people see a role for themselves in democracy and in making progress on shared public problems. The journalists all had the same question: How could they help both inform people and encourage them to see their own power?

The answers are a little different for each journalist—and each country.

In South Africa, where three-quarters of fourth graders cannot read for meaning, the answer is not simply to write another story emphasizing the need for parents to use libraries or demand more from schools. Instead, Rod Amner, a former Fanning resident and journalism professor at Rhodes University, is helping to build a network of parents, learners, teachers, NGOs, and government officials to help families become more literate and help others to do the same. Then those who have undergone literacy training will be involved in writing the stories.

In Kenya, three journalists are holding meetings with other journalists in their country about the need to go beyond daily stories of corruption that increase the feelings of apathy among readers and radio listeners. Instead, they want to discuss ways journalists can write stories that help people see what they can do. They hope to hold meetings to discuss the practices of naming and framing issues for journalists for whom those concepts are new.

In Colombia, journalists decided to take a different approach when covering the recent presidential election. They noted that the country has been divided for 50 years, between political parties and between right-wing and left-wing armed militants. Political divisions in peacetime are still prevalent, and they wanted to avoid contributing to those divisions. They tried to cover stories in a way that showed people what they have in common, even if they have different views. They gathered citizens ahead of the race to ask them what questions they wanted candidates to answer and involved officeholders who seemed most interested in a community-oriented approach.

In Israel, journalists wrote about an issue that a Jewish woman spoke about in a way that made both Jewish and Muslim women see what they all shared in common. It involved a husband withholding from his wife a blessing over a meal, done in such a way that made it impossible for her to eat without suffering public shame. Both groups saw that the use of religion to harass or abuse a spouse was not relegated to one religion alone; they coined the term, “spiritual violence” for such acts and have made it a public issue. In such stories, the journalists said, they could show people a problem that very different religions share.

And in Italy, Marangio discovered for herself that how journalists frame stories will make it more or less likely that people will respond and get involved. She first tried to hold a public forum to hear people’s general concerns, but nobody came. Then she wrote a story on increased levels of illness in areas located near factories, and then held a forum, inviting both citizens and politicians. This time, 100 people came because she had written about an issue in a way in which her readers could “see” themselves—and see the issue—as a shared public problem. The way she framed the story mattered.

The steps each journalist took were often small, but important, and contribute to their shared recognition that ordinary citizens have a role in democracy in grappling every day with issues of concern. Journalists who are open to change and who question their professional routines and the way they go about reporting stories may find that they are embarking on interesting and even exciting experiments that change the way they report the news. It might even change how those who read and hear their stories think about, and perhaps even trust, the media.

You can find the original version of this on Kettering’s site at www.kettering.org/blogs/journalists-ddex.

Single-day Tickets for NCDD2018 Now Available!

Single-day tickets for the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation (#NCDD2018) are now available! If you want to join NCDD2018 but can’t attend the whole weekend, then join us for just the day! The single-day tickets are $175 and will give you an opportunity to learn about new civic tech tools and engagement efforts going on, and connect with folks doing dialogue, deliberation, and engagement work. We have been hard at work to design a conference that will be engaging, educational, and provide ample space to network with fellow attendees.

We’ve announced several exciting components that we encourage you to check out, like the full conference schedule, the line up of over 60 workshops, our D&D Showcase presenters, and the pre-conference sessions (happening on Thursday, November 1st). If you are looking to join us for the whole weekend, make sure you get your tickets ASAP as the late registration will kick in soon. On October 24th, late registration for the 3-day tickets will go up to $550/day, so save yourself $100 and purchase your tickets today!

Friendly reminder to our NCDD member, you get $50 off the 3-day registration with your membership! We sent the code to our members recently, but if you missed it (or just joined as a member), then please email keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org and I’ll send you the discount code. For those who are on the fence about joining NCDD as a member, now is a great time to join! Register as an NCDD member today and receive a discount on the conference, in addition to so many more benefits! Not only will you be supporting one of the major groups working to organize D&D practitioners, but the membership almost pays for itself with the conference discount.

Get extra excited for the conference with this teaser video…

Not sure what the heck NCDD conferences are? What’s all this hype you’ve been hearing throughout the D&D grapevine? Well fret not, you can read all about our past events here and watch highlight videos of our NCDD2014 and NCDD2016 conferences. Watch them and join the action!

Ben Franklin Skills for Commitments and Virtues

We love gems of wisdom like the ones below on commitments and virtues, shared by Ben Franklin Circles, an NCDD member org and presenter at NCDD2018. Last year NCDD partnered with BFC and we’ve shared many stories about the powerful way that Circles bring people together and inspire change. For those attending NCDD2018, we encourage you to participate in the BFC workshop happening during the first session block from 1-2:30 pm on Friday, November 2nd. You can listen to the webinar below and find the original on BFC’s site here.


BFC Circle Host Forum – Commitments and Virtues

For this Ben Franklin Circle Host Forum, we interviewed BFC Host, Ryan Cooke to discuss the virtues and making commitments.

For review, the basic structure of a Ben Franklin Circle meeting is as follows:

  • Welcome/ review group guidelines
  • Discuss virtue
  • Make commitments

Virtues are aspirational and are not easily defined. We may never fully reach our aspirations towards these virtues which give us something to continuously work on.

After each meeting, Ryan sends a recap of the discussion and the commitments made. Halfway between meetings, he sends a reminder of the commitments to check in with the group as well as a preview of next virtue.

Here are some of the best practices we discussed for making 30-day commitments around the virtues:

  1. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relatable, Time-Bound)
  2. Take inspiration from other hosts and the sample commitments provided in the Meeting Guides
  3. Start small by making micro commitments. Check out tinyhabits.com for inspiration.
  4. Track your progress. Use a paper calendar or an app track Streaks, like Jerry Seinfeld’s one joke a day habit
  5. Make the commitment appropriate to your readiness for change (see Stages of Change model)
  6. Work with others who can provide accountability
  7. Consider shared group commitments to work on together

You can find the original version of this article on the Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/webinar/bfc-circle-host-forum-commitments-and-virtues.

Announcing NCDD’s October TechTues Feat Konveio, 10/23

We have an extra special treat for our upcoming October Tech Tuesday featuring Konveio. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, October 23rd from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00am-noon Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Konveio helps change agents, community-builders and forward-thinkers turn their collaborations into action, not just a PDF! The software is a digital outreach platform that turns bland PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action. Konveio is one of the easiest-to-use engagement tools on the market. Users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document.

Konveio is a proud sponsor of the NCDD conference. The software will be used to bring this year’s conference guide to life, with videos, maps, recaps, and presentations, as well as ways to provide feedback on sessions. On this webinar, we will be joined by Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, who created Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment). During this Tech Tuesday session, we’ll give a quick overview of the software, look at some real world Konveio examples, will showcase the #NCDD2018 conference guide and ask for feedback on how to improve it and make it more useful.

It’s great for leaders in the government space, non-profits or other fields who need to convey a draft plan, policy or finding, to make an impact or inspire action. Which is exactly what we’ve heard from early customers:

“We have been getting great feedback from our community on the use of Konveio. It was really easy to load our documents and it’s been easy to review and reply to comments within the document as well.”

“I have been consistently pleased with how easy the platform is to use. Konveio has been a great experience for my government client; it has injected a feeling of transparency and customer-friendly service that they are thoroughly enjoying.”

About our presenter:

Chris Haller is a nationally-recognized User Experience designer and Online Engagement strategist, with a broad background in local government, urban and regional planning and communication technologies. These skills, combined with many years of experience in consulting for urban planning projects, are what brings Urban Interactive Studio’s mission – to provide interactive solutions that allow citizens to participate in making our cities better places to live, work and play – to life.

This will be a great chance to learn more about Konveio and see how it comes to life for the #NCDD2018 conference. 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.

Join the Online Facilitation Unconference on Oct 15-21

The fifth Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is happening on Oct 15-21! This digital gathering is hosted by the Center for Applied Community Engagement LLC, and is a great opportunity for anyone interested in virtual facilitation – no previous experience needed! The early bird tickets are available until Oct 12th, so make sure you register and get your tickets ASAP! Follow OFU on Twitter with the hashtag #OFU18 for more #FacWeek updates. You can read the announcement below for more info or find the original on the OFU Exchange site here.


Online Facilitation Unconference 2018

Your favorite online event on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments is back!

Join us October 15-21, 2018. Tickets on sale now!

REGISTER TODAY!

What is the Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU)?
The Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is a learning exchange on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments. It is a community-driven event that brings together people from the public, private and non-profit sector from around the globe whose work includes, or who have an interest in, facilitating online.

OFU is a place to share, learn, make new connections – and have fun!

What is an unconference & how does it work?
OFU is an unconference. While traditional conferences come with a pre-determined schedule, an unconference allows the participants to create the agenda on the fly based on who shows up and what their interests are. In a nutshell, participants bring their questions and topic ideas and – in collaboration with their peers – suggest, schedule and host the sessions and workshops that meet their needs.

Unconferences require attendees to put in a bit of extra work, but the results can be magical.

How much time is involved as an attendee?
You can spend as much or as little time as you like. Based on past experience, the average participant tends to attend a handful of sessions over the course of the entire week. Sessions can vary in length but usually take anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes.

What do you mean by “virtual environments”?
“Virtual” refers to any process or experience that takes place outside a strictly in-person context. At OFU, we explore the methods for delivering facilitation using any tool, technology or channel that provides virtual venues, for example phone conferences, online chat, video conferencing, virtual reality, augmented or hybrid in-person processes and events.

Who’s organizing the event?
The event is run by the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC, a private institute and social enterprise based in San José, CA (USA) serving the growing professional field of community engagement and public participation practitioners from around the globe through market research, content publishing, industry events and other services.

What’s the history behind OFU?

  • In 2013, a group of people took this idea, which had been brewing for a while, and decided to run with it. Within a few short weeks, the first OFU was held.
  • In 2014 and 2015, OFU was organized by San José, CA-based digital engagement consultancy Intellitics, Inc.
  • In 2017, the Online Facilitation Unconference was moved under the ownership of the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC.
  • 2018 will be the fifth event.

ABOUT THE 2018 EVENT

When does the event take place?
OFU 2018 will take place October 15–21, 2018 – once again alongside and as part of International Facilitation Week, which is being hosted by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

What’s the schedule?
More details will become available the week prior to the event, but here’s a rough overview of how the week will unfold.

From now through October 15, you are welcome to:

  • Read this FAQ page to learn more about the event
  • Tune into the conversation on social media (see links below)
  • Think about topics you’d like to cover (either as a knowledge sharer, or knowledge seeker, or both)
  • Tell your friends and colleagues
  • Find out what areas of interest registrants have on their mind (sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll tell you)
  • Register for the event

Early in the week of October 15-21 (Tuesday through Thursday), you will have an opportunity to:

  • Attend one of several welcome mixers to get any questions answered, meet a first few of your fellow participants etc. (exact times TBD)
  • Join the online forum to introduce yourself, meet fellow participants, and discuss session topics
  • Attend one or more pre-scheduled warm-up sessions to help get your creative juices flowing (details TBD)
  • Add your sessions to the schedule

Later in the week of October 15-21 (Friday and Saturday), we hope you will:

  • Attend the unconference sessions
  • Add more sessions to the schedule (hey, it’s an unconference)

After the week is over, you can:

  • Explore on the session notes
  • Add your own notes and materials to the website
  • Read the conference report
  • Share your feedback and ideas for OFU 2019

We will announce specific times or windows for most of these activities shortly so you can plan ahead. Thank you for your patience!

Are all the sessions delivered in real time? Can I dip in and out or catch up later?
Yes, all sessions tend to be offered live (via some synchronous form of communication, e.g., Zoom, WebEx or the like). In theory, sessions could also be run as an asynchronous conversation (e.g., on the online forum we will set up), though not sure if we have seen too many of those in the past.

We encourage all session hosts to record their sessions and make them available afterwards. However, some sessions won’t get recorded due to various reasons (e.g., because they contain sensitive conversations). In that case, we encourage hosts to at least share a brief write-up or any other notes or materials they can make available that would give others an idea what was covered and help them explore the topic on their own.

Based on our experience, the average unconference attendee will make it to a handful of sessions. We will try our best this year to get participants to

a)  populate the unconference session plan as early in the week as possible, and

b)  stick to the recommended session windows

so as to make it more likely for more participants to be available for more sessions.

TICKETS

How much do tickets cost?
A regular ticket costs $49. Our early bird rate is $29 (good September 24 through October 10).

Students, retirees and other low-income people can attend for only $15.

For everyone else, including people from developing countries, we offer a “pay what you wish” option. We strive to be inclusive and don’t want anyone to miss out on the event due to cost burden.

Members of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will receive a significant discount. Details to be announced by September 25.

How do I register?

Please go to our Eventbrite page to purchase your ticket.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

Who should attend?
Anyone with an interest in facilitating in virtual environments is invited to join.

Do I have to be a professional facilitator in order to attend? No.

While a good number of our attendees do facilitation for a living, many others come from other backgrounds and perform the functions of convener and facilitator as part of their regular job or event outside their day-to-day work.

Do I have to have prior experience with virtual facilitation or technology? No.

Whether you are a complete newbie or already and expert – anyone with an interest in online or virtual facilitation is welcome.

In the past, OFU has always attracted a broad range of expertise levels (beginner, intermediate, expert, and everything in between). Thanks to the unconference format, everyone can contribute to the best of their capabilities!

Who are the attendees?
The people who show up at OFU wear many hats. Here are just a few of the job titles we saw at OFU 2017 (in alphabetical order):

  • CEO
  • Coach
  • Collaboration engineer
  • Community organizer
  • Community strategist
  • Consultant
  • Director
  • Facilitator
  • Founder
  • Head of school
  • Independent scholar
  • Organizer
  • Planner
  • Program analyst
  • Program coordinator
  • Senior product manager
  • Trainer

You can find the original version on this on the OFU site at www.ofuexchange.net/.

NCDD2018 Sheraton Discount Extended to Friday Oct 12th!

Great news! We received word the Sheraton Denver Downtown has extended the deadline for the NCDD2018 discounted room rate until 5:00 pm MST this Friday, October 12th. The 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation (#NCDD2018) is being held at the Sheraton and we’ve negotiated a great rate of $165/night for conference attendees. Located right the on the 16th Street Mall, not only will you be in close proximity to the NCDD2018 magic, but you will be staying right in the heart of downtown Denver.

Here’s a little teaser of what’s to come…

Make sure you book your lodging ASAP as rooms are filling up fast! The discounted rate will be available until 5:00pm MST on Friday. You can learn more about the hotel on their website here, but you must use this link to get the NCDD rate:

www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/NCDD2018

Alternatively, you may book by phone by calling Central Reservations at 888-627-8405 and mentioning you are part of the “National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation – NCDD2018” block.

While the official conference kicks off the morning of Friday, November 2nd, we wanted to give attendees a heads up to consider arriving on Wednesday evening or Thursday because we have a full line-up of pre-conference sessions scheduled for Thursday, November 1st. You won’t want to miss these preconference sessions, check them out here!

We recently announced the exciting schedule, over 60 workshops, and line-up for the D&D Showcase happening on Friday evening. The conference will run until Sunday, November 4th around 4pm, so we recommend you stay until Sunday evening or depart Monday, November 5th. Find out more about your transportation options on our NCDD 2018 travel & lodging page.

If you are looking for a roommate at the conference, we encourage folks to use this blog post for coordinating NCDD2018 logistics. Interested to learn more details about the conference – click here.

Can’t wait to see you all in the Mile High City for NCDD2018!

Join Our NCDD2018 Sponsorship Superheroes Today!

These leading organizations in the dialogue and deliberation community are generously supporting the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.  We are so grateful for their commitment to the conference and this community.  We couldn’t do it without them!

We hope you’ll consider joining them by supporting this important convening and becoming a sponsor of NCDD 2018. Becoming an All-Star Sponsor ($10,000+), Collaborator ($5,000+) Co-Sponsor ($3,000), Partner ($2,000), or Supporter ($1,000) provides you with lots of PR, goodwill, and name recognition. NCDD conference sponsors are traditionally a “who’s who” of leading organizations in our field, and your organization could be among them this year! Learn more of the sponsorship benefits and tiers here. Let us know this week, in order to be printed in our guidebook!

We also launched our NCDD 2018 Scholarship Fund Drive to help those who need some financial assistance in attending the conference, particularly students and young people. 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!


THANK YOU!!!

Our Collaborator (donated $5000) is the Democracy Fund.

Our Co-Sponsors ($3000) are Essential Partners and the Interactivity Foundation.

Our Partners ($2000) are FaciliCase LLC, Jefferson Center and the National Issues Forums Institute.

And our Supporters ($1000) are Common Knowledge, Everyday Democracy, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, and the National Civic League.

Collaborator

The Democracy Fund

Democracy FundThe Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy. Today, technologies and innovations offer new opportunities for public engagement in a more vibrant democracy — even as serious challenges including hyper-partisanship, money in politics, and struggling media threaten the health of our political system. The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

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Co-Sponsors

Essential Partners

Essential PartnersEssential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project) equips individuals and groups with skills for relationship that keep people connected while naming and claiming their differences. We design courageous conversations on the issues that matter most, and which many people feel ill-equipped to engage. We train facilitators and leaders, offering a skill set that can be adapted to many challenges and settings. We work with our partners in their contexts to build communities that find strength and new possibilities in both their shared concerns and their differences.

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The Interactivity Foundation

At the Interactivity Foundation, we’re always asking, “what if…?” We use a small-group discussion process to help people collaboratively explore diverse perspectives and generate alternative possibilities. Our process is divergence seeking, expanding the ways to frame complex topics and expanding the possibilities for approaching those topics. Join with us in any of our three main areas of activity. Our Project Discussions are sustained series of citizen discussions to generate divergent innovative possibilities, with the results forming citizen discussion guides. Our Public Discussions are shorter, exploratory discussion series, often using the possibilities generated by our projects as springboards. Our Education activities focus on training students and others as discussion facilitators in our process, with a special emphasis on developing the vital 21st century skills needed to strengthen our civic infrastructure. We welcome partnerships to extend these activities collaboratively. We are a non-partisan, non-advocacy, non-profit operating foundation. www.interactivityfoundation.org.

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Partners

Jefferson Center

Jefferson CenterThe Jefferson Center is a Minnesota-based nonpartisan nonprofit that engages Americans directly to solve shared challenges and craft better policy. Their mission is to strengthen democracy by advancing informed, citizen-developed solutions to challenging public issues. They advance the public interest by creating opportunities for in-depth citizen education and deliberation that generates informed, inclusive solutions to today’s toughest problems. Their current work focuses on engaging citizens to shape health policy and healthcare implementation, participatory journalism and local media, climate change and extreme weather planning, and electoral and governance reform.

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National Issues Forums Institute

Based in Dayton, Ohio, the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation about difficult public issues. Its activities include publishing the issue guides and other materials used by local forum groups, encouraging collaboration among forum sponsors, and sharing information about current activities in the network. The institute has a distinguished group of 16 directors and officers drawn from such diverse fields like government, journalism, and secondary and higher education. Many NIFI directors also have extensive experience in neighborhood and civic organizations, libraries, and religious organizations.

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Supporters

Common Knowledge

Led by founder Susan Stuart Clark, Common Knowledge specializes in bringing new combinations of people together to listen to and learn from each other. Leading together. We facilitate powerful new connections across sectors, silos, and social divides that generate breakthrough civic participation, employee and community engagement programs. Why? Every project shows that greater inclusion leads to greater innovation.

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Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy has more than 25 years of experience offering structured dialogues to help communities work together to solve problems and build greater civic involvement. Our process incorporates use of a racial equity lens and other principles, including involving diverse groups of people, especially those who have been marginalized; opportunities for authentic listening and sharing; building capacity in communities; and connecting dialogue and deliberation to action and change. We offer discussion guides in how to use our process on issues such as poverty, police-community relations, racism, education reform and more, and how-to materials and coaching in our process for communities and organizations.  Having seen the power of authentic connection among diverse groups of people, we cultivate community leaders and institutions to champion and carry out this work. We also convene practitioners from various fields to build a common vision of a democracy that works for everyone.

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Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration

mopcMOPC is a research center and the state office for public collaboration serving government agencies and citizens of Massachusetts as a neutral forum for conflict resolution and consensus-building and an administrator of public mediation programs. Established by statute in 1990, MOPC provides effective forums for collaborative planning, problem-solving and public engagement on contentious public issues, and builds capacity within state, regional and municipal government through evidence-based programming and expedited procurement of resources.

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National Civic League

The mission of the National Civic League is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities. We achieve this by inspiring, supporting and recognizing inclusive approaches to community decision-making. Founded in 1894 by a group of civic leaders that included Theodore Roosevelt and Louis Brandeis, the National Civic League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Today, more than ever, the work of the National Civic League is critical to helping create vibrant and healthy communities and a strong democracy.

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Join these distinguished leaders of the dialogue and deliberation field and become a NCDD2018 Sponsor today!