A message to the NCDD community from the Board

Wow. Talk about being inspired by what is possible! The NCDD conference in the DC area last weekend was a potent mix of innovation, connection and motivation for action. 415+ people turned out to share their best thinking, broaden their networks and add their unique contribution to advancing the work of strengthening our democracy.

FieldMapWithGRsEven as partisan rhetoric heats up in an effort to amplify division and discord in advance of the November elections, the people and organizations involved in NCDD offer a countervailing narrative — one that shows how people can talk across divides and co-create fresh solutions to stale problems.

As Board members and passionate champions of the difference NCDD is making in the world, we hope you’ll join us in spreading the word about NCDD. More people need to know that it’s possible to move beyond politics as usual and bring more thoughtful dialogue and action to our communities and our country. We hope you’ll take five minutes today and share the brief blurb below with people who you think would be inspired by this work and benefit from the resources and the amazing network NCDD offers.

Tired of partisan bickering?  “Vote” for NCDD, the antidote to politics as usual.  Join a network of over 30,000 people committed to creating the conditions for constructive conversation about what matters. Now through Election Day, join the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation at the 2006 rates. You will receive a new member orientation to:

  • projects that are finding common ground for action on important issues as the national, state and local levels
  • tools that you can use to create your own community conversations
  • hundreds and hundreds of resources for dialogue and deliberation

Go to www.ncdd.org/join to get involved today!

We also ask that you support NCDD by becoming a dues-paying member, or if already a member, consider upgrading your membership. As a lean organization, we need the active support of members to continue our efforts and raise awareness of the innovations in engagement, dialogue and community-building taking place across the country. A strong and growing membership also enables us to add even more to what we can offer members to support their work.

Until November 4th, membership amounts will stay at their current levels ($25 student/$50 individual/$125 sustaining/$150 organization) but will be increasing after that date – new amounts will be $30 student/$75 individual/$150 sustaining/$200 organization. But you can lock in at current membership levels by prepaying now for two years!

You can check what membership level you are currently by looking yourself up in the directory at www.ncdd.org/directory or on this chart (which shows all members’ renewal dates and member types). To join, renew, or upgrade your membership, go to www.ncdd.org/join.

In these weeks leading up to the election, we have an opportunity to share what we know is not only possible, but is working, to reclaim our democracy. We hope you’ll take a few moments now to spread the word and express your support.

Thanks for all you are doing every day to build more resilient and thriving communities!

Barbara, Marla, Susan, Diane, Courtney, John and Martin
NCDD Board of Directors


Did you miss August’s Tech Tuesday event? Watch it now!

The August NCDD Tech Tuesday on Local Governments Adopting Online Engagement looked at how local governments are adopting online engagement as part of their public participation activities. Our two presenters were:

  • Della Rucker, Managing Editor of EngagingCities and Chief Instigator at Wise Economy
  • Susan Stuart Clark, Director of Common Knowledge, NCDD board member and consultant to local governments

Della and Susan reviewed examples of how local governments are using online engagement, the state of the industry, key factors to consider in planning and implementing online engagement – and how online engagement can be used to complement and enhance in-person dialogue.

You can you watch the hour-long program above and on YouTube here.  You can also download:

  • Susan’s PowerPoint presentation about the context for how and why local governments are adding online engagement and critical strategies for successful implementation of these tools.
  • Highlights of questions and helpful comments from the participants, along with additional commentary by Della Rucker.

If this is a topic of interest to you, here are additional resources:

May’s Tech Tuesday with Ethelo Decisions

Ethelo-logoOur May Tech Tuesday event featured Ethelo Decisions (now available to NCDD members in beta),  a decision making tool that provides deeper deliberation about values, constraints and trade-offs in an online setting.

Ethelo founder John Richardson (Power Point file) and NCDD sustaining member Kathryn Thomson (Power Point file) led a presentation about the tool, providing a case study about a condo dispute and showed how the Ethelo algorithm works. Participants then split into break out groups facilitated by members of the Ethelo team and discussed questions and ways they thought of applying the Ethelo decision tool in their work.

Ethelo’s leadership have been working for the past several years to create a software tool that they believe is a radical new way of understanding decision making.  Ethelo’s data processing algorithm is designed to promote group harmony by finding and ranking outcomes that optimize satisfaction and minimize the resistance due to unfairness and polarization. It can be used for corporate board decisions, large scale community stakeholder engagement and for any process where you have complex, contentious issues and need people’s input to provide a solid, inclusive way to move forward on the issue.

Ethelo has a growing demonstration library if you’d like to preview how it works. Here are some links to different examples:

  • The Condo Dispute—condo disputes can take up so much time and energy, even on minor issues.  Click here to see how one contentious issue was resolved using Ethelo.   This one will take about 5 minutes for you to work through.
  • Group Holiday Decision—this one is also fairly quick to work through.
  • Comfort Cove Community Center—this is a more complex decision so you’ll want to set aside about 15 minutes to work through this one.

NCDD Members: Ethelo is providing free access to the tool for members (www.ethelodecisions.com/ncddsignup) and has planned regular training webinars throughout the summer. Visit www.ethelowebinars.eventbrite.ca to register up for an Ethelo webinar.