Democracy Fund Revamps electiononline Website

If you are looking for unbiased news and information on US elections, then check out the newly revamped electionline website! The Democracy Fund – a sponsor of NCDD2018, recently redeveloped the platform, which is a resource for our nation’s elections and offers tools and best practices for improving the voter experience. The site has daily news, an elections calendar, training resources, jobs marketplace – and is a great space for civic organizations, elected officials, or anyone interested in learning more about US elections. You can read the announcement below and find the original version here.


Democracy Fund Relaunches electionline

Today we are pleased to unveil a new and improved electionline — America’s only politics-free source for election administration news and information.

In January 2018, we announced that electionline had become a project of Democracy Fund’s Elections program. We felt then, as we do now, that it is a vital platform for finding trusted news and information about the people and processes that guide our nation’s elections, and for sharing tools, best practices, and innovative ideas for improving the voting experience. Our simple goals for redeveloping the site were to enhance its capabilities and expand content — but our long-term plans are to create a place where readers are exposed to new ideas, opportunities for continuing education, and relationship building.

To do this, we started by thinking long and hard about the site’s current audience and their needs. Starting today, election administrators, academics, voting advocates and other regular readers of electionline will find new items of interest on the site, including:

  • A calendar of national, state and other field-relevant events;
  • A directory of organizations and their areas of expertise;
  • Reports, trainings, tools, guides, and other materials;
  • A marketplace featuring job openings in the elections field and information on used election equipment for sale; and
  • Better search functionality throughout

Electionline remains the only place on the internet to find state-by-state curation of daily election administration news. In addition to publishing the classic electionline Weekly newsletter, we will also begin sharing original reports and exclusive content from leaders and experts in the field — making the site a must-read for local election officials, civic organizations, and journalists who cover elections.

While redeveloping the site, we learned two really insightful lessons that might be helpful for others who are developing virtual spaces for information sharing and engagement.

First, collaborate with your audiences and include some “outsider” perspective. As our team weighed important decisions about the look and feel of the website, we were grateful to receive insight and direction from many readers who already trust and rely on electionline.

Second, reflect your values. Redeveloping or creating a new platform is an opportunity to reinforce essential characteristics that inform readers who your organization is, and what they care about. For us it meant focusing on authenticity (even if it means publishing unflattering stories about ourselves or our partners); transparency about who we support with resources in the field; and cultivating greater interest for under-covered areas of importance like voting trends for overlooked communities.

Through this process, we hope we were able to successfully incorporate the feedback we heard from current readers. We also hope that the new electionline website more deeply resonates with all those who are interested in elections in America. We’re excited to hear your thoughts and reactions as you explore the new website. Please visit www.electionline.org and let us know what you think!

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Democracy Fund site at www.democracyfund.org/blog/entry/democracy-fund-relaunches-electionline.

Taylor Willingham Grant Accepting Applications Until Nov 20

In case you missed it, the National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD member org is now accepting applications for the 2019 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. Applications are due November 20, 2018, so make sure you submit yours before it’s too late! Click here to learn more about Taylor’s life work and past awardees’ work – 2018 winner Matt Miller, 2017 winner Lauren Gabbard, and 2016 winner Edward W. “Chipps” Taylor III. You can read the announcement below and find the original on NIFI’s site here.


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

Applications are now being accepted (deadline is November 20, 2018) 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-now-taylor-l-willingham-legacy-grant-help-your-community-talk-about-public-issues.

Journalists Empower Citizens’ View of Role in Democracy

NCDD member org the Kettering Foundation recently shared some takeaways from journalists at the last Deliberative Democracy Exchange (DDEx). The journalists despite being from five different countries shared similar concerns about the growing global polarization and were united in their desire to both inform readers and empower people to engage in working toward solutions. You can read the article below and find the original on Kettering’s site here.


Journalists at DDEx Grapple with Helping Citizens See Themselves in Public Issues

The journalists from five different countries who gathered at the Deliberative Democracy Exchange (DDEx) had many things in common, but most of all, they were worried.

Over the past year, headlines around the world have called out the deepening of divisions, “populist” revolts, and growing polarization. What concerned these journalists was how these divisions were impeding people’s ability to make progress on issues, not just in a single country, but around the globe. And what was more, they suspected that standard journalistic practices were contributing to the deepening divisions and wanted to do something about it, but they weren’t sure how.

The journalists came from Colombia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, and South Africa. They shared experiences and frustrations in trying to encourage citizens to see issues as shared public problems instead of dilemmas to be solved by experts alone.

Each saw polarization, but acknowledged that in each country the fractures emerge in different ways. In the United States, for example, polarization is often defined in political terms, such as Democrats versus Republicans or liberal versus conservative.

Yet in South Africa, class and race emerge as dividing lines.

In Colombia, class, land ownership, and the experiences of decades-long civil war—and the challenges of negotiating a recent, fragile peace—have left citizens polarized.

In Israel, religious differences both between faiths and within them, and the societal power associated with different group identifications, divide people.

In Italy, Kettering Fanning resident Federica Marangio said that politics has become so contentious that people just walk away. They see no clear role for themselves and so become apathetic.

In Kenya, where there are numerous tribes but only a few that typically gain political power, government corruption and tribal identification are both issues that split people and groups.

The journalists at DDEx want to cover the issues, but do so in a way that people see a role for themselves in democracy and in making progress on shared public problems. The journalists all had the same question: How could they help both inform people and encourage them to see their own power?

The answers are a little different for each journalist—and each country.

In South Africa, where three-quarters of fourth graders cannot read for meaning, the answer is not simply to write another story emphasizing the need for parents to use libraries or demand more from schools. Instead, Rod Amner, a former Fanning resident and journalism professor at Rhodes University, is helping to build a network of parents, learners, teachers, NGOs, and government officials to help families become more literate and help others to do the same. Then those who have undergone literacy training will be involved in writing the stories.

In Kenya, three journalists are holding meetings with other journalists in their country about the need to go beyond daily stories of corruption that increase the feelings of apathy among readers and radio listeners. Instead, they want to discuss ways journalists can write stories that help people see what they can do. They hope to hold meetings to discuss the practices of naming and framing issues for journalists for whom those concepts are new.

In Colombia, journalists decided to take a different approach when covering the recent presidential election. They noted that the country has been divided for 50 years, between political parties and between right-wing and left-wing armed militants. Political divisions in peacetime are still prevalent, and they wanted to avoid contributing to those divisions. They tried to cover stories in a way that showed people what they have in common, even if they have different views. They gathered citizens ahead of the race to ask them what questions they wanted candidates to answer and involved officeholders who seemed most interested in a community-oriented approach.

In Israel, journalists wrote about an issue that a Jewish woman spoke about in a way that made both Jewish and Muslim women see what they all shared in common. It involved a husband withholding from his wife a blessing over a meal, done in such a way that made it impossible for her to eat without suffering public shame. Both groups saw that the use of religion to harass or abuse a spouse was not relegated to one religion alone; they coined the term, “spiritual violence” for such acts and have made it a public issue. In such stories, the journalists said, they could show people a problem that very different religions share.

And in Italy, Marangio discovered for herself that how journalists frame stories will make it more or less likely that people will respond and get involved. She first tried to hold a public forum to hear people’s general concerns, but nobody came. Then she wrote a story on increased levels of illness in areas located near factories, and then held a forum, inviting both citizens and politicians. This time, 100 people came because she had written about an issue in a way in which her readers could “see” themselves—and see the issue—as a shared public problem. The way she framed the story mattered.

The steps each journalist took were often small, but important, and contribute to their shared recognition that ordinary citizens have a role in democracy in grappling every day with issues of concern. Journalists who are open to change and who question their professional routines and the way they go about reporting stories may find that they are embarking on interesting and even exciting experiments that change the way they report the news. It might even change how those who read and hear their stories think about, and perhaps even trust, the media.

You can find the original version of this on Kettering’s site at www.kettering.org/blogs/journalists-ddex.

Ben Franklin Skills for Commitments and Virtues

We love gems of wisdom like the ones below on commitments and virtues, shared by Ben Franklin Circles, an NCDD member org and presenter at NCDD2018. Last year NCDD partnered with BFC and we’ve shared many stories about the powerful way that Circles bring people together and inspire change. For those attending NCDD2018, we encourage you to participate in the BFC workshop happening during the first session block from 1-2:30 pm on Friday, November 2nd. You can listen to the webinar below and find the original on BFC’s site here.


BFC Circle Host Forum – Commitments and Virtues

For this Ben Franklin Circle Host Forum, we interviewed BFC Host, Ryan Cooke to discuss the virtues and making commitments.

For review, the basic structure of a Ben Franklin Circle meeting is as follows:

  • Welcome/ review group guidelines
  • Discuss virtue
  • Make commitments

Virtues are aspirational and are not easily defined. We may never fully reach our aspirations towards these virtues which give us something to continuously work on.

After each meeting, Ryan sends a recap of the discussion and the commitments made. Halfway between meetings, he sends a reminder of the commitments to check in with the group as well as a preview of next virtue.

Here are some of the best practices we discussed for making 30-day commitments around the virtues:

  1. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relatable, Time-Bound)
  2. Take inspiration from other hosts and the sample commitments provided in the Meeting Guides
  3. Start small by making micro commitments. Check out tinyhabits.com for inspiration.
  4. Track your progress. Use a paper calendar or an app track Streaks, like Jerry Seinfeld’s one joke a day habit
  5. Make the commitment appropriate to your readiness for change (see Stages of Change model)
  6. Work with others who can provide accountability
  7. Consider shared group commitments to work on together

You can find the original version of this article on the Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/webinar/bfc-circle-host-forum-commitments-and-virtues.

Announcing NCDD’s October TechTues Feat Konveio, 10/23

We have an extra special treat for our upcoming October Tech Tuesday featuring Konveio. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, October 23rd from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00am-noon Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Konveio helps change agents, community-builders and forward-thinkers turn their collaborations into action, not just a PDF! The software is a digital outreach platform that turns bland PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action. Konveio is one of the easiest-to-use engagement tools on the market. Users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document.

Konveio is a proud sponsor of the NCDD conference. The software will be used to bring this year’s conference guide to life, with videos, maps, recaps, and presentations, as well as ways to provide feedback on sessions. On this webinar, we will be joined by Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, who created Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment). During this Tech Tuesday session, we’ll give a quick overview of the software, look at some real world Konveio examples, will showcase the #NCDD2018 conference guide and ask for feedback on how to improve it and make it more useful.

It’s great for leaders in the government space, non-profits or other fields who need to convey a draft plan, policy or finding, to make an impact or inspire action. Which is exactly what we’ve heard from early customers:

“We have been getting great feedback from our community on the use of Konveio. It was really easy to load our documents and it’s been easy to review and reply to comments within the document as well.”

“I have been consistently pleased with how easy the platform is to use. Konveio has been a great experience for my government client; it has injected a feeling of transparency and customer-friendly service that they are thoroughly enjoying.”

About our presenter:

Chris Haller is a nationally-recognized User Experience designer and Online Engagement strategist, with a broad background in local government, urban and regional planning and communication technologies. These skills, combined with many years of experience in consulting for urban planning projects, are what brings Urban Interactive Studio’s mission – to provide interactive solutions that allow citizens to participate in making our cities better places to live, work and play – to life.

This will be a great chance to learn more about Konveio and see how it comes to life for the #NCDD2018 conference. Don’t miss out – register today!

Tech Tuesdays are a series of learning events from NCDD focused on technology for engagement. These 1-hour events are designed to help dialogue and deliberation practitioners get a better sense of the online engagement landscape and how they can take advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them. You do not have to be a member of NCDD to participate in our Tech Tuesday learning events.

Join the Online Facilitation Unconference on Oct 15-21

The fifth Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is happening on Oct 15-21! This digital gathering is hosted by the Center for Applied Community Engagement LLC, and is a great opportunity for anyone interested in virtual facilitation – no previous experience needed! The early bird tickets are available until Oct 12th, so make sure you register and get your tickets ASAP! Follow OFU on Twitter with the hashtag #OFU18 for more #FacWeek updates. You can read the announcement below for more info or find the original on the OFU Exchange site here.


Online Facilitation Unconference 2018

Your favorite online event on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments is back!

Join us October 15-21, 2018. Tickets on sale now!

REGISTER TODAY!

What is the Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU)?
The Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is a learning exchange on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments. It is a community-driven event that brings together people from the public, private and non-profit sector from around the globe whose work includes, or who have an interest in, facilitating online.

OFU is a place to share, learn, make new connections – and have fun!

What is an unconference & how does it work?
OFU is an unconference. While traditional conferences come with a pre-determined schedule, an unconference allows the participants to create the agenda on the fly based on who shows up and what their interests are. In a nutshell, participants bring their questions and topic ideas and – in collaboration with their peers – suggest, schedule and host the sessions and workshops that meet their needs.

Unconferences require attendees to put in a bit of extra work, but the results can be magical.

How much time is involved as an attendee?
You can spend as much or as little time as you like. Based on past experience, the average participant tends to attend a handful of sessions over the course of the entire week. Sessions can vary in length but usually take anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes.

What do you mean by “virtual environments”?
“Virtual” refers to any process or experience that takes place outside a strictly in-person context. At OFU, we explore the methods for delivering facilitation using any tool, technology or channel that provides virtual venues, for example phone conferences, online chat, video conferencing, virtual reality, augmented or hybrid in-person processes and events.

Who’s organizing the event?
The event is run by the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC, a private institute and social enterprise based in San José, CA (USA) serving the growing professional field of community engagement and public participation practitioners from around the globe through market research, content publishing, industry events and other services.

What’s the history behind OFU?

  • In 2013, a group of people took this idea, which had been brewing for a while, and decided to run with it. Within a few short weeks, the first OFU was held.
  • In 2014 and 2015, OFU was organized by San José, CA-based digital engagement consultancy Intellitics, Inc.
  • In 2017, the Online Facilitation Unconference was moved under the ownership of the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC.
  • 2018 will be the fifth event.

ABOUT THE 2018 EVENT

When does the event take place?
OFU 2018 will take place October 15–21, 2018 – once again alongside and as part of International Facilitation Week, which is being hosted by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

What’s the schedule?
More details will become available the week prior to the event, but here’s a rough overview of how the week will unfold.

From now through October 15, you are welcome to:

  • Read this FAQ page to learn more about the event
  • Tune into the conversation on social media (see links below)
  • Think about topics you’d like to cover (either as a knowledge sharer, or knowledge seeker, or both)
  • Tell your friends and colleagues
  • Find out what areas of interest registrants have on their mind (sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll tell you)
  • Register for the event

Early in the week of October 15-21 (Tuesday through Thursday), you will have an opportunity to:

  • Attend one of several welcome mixers to get any questions answered, meet a first few of your fellow participants etc. (exact times TBD)
  • Join the online forum to introduce yourself, meet fellow participants, and discuss session topics
  • Attend one or more pre-scheduled warm-up sessions to help get your creative juices flowing (details TBD)
  • Add your sessions to the schedule

Later in the week of October 15-21 (Friday and Saturday), we hope you will:

  • Attend the unconference sessions
  • Add more sessions to the schedule (hey, it’s an unconference)

After the week is over, you can:

  • Explore on the session notes
  • Add your own notes and materials to the website
  • Read the conference report
  • Share your feedback and ideas for OFU 2019

We will announce specific times or windows for most of these activities shortly so you can plan ahead. Thank you for your patience!

Are all the sessions delivered in real time? Can I dip in and out or catch up later?
Yes, all sessions tend to be offered live (via some synchronous form of communication, e.g., Zoom, WebEx or the like). In theory, sessions could also be run as an asynchronous conversation (e.g., on the online forum we will set up), though not sure if we have seen too many of those in the past.

We encourage all session hosts to record their sessions and make them available afterwards. However, some sessions won’t get recorded due to various reasons (e.g., because they contain sensitive conversations). In that case, we encourage hosts to at least share a brief write-up or any other notes or materials they can make available that would give others an idea what was covered and help them explore the topic on their own.

Based on our experience, the average unconference attendee will make it to a handful of sessions. We will try our best this year to get participants to

a)  populate the unconference session plan as early in the week as possible, and

b)  stick to the recommended session windows

so as to make it more likely for more participants to be available for more sessions.

TICKETS

How much do tickets cost?
A regular ticket costs $49. Our early bird rate is $29 (good September 24 through October 10).

Students, retirees and other low-income people can attend for only $15.

For everyone else, including people from developing countries, we offer a “pay what you wish” option. We strive to be inclusive and don’t want anyone to miss out on the event due to cost burden.

Members of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will receive a significant discount. Details to be announced by September 25.

How do I register?

Please go to our Eventbrite page to purchase your ticket.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

Who should attend?
Anyone with an interest in facilitating in virtual environments is invited to join.

Do I have to be a professional facilitator in order to attend? No.

While a good number of our attendees do facilitation for a living, many others come from other backgrounds and perform the functions of convener and facilitator as part of their regular job or event outside their day-to-day work.

Do I have to have prior experience with virtual facilitation or technology? No.

Whether you are a complete newbie or already and expert – anyone with an interest in online or virtual facilitation is welcome.

In the past, OFU has always attracted a broad range of expertise levels (beginner, intermediate, expert, and everything in between). Thanks to the unconference format, everyone can contribute to the best of their capabilities!

Who are the attendees?
The people who show up at OFU wear many hats. Here are just a few of the job titles we saw at OFU 2017 (in alphabetical order):

  • CEO
  • Coach
  • Collaboration engineer
  • Community organizer
  • Community strategist
  • Consultant
  • Director
  • Facilitator
  • Founder
  • Head of school
  • Independent scholar
  • Organizer
  • Planner
  • Program analyst
  • Program coordinator
  • Senior product manager
  • Trainer

You can find the original version on this on the OFU site at www.ofuexchange.net/.

Join Our NCDD2018 Sponsorship Superheroes Today!

These leading organizations in the dialogue and deliberation community are generously supporting the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.  We are so grateful for their commitment to the conference and this community.  We couldn’t do it without them!

We hope you’ll consider joining them by supporting this important convening and becoming a sponsor of NCDD 2018. Becoming an All-Star Sponsor ($10,000+), Collaborator ($5,000+) Co-Sponsor ($3,000), Partner ($2,000), or Supporter ($1,000) provides you with lots of PR, goodwill, and name recognition. NCDD conference sponsors are traditionally a “who’s who” of leading organizations in our field, and your organization could be among them this year! Learn more of the sponsorship benefits and tiers here. Let us know this week, in order to be printed in our guidebook!

We also launched our NCDD 2018 Scholarship Fund Drive to help those who need some financial assistance in attending the conference, particularly students and young people. We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships, if not more, and we can’t do it without you! Whether you can give $5, $500, or beyond – please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund today!


THANK YOU!!!

Our Collaborator (donated $5000) is the Democracy Fund.

Our Co-Sponsors ($3000) are Essential Partners and the Interactivity Foundation.

Our Partners ($2000) are FaciliCase LLC, Jefferson Center and the National Issues Forums Institute.

And our Supporters ($1000) are Common Knowledge, Everyday Democracy, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, and the National Civic League.

Collaborator

The Democracy Fund

Democracy FundThe Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy. Today, technologies and innovations offer new opportunities for public engagement in a more vibrant democracy — even as serious challenges including hyper-partisanship, money in politics, and struggling media threaten the health of our political system. The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Website • Facebook • Twitter

Co-Sponsors

Essential Partners

Essential PartnersEssential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project) equips individuals and groups with skills for relationship that keep people connected while naming and claiming their differences. We design courageous conversations on the issues that matter most, and which many people feel ill-equipped to engage. We train facilitators and leaders, offering a skill set that can be adapted to many challenges and settings. We work with our partners in their contexts to build communities that find strength and new possibilities in both their shared concerns and their differences.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube • Email

The Interactivity Foundation

At the Interactivity Foundation, we’re always asking, “what if…?” We use a small-group discussion process to help people collaboratively explore diverse perspectives and generate alternative possibilities. Our process is divergence seeking, expanding the ways to frame complex topics and expanding the possibilities for approaching those topics. Join with us in any of our three main areas of activity. Our Project Discussions are sustained series of citizen discussions to generate divergent innovative possibilities, with the results forming citizen discussion guides. Our Public Discussions are shorter, exploratory discussion series, often using the possibilities generated by our projects as springboards. Our Education activities focus on training students and others as discussion facilitators in our process, with a special emphasis on developing the vital 21st century skills needed to strengthen our civic infrastructure. We welcome partnerships to extend these activities collaboratively. We are a non-partisan, non-advocacy, non-profit operating foundation. www.interactivityfoundation.org.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Email

Partners

Jefferson Center

Jefferson CenterThe Jefferson Center is a Minnesota-based nonpartisan nonprofit that engages Americans directly to solve shared challenges and craft better policy. Their mission is to strengthen democracy by advancing informed, citizen-developed solutions to challenging public issues. They advance the public interest by creating opportunities for in-depth citizen education and deliberation that generates informed, inclusive solutions to today’s toughest problems. Their current work focuses on engaging citizens to shape health policy and healthcare implementation, participatory journalism and local media, climate change and extreme weather planning, and electoral and governance reform.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Vimeo • Email

National Issues Forums Institute

Based in Dayton, Ohio, the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation about difficult public issues. Its activities include publishing the issue guides and other materials used by local forum groups, encouraging collaboration among forum sponsors, and sharing information about current activities in the network. The institute has a distinguished group of 16 directors and officers drawn from such diverse fields like government, journalism, and secondary and higher education. Many NIFI directors also have extensive experience in neighborhood and civic organizations, libraries, and religious organizations.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Netflix • Email

Supporters

Common Knowledge

Led by founder Susan Stuart Clark, Common Knowledge specializes in bringing new combinations of people together to listen to and learn from each other. Leading together. We facilitate powerful new connections across sectors, silos, and social divides that generate breakthrough civic participation, employee and community engagement programs. Why? Every project shows that greater inclusion leads to greater innovation.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube

Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy has more than 25 years of experience offering structured dialogues to help communities work together to solve problems and build greater civic involvement. Our process incorporates use of a racial equity lens and other principles, including involving diverse groups of people, especially those who have been marginalized; opportunities for authentic listening and sharing; building capacity in communities; and connecting dialogue and deliberation to action and change. We offer discussion guides in how to use our process on issues such as poverty, police-community relations, racism, education reform and more, and how-to materials and coaching in our process for communities and organizations.  Having seen the power of authentic connection among diverse groups of people, we cultivate community leaders and institutions to champion and carry out this work. We also convene practitioners from various fields to build a common vision of a democracy that works for everyone.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration

mopcMOPC is a research center and the state office for public collaboration serving government agencies and citizens of Massachusetts as a neutral forum for conflict resolution and consensus-building and an administrator of public mediation programs. Established by statute in 1990, MOPC provides effective forums for collaborative planning, problem-solving and public engagement on contentious public issues, and builds capacity within state, regional and municipal government through evidence-based programming and expedited procurement of resources.

Website • Email

National Civic League

The mission of the National Civic League is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities. We achieve this by inspiring, supporting and recognizing inclusive approaches to community decision-making. Founded in 1894 by a group of civic leaders that included Theodore Roosevelt and Louis Brandeis, the National Civic League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Today, more than ever, the work of the National Civic League is critical to helping create vibrant and healthy communities and a strong democracy.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Join these distinguished leaders of the dialogue and deliberation field and become a NCDD2018 Sponsor today!

MetroQuest Online Engagement Tips Webinar on 10/17

In two weeks, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, 10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time; which was co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). This free webinar on Wednesday, October 17th will offer best practices for online engagement and share stories from successful engagement efforts. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time

Find out how ENR’s #1 transportation planning agency, an MPO, and County consistently engage 1000’s online!

Wednesday, October 17th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

REGISTER HERE

Navigating public involvement for your transportation plan doesn’t have to feel like a bad commute. In this webinar, ENR’s #1 transportation design firm, an innovative MPO, and creative County will help you find the shortest route to successful participation every time.

Join Jim Meyer, Senior Planner at AECOM, as he shares proven tips for effective online public involvement by exploring how he engaged 12,000+ citizens on three successful transportation projects. He’ll be joined by public outreach experts Amy Elmore from Pasco County and Johnny Wong from Hillsborough MPO to share their real-world journey to success.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for 10 proven tips! You’ll learn how to:

  • Engage 1,000s online for all planning projects, large and small
  • Integrate online engagement effectively in your process
  • Promote like a pro using innovative multi-media tactics
  • Collect public input that’s both quantifiable and actionable
  • Reach Environmental Justice communities

The session will culminate with answers to your questions in a live Q&A session with Jim, Amy, Johnny, and Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer at MetroQuest.

Speakers
Jim Meyer, AICP – Senior Transportation Planner, AECOM
For over 22 years, Jim has provided mobility solutions for state DOTs, MPOs, counties, and communities across the Country. Jim specializes in long range, multimodal transportation plans, having prepared over 30 long range transportation plans. Jim is actively involved in stakeholder and public outreach activities to ensure the plan recommendations reflect the desired community vision.

Amy Elmore, M.S. – Branch Communications Coordinator, Pasco County
Amy specializes in developing communication strategies and overseeing a variety of proactive marketing, communications, and production activities with the goal of promoting Pasco County, Florida. She has over 10 years of experience in social media marketing for small business and government organizations. Amy used her expertise to aid in county-wide social media efforts throughout Hurricane Irma.

Johnny Wong, PhD – Senior Planner, Hillsborough MPO
Johnny manages the performance measurement program and serves as liaison to the Intelligent Transportation Services committee. He served as project manager for the outreach portion of the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan update. It was the first time the LRTP produced a tri-county initiative, requiring extensive coordination with the neighboring counties of Pasco and Pinellas.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/10-Tips-for-Successful-Online-Engagement-EveryTime.html.

Submit Application for NCL’s 2019 All-American City Awards

It’s that time again! Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 All-American City Awards until March 5th, 2019. Hosted by the National Civic League, an NCDD partner and conference sponsor, the award will be given to the communities working towards improving health equity through inclusive civic engagement. We encourage you to watch the video from the 2018 awardees with tips on applying and how the award has benefitted their communities. You can read the announcement below and find the original version on NCL’s site here.


Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Civic Engagement

The National Civic League invites you to apply for the All-America City Award – the nation’s most prestigious community award, now in its 70th year.

The AAC Award offers the opportunity for both recognition and reflection. Applications require communities to come together to assess their strengths and challenges. The 2019 All-America City Award is focused on celebrating examples of civic engagement practices that advance health equity in local communities. We are looking for communities that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to create better health for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.

Download the application now and mobilize local groups to work together and display on a national stage the people and projects that make your community a great place to live, work and play.

Details and Dates
Applications on behalf of cities, counties, towns, or tribes are due March 5, 2019. Leaders from local government, schools, nonprofits, community foundations, libraries, chambers of commerce and youth have all led their communities to win the All-America City Award. APPLY NOW!

  • July 2018 – June 2019
    All-America City Promising Practices Webinar Series
  • Nov. 14, 2018
    Letter of Intent due (not required to apply)
  • March 5, 2019
    Application Due
  • April 2019
    Finalists Announced
  • June 21 – 23, 2019
    Awards Competition and Conference

Want to submit a competitive application? Watch the webinar recording below to hear 2018 All-America City winners, Kershaw County, SC and Las Vegas, NV, present on their All-America City journey with tips for applying, the types of projects they submitted and an update on the benefits they have seen from winning the award.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Civic League’s site at www.nationalcivicleague.org/creating-healthy-communities-through-inclusive-civic-engagement/.

News Flash! NCDD2018 Official Workshop Schedule is Live!

HERE THEY ARE! The final round of workshops are below and the official workshop schedule is now up! We also announced the presenters who will be at the D&D Showcase on Friday night – check it out here! Friendly reminder the discounted hotel room rate at the Sheraton Denver Downtown is ending next Wednesday, October 10th at 5pm MST, so make sure you book your rooms as they are filling up quickly. If you are looking to split a room with someone, coordinate for a roommate here on the blog. Finally, if you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

Check out the full workshop schedule on the conference page here!

Adding Youth Voices to Dialogue and Deliberation
Have you considered what youth perspectives can contribute to your dialogue and deliberative processes? This session will share some guiding principles for engaging youth and creating youth-led dialogue and deliberative processes. Two case studies will be explored that demonstrate the potential of youth stakeholder engagement when these principles are applied and the benefits of incorporating young people into all aspects of the process. Participants will have the ability to brainstorm strategies for including youth and developing more inclusive dialogue and deliberative processes.

Scott Castillo
Manager of Engaging Communities Initiatives, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Lemuel Mariano
Program Coordinator, Youth Leadership Institute

Campus Approaches to Dialogue, Deliberation, and Civic Engagement
In this session, several professors from different universities, combine efforts to highlight various campus-based approaches to dialogue, deliberation, and civic engagement. This session introduces different approaches and examples that focus on how both dialogue and deliberation work to foster civic innovation on campuses. All share the belief that engaged students lead to engaged citizens. Participants will get to dive into both theory and practice of these approaches.

Allissa Aardema
Undergraduate Student, Moderator and Notetaker, Voices for Democracy and Civility, Indiana University

Maria Hamilton Abegunde
Director, Graduate Mentoring Center and Visiting Lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University

Lauren Swayne Barthold
Philosophy Professor, Endicott College and Research Fellow, Essential Partners

Jill DeTemple
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University

Harriett E. Hayes
Division Head of Humanities & Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater College

Lisa-Marie Napoli
Associate Director of the Political and Civic Engagement Program, Indiana University; Director, Voices for Democracy and Civility

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners; Peace and Conflict Resolution Professor, Gordon College

Deconstructing Empathy: Listening Beyond Differences to Catalyze Transformation
Those who facilitate group conversations know deep listening is essential to mutual growth and progress. We also are often the ones “keeping the peace” at any cost, even to ourselves. Join us in exploring and experiencing what it means to develop empathy, first for ourselves, then for others. Only when we can personally embrace the change we wish to foster in others, can we help groups find the common ground that we never imagined possible.

Megan Devenport
Executive Director, Building Bridges

Salomeh Diaz
Director, Sacred Minds Consulting

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education
Faculty and students from three universities share how they are building capacity for D&D in their classes. You’ll learn how students have been given power over aspects of course content and instructional strategies; how we can ‘stack’ pedagogical practices during dialogue in classes across disciplines; and how undergraduates can learn about global best practices by contributing to Participedia. We’ll also ask what you’re doing in your classes and seek ideas for other activities that can be used in all learning situations, no matter where it occurs or the age of the students.

Dr. Denny Frey
Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Core, Lasell College

Kiel Harrel
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Cassandra Hemphill
Adjunct Faculty, University of Montana, Missoula College

Sara G. Lam
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Sharyn Lowenstein
Director, Center for Community-Based Learning
Associate Professor, Lasell College

D&D for Everyone: How Do We Get Everyone to Participate?
Dialogue and deliberation are great for bringing people together across our differences. But, it can be a challenge to get everyone to the table when people just don’t think D&D is for them. Some view our work as inherently liberal. Others don’t see the point to more “talking” because these critical issues can’t wait to be addressed. How do we make D&D for everyone? Join us for this facilitated conversation about how we can better reach out, recruit and welcome those who are not inclined to participate in D&D processes. Topics will include how we frame our work to be even more inclusive and welcoming (to those who don’t feel that quite yet), the role of convening, and more. Come add your ideas – with plans to share whatever comes out of this “think tank” with other attendees and the NCDD network as a whole.

Cristin F. Brawner
Executive Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Martín Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Chair, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Jacob Hess
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Village Square Utah
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Engaging & Healing Differences – Holding Tension in Life-Giving Ways!
Come enjoy a live encounter with one of the five habits, “An Ability to Hold Tensions in Life-Giving Ways.” A framework of Touchstones and Honest & Open Questions holds a brave & trustworthy space. Afterwards you will hear stories of using and adapting this material for different ages (middle school, college and adults) and conversational focus. Heart felt self-reflection and fresh, meaningful communal conversation is supported in this interactive civic dialogue curriculum (Parker Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy 5 Habits of the Heart & Empathetic Presence. Come play with Tension!

Susan Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.A., R.Y.T.
Facilitator and Trainer, Colorado Courage & Renewal Collaboration & Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communication Network

Sheila Davis, MD, MS
Healthcare Leadership Program, University College, University Of Denver

Sarah Leach
Urban Farmer, Celebration Gardens and Three Sisters

Engaged Journalism for Community Connection
Fake news. Decreasing trust. Declining audience. What’s a news organization to do? One antidote is “engaged journalism” – news organizations listening and connecting with their communities in new ways, leading to more nuanced stories, stronger relationships with audiences, and greater civic engagement. Newsrooms are collaborating with more D&D practitioners to bring the unique skills engagement into journalism. In this session, we’ll share stories of how news organizations are engaging with their communities, and we’ll host a conversation, guided by your questions, about what that could mean for D&D practitioners. Come explore what the D&D – journalism matchup could look like!

Peggy Holman
Co-Founder and Principal, Journalism That Matters

Fiona Morgan
Consultant, Branchhead Consulting

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Eve Pearlman
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spaceship Media

Faith Groups as Civic Actors: Exploring Deliberative Work in Context of Faith
In this session, we will present several ongoing cases when faith-based groups have engaged in the work of dialogue and deliberation. We will discuss the direction of their experiments, particularly focusing on their use of issue framings and various formats of deliberation. We hope that these presentations will open up space for a discussion of how faith-based civic work is seen by people in faith-based organizations as well as by people whose work has been set up within the secular framework. What connections exist between these lines of deliberative efforts? How may such connections be potentially beneficial or desirable? How may we work to foster them?

Ekaterina Lukianova
Program Officer, Kettering Foundation

Erin Payseur Oeth
Associate Director of Civic Learning Initiatives, City of Boulder

Simone Talma-Flowers
Executive Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas

Introducing K12 Students as to How to Think Critically About Dialogue and Deliberation
This workshop will detail how various individuals are working to empower students by bringing deliberative practices into secondary schools and higher education. Amy Nocton and Eleiza Braun will explain how they joined forces with the University of Connecticut to create the E.O. Smith Democratic Dialogue Project, which provides opportunities for student leadership and voice, develops student and teacher civic discourse skills, improves school climate and community, and models the use of dialogue and deliberation for addressing issues of critical concern to the broader community.. Logan Steppan and Kate Garcia from Creek Consulting will also present, showing how the private sector is working alongside students to promote deliberative civic engagement. By empowering students and enhancing their civic knowledge, we can see direct action and results. Learn how here.

Amy Louise Nocton
Spanish teacher, Edwin O. Smith High School, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Eleiza Braun
Community Organizer, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Logan Steppan
Founder, Creek Consulting LLC

Kate Garcia
Deliberative Facilitator, Creek Consulting LLC

Restorative Circle Practice for Transforming Conflict
This workshop will be an interactive introduction to the Restorative Circle model. Circles have been used to navigate and transform conflict across time, culture, and place. The RC model is highly responsive and adaptable to meet the unique needs of diverse communities and individuals. We will work from an anti-oppression framework to practice some of the core components of a circle process.

Ceema Samimi, MSSW, MPA
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

Rachel K Sharp, MA
Director of Arts & Education, Creative Strategies for Change

Social Media and Online Dialogue and Deliberation: Experiences, Challenges, and Solutions
This workshop will start with a brief review of a few specific and recent instances of online discussion on social media gone bad. In smaller group discussions thereafter, participants will be encouraged to share, discuss and explore their ideas about more general online challenges, including, for example: challenges arising from the for-profit or commercial side of social media, the increasing polarization & decreasing participation online generally, and the often “drive-by” commentary fostered online and other incivilities that discourage deeper citizen engagement–among other online challenges. The workshop will culminate with a discussion focused on identifying and developing some ideas and strategies for addressing these challenges.

Todd Davies
Associate Director and Lecturer, Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University

David Fridley
Founder & CEO, Synaccord, LLC

Natalie Hopkinson
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Sue Goodney Lea
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Guy D. Nave, Jr., Ph.D.
Founder, Clamoring For Change
Professor, Luther College

Peter Shively
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Talking Past Each Other from Different Ideologies – Analysis and Solutions
We don’t all communicate the same way. Language from critical race theory, anti-racist liberalism, religious tolerance, or traditional individualism can result in talking past each other until every word (even personal stories) feels antagonistic, especially if egos have been injured. Failure to bridge these assumptions about communication leads to extreme sadness, anger, and confusion. In this session, we apply an analysis tool we developed in research to conversations from real reconciliation dialogues in our work and then invite discussion about overcoming these difficulties in dialogues.

Madeline Maxwell
Professor of Communication Studies & Director of the UT Project on Conflict Resolution, The University of Texas at Austin

JhuCin (Rita) Jhang
Ph.D. Candidate, Assistant Director of UT Global Ethics & Conflict Resolution Summer Symposium, The University of Texas at Austin

The Art of Civic Engagement
What happens when we use artist’s creativity to design engaging civic processes? Join us in this session to learn about an innovative case study about the world’s first civic health club, Warm Cookies of the Revolution. Warm Cookies engages community members in crucial civic issues by creating innovative and fun arts and cultural programs. One such program is The Machine Has a Soul, a project focused in two Denver neighborhoods that combines participatory budgeting with artworks and performances inspired by Rube Goldberg machines. We will discuss how arts affect the quality of participation.

Amanda Hudson
Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University

Evan Weissman
Executive Director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution

The Community Collaboration Project: Igniting Positive Change at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Learn about how the Denver Museum of Nature & Science collaborated with community members to create a culturally-inclusive vision for the Museum’s future. Recognizing that communities of color are not always heard and their ways of knowing are not always taken into account in traditional museum planning and exhibitions, the Museum used an Appreciative Inquiry-based process to empower community members and Museum staff to re-imagine the museum together. In addition to creating a powerful future vision, the Community Collaboration Project built internal capacity for strength-based, inclusive planning that continues to transform the Museum in surprising and impactful ways.

Barbara Lewis
Co-Founder, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change
Principal, Catalyst Consulting

Carolyn Love, Ph.D.
Founder, Kebaya Coaching & Consulting

Andrea Girón Mathern
Director, Audience Research & Evaluation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Virtual Exchange: Using Technology to Bridge the Divide
By reaching new populations and larger numbers, virtual exchanges connect individuals across geographic, cultural and political divides. Explore the possibilities of using virtual exchange to prepare, deepen and extend the physical exchanges you work within. Practice working with online tools to promote constructive online engagement and communication. Discuss the key differences, opportunities, and skills fundamental to facilitating online dialogues.

Gina Amatangelo
Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Julie Hawke
Senior Facilitation Officer, Sharing Perspectives Foundation

John Gable
Founder & CEO, Allsides

We Are Human First: Creating Safe Spaces for Group Dialogue
Every person has a voice. Participants will learn how the use of visual art and music, mindfulness, psychodrama, and storytelling can stimulate authentic conversation along with more empathic understanding within diverse groups and communities. These interactional and experiential techniques have been tested and found to be a powerful way to open people up to explore who they are in non-defensive ways, regardless of prior group experiences. These techniques have not only been used with individuals, groups, couples and families in conflictual situations, but also with businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations, and in secondary schools and university settings. Join our dialogue!

Dr. Paula Christian Kliger. PhD, ABPP
President, PsychAssets

Lori Blumenstein-Bott LMSW
VP, PsychAssets

Sara Kliger, MA, RDT, LCAT-P
Director of Experiential Services, PsychAssets

When the Conversation Gets Tough, Get Visual!
Visualizing ideas, feelings, and experiences can profoundly aid in the process of having tough conversations and making difficult group decisions. In this session, participants will learn about why visuals are so effective given what we know about the human brain. They will then get to practice using different visual tools and techniques to better design group processes and facilitate conversations that matter.

Cassandra O’Neill
CEO, Leadership Alchemy LLC

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Christine Chopyak
Partner and Visual Strategist, Arlosoul: Visualize Innovation