Register for 2018 IAF N. America & Caribbean Conference

The International Association for Facilitators announced their upcoming 2018 North America & Caribbean Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this Spring. The conference will take place Friday, May 4 & Saturday, May 5th; with a pre-conference Executive program on Wednesday, May 2nd & Thursday, May 3rd. This is a great opportunity to network with folks in the field and build your facilitation capacity. The super early bird non-member rates are available until December 31st, so make sure you register this week to secure this great deal! You can read more in the announcement below or find the original on IAF’s site here.


IAF North America & Caribbean Conference 2018: Expanding our Facilitation Horizons

Overview
We’re very excited to announce the IAFNAC Conference 2018 will be hosted in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario! This conference is uniquely crafted by facilitators for facilitators to increase our personal and professional understanding of facilitation. Our delegates will connect, learn, share and apply new ideas in the realm of facilitation. We will use facilitative practice and events throughout the program. Our conference promises to be an invigorating and exciting delegate experience.

Conference Dates:
Pre-Conference Executive Program, Wednesday, May 2nd & Thursday, May 3rd
Conference, Friday, May 4th & Saturday, May 5th

Conference Location: Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street Ottawa

What will you learn, share, and take a deep dive into at IAFNAC 2018?

  • The Philosophy of Facilitation | What are the philosophical roots of facilitation, and how do they influence our work? The past influences our work in the present and future! When we take time to look at the philosophies that are the foundation of facilitation, and ask why we do what we do, we can renew our purpose and bring clarity and focus to our practice. We want to provide opportunities to reflect on the philosophies that influence our work in the present.
  • Facilitation for the World | How can facilitators positively contribute to organizations, communities, and the world in transition? The world is in transition from what was, to what is, to what will be. The roles that people play and the rules that govern groups, organizations, and communities are changing. Currently, our world appears to face many polarized and divisive views. We want to provide opportunities to explore how facilitation can positively impact global needs, can foster dialogue and thinking together, and can help people live successfully and harmoniously within the contemporary transitional world.
  • Facilitation in the Digital Era | How can we enrich our facilitation horizons in the digital era? Shifts in digital communication, and how we interact with and disseminate information, mean that groups of people can come together without being physically present in the same location. We want to provide opportunities to discuss the impacts of changes in digital communication on theunderstanding and practice of facilitation.
  • Facilitation with and for other professions | How does facilitation aid and support other professions, and how are other professions influencing the practice of facilitation? Shifts in digital communication, and how we interact with and disseminate information, mean that groups of people can come together without being physically present in the same location. We want to provide opportunities to discuss the impacts of changes in digital communication on the understanding and practice of facilitation.

For more information on the IAFNAC 2018 conference, visit www.iaf-world.org/site/iafnac2018.

Two Weeks Left for IAF Facilitation Impact Nominations

Know an organization that has had a profound facilitation impact? Nominate them within the next two weeks for the Facilitation Impact Awards with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF)! Submit the names of organizations you feel have had a positive impact through their facilitation within the last 24 months. Those who have had a measurable impact, will have an opportunity for global recognition because of how they have used and benefitted from facilitation. Make sure you get your nominations in by 11pm on Sunday, July 9th (GMT) in order for these fantastic facilitation orgs to be eligible. Follow #FacilitationAwards on Twitter for more!

You can read the announcement from IAF below or find the original version with more info on their site here.


2017 Facilitation Impact Awards – Honouring excellence in facilitation

About the awards
As a professional association with members in more than 65 countries, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is well placed to recognise the power of facilitation worldwide. For more than 20 years we have been strong advocates for the power of facilitation in helping organisations to address challenges and achieve results.

The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organisations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them.

The awards are open to organisations of any size from the business, government, and not-for-profit sectors. The awards are for organisations that use and benefit from facilitation rather than firms that provide facilitation services.

The facilitators who worked with the organisation are included in the organisation’s submission. The facilitator may be an employee of the organisation or an external facilitator who provided services to the organisation.

Who may make a submission

  • A representative of the organisation being nominated or a facilitator involved in the delivery of the facilitation services may make a submission.
  • An area within an organisation—for example, a division, branch or section—may make up to two submissions in a submission period.
  • A facilitator may be nominated in up to five submissions in a submission period.
  • Members of the FIA core project team are not eligible to receive an award and must not prepare or help others to prepare submissions.
  • Evaluators may prepare and make a submission if they are nominated in the submission. Evaluators are not permitted to evaluate a submission if they are nominated in the submission.
  • Members of the broader FIA project team may prepare and make a submission.

Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for an award:

  • the nominated organisation must be a recognised entity under the laws of the respective country.
  • at least one facilitated process associated with the submission must have taken place within 24 months of the closing date for submissions.
  • the results included under the organisation impact criteria must have been achieved within 24 months of the closing date for submissions.
  • a facilitated process associated with the submission may have been nominated in the past but must not have received an award.

How to nominate
Complete a Facilitation Impact Award submission form available from our website. Forms are available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish and nominations will be accepted in any of these languages. When completing your submission, make sure you address all the award criteria taking the scoring framework at Appendix 1 into account. Submit your completed form to FIA[at]iaf-world[dot]org by the closing date shown on the form. No nomination fees are payable.

You can find the original version of the IAF announcement at www.iaf-world.org/FIA.

IAP2 North American Conference in Denver this Fall

NCDD org member, International Association for Public Participation [IAP2], is holding their 2017 North American Conference from Sept 6-8 in Denver, Colorado. The conference “Pursuing the Greater Good – P2 for a Changing World” will be a three-day opportunity to dig deeper into public participation with fellow practitioners. Follow the hashtag #iap2nac2017 for extra conference happenings. Early bird registration is open until June 30th, so check out the conference and save your spot at this great rate!

You can read the announcement from IAP2 below or find the original on their site here.


2017 IAP2 North American Conference

This year’s theme, “Pursuing the Greater Good – P2 for a Changing World”, couldn’t be more timely, and once again, you have an opportunity to consider that theme from a variety of angles and share perspectives and insights.

The pre-conference workshops cover three important topics for P2 professionals: “Bringing More People to the Table”, “Digital Engagement” and “Transportation and P2”.

Pathways are “deep dives” into specific topics; three-hour discussions where you get to set the agenda, co-create and co-host. Those taking part will be able to set the physical and intellectual environment where a small group of people can tackle big questions that ultimately contribute to the field. With Pathways, you can expect an experience that is in-the-moment, dynamic, engaging … and demanding!

Conference Schedule

From now through June 30, you can take advantage of the early-bird price: US $550 for members and $700 for non-members. For that, you get:

  • workshops or field trips, Wednesday, Sept. 6
  • the welcome reception, Wednesday, Sept. 6
  • all sessions and pathways
  • continental breakfast
  • lunch and lunchtime activities
  • the Core Values Awards gala, Thursday, Sept. 7 – dinner, entertainment and a chance to applaud the best in the business

Conference registration begins Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.

Conference Fees & Registration

2017 North American Conference Rates          Member Rate          Non-Member Rate
Early Bird Registration: Feb 1 – June 30                 $550                          $700
Regular Registration: July 1 – Sept 5                      $650                          $800
At the Door Registration                                        $750                         $900
Student and Americorps Members                         $350                            –

International Members: members residing outside the United States, email info[at]iap2[dot]org to request your registration code.

Hotel Westin Downtown Denver – At the base of the Colorado Rockies!

Why not play while you work? This beautiful hotel has many amenities including on-site dining, luxurious rooms, and easy access to surrounding attractions!

The IAP2 Conference Block rate guarantee of $189.00/night + tax expires at 5pm Mountain Time on Sunday, August 6. Reservations made after August 6 will be offered at that rate on a space available basis.

Arrive early, stay late! Conference rates will be provided two days before and after the scheduled conference dates based on availability. For extended reservations, call the reservation line at 888-627-8435 .

Cancellation policy: Individual reservations will automatically be billed for one night unless canceled 48 hours prior to arrival. An early departure fee of $50 will apply if a registered hotel guest checks out prior to the reserved checkout date.

To make a reservation call the reservation line at 1-888-627-8435 and ask for the “IAP2 Conference Block” or click on “Online Registration” here.

You can find the original announcement from IAP2 at: https://iap2usa.org/nac/

Learn from Iceland’s Deliberative Constitutional Change

We want to encourage our NCDD network, especially those in California, to consider registering to attend an intriguing event this June 3 at UC Berkeley called A Congress on Iceland’s Democracy. This international gathering aims to explore new approaches to democracy inspired by the deliberative process that Iceland used to create its new constitution through a mock legislative process, and we’re sure many NCDDers would take a great deal of inspiration from participating.
You can learn more about the gathering in the invitation letter below sent to the NCDD network from our friends at Wilma’s Wish Productions, whose Blueberry Soup documentary on Iceland’s constitutional transformation we previously posted about on the blog, or learn more at www.law.berkeley.edu/iceland.


A Congress on Iceland’s Democracy

We are writing to extend an invitation to an event we believe would interest you. On June 3rd, 2017, we are hosting a citizen’s gathering at the University of California, Berkeley.

This event will translate participatory discussion into concrete action proposals by organizing as a mock legislative body to develop, debate, and decide on proposals for moving forward with Iceland’s constitutional change process. The event’s structure takes inspiration from the 2010 Icelandic National Assembly and Robert’s Rules of Order.

This powerful summit will revolve around discussions on how to address the current political and social climate in the United States, using Iceland’s constitutional reform process as an example. Iceland’s new constitution was written in perhaps the most democratic way possible and we want to model this methodology and learn how it can be applied in communities across the United States and the world. Our goal is to create a non-partisan environment that will foster new approaches to democracy and a shared vocabulary.

Many prominent political figures from Iceland will be in attendance as well as many of the authors of the new constitution. Furthermore, academics, activists, startups, and journalists from all over the United States and Europe are also coming to participate in this “Icelandic National Assembly” style event.

This gathering of citizens has piqued the interest of people from all around the globe – a mass exodus of Icelanders and Europeans are flying in just to sit at these tables because they know real change is possible through dialogic methodologies. We hope this historic gathering will shape the way Americans think about democracy with a focus on the impact that dialogue can have on the democratic process on a local as well as global scale.

This conference aims to achieve exactly what many of you have dedicated your life to – reimagining democracy and the way we converse with one another about tough issues. Your passion for dialogue and democracy in addition to your excellent facilitation skills makes me believe you would be a valuable asset to this event and an excellent voice for others to engage with.

We want a broad range of perspectives present at this event, so we invite you to register to attend this citizens gathering and participate in history as it is being made.

You can learn more about the Congress on Iceland’s Democracy at www.law.berkeley.edu/iceland.

NCDD Member Discount on the Int’l Assoc. of Facilitators’ Regional Conference in FL

If you hadn’t already heard, the International Association of Facilitators – one of our NCDD member organizations – is hosting its 2017 conference for the N. American and Caribbean region this May 8-11, and we encourage our members to consider attending. Even if you’re not an IAF member, dues-paying NCDD members are eligible for a $50 registration discount. NCDD supports the conference’s goal of growing the relevance of facilitation, and it will be a great way to make international connections with other D&D practitioners. You can learn more about this great opportunity in the IAF’s invitation below or learn more at the conference site here.


IAF 2017 N. American & Caribbean Conference: The Relevance of Facilitation

Where will you be May 8 to 11, 2017?

Hopefully at the 2017 International Association of Facilitators North America & Caribbean Conference (IAFNAC) – The Relevance of Facilitation – in West Palm Beach, Florida which takes place this May 8 through 11. As a facilitation practitioner in the IAF’s network, you can register for a $50 discount off of the conference workshops being offered on May 10 & 11.

Here is an opportunity to experience leading facilitators from the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Sweden, France, Russia, and Australia, sharing their best practices across a wide spectrum of hard and soft skills and topics. These sessions are designed to give you proven strategies that you can use right away.

Session topics cover not only facilitator tools and techniques, but also the business of facilitation and ways for non-facilitators to use facilitation skills. It is ideal for anyone who works as a leader, coach, member, or professional advisor to teams and communities wanting to deliver change.

The Relevance of Facilitation offers 12 pre-conference training workshops and 25 conference breakout sessions. Review theConference Programme and register now by clicking here. Use the promotional code “[iafnt]” (lower case) to receive the $50 discount.

In between the power-packed sessions are plenty of times for networking and holding one-on-one conversations with other facilitators with interests similar to yours.

We are looking forward to a great conference, and hope to see you in West Palm Beach!

You can learn much more about the conference agenda, sessions, and registration details at the IAF conference website at www.cvent.com/events/iaf-north-america-caribbean-conference/event-summary-ace9b9b8604b490aa5894d43413abef2.aspx.

New Kettering Publication on Engagement & Higher Ed

We want to encourage our members in higher education to check out the newest version of the Higher Education Exchange, a free annual publication from NCDD member organization the Kettering Foundation. The Exchange explores important and timely themes around the public mission of colleges and universities and offers reflections from both domestic and international scholar-practitioners on how higher education can and must shift toward teaching deliberation and civic engagement. We highly recommend it. You can learn more about the 2016 edition in the Kettering announcement below or find the full downloadable version here.


Higher Education Exchange 2016

This annual publication serves as a forum for new ideas and dialogue between scholars and the larger public. Essays explore ways that students, administrators, and faculty can initiate and sustain an ongoing conversation about the public life they share.

The Higher Education Exchange is founded on a thought articulated by Thomas Jefferson in 1820: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

In the tradition of Jefferson, the Higher Education Exchange agrees that a central goal of higher education is to help make democracy possible by preparing citizens for public life. The Higher Education Exchange is part of a movement to strengthen higher education’s democratic mission and foster a more democratic culture throughout American society.

Working in this tradition, the Higher Education Exchange publishes interviews, case studies, analyses, news, and ideas about efforts within higher education to develop more democratic societies. The Exchange is edited by David W. Brown and Deborah Witte.

  • Foreword by Deborah Witte  (PDF)
  • Inside the Graduate School Mess: An Interview by Leonard Cassuto  (PDF)
  • Assumptions, Variables, and Ignorance by David Brown  (PDF)
  • Deliberation and Institutional Political Cultures: A Brazilian Perspective by Telma Gimenez  (PDF)
  • An Island of Deliberation in an Authoritarian Environment: The Case of Russia by Denis V. Makarov  (PDF)
  • Publicly Engaged Scholars: Next-Generation Engagement and the Future of Higher Education, Edited by Margaret A. Post, Elaine Ward, Nicholas V. Longo, and John Saltmarsh by Etana Jacobi  (PDF)
  • Afterword: Citizens in a Global Society by David Mathews  (PDF)

You can find the original announcement of this Kettering Foundation publication at www.kettering.org/catalog/product/hex-2016.

The Challenge of Populism to Deliberative Democracy

As populism sees a global resurgence, it is critical for our field to examine what this phenomenon means for our work. That’s why we encourage our network to give some thought to the insights offered in this piece from Lucy Parry of Participedia – an NCDD member organization. In it, Lucy examines the way citizens juries in Australia might violate core tenets of populism, and encourage us to consider how deliberative democracy – especially approaches using mini-publics – may need to evolve to avoid being delegitimized by populist challenges. You can read the piece below or find it on Participedia’s blog here.


When is a democratic innovation not a democratic innovation? The populist challenge in Australia

The following article by Participedia Research Assistant Lucy Parry was originally published by The Policy Space on October 11, 2016.

Democratic innovation is burgeoning worldwide. Over 50 examples from Australia alone are now detailed on Participedia, an online global project documenting democratic innovations. In some states, ‘mini-publics’ proliferate at local and state level. South Australia in particular has wholeheartedly embraced the notion of deliberative democracy and has embarked on an ambitious raft of citizen engagement processes including several Citizens’ Juries.

According to Graham Smith (2009) a democratic innovation must (a) engage citizens over organised interests and (b) be part of the wider political process. Mini-publics operationalise these aims through convening a group of citizens who are at least broadly representative of the wider population to deliberate on a given topic.

Despite fulfilling Smith’s criteria, democratic innovations in Australia run the risk of becoming neither democratic nor innovative. Scholarly debate over mini-publics peaked over a decade ago – isn’t it time to move on? Moving on necessitates moving with the times and dealing with contemporary challenges. One such challenge is the rise of populism. Australian democratic innovations typically rely on premises that are fundamentally opposed by populism: random selection and expert knowledge. This populist challenge cannot be ignored, and theorists and practitioners must meet it together.

Inside the room

A Citizens’ Jury is a well-known mini-public format: a small(ish) group of randomly selected citizens who meet several times to deliberate on a given topic. Random selection underpins the process in two ways. It aims to produce a descriptively representative sample, making the jurors literally a ‘mini public’ (Fung 2003; Ryan and Smith 2014): a microcosm of the wider population. Random selection also relates to deliberative quality: bringing together a group of random citizens reduces the likelihood of the loudest voices dominating. As Australian research organisation newDemocracy Foundation points out, ‘governments inevitably hear from the noisiest voices who insist on being heard’; lobbyists, Single Issue Fanatics (SIFs), Not-in-my-back-yards (NIMBYs) – call them what you will. Mini-publics are designed to foster a less adversarial, more nuanced debate with a group of random citizens.

I have observed Citizens’ Juries in the flesh and it is quite an extraordinary experience. Watching a room of disparate and diverse people evolve into a committed team negotiating technical topics like wind farm development leaves me feeling almost jubilant (I don’t get out much). When you are inside the room, watching the deliberative process at play, it really is wonderful. Australia is home to a number of practitioners including newDemocracy Foundation, DemocracyCo and Mosaic Lab, and it is undeniable that some great work is going on in Australia in this area.

But alas, the path of democracy never did run smoothly. Suffice to say that cracks begin to emerge when you are outside the room. If decisions are legitimate to the extent that they have been deliberated upon, then the decisions made by a mini-public suffer a legitimacy deficit, given the typically small group involved (Parkinson 2003). And although some recent Citizens’ Juries have sought to expand the number of participants, this diminishes the quality of dialogue (Chambers 2009). Furthermore, in the past 15 years a growing number of scholars have sought to move beyond the mini-public paradigm in deliberative democracy to tackle deliberation at the large scale – through deliberative systems (Dryzek 2009; Parkinson and Mansbridge 2012), deliberative cultures (Sass and Dryzek 2013) and deliberative societies.

Yet, the practice of deliberative democracy (in Australia at least) clings to the mini-public approach. South Australia is notable for its extensive citizen engagement yes, but is it really innovative? The Western Australian Department of Planning and Infrastructure undertook a similarly ambitious program of mini-public style engagements over a decade ago. This critique is not a reflection on the quality of democratic practice in Australia, nor is it a criticism of what goes on inside the room. It is instead a concern that further underpins the need for deliberative theorists and practitioners to work together.

Outside the room: the populist challenge

Remember those NIMBYs and SIFs that mini-publics aim to exclude through random selection? Their exclusion rests on the assumption that the quality and outcome of deliberation is better without those insistent voices. The aim is that through a process of deliberation, people will become ‘more public-spirited, more tolerant, more knowledgeable, more attentive to the interests of others, and more probing of their own interests’ (Warren 1992, p8). Producing deliberated public opinion involves weeding out weak and poorly informed arguments. Again, this is all very well if you are inside the room. If you’re outside the room, you may very well object.

And let’s face it, those objectionable voices are not going away. As Ben Moffit points out, ‘Populism, once seen as a fringe phenomenon relegated to another era or only certain parts of the world, is now a mainstay of contemporary politics across the globe’. The voices that a Citizens’ Jury wants to keep out of the room now have the room surrounded. If we continue down the mini-publics road, the very thing that allegedly legitimises mini-publics will also be its downfall. The assumptions underpinning random selection are that it is representative of the wider community; and that it facilitates better quality deliberation by bringing together everyday citizens rather than insistent voices. Whether these things are accurate or not is a moot point – what actually matters is how they are perceived by broader publics. It is sad but possibly true that for those outside the room, what goes on inside the room doesn’t matter. And I suspect that the argument that a Jury is representative and very well informed is simply not going to cut it.

Trust in the Australian political system is at a staggering low with very little trust in any level of government; mini-publics in Australia are almost invariably associated with a government body or statutory authority. Mini-publics rely on information presented by experts; populism rejects the knowledge of experts. With all the will and most independently-recruited-and-facilitated process in the world – people may just not trust it. And yet, even if there were greater trust in politics, the justification of random selection explicitly rejects populist public opinion – and vice versa. Bridie Jabour’s Guardian interviews with One Nation voters exemplifies this disconnect. One Hanson supporter is quoted as saying:

“I’m not a politician, I’m not an accountant, I’m not anybody who knows anything but I see stuff and think ‘that doesn’t look right to me’, the average Joe Blow feels things more than they actually understand or know, they feel things, they know stuff.”

The logic of randomly selected mini-publics goes against this. The question is how to respond; the populist challenge cannot simply be ignored or sneered at. Yet in a way, this is exactly what mini-publics can be perceived as doing.

The time is right

We are at a critical juncture in Australia. One option is to continue plying the mini-public trade and make extra efforts to engage more people in the process, and to better explain mini-publics to a wider audience. The question is whether we simply need to work on explaining ourselves better, or whether the populist challenge requires deeper reflection on the practice of democratic innovation and deliberative democracy. I am inclined toward the latter.

The challenge that populism poses should be seized as a catalyst to re-think the practice of deliberative democracy in Australia. Mini-publics are one of many worthy options; deliberative democracy is a far broader church – and democratic innovation even more so. Randomly selected mini-publics are not a cure-all. At best, they are an important piece embedded in a broader democratic process. At worst, they are a viable threat to the practice of deliberative democracy itself.

You can find the posting of this article on the Participedia blog at www.participedia.net/en/news/2016/11/13/when-democratic-innovation-not-democratic-innovation-populist-challenge-australia.

French Development Agency Champions the Commons as New Vision for Development

The word “development” has long been associated with the Western project of promoting technological and economic “progress” for the world’s marginalized countries.  The thinking has been:  With enough support to build major infrastructure projects, expand private property rights, and build market regimes, the poor nations of Africa, Latin America and Asia can escape their poverty and become "modern" -- prosperous, happy consumers and entrepreneurs poised to enter a bright future driven by economic growth and technology.

That idea hasn’t worked out so well.

As climate change intensifies, the ecological implications of growth-based “development” are now alarming if not fatuous. The 2008 financial crisis exposed the sham of self-regulating “free markets” and the structural political corruption, consumer predation and wealth inequality that they tend to entail.  And culturally, people are starting to realize, even in poorer countries, that the satisfactions of mass consumerism are a mirage. A life defined by a dependency on global markets and emulation of western lifestyles is a pale substitute for a life embedded in native cultures, languages and social norms, and enlivened by working partnerships with nature and peers.

It is therefore exciting to learn that Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – the French development agency, based in Paris – is actively considering the commons as a “future cornerstone of development.”

A key voice for this shift in perspective at AFD is Chief Economist Gaël Giraud, who boldly acknowledges that “growth is no longer a panacea.”  He compares the current economic predicament to the plight of the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, who had to keep running faster and faster just to stay in the same place.  (For a short video interview with Giraud, in French, click here.  Here is an AFD webpage devoted to various commons issues.)

In a blog post outlining his views of the commons and development (and not necessarily reflecting those of AFD), Giraud cited the loss of biodiversity of species as a major reason for a strategic shift in “development” goals. “The last mass extinction phase [of five previous ones in the planet’s history] affected dinosaurs and 40% of animal species 65 million years ago,” writes Giraud. “At each of these phases, a substantial proportion of fauna was lost within a phenomenon of a massive decline of biodiversity.”

read more

Don’t Mourn, Commonify! The European Commons Assembly Convenes

Across Europe, a vision of the commons has been emerging in the margins for many years.  But now, as the credibility of conventional politics and neoliberal economics plummets, commoners are becoming more visible, assertive and organized. The latest evidence comes from the first meeting of a newly formed European Commons Assembly. More than 150 commoners from 21 countries across Europe gathered in Brussels for the three-day event, from November 15 to 17.

The Assembly was organized by Sophie Bloemen and David Hammerstein of the Berlin-based European Commons Network, in collaboration with other commons advocates and organizations. Two sets of Assembly meetings were held at the Zinneke collective, based in an old stamp factory in Brussels that the nonprofit collective had reclaimed.  Another meeting was held in the stately European Parliament building, hosted by supportive members of the European Parliament who sit on the Working Group on Common Goods, within the Intergroup on Common Goods and Public Services.

Bloemen and Hammerstein recently wrote about the meetings:

This movement of commoners has been growing across Europe over the last decade, but last week it came together for the first time in a transnational European constellation. The objectives of the meetings were multiple but the foremost goal was to connect and form a stable but informal transnational commons movement in Europe. The political energy generated by bringing all these people together in this context was tremendous.

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AllSides

From AllSides…

Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.allsides_logo

At AllSides, we believe the way society gets its news and information affects the world around us. And lately it hasn’t been going well. News, social media and even search results have dramatically changed in the last several years, becoming so narrowly filtered, biased and personalized that we are becoming less informed and less tolerant of different people and ideas.

This is how it happens, and what we can do about it.

Blasted with the overwhelming 24-hour news noise of today, which is often loud, extreme, partisan and rude, we tend to do one of the following:
Disengage from trying to understand or solve society’s problems.
Block out different perspectives, becoming more close-minded and less tolerant of other people and ideas.

There’s a better way… AllSides sees a strong connection between our ability to comprehend and tolerate different opinions, and our ability to develop better schools, more jobs, more wellbeing, and less violence. So we decided to address the core problem – the overwhelming and often one-sided information flow.

How? Change the way we get information so it is easy to sort through the noise and see different perspectives. Armed with a broader view, we can resist attempts to manipulate us in one direction or the other. Instead, we can truly decide for ourselves:

Understand and appreciate different perspectives and people. We’re creating a better informed, less polarized world.

AllSides delivers technology and services to provide multiple perspectives on news, issues, and topics – and the people behind the ideas. With it, we get a broader, deeper understanding of the issues and each other so together we can build a more perfect union.

About the AllSides Bias Rating
The AllSides Bias Rating TM reflects the average judgment of the American people. Bias is normal. If you’ve got a pulse, you’ve got a bias. But hidden bias misleads and divides us. That’s why we have the AllSides Bias Rating.

Bias ratings can be a powerful tool. With it, we can easily look at a news story or issue from different perspectives just by looking at articles on the same topic but from sources that have different bias ratings. By understanding bias, we can understand topics and each other better.

Join us in making bias more transparent everywhere. Rate your own bias, learn how you compare to others (options on this page to the right), and help us rate the bias of other news sources.

How AllSides Calculates Bias
The AllSides patented bias detection and display technology drives arguably the world’s most effective and up-to-date bias detection engine. It’s powered by a combination of wisdom-of-the-crowd technology and the best statistical research and methodologies.

You drive the bias ratings. What you do at AllSides affects our bias ratings. That includes how you rate your own bias and how you rate the bias of news sites, especially through our blind bias surveys. All of this is added to our crowd data, which is statistically normalized to represent a balance of the American public.

Multiple methods for calculating bias. Our blind bias surveys, described in the graphic below, is our most complete and robust method for rating the bias of the source. That is not the only method we use, and often we don’t need anything as robust as that. The source itself might openly share its own bias, 3rd party research may have already determined the bias, an independent review might be decisive, or a broad consensus could be sufficient. Take a look at the variety of methods we use to measure bias.

allsides

Our bias detection engine gets smarter as time goes on. We are constantly evolving the bias engine. And, the more you participate, the better our ratings will be and the more sources we can rate. We also ask you to rate your own bias. We’re continuing to improve ways to help you get the most accurate bias self-rating so you can participate on AllSides and in life with transparency and self-awareness. Make the world a better place by understanding and sharing your own bias openly!

Resource Link: www.allsides.com/