Join Us at the Boston Public Library for April 24th Dialogues

For those of you in and around Boston, consider joining us next Tuesday (April 24th) for seven dialogue events at the Boston Public Library as part of the National Week of Conversation.

NCDD has been working with the Boston Public Library and Big Tent Nation to offer these dialogues supported by highly skilled facilitators, and we encourage you to attend or to just help spread the word!

All dialogues will take place in BPL’s beautiful Central Library in Copley Square at 700 Boylston Street in Boston.

Here’s the rundown for next Tuesday…

3:00 – 4:30 pm

Immigration
a Conversation Cafe facilitated by Paul Weisman and Michele Simos of SMART Conversations (Register here)

Bridging Divides
a World Cafe facilitated by Kirsten Olson of Old Sow Coaching and Consulting (Register here)

Sexual Assault & Power Relationships
a Conversation Cafe facilitated by Heang Ly, Director of Consulting and Training at TeenEmpowerment.org (Register here)

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Race and Ethnicity
a Living Room Conversation facilitated by Vicky Peterson of CollabAction (Register here)

Guns and Responsibility
a Living Room Conversation led by professional facilitator Hilary Marcus (Register here)

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Safety and Justice
a National Issues Forum led by Mette Kreutzmann and Sara Cohen of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) (Register here)

Bridging Divides
a Living Room Conversation led by professional facilitator Claudia Lach (Register here)

Lessons from our Confab Call with Community Rights US

Last week we held our April Confab call about the Community Rights movement here in the US and its implications for our democracy. We were joined by two dozen participants to learn more about how this movement has helped people to be more participatory, exercise truer democratic practices, and work to protect the well-being of communities. It was an informative call and we encourage you to check out the recording!

On the call, NCDD member Linda Ellinor interviewed Paul Cienfuegos who works in the Community Rights movement. Paul set the stage for how things are the way they currently are, by sharing the history of corporate influence in the US, how it has taken sovereignty away from the American people, and some of its effect on the way our democracy operates. He emphasized how, “we the people need to rediscover who we are and this history of corporate influence, in order for us to have the legal authority to create the society we want”.

We learned that the Community Rights movement has passed ordinances in 200 communities, over 9 states; and that by doing so makes it possible for a municipality to push back on laws that protect corporations and violate the welfare of the community. The Community Rights movement offers an important reflection on how to have civic engagement that doesn’t just pay lip-service to reinforce the current structures and corporate rule but instead empowers people to take back our democratic republic. Paul provided a resource doc for those interested in learning more about the Community Rights movement, which you can find here.

We recorded the whole presentation in case you weren’t able to join us, which you can access on the archives page by clicking here. We had several insightful contributions to the chat, which you can find the transcript of here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).

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We want to thank Paul, Linda, and all the Confab participants for contributing to this important conversation! To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Finally, 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!

NCDD2018 Call for Session Proposals is Now Open!

NCDD’s 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is coming up this November 2-4 in downtown Denver.

NCDD conferences bring together hundreds of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people involved in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada.

Today we’re announcing our call for proposals for our concurrent sessions for NCDD 2018. We’re interested in finding creative ways to highlight the best of what’s happening in public engagement, group process, community problem-solving, civic tech, and arts-based dialogue — and we know you have lots of ideas!

Check out the Application for Session Leaders now to see what we ask for, and start cooking up those great proposals we’ve come to expect from our network! If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, look over the comments on this blog post, where we asked the NCDD community to share what they’d like to see happen at NCDD 2018, and peruse the fabulous sessions offered at the 2016 and 2014 NCDD conferences.

Please note that the deadline for proposals is Wednesday, May 9th. We look forward to seeing what you’d like to offer!

If your work involves dialogue and deliberation, or you want to get involved with this work, you’ll love this conference. Imagine spending three days with some of the most amazing leaders in this field, forming new relationships and reconnecting with old colleagues and friends, hearing about innovative new approaches to the challenges you’re facing, and exploring together how we can shape the future of this important movement, all while using innovative group techniques there’s really nothing like it. (See our 2016 Conference Storify page for quotes and pictures.)

Here is some guidance for those thinking about presenting sessions at NCDD 2018…

Our theme for the 2018 conference is Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators, and we invite workshop proposals that in some way build upon or engage the ideas around this theme.

NCDD 2018 is taking place the weekend before the November midterm elections and these are vital times for using the skills and tools of the dialogue and deliberation community to continue to bring people together. We have heard from so many, both in our field and particularly those unfamiliar with D&D work – how do we come together and talk with each other despite the divisiveness that pervades our society? There are many in our country that are unaware of the D&D field’s work to better engage people and improve democratic processes.

Our goal of the conference is to explore how to bring dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement work’s many tools and processes into greater visibility and practice within our society. At the conference, we will dig into how to bring D&D to the more widespread awareness and use by:

  • Cultivating new partnerships and connections with other fields utilizing these approaches, including government, libraries, and journalism;
  • Developing our skills, and building our toolkits to address the emerging needs of the communities we work with and live in;
  • Making the case for public engagement, by elevating the stories of how people are coming together across divides, making decisions and taking action together, as well as demonstrating the value and impact of this work;
  • Growing the skills of D&D in our young people, and cultivating leaders who are drawn to D&D;
  • Building the skills and capacities of others in our communities to do this work;
  • Reaching out to and engaging with those less drawn to D&D, including conservatives, activists, and others;
  • Highlighting the ways D&D can be fun, and exploring innovative methods for public engagement – including the arts.

We invite session proposals that will highlight the work being done to tap D&D into the peoples’ daily lives, build democratic participation, and better expose D&D work through the above connections. Your proposal will be evaluated, in part, by its relevance to our theme and goals.

Some advice for potential session leaders:

  1. Identify great co-presenters.  Most workshops at NCDD conferences are collaborative efforts involving multiple presenters from different organizations and universities. Have you thought about who you can co-present with? Now’s the time to contact them to see if they’d like to offer a session with you! (Use the NCDD Main Discussion list and the comments below to put out feelers for potential co-presenters if you’d like.)
  2. Look over past workshop descriptions. Peruse the list of workshops from NCDD Boston to get a sense of the kinds of sessions the planning team selects. Sessions focused on innovative solutions to common challenges, ways to take this work to scale or to new audiences, and deep dives into great projects (and thoughtful explorations of failed projects!) are especially welcome.
  3. Be innovative with your session.  NCDD attendees are usually not too impressed with traditional panels or long speeches. Get them engaging with you and each other! Think about how you can get them out of their seats and moving around the room. And think about what you’d like to learn from them (not just what they can learn from you). Challenge yourself to run a session without relying on PowerPoint.
  4. Share your stories.  NCDDers prefer hearing your stories to getting a run-down of your organization or methodology.  People are interested in learning about what you did, what you learned, and how they may be able to learn from your experience.
  5. Share the latest.  What’s the latest research? What are the latest innovations in the field? What new challenges are you facing? What are your latest accomplishments?

Not quite ready to draw up a proposal yet? Use the comment field (and/or the NCDD Main Discussion listserv) to float your ideas by other NCDDers and members of the planning team. We may be able to match you up with potential co-presenters who can address the same challenge or issue you’re interested in focusing on.

Look over the comments on our engagement of members around what they would like to see at the conference, on the blog and the listserv. There is a wealth of ideas and insight in those results!

Deadline for submissions
To have your session proposal considered, we need you to submit the session application by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 9th. Members of the conference planning team will review the proposals and plan to respond by email to the first contact listed in your proposal early June.

Don’t forget that the super early bird tickets are NOW AVAILABLE! Get yours at this great low rate before it goes up!

Join Next Tuesday’s Confab Feat Community Rights US!

We are excited for our April Confab call featuring Community Rights US, coming up next week on Tuesday, April 10th from 1-2:30pm Eastern/ 10-11:30am Pacific! Please join us for this free call with NCDD member, Linda Ellinor, who will be interviewing Paul Cienfuegos of Community Rights US. They will be addressing the growing success of the Community Rights movement which is empowering citizens to pass local laws that protect our right to clean air and water, safe food, living wage jobs, and much more, in their local communities. Register today to reserve your slot!

About the Community Rights movement:

Since its inception in 1999, over 200 communities and counties in nine states have passed legally and culturally groundbreaking Community Rights ordinances that have banned harmful corporate activities such as fracking, water bottling, unsustainable energy development, aerial spraying of pesticides on farms and forests, and much more. These local laws also enshrine Nature as having locally enforceable Rights to exist, flourish and evolve. This is a real breakthrough approach for those of us in NCDD trying to facilitate effective community engagement projects especially around environmental and social justice issues. Come learn how to help your communities work ’outside the regulatory law box’ that has made it virtually impossible to block predatory corporate projects such as factory farms, GMOs, and mining operations from coming in and destroying local communities and ecosystems.

About the presenters:

Paul Cienfuegos is a national leader in the Community Rights movement, which works to dismantle corporate constitutional so-called “rights” and assert The People’s inherent right to govern themselves. He has been leading workshops across the US since 1995. Launched in October 2017, Paul is the founding director of Community Rights US. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Linda Ellinor pioneered Bohm Dialogue in the 1990s and is now focused on climate change activism and helping to found the “Academy for Professional Dialogue’, slated to be launched in 2018.

This call is not-to-miss – register today to join us for this conversation!

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!

“Super Early Bird” Rate Now Available for #NCDD2018!

Hey everyone! We are thrilled to announce the “Super Early Bird” registration rate is now live for the upcoming 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation! This super low rate of $350 is only available for a limited time (through May 30th), so make sure you register ASAP to secure your spot for #NCDD2018 at this great price!

Our conferences only come around every two years, and you won’t want to miss this one! NCDD conferences aren’t just about having fun and enjoying the company of our field’s movers and shakers. They’re about forming new partnerships, strategizing together about how we can tackle our field’s greatest challenges, showcasing some of the coolest arts, technologies, and methods for public engagement — and so much more.

This year we will be coming together from November 2-4 (Friday through Sunday) in Denver, CO, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. We are so excited for NCDD 2018 and hope you will join us! The theme for this year’s conference is “Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators”, and our intention is to focus on how we can further uplift dialogue, deliberation, and engagement work.

NCDD2018: Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators

So much of our political environment is rife with partisan rancor. Our communities are struggling with crisis after crisis. These and other factors have people across the country yearning for the ability to listen to one another with more understanding and civility, to work more effectively across differences, and to improve how we make decisions together and engage in our democracy.

Just what our field specializes in.

So for the 2018 conference, we are making space to dig deep into what we know about helping and healing democracy. Now is the time to bring the work of the dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement field into greater visibility and use. There are so many valuable processes and resources that our extended community of practice offers, and we’d like to explore ways to make this work spread. Join us to cultivate its widespread practice in our communities.

At NCDD 2018, we will explore bringing dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement to the forefront by:

  • Cultivating new partnerships and connections with other fields utilizing these approaches, including government, libraries, and journalism;
  • Developing our skills, and building our toolkits to address the emerging needs in the communities we work with and live in;
  • Making the case for public engagement, by elevating the stories of how people are coming together across divides, making decisions and taking action together, as well as demonstrating the value and impact of this work;
  • Growing the skills of D&D in our young people, and cultivating leaders who are drawn to D&D;
  • Building the skills and capacities of others in our communities to do this work;
  • Reaching out to and engaging with those less drawn to D&D, including conservatives, activists, and others;
  • Highlighting the ways D&D can be fun, and exploring innovative methods for public engagement – including the arts.

NCDD conferences bring together hundreds of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people involved in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada. Over 3,000 people, from dozens of countries, have attended our biennial national and regional events, and we’re expecting over 400 this year! Hopefully, you’re one of them!

Learn much more about the conference at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2018, and register today at www.ncdd2018.eventbrite.com to take advantage of the Super Early Bird rate.

The call for workshop proposals is coming next week, so think about what you might like to present at the conference as well!

NCDD conferences are important networking and learning events for our field. Watch these highlight videos by Keith Harrington of Shoestring Videos to get a sense of the energy and content of our last two conferences…

Missed our Tech Tuesday Feat Synaccord? Listen now!

We had another one of our fantastic NCDD Tech Tuesday calls last week featuring NCDD member David Fridley of Synaccord! We were joined by over 50 participants on the call, to learn more about the Synaccord online platform and the ways in which it compliments face-to-face (F2F) deliberation. David had a special offer for NCDDers which you can learn more about by listening to the recording! We recommend you check it out if you weren’t able to make it because it was a great call!

On the Tech Tuesday, David walked us through a demo of Synaccord using a previous project around developing a 2-year strategic plan; which gave participants an opportunity to see the capabilities of the platform. Participants use Synaccord to rank their values online before engaging in a F2F process and then afterward rank again online to see if/how perspectives shifted. The platform allows participants to give comments on their specific choices which is especially helpful because after decisions are submitted, the top priorities are shown with how much agreement/disagreement is in the group and comments can help guide how issues are worked with. Synaccord can easily accommodate larger groups by having smaller break out groups which then feed back into the larger group response; that way everyone’s input gets seen/heard and is accessible to the rest of participants.

If you were unable to join us on the call, never fear! We recorded the webinar which can be found on the archives page here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).

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Big thank you to David and everyone who joined us on this informative call! We encourage you to check out the TechTues recording and learn more about Synaccord and it’s online platform at www.synaccord.com/. To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Tech Tuesdays and Confab Calls. 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!

Reminder to Join Tomorrow’s Tech Tues Feat Synaccord!

In case you missed our original announcement, our next Tech Tuesday featuring David Fridley of Synaccord is tomorrow, March 20th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00-Noon Pacific. You don’t have to be an NCDD member to participate, this free call is open to all. Make sure you save your spot by registering ASAP to join!

David Fridley, the founder of Synaccord LLC and an NCDD member since 2015; has been taking the best practices of face to face deliberation and translating them into online experiences to enhance and expand face to face deliberative discussion. David will demonstrate the latest release of tools for online deliberation and explain the discussion stages in terms of their face to face comparisons.  He will show where face to face discussions and online discussions add value to each other, by creating better results than either can achieve separately.

He will lead a discussion of the challenges facing online discussion and the concerns public bodies have, and how they are overcome. David also has a special offer for NCDDers who want to help a public body discover awesome solutions with tremendous support.

This is sure to be an educational webinar on how to improve engagement results, by utilizing online deliberative tools to augment the deliberative experiences that take place face to face – don’t miss out, register today!

About NCDD’s Tech Tuesdays

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

What would you like to see at NCDD 2018?

NCDD’s staff is in the beginning stages of conference planning, and as we do each conference year, we’d like to hear from the D&D community about what you’d like to see, do and experience at this year’s National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. Over the next twelve days (through March 9th), we’ll be seeking ideas from the NCDD community via email, social media, and the blog.

NCDD conferences look and feel a bit different each year because our events are experiments in collaborative planning, and our planning team is highly responsive to our community’s needs and energy.

NCDD’s national conferences bring together 400+ of our community’s most exciting leaders, innovators, learners, and doers, for an event that enables us not only to network and learn from each other, but to tackle our greatest collective challenges head-on, and to set the direction for our field.

What we cover at our conferences, and how we cover it, is important for this ever-growing, ever-changing field — and we want your input!  Everyone in the NCDD community (members, past conference attendees, subscribers, social media friends) is welcome to participate.

To help you get started, NCDD’s staff and board would like to share some of our thoughts with you and get some feedback. We notice that with the extreme partisan rancor of our current political environment, coupled with the continuous tragedies around gun violence and so much more – has many in this country calling for the need to be able to better listen to each other with more understanding and civility, to work more effectively across differences, and to improve the way people engage in democracy.

Just what our field specializes in.

So for the 2018 conference, we think making space at this year’s conference to dig deep into how we can bring the work of the dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement field out from what seems like the “fringes” and into greater visibility and use. There are so many valuable processes and resources that our field works on, and we’d like to explore the ways in which we can further make this work commonplace and bring it into widespread practice. We’d like to hear from you whether this resonates, and what ideas you might have for how we might explore this together.

We’re also seeking more ideas. As you consider our intentionally broad framing question, “What would you like to see happen at NCDD 2018?”, think about…

  • What do you think about the idea above?
  • What topics would you like to see covered?
  • What ideas do you have for awesome activities?
  • What would you like to contribute to this year’s event?
  • What could we do this year that might improve your work?
  • What could we do that would help us move the field forward?
  • What can we do while we’re together that we can’t easily do virtually?
  • Dream big, or be specific… it’s all good!

Please share your responses to these questions in the comments below, via our discussion listserv, and on social media.

If you’re interested in playing a role at the conference, helping with planning, or just attending, be sure to fill out our interest form for NCDD 2018, too!

We’re excited to hear your ideas and to get working on putting together another great conference!

Announcing the March Tech Tuesday Featuring Synaccord

NCDD is excited to announce our next Tech Tuesday featuring David Fridley of Synaccord. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, March 20th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00-Noon Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Public deliberation can engage communities in discussions that lead to awesome solutions with tremendous support! Online deliberative tools should help achieve this by augmenting and extending face to face deliberative structures, not replacing them. It is not a question of one or the other, it’s about how the two work together to achieve bigger better results.

David Fridley is the founder of Synaccord, LLC and member of NCDD since 2015 and he has been taking the best practices of face to face deliberative discussions and translating them into online experiences to enhance and expand face to face deliberative discussion. David will demonstrate the latest release of tools for online deliberation and explain the discussion stages in terms of their face to face analogs.  He will show where face to face discussions and online discussions add value to each other, creating better results than either can achieve separately.

He will lead a discussion of the challenges facing online discussion and the concerns public bodies have, and how they are overcome. And, he will have a special offer for NCDDers who want to help a public body discover awesome solutions with tremendous support.

This will be an interesting session, with demonstration of online deliberation tools and thoughtful discussion. Don’t miss out on this great exchange – register today!

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

 

Recap on our Tech Tues Feat Iceland’s Citizens Foundation

NCDD hosted another one of our informative and exciting TechTues calls earlier this week! We were joined by around 100 participants from across the world to learn more about Citizens Foundation, their digital democracy solutions, and how they are working to strengthen civic engagement in Iceland and internationally.

We recommend you listen to the recording if you weren’t able to make it because it was a great call!

On the call, Robert Bjarnason of Citizens Foundation walked participants through a brief history of how democracy has evolved throughout the last millennium in Iceland and set the stage for the work they are doing today. Founded in the aftermath of Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008, Citizens Foundation sought to improve public participation in government and policy change, by creating open source tools and implementing more democratic processes. They specialize in participatory budgeting, policy crowdsourcing, and other open source projects spanning several countries in Europe and in Australia.

Some of our favorite quotes from Robert during the Tech Tuesday:

  • “A key factor is to make participation fun. Make it informational and educational, but it can’t be boring. People have too many other options, there’s competition for attention, so make it an enjoyable experience”
  • “Lower the barrier to reach more people and not just the usual suspects”
  • “It’s key to let people know about the effort, they can’t participate if they don’t know about it.”
  • “If you listen to the people, the people will listen to you.”
  • [In response to a question on how do you make participation fun?] “Complicated is how you kill fun, make it simple and use pictures!”

If you were unable to join us on the call, never fear! We recorded the webinar which can be found on the archives page here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).  We had an active chat discussion which raised some really interesting questions and examples, and you can check out the transcript of this chat by clicking here. Robert also shared the slides from his presentation, which you can find by clicking here, in case you wanted to scroll through them.

Tech_Tuesday_BadgeBig thank you to Robert and everyone who participated on the call to make it engaging and informative! We encourage you to check out the TechTues recording and learn more about Citizens Foundation’s ongoing work at https://citizens.is/. To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Tech Tuesdays and Confab Calls. 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).