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

Land of Plenty: How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The 25-page issue guide, Land of Plenty: How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need?, was published June 2017 from National Issues Forums Institute and Kettering Foundation.. The issue guide offers participants three options to use during deliberation on how to address the inequities within the current food system and how to create a world where all people have the food they need to thrive. The issue guide is available to download for free on NIFI’s site here, where you can also find a post-forum questionnaire.

From NIFI…

All of us affect, and are affected by, the food system: students who grow and eat carrots and tomatoes from their school garden; farm owners who maintain patches of natural habitat for bees; immigrants who hand-pick our apples, grapes, and oranges; public employees who design food-nutrition labels and monitor food safety; restaurant workers who take our orders and serve our meals; food reporters who write about ethnic cuisine; local groups of gleaners who keep edible food out of the dumpster and put it to good use; food pantries that teach teenagers to garden on vacant lots; parents who work to stretch their food budgets to the next payday; policymakers who determine agricultural subsidies; community members who advocate for policies to ensure that all of us have the food we need.

While we have one of the most productive and efficient food systems in the world, millions of people in the US still fall between the cracks. People who may have enough to eat today worry about the availability and quality of food for future generations.

This guide explores different approaches and actions that are, or could be, taken to create a food system that works for all of us. While the approaches overlap in some respects, they do suggest different priorities and involve different trade-offs. With this in mind, what should we do to ensure that people from all walks of life have the food they need?

This issue guide placemat presents three options for deliberation:

Option 1: Improve Access to Nutritious Food
Despite our nation’s abundance of food, some people still don’t have enough to eat, which undermines their health, productivity, and overall well-being. According to this option, we need a food system that ensures everyone has a stable source of affordable, nutritious food. We must strengthen our school nutrition programs and food assistance for low-income families, as well as improve access to fresh food in rural and low-income communities.

Option 2: Pay More Attention to the Multiple Benefits of Food
We have drifted away from traditions and principles that once helped us enjoy a healthier relationship to food, according to this option. We all need to be better informed about the foods we choose, their nutritional value, and how they’re produced and processed. Rather than allowing food advertisements to determine our choices, we need to pay closer attention to what we value about our food, traditions, and well-being.

Option 3: Be Good Stewards of the Food System
We are not managing our food system as well as we should, according to this option. We must do more to safeguard the quality and availability of food for generations to come. Good stewardship is needed at every link in the food-supply chain, from the seeds we plant to the reduction of food waste. It also includes preserving our natural resources, choosing sustainable methods of production, and strengthening the food-system workforce.

Preview the starter video above. Like what you see? Press the ‘BUY’ button in the upper right hand corner of the video. Your purchase includes UNLIMITED streaming and downloads of this starter video.

NIF-Logo2014About NIFI Issue Guides
NIFI’s Issue Guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, Issue Guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

Follow on Twitter: @NIForums

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/issue-guide/land-of-plenty

Global Responsibility for Children (IF Discussion Guide)

The 20-page discussion guide, Global Responsibility for Children, was published by Interactivity Foundation in 2015 and edited by Mark Notturno. For this discussion guide, IF brought together [in video conference] panelists from 14 different countries to explore what is means to take responsibility for children and what would policies can be put in place that would uphold this task. Below is an excerpt of the guide, which can be downloaded as a PDF for free from IF’s site here.

From the introduction…

Children are, almost by definition, the most vulnerable social group in our global society. They are often among the first victims of social crises: be they humanitarian crises arising from natural disasters, military crises arising from wars and other international conflicts, political crises arising from revolutions, human rights crises arising from abusive political regimes, psychological and physiological crises arising from sexual molestation and child abuse, or family crises arising from the divorces, breakups, and crimes of their parents. Children have been neglected, abandoned, and even killed by their parents and caretaker, both in myth and real life, and infanticide has a long history in Europe, China, and India. Indeed, the history of mankind has recorded wide scale abuses against children arising from the poverty, ignorance, and hatred of adults, caretakers, and other children – and from the unintended consequences of well-intended public policies designed to protect them.

Dickens chronicled the abuse of children in orphanages. Marx described the exploitation of children in the workplace. And Freud explained how the mind of a child could abuse itself. But children are not only vulnerable to being abused. They are also vulnerable to abusing others. They are notorious for bullying smaller children. They sexually molest and rape other children, sometimes brutally, and they frequently give birth outside of marriage. They use drugs, sell them on the street, and entice other children into addictions. They steal. They organize gangs that terrorize their neighborhoods. And, with seemingly increasing frequency, they kill other children, adults, and even their parents.

Churches, labor groups, teachers, and other reformers have long lobbied for child labor laws. And in the 19th and 20th centuries, a series of laws in Britain and the United States gradually shortened the hours, improved the conditions, and raised the age at which children can work. The United Nations’ 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, however, was the first legally binding international instrument to expand the full range of human rights to children. The Convention says that children everywhere have the right to survive; the right to develop their potential to the fullest; the right to protection from harmful influences, including abuse and exploitation; and the right to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. It also sets standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services. All of the nations of the world, with the exception of the United States and Somalia, have ratified it. And they have, by doing so, committed themselves to develop and undertake all of their policies and actions in light of the best interests of the child or, simply put, to assume responsibility for our children.

But what, exactly, is a child? What are the different dimensions of childhood? Should we regard everyone under a certain age as a vulnerable child? Or everyone over that age as a responsible adult? And what, in any event, constitutes an abusive practice toward children? What are children vulnerable to? What does it mean to assume responsibility for a child? What are the different dimensions of such responsibility? How can a political convention, or a state, protect children when the world around them has been torn by war, natural disasters, or the breakup of their families? How can a political convention, or a state, protect the human rights of children if and when they are in conflict with the beliefs, values, and traditions of their families, societies, and cultures? How can we know what is in the best interest of a child? What concerns might parents, family members, and societies have about states assuming responsibility for their children? And what concerns might they have when states hold them responsible for the actions of their children?

This international online project brought together panelists from fourteen different countries in video-conferences to explore the different concerns that people might have about global responsibility for children, and develop different conceptual policy possibilities for addressing them.

If you are interested in further information about the process used to develop IF reports or IF’s work in general, we invited you to consult our website at interactivityfoundation.org

The PDF version of this report is available for download here

About the Interactivity Foundation
The Interactivity Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to enhance the process and expand the scope of our public discussions through facilitated small-group discussion of multiple and contrasting possibilities. The Foundation does not engage in political advocacy for itself, any other organization or group, or on behalf of any of the policy possibilities described in its discussion guidebooks. For more information, see the Foundation’s website at www.interactivityfoundation.org.

Follow on Twitter: @IFTalks

Resource Link: www.interactivityfoundation.org/discussions/global-responsibility-for-children/

Civil Conversations Project

The Civil Conversations Project seeks to renew common life in a fractured and tender world. We are a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference. We honor the power of asking better questions, model reframed approaches to entrenched debates, and insist that the ruptures above the radar do not tell the whole story of our time. We aspire to amplify and cross-pollinate the generative new realities that are also being woven, one word and one life at a time.

Better Conversations: a starter guide
It seems we are more divided than ever before — unable to speak across the differences we must engage to create the world we want for ourselves and others. We offer this guide as a resource for creating new spaces for listening, conversation, and engagement. We’ve created it as producers, but more as citizens, out of what we’ve learned in over a decade of conversation on On Being.

The seven-page pdf opens with an invitational letter from Krista Tippett, and provides a flexible roadmap for speaking together differently in a way that allows us to live together differently.

This guide is intended to help ground and animate a gathering of friends or strangers in a conversation that might take place over weeks or months. Adapt this guide for your group and your intentions, choosing a focus and readings you find meaningful and relevant.

Download the Better Conversations PDF here

From the guide…

Our young century is awash with questions of meaning, of how we structure our common life, and who we are to each other. It seems we are more divided than ever before – unable to speak across the differences we must engage to create the world we want for ourselves and our children.

Yet you and I have it in us to be nourishers of discernment, fermenters of healing. We have the language, the tools, the virtues – and the calling, as human beings – to create hospitable spaces for taking up the hard questions of our time.

This calling is too important and life-giving to wait for politics or media at their worst to come around. We can discover how to calm fear and plant the seeds of the robust civil society we desire and that our age demands.

This is civic work and it is human, spiritual work – in the most expansive 21st century sense of that language. We can learn for our time what moral imagination, social healing, and civil discourse can look like and how they work.

The Civil Conversations Project is a collection of audio, video, writings, and resources for planting new conversations in families and communities. How do we speak the questions we don’t know how to ask each other? Can we find ways to cross gulfs between us about politics and the meaning of community itself? How to engage our neighbors who have become strangers? Can we do that even while we continue to hold passionate disagreements on deep, contrasting convictions? How is technology playing into all this, and how can we shape it to human purposes? You will have your own questions – particular to your community and concerns – to add.

We insist on approaching civility as an adventure, not an exercise in niceness. It is a departure from ways of being and interacting that aren’t serving our age of change. This is a resource and reflection for beginning this adventure — creating new spaces for listening, conversation, and engagement. We’ve created it as producers, but more urgently as citizens.

Public life is bigger than political life. We have narrowly equated the two in recent years, and we’ve impoverished ourselves in the process. Public life includes all of our disciplines and endeavors, including our selves as citizens and professional people and neighbors and parents and friends. The places we’ve looked for leadership and modeling have become some of the most broken in our midst. And so it is up to us, where we live, to start having the conversations we want to be hearing and creating the realities we want to inhabit.

I have seen that wisdom, in life and society, emerges precisely through those moments when we have to hold seemingly opposing realities in a creative tension and interplay: power and frailty, birth and death, pain and hope, beauty and brokenness, mystery and conviction, calm and fierceness, mine and yours.

About On Being
On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.

Resource Link: www.civilconversationsproject.org/

Ben Franklin Circles

The Ben Franklin Circles (BFC) is a collaborative project of 92nd Street Y (92Y), the Hoover Institution, and Citizen University. BFC reflects a shared commitment to fostering civic participation, open dialogue, and ethics-based leadership. Ben Franklin Circles are based on the idea of a mutual improvement club started by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin gathered a group of peers once a week to hash out projects to improve their community and also, to discuss and debate 13 virtues that Franklin saw as the basis of personal improvement and civic life — qualities like justice, humility and resolution. This mutual improvement club became the jumping off point for projects like the post office, the volunteer fire department and the lending library.

92Y – in partnership with Stanford’s Hoover Institution and Citizen University — is now reviving this idea. We’ve created the tools and resources any community will need to start their own Ben Franklin Circle, with the goal of creating a network of Circles dedicated to hosting conversations about what matters most. The Ben Franklin Circles are a fun, innovative way to build and strengthen community in an increasingly disconnected and digital world. They are about asking two simple questions:

  1. How can I improve myself?
  2. How can I improve the world?

Please contact Julie Mashack, senior producer at 92Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact: jmashack[at]92y[dot]org.

About 92Y
The organization, founded in 1874, is a center for innovation and the visual and performing arts; a convener of both people and ideas; and an incubator for creativity. 92Y is built on a foundation of Jewish values: the unparalleled capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the unlimited potential of education and the arts to change lives; and the eternal commitment to welcoming and serving people of all races, religions and ethnicities.

About Hoover Institution
BFC is a program within the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Initiative at the Hoover Institution, Educating Americans in Public Policy, that seeks to provide citizens with accurate facts, information, and an analytic perspective to enable them better perform their civic duties, hold their elected leaders accountable, and, as expressed in the Constitution, “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Founded in 1919, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, domestic and foreign political economy, and international affairs.

About Citizen University
Citizen University is a national nonprofit based in Seattle that works to help Americans cultivate the values, systems knowledge, and skills of powerful citizenship. Programs and initiatives include the Civic Collaboratory, a civic leadership network; Sworn-Again America, a project on civic rituals; programs and resources to teach civic power; and a new initiative, the Joy of Voting, that aims to reinvigorate a culture of participation and engagement around voting. The Citizen University National Conference features hundreds of change makers, activists, catalysts, and students from across the country, an annual civic gathering unlike any other. This is a time when citizens are solving problems in new ways,

Resource Link: http://benfranklincircles.org/

This resource was submitted by Julie Mashack, the Senior Producer at 92nd Street Y via the Add-a-Resource form.

How to Develop Discussion Materials for Public Dialogue

The 28-page guide from Everyday Democracy, How to Develop Discussion Materials for Public Dialogue, was published November 2007. This guide describes in detail the process for developing materials for public dialogue, as have been used to develop the Everyday Democracy discussion guides. From how to get started, this guide provides tips for creating a team that represents though the guide is aimed toward and some best practices for when selecting team contributors. The guide continues with four templates for developing each step of the process when developing materials, some exercises for writing, and some addition optional elements to consider developing.

Below is an excerpt of the guide, which is available for download as PDF on Everyday Democracy’s site here.

ED_Develop_dialogue_materialsFrom Everyday Democracy…

Good discussion materials help people explore a complex, public issue from a wide range of views, and find solutions that they can agree to act on and support. Discussion materials don’t have to provide all the answers; instead, they provide a framework and a starting place for a deep, fair discussion where every voice can be heard.

Keep in mind that this is an art, not a science. As you write, think about your audience. Don’t overestimate what people know, but don’t underestimate their intelligence. Trust the public, and trust the process.

The step-by-step instructions provided here mirror the order that many discussion guides follow. They are designed to help the writing team move through a series of meetings and tasks to produce the discussion materials.

Guiding principles
Your discussion guide should…

– give people a sense that their voice matters.
– connect personal experience to public issues.
– help people understand the power of collective thinking and collaborative work.
– welcome all points of view.
– acknowledge and embrace cultural differences.
– help build trust.
– encourage people to analyze the values and assumptions that underlie their views.
– help people uncover common ground and find better solutions.
– help people move from dialogue to action.

Characteristics of effective discussion guides
An effective discussion guide…

– addresses a current issue with broad public appeal.
– provides a starting place for a safe and open discussion.
– presents many different points of view about the issue, without promoting any particular point of view or solution.
– represents widely held views of citizens and experts.
– is easy for people from all walks of life to use.
– is brief and uses plain, jargon-free language. Quotes or viewpoints should soundlike something people might actually say.
– states each viewpoint clearly, in the “voice” of a person who holds that view.
– helps people learn about the issue.
– helps people explore areas of disagreement.
– may include sample action ideas

About Everyday Democracy
Everyday Democracy
Everyday Democracy (formerly called the Study Circles Resource Center) is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States. Since our founding in 1989, we’ve worked with hundreds of communities across the United States on issues such as: racial equity, poverty reduction and economic development, education reform, early childhood development and building strong neighborhoods. We work with national, regional and state organizations in order to leverage our resources and to expand the reach and impact of civic engagement processes and tools.

Follow on Twitter: @EvDem

Resource Link: www.everyday-democracy.org/resources/how-develop-discussion-materials-public-dialogue

Alabama Prisons: Why We Cannot Look Away from Alabama’s Shame (DMC Issue Guide)

The issue guide, Alabama Prisons: Why We Cannot Look Away from Alabama’s Shame, was a collaborative effort between David Mathews Center and AL.com, published 2014. The guide offers three approaches for deliberation to address the serious and widespread issues with the Alabama prison system. In addition to the guide, an eight and a half minute video was also created to summarize the realities of the Alabama prisons.

The guide offers three approaches for deliberation and within these approaches are five specific actions and consequences for each option. Below are the three approaches from the issue guide which were found on National Issues Forums Institute blog here. You can find more information about the issue guide, including the action/consequence of each approach and the brief video, on AL.com here.

From NIFI blog…

Approach One: “Increase Capacity and Improve Basic Conditions”
Alabama’s prison population far exceeds operational capacity, and conditions inside the facilities are raising constitutional questions. As a result, the Alabama Department of Corrections is now facing potential federal intervention and costly lawsuits. If the state does not significantly reduce overcrowding and improve basic conditions for inmates, then additional lawsuits may be filed and thousands of prisoners may be released. People want to feel safe in their communities, and many residents and lawmakers want to ensure that our prison system complies with the Constitution. If we want to avoid lawsuits, federal intervention and a potential release of prisoners, then we must increase capacity and improve conditions in the prisons. Our time line is limited and addressing difficult sentencing issues and root causes may take too long. If we want to solve this problem and stay tough on crime, then we must consider building new prisons, expanding existing facilities, and/or contracting with for-profit prisons.

Approach Two: “Address Root Causes through Education, Support and Rehabilitation”
Thousands of Alabamians are incarcerated every year, and the prison system is under stress. If we want to truly address the overcrowding issue, we cannot simply build more prisons. People must work to understand the root causes that lead residents to commit and re-commit crimes, and provide support to help remedy those deeper issues. Many people need educational support, community-based mentoring, substance abuse counseling and mental health services. Many offenders need access to educational services, job training and behavioral health support while incarcerated and after release. If we want to keep people out of prisons and avoid high recidivism rates, then we cannot ignore the real issues that drive individuals to break the law. By providing education, support and rehabilitation, we may also see benefits to communities, families, and the economy.

Approach Three: “Implement Alternative Approaches to Incarceration”
People who break the law must face consequences. Unfortunately, many Alabamians who break the law end up in state prison — resulting in overcrowding and dire conditions. Alabama’s increasing prison population is costing taxpayers a significant amount of money, and the long-term impact on communities and families is troubling. If we want to continue to punish criminal behavior and avoid the costly practice of mass incarceration, then we must consider alternatives to prison. Specifically, we must implement community corrections programs in every county, expand problem-solving courts and provide opportunities for restorative justice. We must also ensure that justice is applied in an equitable and consistent manner.

About DMC and the Issue Guides
The David Mathews Center—a non-profit, non-partisan organization—authors deliberative frameworks for people to carefully examine multiple approaches, weigh costs and consequences, and work through tensions and tradeoffs among different courses of action to current and historic issues of public concern.

David Mathews Center issue guides are named and framed by Alabamians for Alabama Issues Forums (AIF) during a biennial “Citizens’ Congress” and follow-up workshops. Alabama Issues Forums is a David Mathews Center signature program designed to bring Alabamians together to deliberate and take community action on an issue of public concern. Digital copies of all AIF issue guides, and accompanying post-forum questionnaires, are available for free download at http://mathewscenter.org/resources.

Follow DMC on Twitter: @DMCforCivicLife

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/groups/online-issue-framework-about-alabama-prison-reform