Opportunity to Win 100K with the Engaged Cities Award

Has your city worked through a local issue by engaging its community? Then check out the incredible opportunity to win $100,000 with the Engaged Cities Award from Cities of Service! There is a webinar on Nov. 29th to learn more about the award and its application process. Make sure you register by clicking here in order to join the webinar. You can read more about the award below or find the original on the Engaged Cities Award site here.


Introducing the Engaged Cities Award

Cities, more than ever, are facing an array of public challenges. Many cities are tapping into the expertise and talent of citizens to tackle these challenges head on.

That’s why Cities of Service is launching the Engaged Cities Award. We aim to find and elevate the growing number of diverse and creative ways city leaders are harnessing the power of people to solve problems.

Is your city solving problems together with citizens? Perhaps you are tapping the power of citizen science initiatives to map neighborhood issues. Or using new methods to measure satisfaction with public services. Or crowdsourcing resident ideas to find new fixes for old problems.

The Engaged Cities Award will celebrate the best and most creative strategies we find – ultimately enabling peer cities from around the world to learn from, adopt, and improve upon these strategies back home.

Join us for a webinar on November 29 to learn more about the award and the application process.

You can read the original announcement on Engaged Cities Award site at www.engagedcitiesaward.citiesofservice.org/.

NCDD Discount on Upcoming Future Search Workshops

We are thrilled to share with you that the Future Search Network is offering NCDDers a discount on their upcoming workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here] and make sure you register for the workshops ASAP to enjoy this great offer! You can read the announcement below or find the original on FSN site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops in Philadelphia

Future Search Network is offering 2 workshops in Philadelphia, December 11-13 and 14-15. Participants are coming from Australia, UK and across the US to learn how to use Future Search for planning and innovating in their Community, Business or Congregation.

Sign up with a Special Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD – 5% off the early registration fee. Save as much as $800! Let us know if you need more help with tuition. Contact Sally at fsn@futuresearch.net.

Future Search is among the best-established and most effective methods for enabling people to make and implement ambitious plans. At the Managing a Future Search workshop, you willlearn how to get the “whole system in the room,” help people find common ground, and create long-lasting follow-up. At Lead More, Control Less workshop, you will learn how to focus on structure, not behavior, to allow people to grow, share ideas, take responsibility and manage themselves.

Register Today!

PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA
DECEMBER 11- 13, and 14-15, 2017

with Sandra Janoff – co-founder, with Marvin Weisbord, of Future Search Network, and recipient of the Organization Development Network 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award!

“There is a high return on this investment in human capital. It takes a lot of energy to plan but it’s worth it because of the new relationships you build, the energy unleashed, the new perspectives people get on key issues.” – Brian Roberts, United Methodist Church, NJ

Managing a Future Search – A Leadership Workshop
December 11-13, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

MFS Workshop Details        mail and e-mail registration form

This workshop is for leaders and facilitators who want to learn how applying Future Search principles and methodology enables an organization to transform its capability for action. Four key principles underlie the Future Search design:

  • Getting the “whole system” in the room.
  • Exploring the same global context (“whole elephant”) as a backdrop for local action.
  • Focusing on the future and common ground rather than conflicts and problems.
  • Inviting self-management and personal responsibility for action during and after the conference.

This highly successful strategic planning method is used around the world and in every sector to:

  • Create a shared vision and practical action plans among diverse parties.
  • Devise a plan and gain commitment to implement a vision or strategy that already exists.
  • Initiate rapid action on complex issues where no coordinating structure or shared vision exist.

Lead More, Control Less – A Master Class in Leadership
December 14-15, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Lead More Workshop Details        mail and e-mail registration form

“Self control is the best control.” Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

In this workshop, based on the new book by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord, “Lead More, Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership skills that Overturn Convention”, you will learn a philosophy, principles and actions that produce superior results while reducing your need to control. These skills will support the way you work with diverse groups and complex problems.

Speed and complexity are impacting leaders everywhere! There are insights and skills that you can learn that overturn conventional responses and let you experience more self-control in leading in today’s world.

In her work around the world, Sandra discovered that she could get better results by creating an unconventional approach to leadership – focusing on structure rather than behavior and letting people take responsibility and manage themselves. This leads to higher motivation, greater creativity and productivity. These lessons are brought together with real world experiences to create a unique and memorable seminar.

You can read more about the workshops on Future Search Network’s site at www.futuresearch.net/method/workshops/.

Strengthening the Bridge of Civic Engagement

As the field continues to grow and address the deep divides in our country, we wanted to share this thoughtful piece written by NCDD member, Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. In the piece, she talks about how building and bridging civic engagement in this country is very similar to building actual bridges. She writes that for a long term solution to be able to support the community, both sides of the bridge need to meet in the middle in order to function. We encourage you to read the piece in the post below or find the original on the New America blog here.


Building Bridges from Both Sides

This blog is part of the civic engagement blog series released in tandem with the “Building Civic Capacity in a Time of Democratic Crisis” white paper. To read the rest of the series, click here.

Today, we face an interesting political challenge, not just in our legislation, but in how we address the strength and capacity of our civic processes. It has become clear that our country must consider more than just physical infrastructure to truly address the nation’s durability, endurance, and stability.

However, infrastructure and architecture can offer useful sources of inspiration.

The arch-style bridge is one of the most ancient, used in the aqueducts of Rome and in designs from the present day. Building these bridges has become more efficient with modern technology, but the original design is still so commonly relied on because of its natural strength. However, it must be built from both sides. It bears tremendous weight across chasms, but only when both sides meet in alignment. What a beautiful picture of what renewed civic engagement must look like here in the United States!

In June, we welcomed an extraordinary group of men and women to Pepperdine’s beautiful Malibu campus for a deep dive into public engagement. The cohort were majority city government professionals. And one thing was clear: They were eager to build their civic muscles.

“This is how you build a civic engagement bridge from both sides,” I thought as I listened to their struggles, insights and enthusiasm throughout the three-day course.

Too often on both the right and the left, community organizing models have taken a combative approach to engagement between the people and the government – drafting demands, recruiting or band-wagoning behind outsider candidates, developing “tactics” and “strategies.”

Instead of building an arch, we seem to dig the chasms that divide us deeper and wider.

This blog highlights a number of ways that civic entrepreneurs such as Participatory Budgeting’s Maria Hadden, New York City’s Regina Schwartz, and the City of Baltimore’s Rev. Kimberley Lagree are offering new models of engagement. In my near-decade of working with local governments to improve public engagement practices, I can attest that a growing number of local government staff and elected officials at home and abroad are also looking to bridge the divide. For them, however, using this ancient approach can be done with some new, innovative strategies:

Rethinking Relationships

Following the great scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries, educators began to apply scientific methods to other fields: professional schools of public administration were established to turn out experts who would analyze the problems facing communities and implement solutions accordingly.

Then the 21st century arrived with a revolution in communications technology, an economic recession and recovery, and increased diversity of every kind in communities across the country. With its questions of culture and community, this new context proved too complex for the expert analysis model of simply solving issues from a scientific approach. Many local government practitioners are now seeking a new model that sees government less as a problem identifier and solver, and more as a convener and facilitator of difficult and rewarding conversations about the appropriate responsibilities of the whole community in creating and delivering a vision for the future.

Experimenting with New Processes

If you’ve ever seen an episode of NBC’s Parks and Rec you may recognize the traditional engagement process. An elected body on a dais, staff flanking them with notebooks or computers, a nearly empty council chamber or auditorium. Everyone gets 3 or 5 minutes at the microphone. The decks are easily stacked. The local government has done its legal duty and everyone goes home. Rarely is a heart or mind (or even a policy) substantively changed.

Over the past decade, more and more city governments have started looking at new ways of engaging residents – from participatory budgeting to pop up engagement stations to online platforms. Many are realizing that true engagement comes not when residents feel heard, but when they are heard; when government poses the right questions and is open to creative answers. True engagement also involves residents talking to each other. Only when this happens are community members invited into the hard work of governance, made aware of competing priorities and stories that may not parallel our own.

Prioritizing Inclusivity

City staff calls them the “usual suspects” — the same dozen residents that show up at every council meeting. They are predictably old and white, far from an accurate reflection of the population of most cities.

Across the country, cities are exploring ways to make engagement reflect the community. They know that inclusivity means more than not turning someone away at the door. It requires proactive efforts, often overcoming deeply-rooted mistrust. Some of the processes mentioned above are ways of breaking down barriers, as are offering materials in relevant language translations, orally or visually; holding meetings in different locations and at different times of day, partnering with cultural leaders, providing food and childcare. When they are honest, even cities on the cutting edge of public engagement know they have a long way to go, but they’re working on it.

Which leads to a final thought:

Building Strong Bridges is a Rickety Business

Building bridges is hard work. With arch bridges, the structure is only stable when the two sides finally come together. We could say the same for building engagement. As we build toward each other, we rely on support from a variety of sources: community leaders, thought leaders, individual citizens, champions within the government. Sometimes it may seem like all our efforts are going to holding up what little structure is currently in place. Our best efforts may feel rickety at best. But we must persevere through the unstable stage, until the spans meet in the middle. If we do so, we’ll create valuable infrastructure that can bear the weight of community long into the future.

You can read the original version of Ashley Trim’s piece on the New America blog at www.newamerica.org/political-reform/blog/building-bridges-both-sides/.

Participatory Budgeting Host Training in NYC, Nov. 30th

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and how to bring it to YOUR community? Well, there’s an exciting opportunity for those who happen to be in the NYC area! We encourage you to check out this upcoming training with NCDD member org, the Participatory Budgeting Project and their PB 101 training in NYC at the end of November. You can read the announcement from PBP below or find the original on their site here.


PB 101 Training in NYC, November 30 2017

You know that participatory budgeting (PB) is a better way to empower communities. You know that PB engages them in finding solutions. You know that PB builds new connections that make communities more resilient.

PB makes increases trust in government and reduces corruption by making budgets transparent. PB is making healthy, actively engaged communities.

We know it’s a tough time to be working on engagement and democracy. People are tired of politics as usual, tired of their voices not being heard. Our democracy is not working. At PBP, we have a solution: Share real power over real money, launch PB in your community!

Are you ready to get started?

Thousands of people across North America and around the world are already taking budgets into their own hands and building civic power with PB. Your next step is to join us to learn the skills necessary to launch PB in your community.

NOVEMBER 30, 2017 | 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004 | 10a-5p
REGISTER NOW

Leaders like you, in more than 3,000 cities, municipalities, schools, and organizations have started PB, for three main reasons:

  • It’s Effective. The process motivates broad participation and engages communities in finding solutions that respond to community needs.
  • It’s Fair. PB engages a true cross-section of the community. More people get inspired and involved, including those who often can’t or don’t participate like youth and immigrants.
  • It’s Visionary. By supporting their communities to become more resilient and connected, leaders who do PB build a legacy as bold and innovative.

Now’s the time to dig deeper and learn more about how to get started!

Join us — and other PB organizers from across the East Coast — for a PB training in NYC this fall!

REGISTER NOW

At this full day PB training you will:

  • Become a PB expert.
    • You will gain an understanding of PB and why it’s a best practice for public participation through experiential learning.
    • You will practice skills including PB facilitation and implementation planning.
  • Plan to bring PB to your community.
    • You will learn how to build an advocacy plan to gain the support of key community leaders.
    • You will practice presenting PB and overcoming common obstacles.
    • You will create a detailed plan for next steps to support your organizing work to launch PB.
  • Connect to a network of civic leaders like you.
    • You will forge connections peers who are working to change the way democracy works in their communities through PB.

DATE: Thursday, November 30
TIME: 10am-5pm Eastern
LOCATION: 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004
COST: $225 early bird (before November 1) / $285 (after November 1)
REGISTER NOW: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3091652

The training team will be lead by Melissa Appleton. Melissa manages the implementation of participatory budgeting projects and innovations on the East Coast for the Participatory Budgeting Project. With over eight years of experience supporting group and inter-personal dialogue as a facilitator, mediator, and trainer at the largest community mediation organization in the US (New York Peace Institute), she brings a passion for collective decision-making to participatory budgeting. Melissa is happy to be supporting group deliberation and participation with diverse communities more locally after doing conflict resolution work internationally in Timor-Leste, Kosovo, and Israel. She received a graduate degree in Peace Education from Columbia University and, though a proud Vancouver B.C. native, has called New York City home for 12 years.

You can read the original version of this announcement on the Participatory Budgeting Project’s blog at www.participatorybudgeting.org/pb101-nyc2017/.

 

Getting More Involved with Deliberative Democracy

Today’s election day and in addition to voting, NCDD Sponsor – the Jefferson Center – recently shared this piece written by Annie Pottorff to encourage people to further stretch their civic muscles and get involved with deliberative democracy. We recommend you check out this list they’ve compiled [complete with entertaining GIFs!] and find the ways that work for you to tap deeper into deliberative democracy. You can read the post below or find the original version on the Jefferson Center’s blog here.


10 Ways to Get Involved in Deliberative Democracy

Creating local change can be difficult, between finding the time, motivation, and opportunities to participate. For this week’s blog, we’ve put together a few simple ways you can become a civic leader in your own backyard (even from your own couch).

1. Listen to Community Members
Head over to your city’s website to see when the next community meeting is. For instance, here’s the calendar the City of Minneapolis publishes. You’ll likely hear grievances and suggestions from your fellow citizens, but these local gatherings may only attract a few vocal participants. While these meetings may be poorly attended, you’ll have the chance to directly introduce yourself to leaders and make your voice heard.

You can also actively listen for issues in your town while talking with your neighbors, teachers, and other community members on a daily basis. Some cities even have digital engagement interfaces where citizens can submit work requests, complaints, or suggestions to laws and ordinances. You can check out a few examples here.

2. Attend training sessions, webinars, and local events
If you want to learn more about engagement techniques, try searching for webinars and online training sessions. On October 4th, groups like the Participatory Budget Project and Healthy Democracy will share their success stories and tools you can use in your local community in a free webinar. Because it’s easy to get lost in the rabbit-hole of Google search results, using Twitter and Facebook to connect with engagement groups will likely fill up your feed with similar resources.

Shameless plug: the Jefferson Center is on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can follow us, and the cool people we retweet and follow, for engagement opportunities.

3. Volunteer
It can be overwhelming to know where to start when you want to volunteer. Databases like VolunteerMatch and Create the Good can help connect you with the right groups for causes you care about. If you use Facebook, you can filter local event searches by selecting the “Causes” category. Or, you can work backwards, by searching for nonprofits in your area and reaching out to them directly to see if they could use any help.

4. Bring friends
For all of the above, you don’t have to go it alone. Invite your friends to come along, and you’ll likely be more motivated to show up. Plus, you can hold each other to it.

5. Write
This option can work from the safety of your own home or your favorite coffee shop. Write about issues affecting citizens in your community, and send your drafts out into the universe. Many organizations working on civic engagement and participation want to hear from the public, to guide their own efforts, see new perspectives, or work with you to publish what you’ve written. At the Jefferson Center, we’d love to hear your ideas for new stories.

6. Listen, read, or watch
While this one may seem like a cop-out, getting informed on issues is half the battle. Instead of tuning out, find your favorite way to keep updated. If you’re not a reader, check out podcasts like Democracy Now!, or find out which organizations have their own YouTube or Vimeo accounts. You can easily share this content with others to spread the message and increase familiarity with deliberative democracy.

7. Download FREE resources
If you’re thinking about creating an engagement project, or just want to learn more about different processes involved, look online for resources. For instance, Participatory Budgeting Project has training videos, materials, and guides that are free to download. After each of our projects, we publish our full reports and findings on our website.

8. Teach Others
You can also use free resources and reports to help teach others about how deliberative democracy works. Whether you talk with your friends, family, or host a formal community meeting, involving other people will help spur new ideas and pave the way for future projects.

9. Remember all your resources
If you’re trying to contact your local government representatives, local newspaper, or other organizations, don’t give up after one phone call. Using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, sending emails, sending letters, and showing up to an office can help get your voice heard.

10. Partner with the Jefferson Center!
Sure, this last one may edge on self-promotion. But the Jefferson Center strives to shorten the gap between citizens and the institutions, policies, and issues that affect their daily lives by empowering citizens to solve shared challenges. Our process is made up of three key components: we listen to stakeholders in your community to gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand. Then, we develop a specialized engagement process to unleash creative citizen ideas. Finally, our project partners use the public designed solutions to: advance actions in their local community, reform institutional practices and processes, and guide policy development and decision-making. For more information on our process, head over to our about us page.

Bonus: You can also make an individual donation! Every contribution makes a difference, helping everyday Americans develop and promote thoughtful solutions to challenging problems.

You can read the original version of the Jefferson Center’s piece on their blog at www.jefferson-center.org/10-ways-to-get-involved-in-deliberative-democracy/.

EvDem Host Intergenerational Webinar This Thurs. Nov 9

Our friends at Everyday Democracy – an NCDD member org – are hosting an intergenerational webinar this coming Thursday, November 9th from 12pm – 1pm Eastern/9am – 10am Pacific. The webinar will feature Families United for Education, who will share their experience on building an intergenerational network to address racial and educational inequities in Albuquerque.  We encourage you to register ASAP for this webinar! You can read the announcement below or find the original on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.


EvDem Logo

Intergenerational Equity Webinar: Spotlight on Families United for Education

Intergenerational equity is the practice of treating everyone justly regardless of age and considering the structural factors that privilege some age groups over others. We do this by building strong relationships and partnerships, sharing power across generations, creating mentorship and cross-generational learning opportunities, and making space for youth voice.

This webinar will explore best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work. Families United for Education will talk about their work building an intergenerational network to address racial inequities in Albuquerque schools. They will discuss their successes and challenges.

Join us for our intergenerational equity webinar on November 9th at 12pm ET.

What: Best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work, through the experiences of Families United for Education.

When: Thursday, November 9 at 12pm ET

Presenters:

Malana Rogers-Bursen, Program Associate for Everyday Democracy
Omkulthoom Musa Qassem, Leader for Families United for Education
Corrina Roche-Cross, Leader for Families United for Education
Tony Watkins, Leader for Families United for Education

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1057858115539498753

Families United for Education:

Families United for Education (FUE) is a decentralized, self-organized network of approximately 500 families in Albuquerque, NM that formed in response to gross gaps in educational outcomes between white students and students of color. FUE successfully researched, wrote and advocated for a family engagement policy for Albuquerque Public Schools that passed the APS Board of Education in 2012. The research that went into the policy included dozens of one-on-one meetings, community forums, and small group meetings that uncovered the lived experiences of students and families in our schools. Thus, the policy that emerged reflects those lived experiences.

The policy calls for “utilizing the histories and cultures of our families as a foundation for education”, “safe and welcoming environments”, “building relationships and capacity”, “expanding communication”, and “equitable and effective systems.” FUE strives to model the elements of the policy with each other in our organizing efforts. Since the passage of the policy, FUE has continued its campaign for racial justice by organizing candidate forums for APS school board elections, and convening anti-racism trainings for school board and community members. Most recently, FUE successfully advocated for ethnic studies to be included in APS’s academic master plan, and organized anti-racism trainings for ethnic studies teachers, new board members, and APS administrators. We are currently advocating for authentic implementation of ethnic studies district-wide, K-12, and urging the District to develop rapid response protocols to address incidents of racism in our schools.

Omkulthoom Qassem is a Palestinian-Chicana graduate student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a degree in Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies. She has been working in community based organizing and educational endeavors for the last few years and is particularly passionate about undoing-racism efforts, media literacy, identity development and multicultural education. She previously received her bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Foreign Languages with a minor in Peace and Global Justice studies. Omkulthoom has been working with Families United for Education for about one year on facilitation, communication, and anti-racism projects. She is dedicated to FUE’s dedication to bridging the gap between policy development and community. She believes that community at all age levels should have a voice in the policy that guides and outlines the governmental education system of the community.

Tony Watkins is a 53 year old white man who moved to a border town of the Navajo Nation when he was eleven years old. He started out on anti-racism work resisting the use of a U.S. History textbook in his daughter’s high school. Since then, Tony has joined over 500 families in Albuquerque to research, write, and advocate for a family engagement policy for Albuquerque Public Schools. The policy passed the school board in August, 2012 after a lengthy organizing effort and is a reflection of the lived experiences of families in our schools. In addition to organizing with FUE, Tony sits on the Leadership Council of Within Our Lifetime, a national network dedicated to ending racism within our lifetimes.

Corrina Roche began organizing since middle school through Bikes Not Bombs, an organization that focuses on youth and transportation justice. Since, she has continued to work with community in various forms. Corrina is currently a senior at the University of New Mexico working toward a degree in dance with a concentration in Flamenco. She plans on also receiving her elementary education teaching license and has been engaging with and studying public education for the past few years. Corrina is has been a member of FUE for the past two years because she is passionate about providing quality education to students and engaging with schools that reflect and uplift the families, communities, and backgrounds of students. Through working with students, she has seen the damage racism has done to our public education system and is committed to advocating for students and their right to receive anti-racist, empowering, and creative education.

You can find the original version of this post on Everyday Democracy’s blog at www.everyday-democracy.org/news/intergenerational-equity-webinar-spotlight-families-united-education.

CGA Forums and Trainings Coming up in November

We wanted to let everyone know about several updates this month from NCDD member org, Kettering Foundation on their Common Ground for Action online forum. Throughout the month of November, Kettering will be holding several CGA opportunities using the recently released Opioid Epidemic issue advisory. Also available are two training events for those interested in learning to moderate CGA forums; a general one for those new to CGA and another tailored for K-12 and college educators. Register to join these online forums and trainings by clicking on the links in the announcement below. This announcement was from the October Kettering newsletter – sign up here to start receiving their newsletter.


Common Ground for Action Activities in November

As usual, there are several opportunities to participate in a deliberative forum from the comfort of your desk. Please register at the links below if you’d like to join, or, if you can’t make any of the dates yourself, please help us spread the word and reach new audiences by sharing the links via email or social media. All of this month’s forums will use the What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic? issue advisory.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 11a.m. EST | REGISTER

Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Monday, Nov. 20 | 5 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST | REGISTER

There are also two upcoming moderator training sessions for those who want to learn to hold their own online forums. These online sessions are held in two-part sessions of two hours each. (Please plan to attend both parts of the workshop.)

CGA New Moderator Training
Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, Nov. 16 | 6 p.m. EST
REGISTER

CGA for K-12 & College Educators Moderator Training
Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST
Friday, Dec. 1 | 12 p.m. EST
REGISTER

If you’ve been trained as a CGA moderator, but it’s been a while and you’d like a refresher (or you just have some questions), Kara Dillard will hold online “office hours” on November 3, 10, 17, and 27 at 11 a.m. EST. Just hop on this link to talk with her.

Apply for the 2018 Taylor Willingham Fund by Nov. 20

In case you missed it, the National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD member org is now accepting applications for the 2018 Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grant. The grants are intended to honor the legacy of Taylor Willingham and her contributions to the field of deliberative democracy by supporting projects in the field, and we highly encourage NCDD members to apply for a grant or donate to the fund.

Grant applications are due November 20, 2017, so make sure you submit yours before it’s too late! Click here to learn more about Taylor’s life work and/or support the deliberative democracy movement by making a donation to her fund. You can read the grant announcement below or find the original on NIFI’s site here.


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

Applications are now being accepted (deadline is November 20, 2017) from individuals who are interested in being considered to receive a Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grant. Grants are provided to individuals to enable them to develop an understanding of deliberative democracy and launch one or more deliberative dialogues in their communities and organizations in order to advance NIFI’s overall mission, which is to promote public deliberation about national issues.

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

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

Click here to download an application.

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

Upcoming Public Engagement Webinars from ILG

We are always excited to see NCDD members collaborating with each other, which is especially why we wanted to share these upcoming fall webinars from NCDD member org, the Institute for Local Government! Among the webinars, NCDD member Sarah Rubin will be teaming up with fellow NCDDers Ashley Trim of the Davenport Institute and later on with Gina Bartlett of the Consensus Building Institute, to share their public engagement expertise. We encourage you to check out the announcement below or find the original on ILG’s site here.


Upcoming ILG Webinars

For information about upcoming webinars in development, please contact Melissa Kuehne, mkuehne@ca-ilg.org.

The Brown Act
Date: November 1, 2017 | Time: 10:00am
Description: This webinar will provide an overview on when and how to communicate with officials to be in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act and help attendees understand the role and rules limiting the agency’s clerk, executives and local officials in the decision-making process. Additionally, panelists will share relevant updates and hypothetical examples of missteps and how to avoid them.

Panelists:
– Peter M. Thorson, Richards Watson & Gershon
– Teresa Stricker, Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai

Are You Ready for Public Engagement?
A Conversation for Cities, Counties and Special Districts
Date: November 8, 2017  |  Time: 11:00am
Description: Join Sarah Rubin, Public Engagement Program Director at the Institute for Local Government, and Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University for an interactive webinar about how public engagement can help you build trust and develop sustainable policy within your community. We will look at setting a good foundation for public engagement within your organization, and explore some key questions to ask before you get started.

Panelists:
– Sarah Rubin, Institute for Local Government
– Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University

Tips to Promote an Ethical and Transparent Culture
Date: December 5, 2017 | Time: 2:00pm
Description: What practices can a local government put in place to promote public trust and confidence?  What practices can minimize the risk of missteps that could undermine or damage this trust and confidence?  This session will help answer these fundamental questions and provide attendees with tips to:

  • Encourage ethical best practices,
  • Promote transparency in their work place and in their community, and
  • Share information with the public about agency operations and the decision-making procession.

Panelists:
– Ruben Duran, Best Best & Krieger
– Maggie Stern, Kronick Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard

Public Engagement: When to Use a Professional Facilitator
Date: December 14, 2017 | 10:00am
Description: In the midst of planning public engagement, many face the decision of whether to contract with a professional facilitator or work with someone in-house. With limited staff and resources, this can be a difficult decision. In ILG’s 2015 survey, 69% of local government respondents in California do not feel that they have adequate staff, resources, or training to do effective public engagement.

Sometimes outside help, even in the face of limited resources, is needed. During this webinar, participants will be able to think through criteria for deciding when to use someone in-house and when to bring in a professional facilitator. What are the advantages? How can one justify the expense? Who’s qualified and how to find someone to help? The Institute for Local Government Public Engagement Program Director Sarah Rubin and the Consensus Building Institute Senior Facilitator Gina Bartlett will share insights and resources to address these dilemmas.

Panelists:
– Sarah Rubin, Institute for Local Government
– Gina Bartlett, Consensus Building Institute

You can find the original version of this announcement on ILG’s site at www.ca-ilg.org/post/upcoming-ilg-webinars.

2017 Civvy Award Winners Announced

We are excited to share NCDD member org, the Bridge Alliance, recently announced the winners for the 2017 Civvy Awards! Congratulations to all the awardees and special shout-out to the fellow NCDD member orgs, New Hampshire Listens and National Institute for Civil Discourse! The American Civic Collaboration Awards (aka the Civvys), co-sponsored with Big Tent Nation, are the first ever national awards that honor individuals and organizations doing work around collective action to improve communities, beyond partisanship and divisive ideology. We invite you to join us in celebrating the winners of the Civvys and learn more about their important work in the post below or find the original on the Bridge Alliance’s blog here.


Announcing The 2017 Civvys Winners!

This last Friday at the National Conference on Citizenship the winners of The 2017 American Civic Collaboration Awards were announced!

New Hampshire Listens is a winner in the regional category for their work facilitating civil conversation in the state of New Hampshire on controversial public challenges. They also train others to facilitate such productive dialogues. Bruce Mallory and Michele Holt-Shannon have developed programs to elevate the state’s problem-solving capabilities, modeling a respectful and inclusive approach that many hope will be replicated nationwide. As the person who nominated them put it, “People feel relieved and respected when Bruce and Michele enter the room.”

Nationally, a partnership between the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, the National Institute for Civil Discourse and the National Foundation for Women Legislators has resulted in a new leadership program designed to deliver insight, inspiration and techniques to legislative leaders working to improve public policy discussion in their states. With NICD’s expertise in training community leaders and legislatures, SLLF’s success in providing state legislators with nonpartisan information and a forum for discussion, and NFWL’s work in empowering leaders, this partnership aims to replace gridlock with progress and criticism with compassion. In the words of their nominator, “since many of our federal leaders begIn their political service in state legislatures, success in this program will eventually improve our federal government.”

In the youth category, the Student Public Interest Research Groups from several college campuses were nominated for their work supporting voter education, voter registration and creating safe spaces for dialogue between students with diverse perspectives. Student PIRGs promote learning and understanding about a host of current issues, while providing a forum for students to become politically active and effective. As one elected official put it, “the work PIRGs do is vitally important in a democracy and serves as such a great role model as a set of engaged citizens so necessary to building effective public policy.”

Thank you to all those who submitted nominations and helped take part in recognizing organizations doing great collaborative work. A special thanks to our judges Peter Levine, Betsy Wright Hawkins and David Sawyer as well as our co-sponsor Big Tent Nation.

Here is to another year of innovation and collaboration!

You can find the original version of this on the Bridge Alliance’s blog at www.bridgealliance.us/blog.