Watch the NCDD Network Call on COVID-19

Last week, NCDD hosted a call for our network to discuss how we are adjusting our plans and work in light of COVID-19. We had 70 people join us for this call, and we touched upon numerous topics! Thank you to everyone who made the time to join us and share your questions, ideas, and resources.

The call was recorded and can be accessed here. The chat, which contains a bunch of helpful links, can be found here. We started a Google doc with helpful resources and tools for navigating conversation and connection during this COVID-19 pandemic – find it here. Feel welcome to add to the doc, any resources/tools you think would be helpful.

What was abundantly clear from the call is there is a great desire to continue these conversations we started. NCDD is working on setting up additional calls for the network, to allow us to dig deeper into some of these topics. We need your feedback – please fill out this brief form to share with us what you would most like to discuss! We will announce a series of calls in the coming days, to allow more opportunities for us to share and work together.

In addition to these calls, we also want to invite you to help others by sharing your knowledge, skills, and talents with the broader community. No doubt there is a hunger for connection right now while we remain physically apart, and the members of this community are well equipped to help those who are new to dialogue and deliberation get started. 

So, what could you do?

  • Submit a post for the NCDD Blog – on anything you are thinking about or working on, really. But posts that help people think about ways they can engage right now will be particularly helpful. 
  • Share your resources – submit them to the NCDD Resource Center, or help gather resources with others. NCDD started a resource for this network here, which you are welcome to add to.
  • Do you have a quick video that could be helpful for faculty teaching about D&D? Share it! NCDD will happily post on our Youtube Channel – just send me a message with the original link (courtney@ncdd.org). 
  • Have students looking for projects? Looking for something to keep you busy right now? NCDD can always use help! We are always looking for help with posting on the NCDD Blog (original content and content shared from the network), creating new resources/updating old resources in the RC, facilitating network calls, and more. If you have an interest in the above or want to explore what’s possible, let me know!
  • Make a donation to NCDD or join/renew your membership. Your support as always goes directly to supporting staff in doing the work we’ve outlined above as well as our regular programming. 

Thank you for your participation and willingness to serve your communities in these challenging times. We will continue to be here for you all as we get through this thing together.

Announcing a Virtual Conversation Cafe about COVID-19

Friends, the desire for connection and thinking together is overwhelming in this time of physical distancing. NCDD, along with our member and dear friend Susan Partnow, have decided to offer another opportunity for our network to come together in dialogue to support us all during this time. Next Wednesday, March 25th from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM-Noon Pacific, we will hold a virtual Conversation Cafe – all are welcome! Register here to join us.

This Cafe is intended as an opportunity for us to connect around how we are feeling and what we are thinking at this time, as well as exploring what we do next. We hope this will help build community among us in this difficult time, as well as help generate ideas for what we might do individually and collectively.

It will also be an opportunity for you to experience Conversation Cafe in an online format. This model is an elegantly simple process for bringing people together in small group conversations to share, listen to one another, and deepen their understanding of one another and a topic. It was built for face-to-face conversations, but Susan and I have been experimenting with it online and are finding that it may be a great model to help people connect virtually during a time of distancing physically. We plan to share some materials for moving this to an online format in advance of the call!

If you want to participate, please register today!

Watch the Confab on Hope for Democracy!

We enjoyed hosting the March Confab Call featuring the new book Hope for Democracy! For those who may have missed it, or those who want to refer back, this post has all the important information from the event.

In Hope for Democracy, John Gastil and Katherine R. Knobloch introduce new tools for tamping down hyper-partisanship and placing citizens at the heart of the democratic process. They showcase the Citizens’ Initiative Review, which convenes a demographically-balanced random sample of citizens to study statewide ballot measures. Citizen panelists interrogate advocates, opponents, and experts, then write an analysis that distills their findings for voters. Gastil and Knobloch reveal how this process has helped voters better understand the policy issues placed on their ballots. Placed in the larger context of deliberative democratic reforms, Hope for Democracy shows how citizens and public officials can work together to bring more rationality and empathy into modern politics.

The Confab was a great conversation about the Citizens Initiative Review and how it has improved democratic participation in the places it has been utilized. The recording of this event can be found at this link. Our participants asked a whole lot of great questions and our presenters shared several helpful links – if you are curious to see those, you can check them out here.

Our sincere thanks to John Gastil, Katie Knobloch, as well as Robin Teater and Linn Davis from Healthy Democracy for presenting this session. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book! If you choose to purchase through Amazon, don’t forget to go to smile.amazon.com and ask Amazon to donate a portion to NCDD!

Confab bubble imageTo learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs. We love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

Join NCDD for a Network Call about COVID-19

With the declaration yesterday of a global pandemic, it’s clear that everyone’s way of life will be impacted. Public events are being cancelled or postponed, and people are being asked not to come together in person. Social distancing is being recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This social distancing has impacts on individuals and our communities, for certain. But it also impacts the very way in which many of us conduct our work. For the dialogue and deliberation field, the work we do happens most often in public spaces and with people face to face. In the wake of COVID-19, how can we adapt to ensure that this important work proceeds?

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NCDD is convening a conference call next Thursday, March 19th at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific to allow our network to discuss this issue and share ideas for how to continue our work in ways which address the health and safety issues that currently exist. We’ll discuss how each of us are adapting our approach to the work, and consider what best practices we may want to adopt as we move forward. Everyone will be invited to share tools and resources they are utilizing. We hope this call will be a helpful opportunity for everyone to tap into our collective wisdom, and collaborate on plans to continue to assist communities in engaging and making decisions together. NCDD will compile what emerges from the call – the practices, resources, and tools that can be shared with our wider network and the public.

To join the call, which will take place via Zoom, please register here.

We are wishing you all the best.

Announcing the March NCDD Confab: Hope for Democracy!

NCDD is thrilled to announce our March Confab Call, which will introduce a new book from John Gastil and Katie Knobloch, Hope for Democracy. This free call takes place Tuesday, March 10th from 2-3 pm Eastern/11 am-12 pm Pacific. Register today to secure your spot.

Concerned citizens across the globe fear that democratic institutions are failing them. Citizens feel shut out of politics and worry that politicians are no longer responsive to their interests. In Hope for Democracy, John Gastil and Katherine R. Knobloch introduce new tools for tamping down hyper-partisanship and placing citizens at the heart of the democratic process. They showcase the Citizens’ Initiative Review, which convenes a demographically-balanced random sample of citizens to study statewide ballot measures. Citizen panelists interrogate advocates, opponents, and experts, then write an analysis that distills their findings for voters. Gastil and Knobloch reveal how this process has helped voters better understand the policy issues placed on their ballots. Placed in the larger context of deliberative democratic reforms, Hope for Democracy shows how citizens and public officials can work together to bring more rationality and empathy into modern politics.

The Confab will give folks a chance to ask questions of Katie and John, and Robin Teater from Healthy Democracy, which convenes the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review. Subjects will include the Review itself, American politics and deliberative democracy, research partnerships with nonprofits, and anything else that seems even slightly relevant.

This free call will take place on Tuesday, March 10th from 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am-12 pm PacificRegister today so you don’t miss out on this event!

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About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

Check out the February NCDD Confab on Hidden Common Ground!

It was our pleasure to host our February Confab Call featuring the Hidden Common Ground Initiative! For those who may have missed it, or those who want to refer back, this post has all the important information from the event.

Hidden Common Ground is a joint project of USA TODAY, Public Agenda, the Kettering Foundation, and National Issues Forums. At the heart of the initiative are National Issues Forums in communities and online across the country about compelling public issues: health care, immigration, the economy, and divisiveness.  USA TODAY will provide press coverage and commentary, Public Agenda will publish issue-based research, and Kettering Foundation will develop nonpartisan discussion guides.  Since there are too few opportunities for Americans to discover their “hidden common ground,” participating in the year-long initiative is vitally important.

The Confab was a wonderful overview of the initiative and opportunities to participate, and it can be found at this link. Our participants asked a whole lot of great questions – if you are curious to see those, you can check them out here. Additionally, the presentation materials can be accessed at this link.

Our sincere thanks to Betty Knighton, Darla Minnich, and Kara Dillard for presenting this session. NCDD hopes we’ll hear about our members participation in this initiative soon!

Confab bubble imageTo learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs. We love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

This Thursday: NCDD Confab on Hidden Common Ground!

Don’t miss this Thursday’s NCDD Confab Call, which features the Hidden Common Ground initiative. This free call takes place Thursday, February 20th from 2-3 pm Eastern/11 am-12 pm Pacific. Register today to secure your spot.

Hidden Common Ground is a joint project of USA TODAY, Public Agenda, the Kettering Foundation, and National Issues Forums. At the heart of the initiative are National Issues Forums in communities and online across the country about compelling public issues: health care, immigration, the economy, and divisiveness.  USA TODAY will provide press coverage and commentary, Public Agenda will publish issue-based research, and Kettering Foundation will develop nonpartisan discussion guides.  Since there are too few opportunities for Americans to discover their “hidden common ground,” participating in the year-long initiative is vitally important.

Please join us to learn more, to explore local partnerships and media connections, and to access free materials to use in your communities.

This free call will take place on Thursday, February 20th from 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am-12 pm PacificRegister today so you don’t miss out on this event!

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About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

Announcing February Confab feat. Hidden Common Ground

We are excited to announce the February Confab Call, which features the Hidden Common Ground initiative. This free call takes place Thursday, February 20th from 2-3 pm Eastern/11 am-12 pm Pacific. Register today to secure your spot.

Hidden Common Ground is a joint project of USA TODAY, Public Agenda, the Kettering Foundation, and National Issues Forums.

Are there aspects of public issues where Americans can agree and work together to solve problems? Let’s tackle this question in Hidden Common Ground, the national election year public deliberation initiative.  At the heart of the initiative are National Issues Forums in communities and online across the country about compelling public issues: health care, immigration, the economy, and divisiveness.  USA TODAY will provide press coverage and commentary, Public Agenda will publish issue-based research, and Kettering Foundation will develop nonpartisan discussion guides.  Since there are too few opportunities for Americans to discover their “hidden common ground,” participating in the year-long initiative is vitally important.

Please join us to learn more, to explore local partnerships and media connections, and to access free materials to use in your communities.

Presenters for this Confab Call include:

Betty Knighton, President, National Issues Forums Institute; Senior Associate, Kettering Foundation

Kara Dillard, CGA Operations, National Issues Forums Institute; Assistant Professor, James Madison University School of Communication Studies

Darla Minnich, CAO, National Issues Forums Institute

This free call will take place on Thursday, February 20th from 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am-12 pm PacificRegister today so you don’t miss out on this event!

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About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

December Confab on Guns & Violence Now Available!

We hosted our December Confab last week with presenters from National Issues Forums, Living Room Conversations, and Essential Partners. Each shared their resources for talking about one of the toughest topics in our communities today: guns and violence. This post contains links to the resources as well as a link to the recording of this event.

Betty Knighton and Darla Minnich from the National Issues Forums Institute shared their Issue Advisory, How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings in Our Communities?   The issue advisory outlines three potential options for addressing this issue and encourages the public to deliberate on these and potentially other options.

Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations shared the Conversation Guide on Guns and Responsibility which seeks to help people come together across political or ideological differences to discuss this challenging topic. The guide offers a format for talking about guns in a way that helps community members hear one another’s experiences and how those impact their views about guns.

Katie Hyten from Essential Partners, the global leader in building trust and understanding across divisive differences, shared the story of how the organization convened participants in 2018 from across the United States for a two-day training in dialogue design and community building, followed by an experiment in digital peer dialogue facilitation. Watch the TIME Magazine video, read the media coverage, ​view resources, ​and find out more about Essential Partners’ approach to this issue on their website.

The Confab was a informative and full of resources and tips. It can be found at this link.

Our sincere thanks to Betty, Darla, Joan and Katie for sharing their resources with us and inspiring us to get our communities talking about this important topic.

Confab bubble imageTo learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs. We love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

NCDD Donations Matched Tomorrow on Giving Tuesday!

This week is Giving Tuesday, a day of giving back to the organizations that give to our communities year-round. We at the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) ask you to consider supporting our coalition’s work to bring more valuable conversations to communities across the country and the world. We work to increase access to resources for dialogue, deliberation, participatory democracy, and more. Our purpose is to foster connections between individuals and organizations passionate about having more informed and productive conversations; strengthening relationships in order to reduce information and skills from being siloed.

NCDD envisions a future in which all people–regardless of income, position, background or education–are able to engage regularly in lively, thoughtful, and challenging discussions about what really matters to them, in ways that have a positive impact on their lives and their world. We envision a society in which systems and structures support and advance inclusive, constructive, dialogue and deliberation. 

NCDD is a small outfit, with just three part-time staff, and we rely on the support of our network and friends to help us continue to educate people on dialogue and deliberation, and to build this national coalition. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.

On Giving Tuesday (tomorrow, December 3rd), Facebook will match a total of $7 million in donations. Starting at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific, donations made through our Facebook page, will be matched – so please give what you can and help NCDD continue to support this network of innovators!  Important to note: Facebook will be covering processing fees, so 100% of your donation will go towards NCDD (!!). If you don’t use Facebook, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

For seventeen years, NCDD has worked hard to gather visionaries and practitioners dedicated to raising the quality of discourse across many key issues and questions. Many of you have been a part of that – and we’re immensely grateful for you!

As you reflect back on your years of association, we’re curious: how much has this network meant to you? Has it made a difference for good in some way? In what ways can we continue to drive NCDD together to support each other doing this work?

Please consider a #GivingTuesday donation to help us continue this work into the new year. More than ever before, we could use the help and support – and would be so grateful for your assistance!

We recognize there are a lot of fantastic organizations out there to donate to on Giving Tuesday, but we hope you consider donating to NCDD, which plays such a critical role in building capacity for improved democracy, conversation, and connection (which, we argue, is actually the most important issue we face right now as a country). It is really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field. 

If you don’t know very much about us, we encourage you to check out some of the great benefits of NCDD and become a member. If you are already connected, please consider donating, even just a little bit, especially since it can be matched this morning.

Thank you for your support this Giving Tuesday and every day!