Jefferson Center Launches New Series on Citizen Juries

Our friends at The Jefferson Center, an NCDD Sponsoring member organization, recently shared an article on their site which offers a fantastic overview of Citizen Juries, that we wanted to repost here. The piece by Annie Pottroff answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the public engagement method, which was started in 1971 by Jefferson Center founder Ned Crosby. This is the initial post in the new blog series by The Jefferson Center to continue to dive into the Citizen Jury process – so stay tuned for more! You can read the article below and find the original piece here.


What exactly is a Citizens Jury, anyway?

We talk a lot about Citizens Juries at the Jefferson Center. After all, they were invented by our founder, Ned Crosby, in 1971. We believe they can help restore trust in democracy around the world. And they give everyday people the knowledge, resources, and time they need to create powerful solutions to our biggest challenges.

But what is a Citizens Jury? How do they work? Who’s involved? In this blog series, we’ll explore some of our most frequently asked questions, starting with Citizens Jury basics.

What is a Citizens Jury?

A Citizens Jury is a public engagement method that provides individuals with the opportunity to learn about an issue, deliberate together with a diverse group of their peers, and develop well-informed solutions to the given issue.

Juries also allows decision makers and the broader public to know what people really think once they have the opportunity to study an issue closely and weigh different options and perspectives.

Citizens Juries are typically composed of around 18-24 citizens who have been randomly selected to represent the demographics of the larger community.

Over a number of weekends, one week, or a few days, we provide the group with background information from expert speakers and stakeholders to inform their conversations. With this information in mind, Jurors deliberate and craft recommendations through dialogue and voting, which are then published and delivered to the public and decision makers.

Who are the “citizens?”

Citizen Jury participants are randomly selected to represent a specific population. For example, in the Willmar Community Assembly, participants represented their community of Willmar, Minnesota.

We invite citizens to apply to participate in the Jury via postcards, posters, direct community outreach, social media, local employment websites, and more. Citizens are selected to participate through stratified random sampling, often based on the age, race, gender, education, and socioeconomic background statistics of the target population. These criteria can slightly vary depending on the Jury. The population a Citizens Jury represents can range anywhere from a small town to an entire country.

Why might a Citizens Jury be used on an issue?

Citizens Juries are an important tool for decision-makers, organizations, and communities to use when faced with a particularly challenging issue. Often these issues are complex, technical, divisive, and can’t be resolved in a short amount of time, such as nuclear storage or climate change adaptation. Most individuals don’t have the opportunity, time, or energy in their daily lives to study these tough issues, understand the nuances, and form a strong opinion, making it difficult for decision-makers to know how the public really thinks. As a result, officials often make decisions based on their own assessment and the loudest voices in the room.

But at a Citizens Jury, participants learn more about the issue from experts and stakeholders, discuss different perspectives and considerations with their peers, and work together to create recommendations. This gives individuals the chance to confront the big challenges usually left to decision makers. Their conversations surface new ideas and overlooked problems, leading to more representative, informed, and powerful solutions.

How do you evaluate the success of a Citizens Jury?

Are Citizens Juries all the same?

Juries are specifically designed for the issue or problem at hand, and they can vary according to:

  • Number of Jury participants
  • Number of actual Juries per project
  • Jury topic
  • Target Jury community
  • Final report audience

Want to learn more about how to conduct a Citizens Jury and how to collaborate with us? Let us know below or contact us!

You can find the original version of this article on The Jefferson Center blog at www.jefferson-center.org/2019/05/what-exactly-is-a-citizens-jury-anyway/.

Weekly Online D&D Roundup – June Confab Announced!

This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member organizations MetroQuest, National Civic LeagueLiving Room Conversations, and National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), as well as, from the International Association of Facilitators and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).

We’re excited to include the announcement of our upcoming Confab call on Thursday, June 6th, where we’ve teamed up with Bridge Alliance to explore how Slack can be used for collaboration and network building in the Democratic movement. We’d love for folks who have used Slack or are still currently using it to join the call and share their experience. Learn more and register to save your spot for this free call here!

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Upcoming Online D&D Events: Nat’l Civic League, MetroQuest, Living Room Conversations, NIFI, GPPAC

MetroQuest webinar – Cleaning Up Toxic Public Discourse for Meaningful Engagement

Wednesday, May 22nd
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

Are you facing increasing contention in your public engagement processes? You’re not alone. Planners and public engagement practitioners across the country increasingly find themselves on the front lines of highly polarized debates and misinformation campaigns. There’s a fix! You’re invited to this special webinar with James Hoggan – a world leading authority on the topic. James will share what’s causing increased polarization and offer ways to detoxify public engagement. A renowned author and speaker, James literally wrote the book on it.

REGISTER: http://go.metroquest.com/james-hoggan-on-cleaning-up-toxic-public-discourse-for-meaningful-engagement.html

International Association of Facilitators webinar – Becoming a CPF with the IAF

Wednesday, May 22nd
1:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern

Making the decision to seek the IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) accreditation can be hard. Common questions people ask are What’s involved? How much time will it take? Will I meet the requirements? and What if I don’t pass? In response to strong interest from members, we will be exploring these questions at a webinar with hosts that have years of experience as professional facilitators and as IAF Assessors.

REGISTER: www.iaf-world.org/site/events/webinar-becoming-cpf-iaf-8

National Civic League AAC Promising Practices Webinar – Equitable and Collaborative Economic Development

Thursday, May 23rd
10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern

Join the National Civic League to learn about two communities that are being mindful about collaboration and equity in their economic development projects. Ubax Gardheere, Equity Strategies Manager at the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development will speak about Seattle’s approach to equitable development. Kevin Mitchell, Town Engineer in the Town of Mount Pleasant’s Planning and Engineering Department will talk about the town’s collaborative Shem Creek Revitalization project which ensured that the waterfront was accessible to all residents.

REGISTER: www.nationalcivicleague.org/resource-center/promising-practices/

Online Living Room Conversation: Peace Building in the United States

Thursday, May 23rd
12:30 pm Pacific, 3:30 pm Eastern

The US has in many ways always been a divided society, but what is causing fierce political, social and ethnic divides in the United States today? Hate crimes and hate groups are increasingly visible, and political leaders are using ethnic identity, socio-economic identity — and an “us v. them” mentality — to create fear and increase polarization. How did we get here and what are the peacebuilding solutions for a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? Check out the conversation guide.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-peace-building-in-the-united-states-2/

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) webinar – Peace Education: Experiences on 13 years of “Peace School”, Mexico

Thursday, May 23rd
7 am Pacific, 10 am Eastern

In this webinar, peace education expert Diana Lepe Sanchez will share lessons learned from the project Escuela de Paz (Peace School). As part of the project, workshops were given for activists and human rights defenders from all over Mexico on a method for conflict analysis and conflict transformation.

REGISTER: www.gppac.net/peace-education-webinar-series

CGA Forum on Americas Energy Future: How Can We Take Charge?

Monday, May 27th
10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern

Please join us for a Common Ground for Action (CGA) online deliberative forum on Monday May 27th @ 1:00pm ET/10:00am PST on ” Americas Energy Future: How Can We Take Charge?” If you’ve never participated in a CGA forum, please watch the “How To Participate” video before joining. If you haven’t had a chance to review the issue guide, you can find a downloadable PDF copy at the NIF website: https://www.nifi.org/es/issue-guide/americas-energy-future

REGISTER: www.nifi.org/en/events/cga-forum-americas-energy-future-how-can-we-take-charge

NCDD June Confab on Using Slack for D&D Movement Building

Confab bubble image

Thursday, June 6th
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

We are excited to co-host another Confab Call at the beginning of June, this time with our friends at the Bridge Alliance to explore the use of the collaboration tool, Slack. On this free call, we will discuss the capabilities of the platform for movement building around civic action and learn more about the development of Bridge Alliance’s new joint project, the Democracy Movement Slack Forum.

REGISTER: http://ncdd.org/29763

Two New Civic Awakening Works Released from Eric Liu

If you are looking for some fantastic D&D content to enjoy this weekend, we encourage you to check out the new works from Eric Liu on awakening our civic power. He released his new TED talk, “How to revive your belief in democracy”, in which he offers a framework for democratic participation. As well as, his new book, “Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy” which compiles the civic sermons he gave at the first 19 Civic Saturday events, hosted throughout the country last year by Citizen University. You can read the announcement in the Citizen University newsletter shared below, sign up for the CU newsletter here, and please share these two exciting resources with your networks!


Citizen University Updates: New TED talk and new book!

I’m excited to be bringing two works into the world this week! Both flow from our mission at Citizen University to spark a great civic awakening in our country. And I’m writing to ask for your help getting both these works into wide circulation.

The first is my brand-new TED Talk on what I call “civic religion” — a framework of belief and practice for sustaining democracy. I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t sure how people at the TED conference last month would receive a talk using a religious metaphor. But it turns out that at TED, as everywhere and especially in the U.S. today, people are yearning for a frame of shared purpose and civic spirit. For an invitation to do more and be more. The response in the room was electric. And I hope it can be so in the wider world now. You can watch the video below and will you please share and post the talk today?

The second work is my new book called BECOME AMERICA which contains the civic sermons I wrote and delivered at the first nineteen Civic Saturdays our team organized around the United States. These essays challenge us to rehumanize our politics and rekindle a spirit of love and hope in civic life. Become America will prompt you to contemplate our ongoing story as Americans and energize you to help rebuild a country you’re proud to call home. I’ll be holding a special event for the book in DC on May 18. Will you order the book today or join us at one of our book events?

Both the TED Talk and BECOME AMERICA are rooted in history but also products of this moment — a moment of peril and possibility in democratic life. This is a time for us all to ask what we believe, and what it takes to live up to our ideals. It is also a time to ask for help from friends — and to make new friends by asking for help.

I’m so grateful for your support, and gratified that we get to share in such purposeful work. – Eric

You can receive these announcements in your inbox and sign up for the Citizen University newsletter by clicking here.

D&D Online Events Feat NCL, MetroQuest, NIFI & more!

This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member orgs National Civic League, MetroQuestNational Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), and Living Room Conversations, as well as, from the International Association of Facilitators, NonprofitVOTE, and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Upcoming Online D&D Events: Nat’l Civic League, Living Room Conversations, MetroQuest, NIFI, IAF, NonprofitVOTE, GPPAC

Online Living Room Conversation: Power of Empathy

Wednesday, May 15th
7:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern

Empathy goes beyond concern or sympathy. Empathy is stepping into the shoes of another with the intention to better understand and feel what they are experiencing. The power of empathy can bridge our “us vs. them” perceptions and lead to new solutions, improved relationships, better strategies for social change, reduction in loneliness, and realization of our shared human needs and oneness. This conversation is about sharing experiences giving, receiving, and observing empathy.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-power-of-empathy/

International Association of Facilitators webinar – Reflecting Towards our Future

Thursday, May 16th
6:30 am Pacific, 9:30 am Eastern

Led by Lawrence Philbrook. In this webinar, we will explore a way to examine options and look for trends to help open the image of “futures” thinking. My own work with futures started many years ago with using scenarios in our facilitation work. ICA Taiwan and our colleagues across Asia based our research on Schwartz, P. (1996), The Art of the Long View and Peter Senge’s 5th Discipline to explore the work on the use by Shell Oil and others to help managers and leaders place themselves into several future options to prepare for whatever happens.

REGISTER: www.iaf-world.org/site/events/reflecting-towards-our-future-webinar-lawrence-philbrook-cpfctf

Living Room Conversations Training (free): The Nuts & Bolts of Living Room Conversations

Thursday, May 16th
2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern

Join us for 60 minutes online to learn about Living Room Conversations. We’ll cover what a Living Room Conversation is, why we have them, and everything you need to know to get started hosting and/or participating in Living Room Conversations. This training is not required for participating in our conversations – we simply offer it for people who want to learn more about the Living Room Conversations practice.

Space is limited to 12 people so that we can offer a more interactive experience. Please only RSVP if you are 100% certain that you can attend. This training will take place using Zoom video conferencing. A link to join the conversation will be sent to participants by the Wednesday before this training.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/training-free-the-nuts-bolts-of-living-room-conversations-9/

Online Living Room Conversation: Money in Politics

Saturday, May 18th
12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern

Is there a problem with money influencing our elections and then influencing the actions of elected officials? And if so, are there solutions that we can all agree upon? Increasing numbers express concern at the influence of big money in elections, especially since the supreme court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on our elections. From another perspective, money was always heavily involved in elections — and the voice of everyone in America (including leaders of corporations) should not be restricted in the free marketplace of ideas. What do you think? Watch our high-profile conversation on Politics & Money with Robert Reich and Debbie Dooley here! Check out the conversation guide.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-money-in-politics-2/

CGA Forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?”

Saturday, May 18th
3 pm Pacific, 6 pm Eastern

Join us after the 2019 A Public Voice broadcast for a Common Ground for Action forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?” We’ll be talking about how to fix our broken political system in three different options: (1) Reduce dangerous, toxic talk: The problem is that the way we talk is poisoning public life. The “outrage industry” rewards people for saying and doing the most extreme things; (2) Make fairer rules for politics and follow them: The problem is that wealthy, powerful special interests game the political system, making it impossible to find compromise; (3) Take control and make decisions closer to home: The problem is that our most important decisions are being made too far away from home. Find the issue guide here.

REGISTER: www.nifi.org/en/events/2019-public-voice-cga-forum-house-dividedwhat-would-we-have-give-get-political-system-we-1

NonprofitVOTE webinar: Better Voter Engagement Strategies for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, May 21st
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

People with disabilities face unique challenges in registering to vote and casting a ballot. Nonprofits can support voters with disabilities through advocacy, awareness, and making their efforts more accessible. Join us for this one hour webinar with Michelle Bishop, Disability Advocacy Specialist for Voting Rights at National Disability Rights Network. We’ll cover why accessibility matters, the myriad of challenges voters with disabilities encounter, and how nonprofits can help.

REGISTER HERE

SPECIAL Online Living Room Conversation: Race and Ethnicity Conversation Series

Tuesday, May 21st
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

Check Out this four-minute video from a previous Race & Ethnicity Conversation Series to get a taste of this conversation! In this series of three in-depth conversations, participants explore the complexities of the concepts of Race, Ethnicity, and their impacts on people from all walks of life. We will cover new questions from the three Race & Ethnicity conversation guides found here.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/special-online-living-room-conversation-race-and-ethnicity-conversation-series/

MetroQuest webinar – Cleaning Up Toxic Public Discourse for Meaningful Engagement

Wednesday, May 22nd
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

Are you facing increasing contention in your public engagement processes? You’re not alone. Planners and public engagement practitioners across the country increasingly find themselves on the front lines of highly polarized debates and misinformation campaigns. There’s a fix! You’re invited to this special webinar with James Hoggan – a world leading authority on the topic. James will share what’s causing increased polarization and offer ways to detoxify public engagement. A renowned author and speaker, James literally wrote the book on it.

REGISTER: http://go.metroquest.com/james-hoggan-on-cleaning-up-toxic-public-discourse-for-meaningful-engagement.html

National Civic League AAC Promising Practices Webinar – Equitable and Collaborative Economic Development

Thursday, May 23rd
10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern

Join the National Civic League to learn about two communities that are being mindful about collaboration and equity in their economic development projects. Ubax Gardheere, Equity Strategies Manager at the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development will speak about Seattle’s approach to equitable development. Kevin Mitchell, Town Engineer in the Town of Mount Pleasant’s Planning and Engineering Department will talk about the town’s collaborative Shem Creek Revitalization project which ensured that the waterfront was accessible to all residents.

REGISTER: www.nationalcivicleague.org/resource-center/promising-practices/

Online Living Room Conversation: Peace Building in the United States

Thursday, May 23rd
12:30 pm Pacific, 3:30 pm Eastern

The US has in many ways always been a divided society, but what is causing fierce political, social and ethnic divides in the United States today? Hate crimes and hate groups are increasingly visible, and political leaders are using ethnic identity, socio-economic identity — and an “us v. them” mentality — to create fear and increase polarization. How did we get here and what are the peacebuilding solutions for a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? Check out the conversation guide.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-peace-building-in-the-united-states-2/

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) webinar – Peace Education: Experiences on 13 years of “Peace School”, Mexico

Thursday, May 23rd
7 am Pacific, 10 am Eastern

In this webinar, peace education expert Diana Lepe Sanchez will share lessons learned from the project Escuela de Paz (Peace School). As part of the project, workshops were given for activists and human rights defenders from all over Mexico on a method for conflict analysis and conflict transformation.

REGISTER: www.gppac.net/peace-education-webinar-series

National Civic League Publishes New Edition of Civic Index

One of the nation’s oldest civic engagement organizations, The National Civic League – also an NCDD member org, recently released the fourth edition of The Civic Index, a set of guidelines developed over the last 30 years to measure the civic capital of a community. Civic capital measures, “the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities that communities use to make decisions collaboratively and solve problems” and The Civic Index offers the framework for assessing these factors and relationships to determine a community’s civic strength. You can download a free version of the NCL Civic Index by clicking here. Read more in the announcement below and find the original version on the NCL site here.


The League’s Civic Index: Measuring Your Community’s Capacity to Solve Problems and Thrive

What makes some communities better able than others to solve the tough social, political, economic or physical challenges they face? This was a question the National Civic League set out to answer over 30 years ago. On-the-ground research revealed a set of factors that we call civic capital — the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities that communities use to make decisions collaboratively and solve problems.

Somewhat like social capital, but not to be confused with financial capital, civic capital can be found in all sorts of communities, not just the most affluent, educated or advantaged. While myriad other factors contribute to community progress, civic capital is the core factor identified by the National Civic League as the primary explanation for long-term community success.

At the National Civic League, we know of many communities with an abundant supply of civic capital. The All-America City program has recognized over 500 of these communities during the past 69 years. All have varying degrees of civic engagement, collaboration and leadership, and have been able to tackle tough issues in a sustainable manner–by bringing everyone to the table and creating equity.

Earlier this year the National Civic League released the fourth edition of the Civic Index, a self-assessment tool consisting of a set of questions that provide a framework for discussing and measuring a community’s civic capital. Since it was first developed in 1986, many communities have used the Civic Index to better understand their civic strengths and to identify gaps or areas in need of further attention, soliciting community input to create a baseline measure of their civic capital and monitor progress over time as they work to enhance their internal capacity.

The Seven Components of Civic Capital

The Civic Index describes the seven components of civic capital, provides examples of each, lists the 32 questions that are used to gauge each component and provides ideas on how to use the index. Here’s a synopsis of these seven components.

  1. Engaged Residents: Residents play an active role in making decisions and civic affairs.
  2. Inclusive Community Leadership: The community actively cultivates and supports leaders from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives
  3. Collaborative Institutions: Communities with good civic capital have regular collaboration among the government, business, nonprofit and other sectors, as well as structures in place that facilitate such collaboration.
  4. Embracing Diversity and Equity: Communities with healthy civic capital recognize and celebrate their diversity. They strive for equity in services, support and engagement.
  5. Authentic Communication: Healthy communities need credible, civic-minded sources of information presented in a way that residents can use.
  6. Culture of Engagement: Involvement by residents, businesses, nonprofits and other stakeholders in every aspect of civic affairs should be part of local culture—an expectation, not an afterthought.
  7. Shared Vision and Values: Communities with shared values and civic pride have a common foundation for addressing public matters.

Summary 

Nearly a hundred years ago, Justice Louis Brandeis, a one-time member of the League’s executive committee, called states “laboratories of democracy.” That mantle has now been passed to the local level, as cities, counties, towns and other local communities create innovations and regional or national networks to tackle such issues as climate change, health, education and economic prosperity.

At the same time, local governments cannot solve problems on their own. As Bruce Katz points out in The New Localism, community problem-solving depends on “multi-sectoral relationships,” with government often serving as a convener or catalyst. What happens next depends on the civic capacity of the particular locality. It is the communities with civic capital — the full engagement and collaboration of its residents, businesses, nonprofits and other stakeholders–that have the resources and persistence to successfully address difficult issues and build a sustainable future.

For a free copy of the National Civic League’s Civic Index, please visit www.nationalcivicleague.org/resource-center.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Civic League site at www.nationalcivicleague.org/the-leagues-civic-index-measuring-your-communitys-capacity-to-solve-problems-and-thrive/.

Ethics and Benefits of Digital Tech in Engagement

As technology rapidly continues to grow, organizations are working to understand the many impacts of tech on the shape and future of our democracy. NCDD member organization Public Agenda explores these impacts in their new report, Rewiring Democracy: Subconscious Technologies, Conscious Engagement and the Future of Politics. In the article below, they share some of their findings on the complicated nature of tech, ethical use of geo-location, and the capacity for deeper community engagement. You can read the article below and find the original version on the Public Agenda blog here.


Geo-locating Protest: The Changing Role of Tech in Social Movements – Part 1

New from Public Agenda, Rewiring Democracy: Subconscious Technologies, Conscious Engagement and the Future of Politics, explores how the latest technological trends may reshape our democracy, our politics, and our daily lives. In a series of blog posts, we are sharing some of the stories from the paper to illustrate some of the impacts on journalism, political advocacy, city planning, and other fields.

In this latest installment of the Rewiring Democracy blog series, we explore technology’s role in mobilizing movements, while highlighting an example of how micro-targeting and messaging is being used in troubling ways.

GEO-LOCATING PROTEST: THE REVOLUTION COMES TO YOUR DOORSTEP

In 2016, women in several cities began receiving pop-up ads on their smartphones whenever they went near or inside a clinic providing abortions. The ads, which had been sent by anti-choice/ pro-life organizers, offered advice to women who were contemplating abortion. These particular women had been targeted because they had previously looked for Planned Parenthood information online. This practice was ruled an illegal infringement of personal health care data by the attorney general of Massachusetts, but it is one of a number of examples that signal a new phase in the use of technology by activists.

From the Arab Spring to the Tea Party to Black Lives Matter to #MeToo, protesters, organizers, and mobilizers of all political stripes and ideologies have been using the internet to connect and coordinate their movements. Their values and goals are obviously very different, but they all face new tactical opportunities for reaching supporters and achieving their political objectives. One major opportunity arises from the way in which the internet has become increasingly tied to geographic location. In addition to the geographic information system (GIS) capacity of smartphones, the number of people who have joined hyperlocal online spaces has risen exponentially. By connecting to people where they are and where they live, activists, officials and other leaders can advance their causes in ways that are more direct and “in your face” – and in ways that leverage political power because they fit the geography of political jurisdictions.

MOVEMENT CONSCIOUSNESS

There are multiple factors that affect whether people are willing to join a protest or movement, but across many different societies and situations, the psychological reasons often seem to be the most influential. The mere fact that people are oppressed or discriminated against doesn’t necessarily mean that they will mobilize, rebel, or just speak up. They are more likely to act when they begin to feel that they are not alone, that their voices will be heard, and that their cause can achieve critical mass.

Some existing, widely-used digital technologies have helped organizers build a broader movement consciousness:

  • Photo-sharing, which is a core component of almost every major social media platform, allows people to see their movement in action. For example, many of the students who participated in “Text, Talk, Act” during the National Dialogue on Mental Health tweeted photos of their groups. By uploading, sharing, and tagging pictures and videos, people can provide visual evidence that they are part of something larger than themselves.
  • Participatory mapping, one of the first uses of geo-locating capacities of our devices, enabled people to see themselves in relation to a physical space. Protesters during the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the anti-austerity demonstrations in Spain were able to map their locations, producing visual proof that they could peacefully dominate the streets and plazas of their cities.
  • Posting and commenting through social media, in itself, has allowed people to contribute to or even dominate the narrative on a particular issue or cause. Recognizing this new threat, many governments and corporations have created “troll farms” and other sophisticated operations to try to retake control of the narrative, amplify their own messages, and even to target, harass, and intimidate protesters.
  • Instant polling, which can be accomplished through a wide array of tools, apps, and platforms, can also be used to gauge support for particular actions and to show that large numbers of people stand behind a given cause or movement.

Organizers are using these and other tools to compel people to consciously step forward and join causes and movements. Protesters used social media posts to rapidly gather and heckle Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about immigration policies as they dined in public restaurants. Increasingly, organizers have the capacity to use subconscious technologies, like the anti-abortion/pro-life protesters in Massachusetts, to target potential recruits and people they are trying to influence.

By bringing the revolution(s) to our doorstep, the capacity to make protest and mobilization hyperlocal and geo-locatable has the potential to make political conflict more extreme and more personal. It raises new questions about the rules of the game, the role of tech corporations in the public square, and whether these new conditions also present possibilities for bridge-building and compromise.

As notions of space and place change, can technology create new opportunities for people to connect and work together? We’ll explore this as well as who owns the public square in “Geo-locating Protest: Tech’s Role in Advancing Movements” Part 2 in the next installment of this blog series on Rewiring Democracy.

You can find the original version of this article on the Public Agenda blog at www.publicagenda.org/blogs/geolocating-protests-and-techs-role-in-advancing-movements-part-i.

NCDD Discount on Davenport Institute Local Gov’t Certificate

We’re excited to share that NCDD member org, the Davenport Institute, in partnership with the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, is offering their next professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government [non-academic] from July 19-21, 2019 in Malibu, CA. Excellent for anyone involved or working with local government, or in graduate school for local government/public policy. NCDD members receive a 20% discount off the tuition, so make sure you register ASAP to receive this great benefit. They are accepting applications until the class is full, so sign up while you still can! You can read the announcement below or on the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s website here.


Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement: Three-Day Intensive Workshop for Local Government Practitioners

In an age where trust in government (and indeed in all institutions) is at an all time low, and indifference toward local government is at an all time high, the very future of local representative democracy requires leaders with a new skill – an ability to break through cynicism and mistrust and engage residents in local policy. From public safety, to city budgets and spending, to planning and environmental policies, today’s challenges need leaders who can re-vitalize public involvement and lead residents engaged in the difficult work of self-government.

Over this long weekend at the Villa Graziadio on the Pepperdine Malibu campus, mid-career professionals are prepared to lead a publicly-engaged organization by gaining a deep understanding of the context, purpose, and best practices for engaging residents in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. 

Next Certificate Offering
July 19-21, 2019: Malibu, CA

The cost of the Professional Certificate is $1990, which includes instruction, materials, and meals. Many participants secure funds for training from their employer to support their participation in this program. Limited financial aid may be available.

Applicants who are accepted to the program can receive a 20% discount when they use the code “NCDD” during registration.

You can read the announcement on the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s website at www.publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/certificate-public-engagement.

A Public Voice 2019 Tomorrow and More D&D Events

This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member orgs Everyday DemocracyNational Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), Living Room Conversations, as well as, from On the Table and  the International Associate for Public Participation.

Coming up tomorrow, you can participate with A Public Voice 2019 as it’s live streamed via Facebook. Ask your questions to folks on the Hill as they explore the current state and future of public deliberation as this long-standing annual event hosted by NCDD member organizations – the Kettering Foundation and NIFI. Learn how to participate at #APV2019 here.

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Upcoming Online D&D Events: A Public Voice 2019, Everyday Democracy, NIFI, On the Table, IAP2, Living Room Conversations

Everyday Democracy webinar – Civility and Civil Discourse in an Age of Divisiveness

EvDem LogoThursday, May 9th
9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern

Our nation is facing a most difficult time in its history, as there seems to be less and less tolerance for different points of view, facts are often ignored to accommodate partisan demagoguery, and antagonism and divisiveness have reached new heights. How can we find new ways to talk to each other across difference? How can we find it in ourselves to be open-minded for considering new ways of thinking? How can we engage with those who hold different views from our own to find common ground, even when we disagree on some key issues? Hosted by UCONN doctoral candidate Dana Miranda who is a Connecticut Civic Ambassador, Mr. Miranda co-runs the Initiative on Campus Dialogues and the Encounters Series at UCONN.

REGISTER: www.facebook.com/events/584605612016588/

A Public Voice 2019 Livestream on Facebook

Thursday, May 9th
9:30am Pacific, 12:30 Eastern

On May 9, 2019, the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) will host A Public Voice 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The 9:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, panel discussion will be livestreamed on Facebook, where viewers will be welcome to post their comments.

LEARN MOREhttp://ncdd.org/29641

CGA Forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?”

Thursday, May 9th
9:30am Pacific, 12:30 Eastern

Join us after the 2019 A Public Voice broadcast for a Common Ground for Action forum on “A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?” We’ll be talking about how to fix our broken political system in three different options.

REGISTER: www.nifi.org/en/events/2019-public-voice-cga-forum-house-dividedwhat-would-we-have-give-get-political-system-we-want

On the Table 101 webinar

Thursday, May 9th
1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern

Join @Lilly Weinberg,  Director/Community & National Initiatives at Knight Foundation for this webinar that will give an overview of the history of On the Table, review the basics for implementing this initiative in your community and answer your questions.

REGISTER: www.onthetablenetwork.com/events/299

IAP2 Monthly Webinar: Victoria Encore – “Youth Shaping Cities”

Tuesday, May 14th
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

This session critically examines the underpinning theory and systemic barriers that continue to exclude youth participation, resulting in civic disengagement, lack of trust, and significant missed opportunities. By analyzing case studies and sharing best practices, techniques, and tools, we hope to empower engagement practitioners to re-imagine and redesign their youth engagement practices.

REGISTER: https://iap2usa.org/event-3167784

SPECIAL Online Living Room Conversation: Race and Ethnicity Conversation Series

Tuesdays, May 14 & 21
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

Check Out this four-minute video from a previous Race & Ethnicity Conversation Series to get a taste of this conversation! In this series of three in-depth conversations, participants explore the complexities of the concepts of Race, Ethnicity, and their impacts on people from all walks of life. We will cover new questions from the three Race & Ethnicity conversation guides found here.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/special-online-living-room-conversation-race-and-ethnicity-conversation-series/

Online Living Room Conversation: Power of Empathy

Wednesday, May 15th
7:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern

Empathy goes beyond concern or sympathy. Empathy is stepping into the shoes of another with the intention to better understand and feel what they are experiencing. The power of empathy can bridge our “us vs. them” perceptions and lead to new solutions, improved relationships, better strategies for social change, reduction in loneliness, and realization of our shared human needs and oneness. This conversation is about sharing experiences giving, receiving, and observing empathy.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-power-of-empathy/

New Podcast Launches on Healing Root Divisions in US

NCDD members, Erin and David Leaverton recently announced the launch of their new podcast, Hello My Name is America! Last year, the Leavertons traveled to each of the 50 states with their three young children to talk and listen with folks from across the country about what are the deep divisions they experience – listen to our Confab recording to hear more about Leavertons’ story. Their new podcast shares the experiences of the individuals they met along the way and seeks to explore the root causes of divisions in the US. We will include this on our podcast compilation post on the blog (where you can find many other podcasts related to dialogue and deliberation). Learn more about the new, Hello My Name is America! podcast in the post below, and on the Undivided Nation blog where you can also listen to the episodes.


Hello My Name is America! podcast

Erin and I are thrilled to announce the launch of Undivided Nation’s podcast, Hello My Name is America!

After spending a transformative year on the road traveling to all 50 states, we are excited to introduce you to the people whose stories have reshaped our understanding of both ourselves and our country.

While the future of America might seem dim, the realities we’ve discovered fill us with hope that our brightest days are indeed ahead. Dive in with us as we explore the root causes of America’s divisions and explore what it would take to heal our deep divides.

To listen, follow the steps below and please take a moment to help us spread the word!

Step 1: Listen and Subscribe
Apple Podcast | Android | Desktop | RSS

Step 2: Spread the Word
Facebook | Twitter

Episode 1: Introducing: Hello My Name is America
The right question posed at the right time has the power to totally rearrange one’s life. At least this was the case for us. Join us on episode number one, as we retell the story of the day a single question did just that, and served as the catalyst for what would become a journey for our family to live in all 50 states over the course of one year, learning about the root causes of division and searching for the keys that could help us heal America’s deep divides. Listen here!

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Undivided Nation blog at https://undividednation.us/hello-my-name-is-america

JPD Seeks Submissions on Upcoming Special Issue

The Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is currently looking for contributions on an upcoming special issue, Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the Deliberative Quality of Communication. JPD is a peer-reviewed journal on deliberative democracy and is a collaboration between the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). We encourage folks in our network to learn more about the opportunity in the post below. Manuscripts need to be submitted by July 31st and decisions will be made this November with the goal of a 2020 publication date. Read the announcement below and find the original information on the IAP2 site here.


Journal of Public Deliberation: Call for Papers for Special Issue

Journal of Public Deliberation is a peer review, open access journal with the principal objective of synthesizing the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the multi-disciplinary field of “deliberative democracy.”

Manuscripts due on 31 July 2019.

Growing anti-immigration attitudes, rising nationalist tendencies, landslide victories of populist figures as well as the dissolution of national and supranational entities – these are just some of the multiple political and societal challenges western democracies are facing nowadays. These challenges have been said to affect the way citizens, the media and political actors communicate among and with each other. More specifically, concerns about the deliberative quality of these communications have been put forward. While this observation has so far been corroborated by a series of isolated studies, which produced not more than a few islands of analysis, an integrative and comprehensive perspective on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication is yet missing.

The special issue Citizens, Media and Politics in Challenging Times: Perspectives on the Deliberative Quality of Communication thus addresses this gap in the literature by systematically bringing together different strands of research on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication. The special issue thus aims at providing an integrative and comprehensive picture on modern political communication in times western democracies are facing a multitude of disruptive challenges. Theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions focusing on the deliberative qualities of citizens’, journalists’, and politicians’ communication are welcome. Topics and questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. The deliberative quality of political debates: To which extent do political debates come close to the genuine benchmarks of deliberation? How deliberative is political communication transmitted via different channels (e.g., media types, media formats) as well as by different actors (e.g., journalists, politicians)? How is the deliberative quality of these debates perceived by the public?
  2. Determinants and consequences of citizens’ deliberation: Which role do arguments and scientific evidence play in promoting the quality of citizens’ deliberation? Does civic deliberation indeed result in “better” outcomes? To which extent is civic deliberation positively related to political participation?
  3. Uncivil online communication and deliberative interventions: To what degree does the deliberative quality of user comments reflect the deliberative quality of the news coverage? How does online deliberation via user comments develop over time? How do users interact when encountering dissonant viewpoints? To which extent are online civic interventions a panacea for disruptive and uncivil online behavior?

Submission Guidelines

Submissions need to speak to the deliberative democracy and democratic innovations literature.

When preparing your submission, please check the JPD website for guidelines on style and paper length: https://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/author_instructions.html

Please submit your manuscript to the following email address: si.jpd@mzes.uni-mannheim.de

Questions about the special issue shall be directed to the guest editors Christiane Grill and Anne Schäfer under the email address: si.jpd@mzes.uni-mannheim.de

The deadline for manuscripts to be considered for the special issue is July 31, 2019. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed and a decision rendered until November 2019 with a target publication of the issue in 2020.

Editorial Information

Guest Editor: Christiane Grill Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim

Guest Editor: Anne Schäfer Department of Political Science, University of Mannheim