New Podcast Launches on Healing Root Divisions in US

NCDD members, Erin and David Leaverton recently announced the launch of their new podcast, Hello My Name is America! Last year, the Leavertons traveled to each of the 50 states with their three young children to talk and listen with folks from across the country about what are the deep divisions they experience – listen to our Confab recording to hear more about Leavertons’ story. Their new podcast shares the experiences of the individuals they met along the way and seeks to explore the root causes of divisions in the US. We will include this on our podcast compilation post on the blog (where you can find many other podcasts related to dialogue and deliberation). Learn more about the new, Hello My Name is America! podcast in the post below, and on the Undivided Nation blog where you can also listen to the episodes.


Hello My Name is America! podcast

Erin and I are thrilled to announce the launch of Undivided Nation’s podcast, Hello My Name is America!

After spending a transformative year on the road traveling to all 50 states, we are excited to introduce you to the people whose stories have reshaped our understanding of both ourselves and our country.

While the future of America might seem dim, the realities we’ve discovered fill us with hope that our brightest days are indeed ahead. Dive in with us as we explore the root causes of America’s divisions and explore what it would take to heal our deep divides.

To listen, follow the steps below and please take a moment to help us spread the word!

Step 1: Listen and Subscribe
Apple Podcast | Android | Desktop | RSS

Step 2: Spread the Word
Facebook | Twitter

Episode 1: Introducing: Hello My Name is America
The right question posed at the right time has the power to totally rearrange one’s life. At least this was the case for us. Join us on episode number one, as we retell the story of the day a single question did just that, and served as the catalyst for what would become a journey for our family to live in all 50 states over the course of one year, learning about the root causes of division and searching for the keys that could help us heal America’s deep divides. Listen here!

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Undivided Nation blog at https://undividednation.us/hello-my-name-is-america

JPD Seeks Submissions on Upcoming Special Issue

The Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is currently looking for contributions on an upcoming special issue, Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the Deliberative Quality of Communication. JPD is a peer-reviewed journal on deliberative democracy and is a collaboration between the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). We encourage folks in our network to learn more about the opportunity in the post below. Manuscripts need to be submitted by July 31st and decisions will be made this November with the goal of a 2020 publication date. Read the announcement below and find the original information on the IAP2 site here.


Journal of Public Deliberation: Call for Papers for Special Issue

Journal of Public Deliberation is a peer review, open access journal with the principal objective of synthesizing the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the multi-disciplinary field of “deliberative democracy.”

Manuscripts due on 31 July 2019.

Growing anti-immigration attitudes, rising nationalist tendencies, landslide victories of populist figures as well as the dissolution of national and supranational entities – these are just some of the multiple political and societal challenges western democracies are facing nowadays. These challenges have been said to affect the way citizens, the media and political actors communicate among and with each other. More specifically, concerns about the deliberative quality of these communications have been put forward. While this observation has so far been corroborated by a series of isolated studies, which produced not more than a few islands of analysis, an integrative and comprehensive perspective on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication is yet missing.

The special issue Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the Deliberative Quality of Communication thus addresses this gap in the literature by systematically bringing together different strands of research on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication. The special issue thus aims at providing an integrative and comprehensive picture on modern political communication in times western democracies are facing a multitude of disruptive challenges. Theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions focusing on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication are welcome. Topics and questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. The deliberative quality of political debates: To which extent do political debates come close to the genuine benchmarks of deliberation? How deliberative is political communication transmitted via different channels (e.g., media types, media formats) as well as by different actors (e.g., journalists, politicians)? How is the deliberative quality of these debates perceived by the public?
  2. Determinants and consequences of citizens’ deliberation: Which role do arguments and scientific evidence play in promoting the quality of citizens’ deliberation? Does civic deliberation indeed result in “better” outcomes? To which extent is civic deliberation positively related to political participation?
  3. Uncivil online communication and deliberative interventions: To what degree does the deliberative quality of user comments reflect the deliberative quality of the news coverage? How does online deliberation via user comments develop over time? How do users interact when encountering dissonant viewpoints? To which extent are online civic interventions a panacea for disruptive and uncivil online behavior?

Submission Guidelines

Submissions need to speak to the deliberative democracy and democratic innovations literature.

When preparing your submission, please check the JPD website for guidelines on style and paper length: https://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/author_instructions.html

Please submit your manuscript to the following email address: si.jpd@mzes.uni-mannheim.de

Questions about the special issue shall be directed to the guest editors Christiane Grill and Anne Schäfer under the email address: si.jpd@mzes.uni-mannheim.de

The deadline for manuscripts to be considered for the special issue is July 31, 2019. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed and a decision rendered until November 2019 with a target publication of the issue in 2020.

Editorial Information

Guest Editor: Christiane Grill Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim

Guest Editor: Anne Schäfer Department of Political Science, University of Mannheim

Join in as The Public Square Academy Launches Beta Group

The Public Square Academy, a modern civics education and service club, recently announced the launch of their new beta group and they are currently seeking participants to join! NCDD member Michael Freedman shared this opportunity to join this new beta group which seeks to explore journalism’s impact on society, improve how we engage with the media, and provide a space for folks to build deeper relationships with each other. The group will test the short, interactive program, Media Meal Planning, which works to help you improve your personal media consumption practices. You can learn more in the announcement below and find the original version on The Public Square Academy’s site here. We encourage interested folks to sign up ASAP, as the group is starting soon and will run from May 13 to June 7th, 2019.


Join Our Beta

At The Public Square Academy, we believe that a democracy is only as good as the citizens who care for it. We support individuals on their journeys to becoming educated, empowered, and engaged citizens serving the greater common good.

PSA is a modern civics education and service club for today’s fast-paced, tech-enabled world. We would like to invite you to participate in the beta program of The Public Square Academy’s interactive subscription.

Join with other Public Square Members to tackle issues affecting our democracy, our society, and our communities.  The Academy is a team-based approach to self-improvement and for the common good. Each month our learning teams focus on important topics, engage in challenges, and craft solutions to share with the community.

Our Beta group will explore Media Meal Planning, a short, interactive program to help you improve your personal media consumption practices. Learn about the fundamental role of Journalism in society, what practices make for good reporting, and how editorial policies shape what you read.  Working in small groups, you will participate in a virtual Pub Crawl, to test develop your criteria for selecting and judging media outlets. The results of this challenge will be a collective rating of media outlets to be distributed broadly.  Come join the fun!

Program Objectives:

  • You will become more savvy media consumers, selecting higher quality media, outlets, and journalists.
  • You will be more efficient in staying up to date on current events and news – freeing up your time for other pursuits.
  • You will become better informed, which will get you invited to all the right dinner parties!
  • You will have fun and make new connections while learning!
  • And… maybe we can raise the level of intelligent, civil dialog on the planet!   Even just a bit.

Our beta group will run from May 13 to June 7th, 2019. We will send you more details on May 10th.

Expect to spend an hour or so per week on your own study, and participate in a weekly video conference meeting with your learning team.

You can learn more about the beta group on The Public Square Academy site at https://thepublicsquare.academy/.

A Public Voice 2019 and More Online D&D Events

This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member orgs Living Room Conversations, National Issues Forums Institute, Everyday Democracy, as well as, from Cities of Service and On the Table, and a twitter chat with Bridge Alliance. We shared earlier this week that NCDD member organizations – the Kettering Foundation and NIFI are hosting A Public Voice 2019 on May 9th that will be live streamed on Facebook.

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Upcoming Online D&D Events: Cities of Service, Living Room Conversations, Bridge Alliance, A Public Voice 2019, NIFI, Everyday Democracy, On the Table

Cities of Service webinar – Finding Your Messengers: Lessons on Census Field Recruitment from San Jose

Wednesday, May 1st
12:30pm Pacific, 3:30pm Eastern

One of the greatest challenges that cities will face while preparing for the upcoming 2020 Census is ensuring that accurate and consistent information reaches community members. One strategy that cities can use to ensure an accurate count is to recruit trusted, local community members to serve as field staff and enumerators. Their existing knowledge and relationships allow them to deliver a clear message about the value of being counted and to encourage participation on a more personal level.

REGISTER: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6884656227050041357

Living Room Conversations Training (free): The Nuts & Bolts of Living Room Conversations

Thursday, May 2nd
2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern

Join us for 60 minutes online to learn about Living Room Conversations. We’ll cover what a Living Room Conversation is, why we have them, and everything you need to know to get started hosting and/or participating in Living Room Conversations. This training is not required for participating in our conversations – we simply offer it for people who want to learn more about the Living Room Conversations practice.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/training-free-the-nuts-bolts-of-living-room-conversations-8/

SPECIAL Online Living Room Conversation: Race and Ethnicity Conversation Series

Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

Check Out this four-minute video from a previous Race & Ethnicity Conversation Series to get a taste of this conversation! In this series of three in-depth conversations, participants explore the complexities of the concepts of Race, Ethnicity, and their impacts on people from all walks of life. We will cover new questions from the three Race & Ethnicity conversation guides found here.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/special-online-living-room-conversation-race-and-ethnicity-conversation-series/

Bridge Alliance #DemocracyChat [on Twitter]

Tuesday, May 7th
2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern

On May 7th, @BrdgAllianceUS will ask supporters questions on Money in Politics. The event, titled #DemocracyChat, will give you and anybody else who is interested in this topic to have the opportunity to connect with Bridge Alliance leaders and become part of the conversation. So make sure to follow @BrdgAllianceUS and use the hashtag #DemocracyChat once the questions are revealed next Tuesday at 5 pm Eastern.

A Public Voice 2019 Livestream on Facebook

Thursday, May 9th
9:30am Pacific, 12:30 Eastern

On May 9, 2019, the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) will host A Public Voice 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The 9:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, panel discussion will be livestreamed on Facebook, where viewers will be welcome to post their comments.

LEARN MORE: http://ncdd.org/29641

CGA Forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?”

Thursday, May 9th
9:30am Pacific, 12:30 Eastern

Join us after the 2019 A Public Voice broadcast for a Common Ground for Action forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?” We’ll be talking about how to fix our broken political system in three different options.

REGISTER: www.nifi.org/en/events/2019-public-voice-cga-forum-house-dividedwhat-would-we-have-give-get-political-system-we-want

On the Table 101 webinar

Thursday, May 9th
1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern

Join @Lilly Weinberg,  Director/Community & National Initiatives at Knight Foundation for this webinar that will give an overview of the history of On the Table, review the basics for implementing this initiative in your community and answer your questions.

REGISTER: www.onthetablenetwork.com/events/299

Everyday Democracy webinar – Civility and Civil Discourse in an Age of Divisiveness

EvDem LogoOur nation is facing a most difficult time in its history, as there seems to be less and less tolerance for different points of view, facts are often ignored to accommodate partisan demagoguery, and antagonism and divisiveness have reached new heights. How can we find new ways to talk to each other across difference? How can we find it in ourselves to be open-minded for considering new ways of thinking? How can we engage with those who hold different views from our own to find common ground, even when we disagree on some key issues? Hosted by UCONN doctoral candidate DANA MIRANDA who is a Connecticut Civic Ambassador, Mr. Miranda co-runs the Initiative on Campus Dialogues and the Encounters Series at UCONN.

REGISTER: www.facebook.com/events/584605612016588/

Listen Now to Tech Tuesday Recording Featuring Ethelo!

Last week, we held our first Tech Tuesday of 2019 and took a deep dive into the participatory decision-making platform, Ethelo! We were joined by 40 participants as founder and CEO of Ethelo, John Richardson, shared the ins and outs of this civic tech tool that empowers groups to collaborate on complex challenges. If you weren’t able to make the call, we encourage you to listen to the recording of it here.

We first learned about Ethelo back in 2014 when the platform was still in its beta form and NCDD members had the opportunity to test it out then. It is phenomenal to see how robust Ethelo has evolved over the last five years and we’re grateful to John for showing us its new capacities!

On the call, John shared how the collaborative decision-making platform inherently brings in participants’ values into the process, allows space for people to weigh priorities, engage with each other, and take action on complex issues. Ethelo is great for any size group or organization and can be applied in business settings like project management and strategic planning, and in community applications like policy-making and participatory budgeting. We learned about an exciting new development on the call –  Ethelo is merging with the budget simulator software tool, Citizen Budget (used by 1/3 of the Canadian municipalities) and will now offer the Citizen Budget tools as part of the Ethelo platform. John shares a special offer for NCDD members that we encourage our network to utilize, but you have to listen to the recording to find out the details!

Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the Tech Tuesday call:

  • Ethelo started as a non-profit organization in 2011 with a vision to improve democratic policy-making using Internet technology.
  • The platform gives participants a meaningful role in the decision-making process, enabling them to evaluate options, discuss and add ideas, weigh priorities and do trade-offs.
  • What makes Ethelo unique is the voting function and ability to prioritize the options in order of support (AND with multiple visual options on the results)
  • Ethelo brings together a decision-making framework where participants apply the same criteria to whatever is being evaluated and prioritize the criteria (this brings in peoples’ values to the process).

THANK YOU to John and everyone who joined this call! We recorded the whole presentation if you were unable to join us, which you can access here. We had several excellent questions offered in the chat, which you can find the transcript of here.

Tech_Tuesday_Badge

To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays. Archives access is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so ensure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join). If you have an idea for a future Tech Tuesday event, please email keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org with your great ideas!

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

Participate in A Public Voice 2019 Livestream on May 9th

Next week, A Public Voice 2019, is being hosted by NCDD member organizations – the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) at the National Press Club in Washington DC on May 9th from 9:30-11:30 am Eastern, 6:30-8:30 am Pacific. This annual event will convene policymakers, Capitol Hill staffers, NIF forum moderators and analysts, and members from the dialogue and deliberation field for a panel discussion around this year’s theme of political division and the important role of public deliberation. Over the remainder of the year, National Issue Forums will convene around the issue guide, A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?, after which the forum outcomes will be compiled and analyzed in a final report to be released in early 2020. APV2019 will also be a space to explore what issues should be focused on in the future. You can watch the event live stream on Facebook and viewers are encouraged to post their comments to the stream. Learn more about the announcement in the post below and find the original version of this information on the NIFI blog here.


Watch Livestream of A Public Voice 2019 on May 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time

On May 9, 2019, the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) will host A Public Voice 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The 9:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, panel discussion will be livestreamed on Facebook, where viewers will be welcome to post their comments.

At the event, National Issues Forums moderators, analysts of forum outcomes, and members of the policy community will talk about public deliberation; how that public thinking differs from the “public opinion” usually available to policymakers; and what public thinking has emerged to date from National Issues Forums (NIF) forums on political division, among other issues.

Additionally, panelists will exchange ideas about which issues warrant deep public deliberation and action in the next few years. They will share what some of those issues are, what concerns they have regarding these issues, how it affects them and their work, and why the issues require public deliberation.

Audience members at the event and watching on the livestream will have an opportunity to pose a question to the panel and/or comment on what they’ve heard during the program.

About the A Public Voice 2019 event:

For more than 30 years, the Kettering Foundation, in collaboration with the National Issues Forums Institute, has organized A Public Voice. This annual event brings together representatives from forum groups around the country and from national dialogue and deliberation organizations as well as elected officials and staff, to explore the contributions that a deliberative public makes to addressing some of the most challenging issues facing our communities and elected officeholders.

A Public Voice 2019 focuses on an issue important to all Americans: political division. After extensive research and testing with citizens around the country, the Kettering Foundation prepared an issue guide for the National Issues Forums (NIF): A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want? Citizen deliberations using the issue guide are taking place throughout 2019 in public forums around the country. In these public forums, citizens consider the options for dealing with a problem, share their views, and weigh the costs and benefits of possible actions. Forums are held both online and face-to-face, typically last 90 minutes, and attract participants of all ages from all walks of life.

This year, A Public Voice will use the issue of political division and a range of others to engage policymakers in conversation about public deliberation—what it is, how it differs from polls and focus groups, and why it has value for them. The session will also include an exchange among policymakers and deliberative democracy practitioners about issues the NIF network might tackle in the future. In early 2020, the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums Institute will publish a final report on the 2019 NIF forums on political division, followed by briefings for individual elected officials, Capitol Hill staffers, and other policymakers.

You can find the original version of this information on the National Issues Forums Institute blog at www.nifi.org/en/watch-livestream-public-voice-2019-may-9-930-1130-am-eastern-time.

Essential Partners Celebrates New Co-Executive Directors

In case you didn’t read the announcement earlier this week, Essential Partners – an NCDD sponsoring organization, has some big changes happening! After four years in leadership, Parisa Parsa will be stepping down as Executive Director of Essential Partners, though she will continue to bring her wisdom and intellect to the field. In her place, long-time EP staffers, Katie Hyten and John Sarrouf, will become Co-Executive Directors of the organization. Join us in wishing a huge congratulations to Katie and John as they move into their new roles, and all the best to Parisa in her future endeavors – we can’t wait to hear the great things she’ll do next! And if you are looking to try some of EP’s trainings, we want to remind folks that NCDD members receive a discount! We encourage you to read the announcement in the post below and find the original on the EP blog here.


Announcing Changes at Essential Partners

After four years of visionary leadership, Parisa Parsa has made the decision to step down from her role as Executive Director. She will continue to serve as an experienced and trusted practitioner in the field.

With creativity, intellect, integrity, and heart, Parisa ushered in a new era for this organization. Her time at Essential Partners has been marked by deepening impact, innovative partnerships, and institutional successes.

In her departure, Parisa embodies the rock star’s mantra, Always leave them wanting more.

Essential Partners remains in strong and familiar hands. John Sarrouf, formerly Director of Program Development, and Katie Hyten, formerly Director of Program Operations, have been invited to serve as joint Executive Directors by our board of directors.

Many of you have worked with Katie and John in the past. You may have met them in the field collaborating with partners, while designing custom projects to meet a community’s needs, or in our office leading workshops. Katie and John have been crucial to the growth, development, and impact of our work across the globe.

This moment of transition has also provided the staff and board with an opportunity to reflect on the organization itself. Fortunately, we have a set of tools to help us do that.

Our trademark approach, Reflective Structured Dialogue, has provided a space to share our hopes and concerns and to explore shifting responsibilities. It has allowed us to be heard and to hear one another, to be understood more fully and to better understand one another. It provided the necessary foundation for effective collective action.

The results of this process will be largely indiscernible outside our offices. We will continue to build upon Parisa’s brilliant contributions, the living legacy of our founders, and Laura R. Chasin’s vision especially. The organization’s structure, leadership, and staff roles will be adjusted in response to the ongoing evolution and emerging needs of our work.

Essential Partners’ mission has never felt more urgent, and we remain as committed as ever to repairing the fabric of communities that have been frayed by conflict.

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to contact us.

You can find the original version of this article on the Essential Partners’ blog at www.whatisessential.org/blog/announcing-changes-essential-partners.

Online D&D Events from MetroQuest, Nat’l Civic League, Living Room Conversations, and more!

This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member orgs MetroQuest, National Civic League, and Living Room Conversations, as well as, from Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Upcoming Online D&D Events:

MetroQuest webinar – Public Engagement Jackpot | How Your Agency Can Win Big

Wednesday, April 24th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

The stakes are high in planning for regional growth in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. On April 24, Truckee Meadows RPA will reveal the winning strategy for online public engagement! You’ll see resident survey data in action, providing a clear path to the best regional plans. Jeremy Smith will share how TMRPA used public engagement to build broad public support for infill development in core areas to stop the sprawl. You’ll also hear how Lauren Knox used 53,290+ survey data points to inform their 20-year Truckee Meadows Regional Plan.

REGISTER: http://go.metroquest.com/Public-Engagement-Jackpot-How-Your-Agency-Can-Win-Big.html

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) webinar – Lessons Learned from 3 Decades of Peace Education Work

Wednesday, April 24th
12 am Pacific, 3 am Eastern

During this webinar, peace education expert Loreta Castro will present lessons she has learned over the course of her peace education work, including insights and suggestions that might be helpful to educators who are in similar contexts.

REGISTER: www.gppac.net/peace-education-webinar-series

National Civic League AAC Promising Practices Webinar – Community Approaches to Inclusive Healthy Housing

Thursday, April 25th
9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern

Join the National Civic League to learn more about two organizations that are bringing healthy housing to their communities. Suzanne Mineck, President of the Mid Iowa Health Foundation and Emily Yu, Executive Director of BUILD Health Challenge will speak about Healthy Homes Des Moines and the BUILD Health Challenge. Leroy Moore, Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Tampa Housing Authority will join us to talk about project ENCORE!

REGISTER: www.nationalcivicleague.org/resource-center/promising-practices/

Living Room Conversations webinar – Tribalism 101: Next Door Strangers

Sunday, April 28
1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern

Tribalism: the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group. People on the left and right may disagree on many things, but they generally agree that “tribalism” is bad for our politics and our country. Although most people want communities where all people have dignity and respect, respectful interactions are often not what we see modeled in the media and in politics. How do we build strong and unified communities in a divisive time? Inspired by the podcast Next Door Strangers, this Living Room Conversation begins with a  15-minute podcast: http://www.kuer.org/post/1-tribalism-101-pick-side. Please see the conversation guide for this topic.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-tribalism-101-next-door-strangers-6/

PBP Releases New Data Map on Participatory Budgeting

The Participatory Budgeting Project, an NCDD member org, has developed a new map of the participatory budgeting (PB) processes happening across the US and Canada, both current and past efforts. PB is a process in which community members democratically vote on a portion of the public budget, and as the map shows, the process has been growing rapidly across the country. We encourage you to learn more in the article below, view the live map here, and find the original version of this piece on PBP’s site here.

Speaking of cool tech tools, make sure you register for our FREE April Tech Tuesday happening in just a few hours (from 2-3pm Eastern, 11am-12pm Pacific), where we will explore the new participatory decision-making platform, Ethelo. You won’t want to miss it – register ASAP!


New Data-Driven Map Shows Spread of Participation in Democracy

As we celebrate the first 30 years of participatory budgeting (PB) in the world and the first 10 years of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), we reflect on how far and wide PB has spread–and how it continues to grow! We’re thrilled to introduce a new tool to help us look back as we plan for the next 30+ years of PB. And so we’re introducing a map of PB across the U.S. and Canada. Each dot on the map represents a place where democracy has been deepened by bringing people together to decide together how to invest public resources in their community. (Below is a screenshot of the map, but make sure you view the real interactive map here!)

How can you get the most data out of this map?

Try playing with the “widgets” located to the right of the map that visualize different classes of data.

  • By default all of the processes show up first but you can select any particular year you are interested in.
  • You can also view a count of how many PB processes of a particular sort took place within the portion of the map you are viewing. For example, you can find out that in 2018 there were 56 PB city-wide, county-wide, and district-level processes in the US and Canada–our biggest year for PB yet!
  • Or, try selecting one year and zooming in to your own neighborhood to find active or pending PB processes in your community. If you click on a dot you can get more info about the process, such as how large the budget was, how many voters turned out, and where to find its website.

The map is linked to the database that PBP maintains to try to track every PB process in the U.S. and Canada. Inevitably some PB processes aren’t on our radar.

If you know that PB exists somewhere not seen on our map, or you have additional data about a PB process, please fill out this form to let us know!

If we listen closely, we hear messages from this data.

This data sheds light on larger questions, such as what is the relationship between the size of PB budgets and the number of people who participate? Looking at PBP data on processes in counties, cities, and urban districts, we find a positive correlation between the size of the PB budget per person and the number of people who take part in a PB vote (r=.22, n=245). In other words, where officials make a stronger commitment to funding PB, more people take part in the process–all the more reason to continue growing PB!

This year, as we reflect on the first 30 years of PB and the first ten years of PBP, we also look ahead to filling out more of this map. Will you join us as we celebrate and vision – by joining us at our Anniversary Benefit on May 23rd or becoming a PB Amplifier?

You can find the original version of this article on The Participatory Budgeting Project site at www.participatorybudgeting.org/pb-map/.

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Tech Tuesday with Ethelo – Register Now!

We want to remind our network of our next Tech Tuesday call happening tomorrow April 23rd from 2-3pm Eastern, 11am-12pm Pacific. This free webinar will explore the digital platform, Ethelo, a participatory decision-making space that leads to higher transparency among participants and greater overall buy-in of the process. Register ASAP to save your spot on the call!

In this webinar, we will be joined by John Richardson, founder and CEO of Ethelo. John will give a quick overview of the software and walk through some real-world examples of how its been used by different clients to engage stakeholders in solving contentious, real-life problems. Ethelo is particularly helpful for stakeholder engagement and communications professionals in the government, business and nonprofit space who need to engage large groups of people on sensitive and challenging issues. When an upfront investment in a fair, inclusive process is critical to prevent opposition down the road, Ethelo provides a robust and proven solution.

“Ethelo is a dramatic new technology that can facilitate democratic citizen participation in political decision making. As people insist on more say in the decisions that can affect them, Ethelo can make modern citizen engagement possible and practical.” – Judy Rebick, Founder Rabble

About our presenter

John Richardson is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, with a background in mathematics, law, political policy and technology. In 2005, he was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for his work in creating high-impact social initiatives. John and his colleagues founded Ethelo to develop online approaches for participatory decision-making that could scale to large groups. John is dedicated to advancing new approaches to digital engagement and direct democracy.

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.