Pocket Guide to Hosting Zine

Story Artist Mary Alice Arthur and graphic facilitator Viola Clark collaborated in 2016 to create the first in their Zine series – a POCKET GUIDE TO HOSTING. One side features the Art of Hosting practices, the other side features the AoH methods.  Here is a little snapshot of a couple of pages of the zine. (A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier.)

Art of Hosting will be using the Zine in the upcoming trainings in Innsbruck, Austria and Denmark.

Next in the series will be Harvesting.

Mary Alice advises: “It is set up as an A4 (if you are not on the A4 system, shrink to fit the space) — follow the instructions for folding (and unleash your inner creative geek!).”

Resource Link: http://ncdd.org/rc/wp-content/uploads/AoHHostingZine.pdf

Rich Discussion on NCDD Listserv about Charlottesville

We’ve been having a rich, active conversation on the main NCDD Discussion list since the tragedy in Charlottesville took place a few weeks ago.  One of our members, Lucas Cioffi, a resident of Charlottesville, queried listserve subscribers about what next steps might be possible for the city, and the conversation expanded and deepened from there.

Archives of the NCDD Discussion list (going all the way back to 2006!) are available online, and we encourage you to check them out and subscribe to the list to be part of future such discussions.

One message I wanted to lift up in particular was sent in by Joseph McIntyre, Principle Facilitator of Ag Innovations and Founding Member of the Academy for Systemic Change. In it, he uses a disaster metaphor to outline four steps communities can take to heal from traumatic events, and how dialogue and deliberation fit into those steps.

Dear Lucas and my Fellow NCDD’rs—

One of the things I love about NCDD is how we as a community can rally to offer friendship and experience at key moments like this. Already some wonderful suggestions have come forward.

It might be helpful to use a disaster metaphor when thinking about how a community responds and heals from a traumatic event such as what happened in Charlottesville. In that metaphor—

1) Step one: triage. This is about providing support and succor to those most impacted by the events. The families of those who lost their lives, people close to the front line of the violence, anyone who feels emotionally scarred from the experience. The goal of triage is individual healing. Since we work in communal space, the focus of our offerings are about honoring the experiences of those who are impacted. We construct venues where we can listen to each other deeply, experience the pain of the moment, and begin to put ourselves back together. This is definitely not about finding solutions and it is not a moment to do conflict resolution, mediation, or bringing opposing views together.

2) Step two: understanding. This is about developing a much more sophisticated understanding of the events—what drives extremists, what drives counter-protests. What the context is. This is what Scharmer et al describe as descending the U. There are a number of methods to do this and I think each of us uses those methods we are most comfortable with. What matters more is our intention. Here the intention is clearly on understanding what happened from a systems, historical, social, political, racial (and on…) perspective. Here we construct venues where the community can think together…

3) Step three: bridging. This is about exploring where there may be opportunities to build bridges between those willing to see from the whole. One of the most painful lessons I have learned as a facilitator is that one can find middle ground only between those willing to move from their entrenched positions. The challenge of our time is that we are being encouraged to dig in and not move. This renders many of our best tools impotent because they are premised on an inherent drive to wholeness. Some of the best work in the world around building these bridges, particularly when the parties have a history of violence and animosity is from Adam Kahane—his latest book Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust is very helpful. Still we can do bridging and here we construct venues where the community can aspire together.

4) Step four: building. This is about making decisions together about how we want to act and be together. It is the last step (although we all too often want to skip ahead and make it the first). It comes after we have healed, have created shared understanding, attempted to build bridges, and is entirely about tapping community wisdom and values. The venues we construct here are about the future we are trying to create. This is Future Search, vision quests, wisdom circles, and deep dialogue.

I am of the belief that we have a historic opportunity to put hate back in its proper box. Democracy can not run on hate. Dialogue can not run on hate. But again as Adam Kahane writes in Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change, we have to create venues where we as a community can learn to balance the impulse to love and to power. Neither alone is sufficient.


Field Trip Option for NCDD 2016 – Youth PB Idea Collection

As if there wasn’t already enough to be excited about for this week’s NCDD 2016 conference, we wanted to make sure everyone knows about a great opportunity to take an experiential field trip during the gathering!

Field Trip: Participate in Boston’s Youth Lead the Change PB Process

NCDD participants will have an opportunity to not only learn about participatory budgeting (PB) but to participate in the historic Boston youth PB process. In 2014, Boston became the first city in the country to implement a citywide PB process focused on youth. The Youth Lead the Change program allows young people to directly decide how $1 million dollars of the city’s capital budget is spent every year.

Participants in this field trip will have the rare opportunity to join one of the official idea collection sessions in the Youth Lead the Change PB process – an event where youth PB participants get together to start formulating the ideas that will eventually become proposals to be voted on for how to spend this year’s $1M in PB funds. You can learn more about what the Boston youth PB experience is like for the young people in this write up from a youth participant.

By joining this field trip, you’ll have a chance to get an overview of PB, suggest ideas to make Boston better, and see one of the best PB process in the country live and in action. It’s an incredible opportunity! Then after the idea collection event is over, we’ll take some time to debrief and reflect together over dinner and drinks downtown.

The field trip will be co-hosted by Francesco Tena, the Manager of Boston’s Mayor’s Youth Council, and Shari Davis, Boston’s former Department of Youth Engagement and Employment Executive Director. Francesco and Shari have been involved in Boston’s youth PB process for years, and will be your expert guides and hosts for this unique experience.

We have space for 30 people in the bus, but the trip is filling up, so reserve your spot soon! Email our Logistics Manager Rob Laurent at robdotlaurent@gmail.com to claim your spot, and plan to bring a check for $35 or cash with you to cover your portion of the bus costs. The bus will leave at 4pm return to the conference hotel at around 10pm.

Haven’t registered for the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation? It’s not too late, but you have to register ASAP!

NCDD’s Leadership is Evolving!

Hi, everyone! With our national conference in Boston just days away, I am excited to announce some important changes that are happening within NCDD.

Our conference is taking place just weeks before one of the most polarizing elections our country has ever experienced, and our intention is to lift up the many untold and under-told stories about how members of this community have bridged the divides that seem insurmountable to so many right now. No matter the outcome of the election, our community will be needed more than ever — and NCDD will be here to help keep this community connected, informed, and equipped.


Courtney Breese (left) and Sandy Heierbacher

In order to best serve our members and our own needs, and to meet these emerging opportunities and challenges, we are shifting to a new leadership model. Program Director Courtney Breese is stepping up to Managing Director, and will be taking over our day-to-day operations. I will become Founding Director which will free me up to focus more on what I truly love — supporting and nurturing our network.

This shift in NCDD’s leadership is part of a broader evolution that the organization is experiencing. Four of our current Board members — Barbara Simonetti, Marla Crockett, John Backman and Diane Miller — are nearing the end of their terms, and we are about to welcome some wonderful new Board members into the fold: Jacob Hess, Betty Knighton, Simone Talma Flowers and Wendy Willis, who will be joining Martin Carcasson and Susan Stuart Clark. In the coming year, we’ll focus more on strategic planning and fundraising in order to enhance our service to you and this wonderful community, which has grown from a group of 50 founding organizations in 2002 to a vibrant network of 2,300 members and 38,000 subscribers in 2016.

On a personal note, Courtney and I have worked closely for years both in her roles as a member of the Board and then as Program Director. I don’t know of a more calm, competent person, and have nothing but faith in Courtney. My own passion lies in creating networks and building supportive, collaborative communities, and after 14 years directing NCDD, I am drawn to new possibilities for how I can help build and strengthen others’ work. You are some of the most creative, intelligent and good-hearted people I’ve ever met, and I look forward to working with you, our wonderful staff, our Board, and other contributors in this new role.

I’m excited about what lies ahead — both for me and the network. Our community has become ever more active and responsive to each other, generously sharing their experiences and know-how over multiple platforms and forming many dozens — if not hundreds — of partnerships over the years. Our website will continue to provide a clearinghouse of thousands of resources and news items.

Courtney, our Board, and I intend to work together to see NCDD continue to grow and thrive so this field can have a greater and greater impact on the world.


Sandy Heierbacher, Founding Director, on behalf of
Courtney Breese, Managing Director and the NCDD Board

Showcase Sessions at the 2016 NCDD Conference

Showcase2014-1We’re excited to share the final list of our featured presenters in this year’s “D&D Showcase” — a highly anticipated, high-energy event held on the first night of the 2016 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/15606.

Assessing Civic Engagement Needs

Susan Jeghelian, Executive Director and Madhawa Palihapitiya, Associate Director, MA Office of Public Collaboration

A recent legislative study by MOPC, the MA state dispute resolution agency, assessed civic engagement needs around destructive public conflict in local communities and provided policy recommendations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for improved societal results.

Citizen Science

Chris Santos-Lang, Facilitator, Citizen Science Belleville

The most famous use of citizen science may have been to instigate reform of the Flint, Michigan, water supply. As science advances–especially science of the mind, of values, and of the divide–so does the importance of this form of dialog.

Conversation Café

Keiva Hummel, Conversation Café Coordinator, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Conversation Cafés are 90-minute hosted conversations, held in a public setting like a café, where anyone is welcome to join. A simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants it a chance to speak.

CU Dialogues Program

Pilar Prostko, Program Coordinator/Facilitator, University of Colorado Boulder

The CU Dialogues Program facilitates dialogues that engage diverse members of the University community in honest conversation with one another across differences of all kinds. The Program also offers a 3-credit undergraduate course, “Dialogue Across Difference,” which offers students the opportunity to learn what dialogue entails, practice dialogue, and be trained as dialogue facilitators.

Dialogue Playing Cards

Peter Nixon, Founder, Potential Dialogue

Dialogue Playing Cards are regular playing cards featuring a different dialogue behavior on each card. They are great for stimulating discussion on ways to improve dialogue in teams and organizations as well as teaching and training dialogue to people of all ages, in families, schools, university and business.

Drawing Lines

Lynn Osgood, Principal, GO Collaborative

The Drawing Lines project was an arts-based civic engagement project funded by ArtPlace America, that asked the question – what role can the arts play in the context of historic political change? What emerged was a spectrum on arts-based engagement projects and a LOT of lessons learned on how to administrate such projects.

Harwood Institute

Marla Crockett, Certified Coach, The Harwood Institute

Learn about The Harwood Institute’s Turning Outward approach and how to develop a deep knowledge of your community and use it as a reference point to make better choices and judgments. Find out how you can be trained in this approach and deepen your impact.

Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

Robin Prest, Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue

Know someone who has demonstrated, internationally, excellence in the use of dialogue? Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue is now accepting nominations for the 2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, and would love to hear your suggestions.

Journal of Public Deliberation

Laura Black, Associate Professor, Ohio University

JPD is a place for NCDDers to find published research on tools and methods and to potentially publish reflections from their practices. Large System Change Steve Waddell Principal NetworkingAction Large systems change (LSC) is a new field of knowledge and action. It engages many, many people and organizations over significant geographic expanse; it addresses issues in need of transformation and radical change.

Learning to Deliberate

Katy Harriger, Professor and Department Chair, Dept. of Politics and International Affairs

At Wake Forest we have just completed a study of the long term impact of learning to deliberate (to be published by the Kettering Foundation this fall as a monograph). We incorporated deliberative dialogue into our first year experience course for new students and have used it to discuss issues of diversity and inclusion on campus.

Let’s Talk About It

John Ungerleider, Professor, SIT Graduate Institute

“Let’s Talk About It: A Guide to Leading Youth Dialogue” presents dialogue principles, structures, and activities that can help a facilitator of youth dialogue prepare to deepen participants’ positive experience. The short manual presents simple steps of youth dialogue planning and design, communication training for participants, and effective facilitation–with explanations of rationale behind approaches, and examples that have been tested in years of multicultural youth empowerment programs at the School for International Training.

Liberals Guide to Conservatives

J. Scott Wagner, Founder, Reach the Right

Working with the world’s leading academic experts on ideology, J. Scott Wagner has written an informal, inspirational, story-filled guide that wends its way through neurology, personality, and biases to help us understand and work well with each other.


MJ Kaplan, Lead for US Growth, Loomio

Loomio is open source software that enables inclusive, collaborative decisions for groups in 110 countries globally – in and across communities, universities, governments, businesses and networks. Loomio is a social enterprise and a worker owned cooperative. Loomio’s innovative, flat structure is a leading model of emerging workplaces that are more creative, engaging and productive.

NarraFirma: Story Project Software

Cynthia Kurtz, Independent Consultant and Researcher

NarraFirma is open source companion software to the textbook “Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization“. NarraFirma helps your group collaboratively plan a story project, collect stories, ask questions about them, look for patterns in what you’ve collected, plan workshops, and reflect on what you’ve learned.

National Dialogue Network

John Spady, Founder, National Dialogue Network

NDN is the recipient of the 2012 Catalyst Award from NCDD. Come and learn about the $20,000 available in grants to all NCDD members. NDN seeks to coordinate collaborative local conversations into mindful national dialogue.


Pat Scully, Managing Director, Participedia

The Participedia Project is an open-source, global research partnership whose primary goals are to map and make sense of the growing universe of new channels of citizen involvement in government and other forms of public problem solving. Anyone can join the Participedia community and help crowdsource, catalogue, and compare participatory political processes around the world. In addition to our Showcase, we will also make available a brief online survey for conference participants who would like to share their ideas about how the information we are gathering can best inform and support the work of practitioners in the field of dialogue and deliberation.

The Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation

Virginia Swain, Founder and Director, Institute for Global Leadership

PPR is an approach and practice that is uniquely inclusive, visionary, reflective and restorative–healing the cycle of violence through inner governance, re-envisioning the common humanity of perpetrators and victims, socially responsible action that transcends self-interest, and mobilizing the will of the people for common issues.


Colleen Hardwick, Founder and CEO, PlaceSpeak

How do you consult with people online within specific geographical boundaries… and prove it? The answer is PlaceSpeak, a pioneering location-based smart city civic engagement platform. Currently, online citizen engagement is anonymous and not tied to place. This has led to the proliferation of trolls, sock puppets, astroturfing and other forms of online dysfunction designed to skew and distort public opinion. PlaceSpeak’s vision is to improve the quality and legitimacy of decision-making and public policy development by modernizing authentication of digital identity, protecting privacy by design and ‘making it real’.


Joshua Brooks, e-Government Fellow, and Brian Post, Lead Technologist, CeRI (Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative), Cornell Law School

SmartParticipation, developed by Cornell University, is an innovative and adaptable platform for informed, inclusive and insightful online discussion. Now open source.

The Civility Scorecard

Russ Charvonia, President, National Civility Center

The Civility Center has developed this Scorecard to aid in evaluating the degree of civility in speeches. Just in time for the US Presidential Election!

Transpartisan Review

Jim Turner, Attorney/Partner, Swankin and Turner

Launching alongside the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, The Transpartisan Review will be an online journal promoting new ideas in political engagement and exploring ways to bring people together who are now in conflict to solve problems that otherwise seem insoluble. Learn more at www.transpartisanreview.com.

Trusted Sharing

Ruth Backstrom, Director of Marketing & Outreach, Trusted Sharing

Trusted Sharing is a set of online tools and spaces for hosting deeper conversations using specific facilitation methods.

Pre-Conference Options for NCDD 2016

The 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is just around the corner, and we wanted to bring your attention to some cool options that are happening the day before the conference — Thursday, October 13th.

bumper_sticker_600pxAs you know, NCDD 2016: Bridging Our Divides is taking place October 14-16 in the Boston Metro Area, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. All pre-conference activities are taking place at the Sheraton.

The first three events below do require pre-registration, and there is (very reasonable) fee for participating in Essential Partners’ day-long workshop.  See below for details.


Essential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project) is known for its high-quality workshops. We’re proud to say that they’re offering their advanced workshop on “Facilitating Public Meetings” on October 13th at the Sheraton!

Leading effective public meetings has become increasingly difficult. Designing and facilitating effective public meetings requires coolness, clarity, courage and skill. This workshop will help participants address the challenges of engaging an impassioned and deeply involved public in constructive conversation.

Dave Joseph, MSW will facilitate the training. The regular rate for this one-day training is $150, but NCDD members pay only $125. Learn more and register today. (Middlesex East)


Do you mean by pro-life what I mean by pro-life? What about socialism? Freedom? Compassion? Answering these questions is the goal of the Red-Blue Dictionary, a transpartisan collaboration to help all Americans explore the varied meanings of commonly used (and misused) words. We’re not building a reference handed down from some great authority on high; we’re exploring what words really mean to all of us down here on the ground.

This free interactive workshop, co-facilitated by Cynthia Kurtz and John Backman, is your chance to learn about the Red-Blue Dictionary, join us in improving it, and explore our diverse experiences with the words we love (and love to hate) most. Email Cynthia Kurtz at cfkurtz@cfkurtz.com to let her know you’d like to participate in this workshop. (Commons II)

5:00 – 7:00 pm  –  DELIBERATION BOOTCAMP

This free evening session will provide an overview of the deliberative perspective and an introduction to many of the key concepts, organizations, and challenges related to the field. Specifically designed for newcomers to the field, the boot camp will help acclimate participants to the conference.

The session will be led by Martín Carcasson, NCDD Board member and Director of Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation. Dr. Carcasson’s presentation will focus on the question of “what kind of talk does democracy need?” and will make the case for building deliberative capacity in our communities.

Email Martín at mcarcas@colostate.edu to let him know you’ll be attending the Bootcamp. (Commons I)


Though the conference doesn’t begin officially until Friday morning, many of you are arriving on Thursday.  Plan on coming down to the hotel bar/restaurant for some informal networking if you’re around (food and drink is on you, though).  Of course, you’re welcome to stick around after 7pm!  (Hotel bar)


NCDD is hosting a pre-conference event for young people and students. This will be a time for attendees 35 and under connect with the other younger conference attendees. During the event, we will be officially unveiling NCDD’s new Emerging Leaders Initiative and all the great ways NCDD will be working to bring younger folks into the D&D field and support them in shaping its future. We will also be kicking off our NCDD 2016 Mentoring Program, which will intentionally connect a cadre of experienced D&D leaders with students and youth attendees during the conference.

NCDD is the New Steward for Conversation Café! – Now What?

In case you haven’t heard, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation has become the new steward of Conversation Café (CC). Andy has revamped the CC website, which you can check out at www.conversationcafe.org, and we are in the process of reconnecting with the CC network and figuring out how we can best support and grow this important community.

NCDD’s Sandy Heierbacher and Keiva Hummel will be spearheading this effort, so feel free to contact either of us if you have questions or want to help out!

We’ve created a new one-way announcement list to share news about Conversation Café happenings once in a while (no more than monthly). We encourage all of you to subscribe to that list if you have some interest in CC’s by sending a blank email to conversation-cafe-subscribe-request@lists.ncdd.org.

If you’re a Conversation Cafe host or promoter (or want to be) also consider joining the new Cafe-Community listserv – a discussion list we’ve modeled after the NCDD Discussion list to encourage CC leaders to network, share information, and discuss key issues facing the CC community. To join that list, send a blank email to cafe-community-subscribe-request@lists.ncdd.org.

Why does NCDD feels it’s important to support Conversation Café?

Back in March 2014, we had an amazing conversation with the NCDD community on the blog here about whether we should play this role, and though there were many eloquent arguments both for and against NCDD becoming the new stewards for the CC method, we decided in the end that it was important to help this elegantly simple approach survive and thrive – and we hope you can support our decision!

We think Conversation Café is a wonderful model for dialogue that can and should be widely adopted across the U.S. and the globe. Our vision for Conversation Café, in part, is that it be used to help communities address national and local crises that call for immediate dialogue.

We think CCs are nimble, accessible, and elegantly simple enough to be used very quickly by many people, and NCDD is particularly well equipped to help new CC groups use other forms of dialogue and deliberation when the time is right.

We also just want to see more people, in more places, engaging regularly in conversations that matter, and feel that Conversation Café is uniquely suited to helping make this happen.

In addition to subscribing to the announcement list or discussion list mentioned above, we strongly encourage any of you who have hosted CCs to take a minute and complete the quick form at www.conversationcafe.org/main-survey to tell us a little about your work and interests. Our main interest right now is to learn about what is currently (and has been) going on in the Conversation Café community, and this would help us a great deal!

Free Online Event with Mark Gerzon on Bridging Partisan Divides

UPDATE: Did you miss the webinar? The Shift Network has posted the recording of the hour-long call, which you can listen to by clicking here.

So many Americans are disheartened by how political polarization seems to be driving a wedge between us. This polarization has become a national crisis with profound repercussions for our personal relationships, collective well-being and the future of our nation.

MarkGerzon-speakingNCDD’s upcoming national conference in October is focusing in on how the amazing people in our field are bridging political, racial, and other divides, and how we can play a major role in healing our nation after the presidential election.

Leading up to the conference, we’re also excited to support an online event that’s taking place on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30pm Eastern / 5:30pm Pacific that features our good friend, author, and transpartisan political thought leader Mark Gerzon. As you may know, Mark has facilitated retreats for members of Congress and has a long and distinguished history of work on transpartisanship – he’s also a member and supporter of NCDD.

The event, titled “Bridging Partisan Divides: 4 Keys to Reuniting Our Families, Communities & Country,” will highlight practical solutions that have already begun healing divides all across the country, from local communities all the way to Congress. Mark will show participants how to engage in political discourse – even, and especially, potentially “charged” conversations – in a way that creates the opportunity for understanding and bridge-building.

You can register for this FREE virtual event, here: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/bpdNCDD/a16042

During this one-hour call event, you will

  • Understand the roots of political divisiveness and how to address them in a systematic way
  • Discover how to make a crucial shift that leads to more connected discussions
  • Receive insights into how to let go of control and focus on deepening relationships
  • See how to champion the “whole truth” and move beyond position-taking to problem-solving
  • Develop more skill in opening to deeper listening and mutual understanding

It’s free to attend, but you must RSVP here: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/bpdNCDD/a16042

(Note: A recording will be provided later to all who register, whether or not you listen to the live event.)

Hope to see you on the 17th!  And please share this post with anyone you know who can benefit from this important event.

Participate in NCDD’s Field-Wide Inventory!

What if we knew how many dialogue and deliberation events took place in a typical year? (Or at least had SOME way to guess!) What if we had a sense of which approaches people in the D&D community specialized in and had training in? What if we had a sense of when practitioners and organizations in our field were more likely to collaborate with their peers?

NCDD2012-wFranKorten-borderNCDD’s Inventory Survey was designed to get answers to these questions and more, and we invite you to participate! The results will be shared with our partner in this project, the Kettering Foundation, and will be summarized and distributed widely in the field.

It is our hope to also use some of this data to create a broad-based map of facilitators and organizations, searchable by location, approach used, and issues you specialize in. This map is part of our strategy to connect more people to the facilitation expertise they need, much more quickly than is possible today. We believe that now, more than ever, the skills of dialogue and deliberation are needed to address pressing issues in communities across the country, often in a very quick time frame.

If you or your organization does any kind of dialogue or deliberation work, we ask that you take the time to complete this survey as soon as possible. It should only take you 15 minutes or less to complete and is NOT limited to members of the NCDD community or those based only in the U.S.

Let’s see what we can learn about this vital field!

Register Now for NCDD 2016 at the “Super Early Bird Rate”!

Hi, everyone! Registration is live for the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, and now is the best possible time to register. For a limited time (through June 15th only), our special “SUPER Early Bird” rate of $350 is active.

yardsign_300pxWe’re so excited about NCDD 2016!  We’re coming together October 14-16 (Friday through Sunday) in the Boston Metro Area at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center in Framingham, MA.

This year’s conference is “Bridging Our Divides,” and our intention is to capture and draw attention to attendees’ stories. The conference is taking place one month before the presidential election, and we suspect many Americans will be hungry for a different narrative: true stories about how Americans across the political spectrum CAN and ARE working together to make progress on difficult issues.

NCDD conferences bring together hundreds of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people involved in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada. Over 2,800 people, from dozens of countries, have attended our biennial national and regional events, and we’re expecting at least 400 again this year! Hopefully you’re one of them!!

me-butterflyI’m also happy to announce that NCDD co-founder and longtime creative force Andy Fluke is returning to help design and develop material for this year’s conference.  Since stepping down as creative director late last year, Andy has been working as a consultant to several NCDD members on a wide variety of projects including several new publications & ebooks, the launch of a new initiative (CCTN), and the relaunch of one of our favorite programs (Orangeband).  You can learn more about his new venture at www.andyfluke.com or contact him directly at afluke@gmail.com.

Learn much more about the conference at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2016, and register today at www.ncdd2016.eventbrite.com to take advantage of the Super Early Bird rate.

NCDD conferences are important networking and learning events for our field. Watch this highlight video by Keith Harrington of Shoestring Videos to get a sense of the energy and content of our last conference…