Check out the Fifth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops!

In anticipation for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation, we are thrilled to announce another round of workshops! Check out the sessions we’ve announced so far and join us for this engaging conference happening Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver. We have several exciting pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1st – so register ASAP to attend. Take advantage of our discounted hotel room rate until 5:00pm MST on Wednesday, October 10th and/or coordinate here on the blog to find a roommate. If you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will announce the final workshop sessions within the next few weeks!

Developing Materials, Identifying Challenges, and Embracing Opportunities for Dialogue and Deliberation in Rural America
This session will offer an exploration of an effort by the Interactivity Foundation to develop a discussion guide on the future of agriculture and rural communities regarding the effort to share strategies for organizing rural discussions and organizing discussions in urban communities on rural themes. This session will critically examine the so-called urban/rural divide. In addition to this particular resource, presenters will share stories of connecting into rural deliberative systems, highlighting challenges and opportunities for working in rural communities such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona.

Sara Drury
Director, Wabash College Democracy and Public Discourse

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Senior Consultant, Action Dialogue Group

Sarah Giles
Project Manager, Oregon’s Kitchen Table
National Policy Consensus Center, Portland State University

Shannon Wheatley Hartman
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Timothy Shaffer
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Kansas State University

David Supp-Montgomerie
Director and Lecturer, Iowa Program for Public Life

Don’t Engage the Public… Before You’ve Answered These Six Questions
Public participation is increasingly becoming the norm for government decision-making. More engagement, however, doesn’t necessarily mean higher satisfaction with the process and outcomes among communities and decision-makers. Using case studies and scenario exercises the session will provide an opportunity to road-test six strategic questions that help set dialogue and deliberation practitioners up for success, by clarifying key elements of an engagement process, including the topic, desired outcomes, impact on communities, depth and reach of engagement, as well as plans for follow-through.

Hassan Hussein
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Elevating Voices and Building Bridges: Community Trust and Police Relations
It is important to build relationships between the community and police to improve public safety and increase community trust. We will present specific dialogue methods used to engage the community and police and that has created value and impact for multiple demographics affected by law enforcement in the Chicago and Denver regions. Our methods will also illustrate how to support and amplify community voices and ideas.

Joe Hoereth, PhD
Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gianina Irlando
Community Relations Ombudsman, Office of the Independent Monitor

Paul Pazen
Chief of Police, Denver Police Department

Norma E. Ramos
Director of Engagement and Partnerships, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bria Scudder
Senior Government and Community Liaison, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Enriching Journalism and D&D through Collaboration
This interactive session highlights multiple approaches to collaboration between journalists and D&D. The presenters will draw on their experience leading efforts connecting journalists and the communities they serve through dialogue and deliberation-based engagement efforts. We’ll highlight three of our projects, and reference others, to surface best practices for building D&D approaches into journalism and ensuring D&D efforts resonate with media organizations to support meaningful community change. We’ll then move into interactive, small group discussions to identify and critique ideas for incorporating these practices into the efforts and projects of session attendees, developing ideas from the perspectives of both D&D practitioners and journalists.

Elizabeth Dunbar
Reporter, Minnesota Public Radio

Leslie Graves
President & CEO, Ballotpedia

Adolf Gundersen
Research Director, Interactivity Foundation

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Growing the Next Generation of D&D Leaders through Campus Dialogues
How might we grow the next generation of D&D leaders? In this session, we’ll share different co-curricular approaches to student-facilitated campus dialogues that could play a role. We represent 5 different schools of various sizes (UC Davis, Oklahoma State, Emory, University of Tampa, and Wesleyan College) and different non-profits (Sustained Dialogue Institute and the Interactivity Foundation). Together with workshop attendees, we’ll explore what it takes to create and sustain the ecosystem for co-curricular D&D programs, the challenges and promises for this work, and lessons learned so far.

Melanie Doherty
Associate Professor of English and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, Wesleyan College

Ed Lee
Senior Director, Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, & Dialogue
Emory University

Tami Moore
Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Oklahoma State University

Tonya Parker
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wesleyan College

Carolyn Penny
Director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California Davis

Jeff Prudhomme
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Mike Stout
Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Family and Community Policy

Elizabeth Wuerz
Program Consultant, Sustained Dialogue Institute

Measuring Civic Infrastructure and Building A Culture of Engagement
How do communities move from occasional public participation to a robust culture of engagement? Participants will learn about the National Civic League’s Civic Index and engage in small group activities using the index. The Civic Index is a tool for measuring the capacity of a community for effective decision-making and problem-solving. Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League, will present the newest version of the index, a tool originally created in 1987. Carla Kimbrough, Racial Equity Director for the League, will present examples of how cities achieve the equity and inclusiveness aspects of the index. Carmen Ramirez, Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager for the City of Longmont, Colorado, will talk about the benefits to her city of a cultural of engagement.

Carla Kimbrough
Racial Equity Director, National Civic League

Doug Linkhart
President, National Civic League

Carmen Ramirez
Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager, City of Longmont

Talking about Guns in America: Two Approaches for Shifting the Conversation
Americans are sharply divided over how to deal with gun violence. Many gun-owning Americans strongly oppose new gun regulations, and some want to expand gun rights with a national “right to carry” reciprocity law. Meanwhile, gun control advocates are ramping up campaigns for laws such as a federal ban on the popular AR15 and other assault-style weapons. How can civil dialogue build bridges of understanding between people on both sides of this highly charged debate? Two models will be discussed: a national effort in collaboration with TIME and the Advance Local family of community media groups; and a grassroots project from rural California. This workshop will emphasize problem-solving and creative thinking about how to moderate face-to-face and online discussions of this controversial subject.

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners

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

Jim Hight
Independent journalist and facilitator

Final round to be announced soon!

Fourth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops Now Available!

Excited for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation?! Then make sure you check out this fourth round of NCDD2018 workshops, as well as, what we have announced up until now! NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver, but we encourage folks to get an early start on the NCDD fun with the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). If you are looking to split the cost on a hotel room, we’ve created a space on the blog to coordinate room shares. Finally, NCDD conferences are incredible opportunities to network and dig deeper into the D&D field, which is why we recently launched the Scholarship Fund Drive. Help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so, by giving a tax-deductible donation today!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Don’t Avoid, Don’t Confront; Instead… Engage!: Dialogue Skills for Anti-racism Allies
How does a white person who aspires to be an ally against racism talk to their friends and family who are in denial about racism against people of color? The Ally Conversation Toolkit (ACT) gives people concrete guidance about how to respond to a wide variety of statements that racism-denying white folks make every day. The ACT project teaches the R.A.C.E method for managing conversation – standing for Reflect, Ask, Connect, Expand – that involves shifting interpersonal conversations from battles of opinion to a dialogue involving listening, empathy, and personal storytelling. The 90-minute conference workshop will be a distillation of half day and full day community workshops that have engaged thousands of people in venues across the country over the past two years.

Dr. David Campt
Founder, Ally Conversation Toolkit

Dayne Linford
Leader, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – Salt Lake City, UT

Facilitating Effective Dialogue on Challenging Community Issues
Recently, Elkhart County, Indiana needed to hear from community members on a proposed rezoning to build an immigration detention center which would house up to 1,400 immigrants facing possible deportation. This case study will demonstrate how Elkhart County Commissioners used PlaceSpeak to engage with residents, and how they facilitated respectful online dialogue on this controversial and potentially explosive issue without trolls or bots. Session participants will be asked to share challenging issues in their own communities and how they can apply the best practices to their local context.

Colleen Hardwick
Founder/CEO, PlaceSpeak Inc.

Mike Yoder
County Commissioner, Elkhart County

Partner for Engagement: From Crises to Cohesion in Communities
Workshop leaders will facilitate three interactive cases in which participants will have to make management decisions that successfully engage multiple stakeholders and sectors in building sustainable solutions to community crisis situations: (1) integration of Puerto Rican migrants displaced by Hurricane Maria, (2) response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and (3) economic development in impoverished neighborhood. Participants will learn how to negotiate partnerships, brand processes, and leverage resources within a D&D context, based on workshop leader experiences in these issues.

Thomas Bryer
Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida
Board President, Atvirum, Inc.

Sofia Prysmakova
PhD Candidate, Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida
Board Vice-President, Atvirum, Inc.

Using Deliberation to Tackle Substance Abuse in Local High Schools
Engaging students can be difficult, especially when they’re not interested or don’t know enough about a topic. Come hear from students who got involved in engaging hundreds of high school students in conversations about substance abuse. This session will cover the barriers and opportunities related to partnering with students and school districts.

Kaia Heer
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Sabrina Duey
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University

Wakanda Forever: An Intergenerational Equity Framework
Everyday Democracy will share their intergenerational equity framework for community engagement. Using examples from the movie Black Panther, we will demonstrate our principles and vision for equity. Participants will learn how to use an intergenerational equity lens in their own community, and develop action plans to build bridges across age divides. Building intergenerational equity in to your work can lead to deeper dialogue and in turn more sustainable action and change.

Malana Rogers-Bursen
Program Associate, Everyday Democracy

Matthew Sagacity Walker
Community Assistance Associate, Everyday Democracy

More to come soon!

Practicing Vital Life Skills in Ben Franklin Circles

It’s not often enough that there are dedicated times to practicing a vital life skill like active listening, but Ben Franklin Circles are just the opportunity. This recent article, written by Danyel Addes – one of the NCDD2018 planning team members, talks about the valuable space that BFCs offer to strengthen our listening skills and truly hear another person out. Make sure you check out the free upcoming webinar on August 30th at 2pm EST, “Sharing Airtime: Current BFC hosts share advice for balancing participation and encouraging deep listening.” We encourage you to read the post below and find the original post on BFC’s site here.


Ben Franklin Circles: Creating the world by listening

In her June 2018 Host Profile, Kim Crowley a BFC Host from Connecticut wrote that some of her circle group members had “mentioned difficulties with listening while others in the group are talking.” She explained that as a host, “It made me realize that providing support around listening skills may be important for every group I facilitate.”

Sometimes our efforts to nod attentively and assure people we are listening is a purposeful strategy that we employ in the service of efficiency and multitasking. But what about the times that we genuinely want to listen but find it unexpectedly difficult? How long are you able to listen to someone without thinking about your own opinions, how you want to respond, or what you are going to say next? Why is this so hard to do?

These questions feel particularly relevant to Ben Franklin Circles. At least once a month, circle members make a concerted effort to go somewhere specifically to listen to others. The last time I paid attention to how much time I spent listing vs. how much time I spent thinking about what I wanted to say, I realized I was missing out on many of the contributions of my peers, contributions I had come to hear. Ben Franklin Circles have helped me realize that I have far less control over my ability to listen then I had assumed.

short article by Eric Westervelt from 2014 provides some context for this experience. Westervelt spoke with writer Julian Treasure, whose observations I think about often while in conversation with fellow BFC group members (yes, sometimes while they are speaking).

Treasure observes that “it would be some sort of shock horror story if a child left school unable to read or write. But we do not teach explicitly, or test in the main, either speaking or — much more importantly — listening…. Listening is a skill. This is not something that is just natural that we can expect everyone to be brilliant at just because we are human. It is something we have to work out. Listening is an activity. It’s not passive. We are creating the world by listening all the time.”

Professor Laura Janusik adds, “There’s this assumption that, just because we can hear, that means we can listen effectively. That’s like suggesting that just because we can speak we can speak effectively. And we all know that is absolutely not the case.”

When I catch myself “failing” to be able to listen, it helps to remember that this is a difficult skill that I’ve never really had a chance to practice.

Most of us can imagine how we would practice an athletic skill like a jump shot or an artistic pursuit like ceramics. It can be hard to imagine what that looks like when it comes to listening. Luckily, there are creative ways to do this.

A few years ago in a workshop, I was told that the facilitator would time us and we would each have 2 minutes to speak. I expected the following conversation to be stressful and awkward. But soon after we started I realized that knowing exactly when my turn was coming and how long it would last, freed me up from thinking about those things and allowed me to do a better job of listening as each person spoke. It made the whole conversation more fun and more enjoyable.

In a brief TED talk, Julian Treasure offers suggestions for individuals who want to improve their ability to listen. His first suggestion, Silence, will be familiar to members of Ben Franklin Circles, who know that Silence is one of Franklin’s virtues.

For years, I didn’t realize I was missing out on a life skill that now feels incredibly vital and valuable. I am thankful that (for those of us looking for them) Ben Franklin Circles can offer many opportunities to develop a listening practice, as individuals and as a community.

Danyel Addes is a Program Manager at the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

You can find the original version of this post on Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/ben-franklin-circle-hosts/ben-franklin-circles-creating-the-world-by-listening.

Round Three of NCDD2018 Workshop Now Available!

In case you missed it, we have been announcing workshops for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation over the last few weeks! This is round three of workshops and you can check out the line-up of sessions we’ve announced so far on the main conference page (and this is just half..we have 30 more to announce!). NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver, but we encourage folks to get an early start on the NCDD fun with the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). If you are looking to split the cost on a hotel room, we’ve created a space on the blog to coordinate room shares. Finally, we invite folks to contribute to the Scholarship Fund Drive we recently launched and support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Participatory Systems Change – Engagement for Big Impact
Addressing many of today’s societal, economic and environmental problems requires a systems lens that takes into account the values of citizens and stakeholders, identifies leverage points for intervention, and builds collaboration among multiple actors. Through hands-on activities, participants will explore how dialogue-based engagement and systems approaches can be connected to create Participatory Systems Change, by rethinking key aspects of engagement, i.e.: ownership; issue framing; sequencing; the nature of democratic exchange; the method of analysis; and communications strategies.

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

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

Libraries Transforming Communities: Working with Your Local Library to Bridge Divides
Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change (www.ala.org/ltc) was a two-year initiative of the American Library Association and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation that sought to strengthen communities by giving libraries the tools they need to bring disparate voices together and lead change. In this session, ALA and NCDD will share the experience of training librarians to lead dialogues in their communities, including opportunities and lessons learned from the project. Participants in this session will discuss ideas for continuing this work, collaborating with their local library and building a community of practice for facilitators and library practitioners. (Intermediate)

Mary Davis Fournier
Deputy Director, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Courtney Breese
Managing Director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Samantha Oakley
Program Officer, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Facilitating Deliberation Online – Reflections and Advice on Tools and Practice
This session will bring together platform designers, consultants, and practitioners from the world of online deliberation for a survey of currently used tools and best practices. Panelists provide a range of experiences from research to nonprofit boards to citizen participation. We will provide a brief overview of research in online deliberation over the past 20 years, and discuss findings of the ParticipateDB 2018 Digital Engagement Census. Tool designers and online deliberation facilitators will share reflections and advice applied to different deliberative contexts.

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

Tim Bonneman
Interim Director, Center for Applied Community Engagement (CACE)

Flavors of Free Speech on Campus
Campuses across the country are grappling with the tensions between two core values: free speech, as protected by the first amendment, and inclusion of diverse people in the campus community. Explore the boundaries of free expression and inclusion by asking questions such as: Should universities try to establish “safe spaces”? Are provocative speakers allowed to speak on public campuses? Is dialogue a realistic option to address some of these free speech challenges? Come discuss these questions and raise your own in an interactive discussion with representatives from Rutgers and UC Davis.

Carolyn Penny
Director, Campus Dialogue & Deliberation, University of California – Davis

Nancy Kranich
Lecturer, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Confronting the White Supremacy Culture of D&D
This session will pose the question: how does the field of D & D encounter the culture of white supremacy? Using a combination of individual reflection, small group, and whole group discussion, participants will be asked to reflect on questions about how white supremacy manifests itself within the thinking and practices of dialogue and deliberation as well as how D&D has confronted the challenges of white supremacy.

Frank Dukes, PhD
Distinguished Institute Fellow, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Tanya Denckla Cobb
Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Selena Cozart, PhD
Community Facilitator, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Bridging Divides through Dialogue and Digital Narratives
We all know how digital media too often distracts/detracts from constructive dialogue. How can digital narrative production be used instead to promote individual self-awareness, empowerment of underrepresented voices, and dialogue across difference? This workshop highlights a multi-step, dialogic process for just that, as utilized by the national Story Center in recent collaborations with groups at the University of Colorado. Students and staff together will share sample narratives and lead participants in exercises and discussion around lessons learned and methods for productive dialogue.

Ashmi Desai
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Colorado – Boulder

Jim Walker
Norlin Teaching Faculty, University of Colorado – Boulder

Daniel Weinshenker
Director, Midwest Region, Story Center

People’s Movement Assembly for Envisioning an Inclusive Democracy Movement
Democracy begins at the community level, and it requires intentionality to create inclusive spaces that bring together as many voices to the conversation. Since 2010, Move to Amend has facilitated Peoples’ Movement Assemblies as a mechanism to promote democratic dialogue and deliberative problem solving for democratizing the US Constitution. PMAs will help participants to develop a shared analysis of the current crises we face, create a shared vision of the world we want to build, and collaborate strategically across social movements and fronts of struggle towards coordinated action.

Keyan Bliss
Grassroots Volunteer Coordinator, Move to Amend

Jessica Munger
Program Director, Move to Amend

Designing Community Deliberation in College Courses
The design of public deliberation and dialogue varies depending on community needs, goals, context, and audience. Presenters will provide deliberative pedagogy models and syllabi for involving students in research, design, facilitation, assessment, and reporting of different community dialogues and deliberations. Through examples of integrating deliberation into college curricula and the accompanying student learning outcomes and community results, participants will develop strategies for bringing college curricula and deliberation theory into effective, sustainable community-based practice.

Leila R. Brammer
Professor/Chair/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Pamela Conners
Associate Professor/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Brandon Anderson
Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College

Addressing Coercive Power in Dialogue and Deliberation
Facilitators may encounter interactions that leave a dialogue participant feeling uncomfortable, silenced, or even feeling their identity is threatened. We call these interactions instances of coercive power. This workshop raises awareness about instances of coercive power in dialogue settings and provides a chance to workshop responses to two cases of coercive interactions. We conclude by sharing the facilitator’s actual responses and analyzing effects of their intervention. You will develop a nuanced understanding of coercive power and build a deeper repertoire of ways to respond.

Roudy Hildreth
Associate Director, CU Engage: Center for Community Based Learning and Research, University of Colorado – Boulder

Karen Ramirez
Director, CU Dialogues, University of Colorado – Boulder

Alison Kadlec
Founding Partner, Sova Solutions

Pilar Protsko 
Assistant Director for Coordination and Outreach, CU Dialogues, University of Colorado – Boulder

Jennifer Pacheco
Graduate Student, School of Education, University of Colorado – Boulder 

ELEVATE: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Develop a New Strategic Plan
How do you develop a community-driven strategic plan with a large, diverse group of people? Adams 12 Five Star Schools, north of Denver, spent a year using the Appreciative Inquiry process to bring together over 7,000 parents, community members, students and staff from 49 different schools to develop a five-year strategic plan to elevate student success. Learn about the Appreciative Inquiry process and how it can be used to mobilize and motivate diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve a collective effort in developing organizational goals.

Mark Poshak
Culture and Engagement Coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Barbara Lewis
Principal, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change

More to come soon!

Listen to This Webinar on How to Hold a Ben Franklin Circle

Back in the day, Ben Franklin had established a mutual improvement club that he organized for over 40 years, in the spirit of dialogue and self improvement. It is in this vein, that the folks at the 92nd Street Y, created the Ben Franklin Circles (also an NCDD member org) to offer a framework to hold conversations on Franklin’s 13 virtues. NCDD partnered with BFC last year and we are thrilled to find this free webinar recently released that gives the basics on what a Circle entails. You can listen to the webinar below and find the original on BFC’s site here.


Ben Franklin Circles 101

This webinar covers the basics of Ben Franklin Circles – great for anyone looking to start one or brush up on the who, what, when, where and why!

Listen to BFC 101 or read the highlights below. Questions? Email us at benfranklincircles@gmail.com.

What is a Ben Franklin Circle?

  • Small groups of people coming together to talk about how they can do good…in their lives, in their work, in their relationships and in the world.
  • Circles choose one of Franklin’s 13 civic virtues and discuss what that virtue means today.

Where did the idea come from?

  • From Franklin! Franklin wrote about his club for mutual improvement – his junto – in his autobiography.
  • The Ben Franklin Circles team at 92nd Street Y updated Franklin’s structure for the 21st Century and created all the tools for people to host their own Circles.

Who are in the Circles?

  • Circles are for anyone and everyone!
  • Find members by personally inviting 5-10 people, posting on social meeting, creating a MeetUp group…or be brave, and drop some invites in your neighbors’ mailboxes and invite them to get together for a conversation.

Where do people host?

  • Locations vary! Public libraries will often provide space. Some groups meet in peoples’ homes or in cafes or restaurants.
  • You’re looking for a casual space that’s not too loud so you can have intimate conversations.

How often do Circles meet?

  • Some meet monthly, some meet every week, some just meet once to try it out!

What’s next?

  • Check out our toolkit and/or join our Host Facebook Group
  • Set date, invite your members, set a location and you’re ready to go.
  • Let us know when you’ve started so we can add you to our map, social media, host resources list serve and more!

Takeaways

  • Circles are an opportunity to pause, reflect and connect with others around big ideas.
  • Members are encouraged to leave each Circle conversation with one actionable thing they can do for good.
  • Circles are very similar to a salon. The Circle model simply gives you an easy structure/topic to use for your conversations.
  • There’s no wrong way to do this!

You can find the original version of this article on the Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/webinar/ben-franklin-circles-101.

Second Round of NCDD2018 Workshop Announced!

Check out the second round of workshops happening at the 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th! This year’s exciting convening will take place in Colorado at the Sheraton Denver Downtown – which you can book using our discounted room block by clicking here. We encourage folks attending the conference to consider arriving a little early because we have several fantastic pre-conference sessions available on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks to learn about the rest of the 60 total sessions that will be offered at #NCDD2018!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Respect & Rebellion: Fighting to Preserve a Civic Ecosystem on American Campuses
Like the enormous resources invested to preserve natural ecosystems under threat, it’s time for complementary “species” of dialogue organizations to come together to find creative ways to protect our civic ecosystem under serious threat. Our collaboration brings together premiere student and faculty organizations spanning the sociopolitical divide, with technological innovations that help amplify the work of dialogue. We will also share and gather feedback on our campaign to get “divergent speaker pairs” to model trustworthy rivalry on campuses while inviting students to complete a “subversive friendship” dare.

Liz Joyner
CEO & Founder, The Village Square

Kyle Emile
Founder, Free Intelligent Conversations

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

Mannie Ajayi
CEO & Co-Founder, Pnyka

Manu Meel
CEO, BridgeUSA
Junior, UC Berkeley

Andrew Evans
BYU Law School, Center for Conflict Resolution

What Did We Just Talk About? How to Turn Deliberative Talk into Deliverable Data
Deliberative events bring community members together to address public problems, but what happens after the discussion is over? How do we turn participant input into useable information? During this session, we’ll brainstorm ways to build data collection into process design. We’ll think about the different information needs of various partners community organizations, government officials, practitioners, and academics and discuss how to generate data that captures the conversation, highlights citizen decisions, and evaluates the process without straining organizational resources.

Katie Knobloch
Assistant Professor and Associate Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Sara Drury
Director and Associate Professor, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Ben Franklin Circles: Small Conversations about Big Ideas
Ben Franklin Circles from the 92nd Street Y are a nationwide initiative to bring together people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to discuss how they can improve themselves and the larger community. At monthly meetings, Circles use Franklin’s 13 virtues (moderation, humility, silence, etc.) as discussion prompts and personal growth commitments. In this presentation/workshop, Julie Mashack and Patty Morrissey from 92Y will provide a general overview of the project and then lead a Ben Franklin Circle-style meeting for people to experience the model.

Julie Mashack
Director of Global Programs, Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, 92nd Street Y

Patty Morrissey
Outreach Consultant, 92nd Street Y

Collective Leadership for Community Change
In an era when community organizations can no longer succeed on their own, shared leadership has ascended as the logical next step toward successful collective action. The co-creators of this session offer a helpful starting point for turning outward toward our communities, explaining how we can harness the collective capacity within and across our organizations to achieve significant and lasting impact. This interactive session will provide an overview of collective leadership and then some case studies how it helps move communities forward by creating sustainable and systemic social change.

Nancy Kranich
Lecturer and Special Projects Librarian, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Cassandra O’Neill
CEO, Leadership Alchemy LLC

Voting, Art, and Dialogue: Building Democratic Capacity through Voting Stories
Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy, yet is often shrouded in secrecy. While ballots themselves should remain private, the process of voting can and should be a social activity. This session will share an event that infused art and dialogue to encourage university students and community members to come together and share their stories of democratic participation. Multimedia products of the event will serve as inspiration to attendees as they have the chance to explore their own voting story and plan how to create a dialogue around voting in their own communities.

Marsha Olson
Instructor of Communication, University of Alaska Anchorage

Donna Aguiniga
Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage

The Definitive Online Public Engagement Checklist
Online engagement can dovetail powerfully with face to face dialog events to dramatically increase the reach of public engagement. Inspired by an extensive review of case studies that have engaged over 10,000 people online, this session will produce the first ever definitive checklist to prepare engagement professionals for the effective application of online public engagement to support their outreach projects. This checklist will be compiled into an eBook based on the research results and the practical experience of NCDD attendees through a fast-paced interactive exercise.

Dave Biggs
Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest

Eileen Barron
Strategic Communications Manager, Utah Department of Transportation

Saying “Yes, and” in a Polarized World
In a polarized world improv has emerged as a tool for bringing people together and transforming conversation. With a focus on ‘yes and’ and ensemble-building, improv helps people create together using everything including disagreements. Participants will be introduced to an approach to development and community building that uses improv to create ensembles with some of the most contentious groups including police/youth, refugees/locals and people across the political spectrum. Participants will perform and lead conversations that embrace differences, encourage risk-taking and meaning-making.

Carrie Lobman
Chair, Department of Learning and Teaching, Rutgers University

Lainie Hodges
Development Specialist, Improv Alchemy

Storytelling, Embodied Cognition and Climate Activism: A Faster Learning Process
Climate campaign organizations typically don’t have time to invest in face-to-face storytelling training for their activists, and climate activists sometimes view storytelling as a gimmick. Former academic and philosopher Maria Talero develops communication interventions based on embodied cognition, a revolutionary area in the scientific study of consciousness. This interactive session will spotlight key practices in speeding up the storytelling learning process for Citizen’s Climate Lobby advocates and lobbyists who work to bridge the partisan climate gap in Congress and around the country.

Maria Talero
Principal, Climate Courage LLC

Thaddeus Cummins
Area Coordinator, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Colorado
Managing Researcher, Economic GPS

A Road Map to Washington’s Future
Instead of establishing a typical “blue ribbon task force,” the Washington State Legislature asked the William D. Ruckelshaus Center to articulate a vision for a desired future, and identify needed additions, revisions or clarifications to the state’s growth management framework. The Center conducted 50+ dialogue workshops across the state, engaging local leaders and elected officials, and will present a final report in June 2019. This session will engage participants in an interactive conversation on tools, tips, and lessons learned conducting state-wide engagement processes.

Amanda Murphy
Senior Project Lead, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Molly Stenovec
Project & Program Manager, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Michael Kern
Director, William D. Ruckelshaus Center, University of Washington & Washington State University

Building Bridges: A Community Collaboration for Culture Change
In November 2017, City of Boulder embarked on a two-year experiment working with the community to change the culture of local civic dialogue. In partnership with University of Colorado’s Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement, city staff engaged more than 400 community members in design-thinking workshops, online forums, and multi-generational programs to discover ideas that could lead to more productive communication. In this session, participants will experience elements of the workshop process first-hand as well as learning about the prototypes that were generated in Boulder.

Brenda Ritenour
Neighborhood Liaison, City Manager’s Office, City of Boulder

Lydia Reinig
Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement, University of Colorado Boulder

More to come soon!

Initial Round of NCDD2018 Workshops Announced!

We are thrilled to share this initial round of workshops for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD2018) happening in downtown Denver! This is just a handful of the 60 sessions that will be offered over the three days from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th. We will continue to announce the remaining sessions over the following weeks – you can check our workshops page for the latest as well as the blog. We encourage you to check out the pre-conference sessions available at NCDD2018 on Thursday, November 1st – which you can learn about in last week’s blog post here. Looking to use our discounted room block or find a roommate at the conference?? Click here!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Democracy’s Hubs: The Role of Local Centers in Building Capacity for D&D
Directors from a variety of centers and institutes dedicated to building capacity for local dialogue and deliberation will share their models and stories. The session will be particularly useful for academics and civic leaders either involved with local organizations or considering developing an organization. Key networks and resources will be discussed, such as the Kettering Foundation’s Centers for Public Life training program and the University Network for Collaborative Governance.

Martin Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Lori Britt
Director, Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue, James Madison University

Windy Lawrence
University of Houston-Downtown Center for Public Deliberation

Lisa-Marie Napoli
Indiana University’s Political and Civic Engagement Program

Sara Drury
Director, Wabash College Democracy and Public Discourse

Putting Dialogue Before Deliberation within Polarized Communities
The connection between theory and application of Dialogue and Deliberation becomes clear in this session. Lauren Barthold, a Ph.D. philosopher will share theory from a book she is writing on the best way to weave Dialogue together with Deliberation in highly polarized settings. Robin Teater will cover a real-life project she oversaw at Healthy Democracy in which people on both sides of the political aisle had a chance to Dialogue with each other on challenging issues. Participants will learn a fishbowl form of Dialogue they can use in similar settings.

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Senior Consultant, Action Dialogue Group

Lauren Barthold
Professor/Senior Research Fellow, Endicott College/Essential Partners

Robin Teater
Executive Director, Healthy Democracy

Communicating Civilly with Voters You Disagree with during the Election Cycle
Through both Civil Dialogue and blogging, workshop participants will engage in modeling civility through civil communication and civil listening. Participants will take part in a Civil Dialogue on a provocative topic relevant to the upcoming election by choosing to occupy a range of positions. Then, the developer of the website Clamoring For Change will discuss ways to best express extreme positions with the objective of promoting mutual understanding (not necessarily agreement) rather than persuasion. When understanding is the goal, civility rather than polarization is a likely outcome.

Clark D Olson
President/Professor, Institute for Civil Dialogue and Arizona State University

Guy Nave
Professor, Luther College

Russ Charvonia
Past Grand Master, Masonic Grand Lodge of CA, Masonic Family Civility Project

Jennifer Linde
Senior Lecturer and Artistic Director, Empty Space Theater, Arizona State University

Carl Luna
Institute for Civil and Civic Engagement, University of San Diego

Civic Initiators at Work!
Across the nation, community-based coalitions of “civic initiators” are forming with this goal in mind: to catalyze productive, democratic ways for community members to talk and work together on public issues over time. They are building broad, cross-sector networks of public discussions that reflect the complex, interconnected nature of issues that impact their communities. And they are creating opportunities for people to learn from each other’s work within communities and across the country. Join us in this highly interactive session to explore these practices and to share your insights!

Betty Knighton
Senior Associate, Kettering Foundation
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

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

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

Blueprint of We: A Dynamic Document for Increasing Collaboration and Trust
Blueprint of We (BoW) is a dynamic framework that increases the capacity to collaborate in any environment: public engagement, workplaces, families. The results are more trust & creativity for two people, a group, an entire organization or community. Participants learn 5 components for a BoW and how it links to neuroscience to calm and connect, hear stories of BoW’s impact in various settings, & begin the process of writing and sharing their own BoW. The session will be lively, experiential, deep and useful to take forward into today’s challenges. Beginning, intermediate or advanced practitioners.

Rachel Eryn Kalish, M.C.
Partner, Blueprint of We California

Sheella Mierson, Ph.D.
Partner, Blueprint of We California

Difficult Facilitation Experiences: Working through Challenges
Dialogue and deliberation are participatory processes, designed to promote diverse voices and encourage communities to work through differences. Despite laying out productive communication guidelines, sometimes difficulties arise. This session will focus on recognizing and addressing struggles in facilitation, particularly around diversity and identity. Staff and students from Colorado State University and Wabash College will share experiences, and the second half of the session will focus on developing collaborative strategies for addressing such challenges.

Sara Drury
Director and Associate Professor, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Katie Knobloch
Assistant Professor and Associate Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Creativity, Complexity, & Comprehension: How Do We Address Affordable Housing?
What forms of dialogue increase our “fluency” on an issue carrying so many meanings, from shelter to wealth? This workshop identifies approaches to a prevailing critical issue, with takeaways applicable to other complex topics. Presenters and participants will share methods for representing all stakeholders, exploring prevailing assumptions, fact-finding for local conditions, and building momentum for long-haul changes in the housing system. We will demonstrate conversation methods grounded in arts and design, and exercise techniques for sustaining attention on an issue that won’t go away.

Donna Schenck-Hamlin
Program Associate/Projects Coordinator, Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, Kansas State University

Katie Kingery-Page
Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning, Kansas State University

Briana Carrillo
Graduate Assistant, Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, Kansas State University

Negotiating the Creative Tension between Protest and Deliberation
Utilizing polarity management as a tool to spark productive conversation regarding key tensions, this session will work through the critical tension between social change tactics focuses on protest and those focused on dialogue and deliberation. Participants will work in small groups to complete worksheets mapping the polarity, considering their strengths and limitations, what situations each perspective is best suited or necessary, and how ideally the tension can be transcended to capture the best of both worlds.

Martin Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Wendy Willis
Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

A Journalist & A Deliberative Democrat Walk into a Bar: A Collaboration Story
Healthy Democracy’s Robin Teater will moderate a conversation between Paula Ellis and Wendy Willis, the co-founders of Two Women & a Republic, a weekly correspondence exploring the culture surrounding citizen-centered democracy. Paula is a journalist from South Carolina; Wendy is a democracy practitioner from Oregon; together they have created what they fondly refer to as a Brainpickings for Democracy. They will share what they are learning and then turn to you for a discussion of the issues and trends affecting your work. You never know, you might find yourself showing up in the pages of 2W1R!

Wendy Willis
Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Paula Ellis
Senior Associate, Kettering Foundation

Robin Teater
Executive Director, Healthy Democracy

Emerging Roles of Academic Libraries in Dialogue and Deliberation
Academic libraries, like their public cousins, are positioned uniquely within their communities to further dialogue and deliberation. In addition to the commonalities, such as being safe and brave spaces, academic libraries have institutional connections, particularly with campus partners already engaging in dialogue, that allow them to scale beyond their current abilities. The session leaders invite you to an interactive discussion about the ways academic libraries can further the goals of dialogue and deliberation at their institutions and in the broader community.

George J Fowler
University Librarian, Old Dominion University

Nancy Kranich
Lecturer, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

More to come soon!

NCDD2018 Pre-Conference Sessions Announced for Nov 1!

We are excited to announce the pre-conference sessions for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation happening in downtown Denver! While the conference will officially be from Friday, November 2nd through Sunday, November 4th; we also have a full day planned for several pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1st! We encourage you to keep these in mind when planning your trip for NCDD2018 and consider joining us the day before to participant in these fantastic pre-conference sessions – which you can check out below.

Stay tuned to the NCDD blog in the coming weeks for information on registering for these pre-conference sessions, and we will begin announcing the workshops next Monday. Friendly reminder to get your tickets for NCDD by clicking here. We have a room block at the Sheraton Downtown Denver (where the conference will be held), and if you are looking for a roommate for the conference – check out our blog post here to coordinate!


Pre-Conference Sessions: Thursday, November 1st

Tackling Wicked Problems in Local Communities: A Workshop for Local Governments, School Districts, and Community Leaders
This workshop is focused on building local capacity to engage difficult issues more collaboratively and productively through the use of deliberative engagement processes. Deliberative engagement involves interactive, often facilitated, small group discussions utilizing materials and processes designed to spark collaborative learning rather than merely the collection of individual opinions. An opening session will examine the concept of “wicked problems” as a framework to better understand difficult issues and then review recent research on social psychology to help explain why traditional engagement processes are often counterproductive to supporting the high quality communication democracy requires. The workshop will then review the key components to deliberative engagement and explore and engage in hands-on practice with a variety of tools and techniques drawn from several dialogue and deliberation traditions. The workshop will be particularly valuable to practitioners focused on their local community working to build capacity across the public, private, and non-profit sectors for higher quality engagement.

All proceeds from the workshop fees are being provided to NCDD to support their ongoing efforts.

Martín Carcasson, Ph.D
Professor of Communication Studies at Colorado State University, the Founder and Director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) (www.cpd.colostate.edu), and the current chair of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation Board of Directors (www.ncdd.org).

We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe
The Community Rights movement has helped more than 200 communities in nine states to pass local laws that begin to dismantle corporate rule from the local up. Communities are banning harmful corporate activities, stripping corporations of their corporate personhood, & enshrining local community self-government. Profound culture shift takes place in this transformative process, where residents discover their power & authority as We the People. Learn how YOUR community can join this growing movement of people saying “No!” to corporate interference and “Yes!” to nurturing healthy communities.

Paul Cienfuegos
Founding Director, Community Rights US

Standing Up for Social Justice in Times of Fear & Hatred
When discussing and confronting “heated” racial and/or social justice issues within our communities, utilizing practical facilitation skills that are both culturally-responsive and sensitive to the needs and issues facing minority groups are imperative. In this workshop, we will make use of personal stories, diversity vignettes, and film clip scenarios to encourage participants to authentically address a variety of social justice issues. The group will be taught “Mindful Facilitation Techniques” to support one another to become stronger and more effective allies within our communities.

Lee Mun Wah
Master Diversity Trainer, Founder/CEO, StirFry Seminars & Consulting, Inc.

Transforming Community Spaces: A Workshop for Community Facilitators
Many places around the globe are seeing insistent challenges to monuments, memorials, contaminated sites, and other locations identified with histories of harm. These challenges offer opportunities to foster more complete understandings of history and to take action to remedy deep, systemic inequities, which tend otherwise to be ignored or suppressed. “Transforming Community Spaces” (TCS) is a new, national project led by the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia to help institutions and communities take on these challenges through inclusive, transparent dialogues that uncover hidden histories, advance social justice, and promote collective healing. This training will introduce facilitators to the concepts of problematic community spaces, to cultural humility, to trauma-informed facilitation, and to the Transforming Community Spaces Toolkit that will be provided to community leaders and others working to better their communities. The training will be highly interactive with both exercises and simulations. We anticipate that participants will return to their own institutions and communities with a new appreciation for the issues at stake in these conflicts and new capacity to help those institutions and communities bring people together to address their own problematic spaces.

Frank Dukes, Ph.D
Distinguished Institute Fellow, Institute for Environmental Negotiation
Tanya Denckla Cobb
Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation
Selena Cozart, PhD
Community Facilitator, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

A Taste of the Theory and Practice of Bohm Dialogue
This one-day pre-conference session will provide participants with a weave of the background, theory, guides, and basic building blocks of Bohm Dialogue together with an experience of being in Dialogue on emergent topics. Bohm Dialogue can play a powerful role within polarized communities. This process is based on the work of the late David Bohm, a quantum physicist who turned to philosophy to move ideas from his quantum worldview into practical ways of resolving complex social problems often rooted in unacknowledged cultural assumptions.

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Sr. Partner, Action Dialogue Group
Beth Macy, Ph.D
Owner and Lead Consultant, Macy Holding Management LLC 

Better Group Experience in Franklin Circles and Beyond

Since we established our partnership with NCDD member org, Ben Franklin Circles (BFC), we have been sharing stories from Circles that have been convening. This article from Victoria Fann, who hosts a circle in North Carolina, shared an article on A Better Group Experience, that shares some foundational tips to good group process that can be used for Ben Franklin Circles and beyond this process: the right setting, good guidelines, and gentle facilitation. You can read the post below and find the original post on BFC’s site here.


A Better Group Experience

As Ben Franklin discovered hundreds of years ago, something magical happens when a group of people get together to engage in meaningful conversation: that circle of individuals becomes something far greater than the sum of its parts. A powerful, dynamic energy emerges from the group collective and creates access to all the combined energy, tools, inspiration, the information, wisdom, insights and resources of that group of people.

In this context, people are able to share great levels of wisdom, become vulnerable with each other, establish a higher level of trust than they would in a social setting and have a deep level of intimacy with people they barely even know very quickly.

In addition, small groups that connect deeply often facilitate high levels of motivation, honesty, healing, growth, learning that can motivate people to think and behave in ways that they might not have considered before. When someone tells a story or models something new, it opens up a whole new range of possibilities, which ultimately, can foster hope and optimism.

Given what’s happening in our world today, with loneliness becoming an epidemic and suicide rates rising, this is extraordinary. And yet it’s something that isn’t done enough.

Yes, there are thousands of Meetup groups happening around the world based on common interests. But, unless there are certain conditions, those meetings will not yield the same transformative power as a small group having a deep discussion in a quiet environment.

So what are the conditions that open the doors to the extraordinary?

It’s fairly simple really. The right setting, a good set of guidelines and gentle facilitation.

Setting
Let’s talk about the setting first. I’ve run successful groups for close to thirty years, and the majority of those groups took place in my living room or the living room of a group member. Why? Because it’s one of the few places that combines privacy, comfort, quiet, natural lighting, a friendly host, non-public bathroom, occasional adorable pets, etc. If you want a group of people to relax, take off their masks, open up and share their stories, gather them in an environment that is familiar, that is associated with relaxation and ease and feels more like a gathering of friends than a business meeting. No other setting even comes close to this.

Our Ben Franklin Circle initially met in a local café, and while it was nice to be able to buy coffee and baked goods, it ended up being too noisy and not private enough. Plus, we were sitting around tables in wooden chairs with a table between us. Shifting to a living room setting in a member’s home sitting on comfortable chairs and couches, created a totally different experience that immediately allowed us to deepen the discussion. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief.

But setting alone isn’t enough. In fact, when you’re in a less formal setting, the tendency would be to fall back into casual, undirected discussion. This is why there is a strong need for guidelines.

Guidelines
Again, these are simple and not at all inhibiting. Instead, they create an even deeper level of trust and relaxation because the participants know that they will be heard and that conversation will stay on topic, and not degenerate into debates and philosophizing.

Here is the guideline that I created years ago for all the groups I’ve run and am currently using in our Circle:

  • Speak from the heart and from direct experience using “I” statements.
  • Speak without interruption or cross-talk.
  • Respect each other’s need for silence as well as each other’s need to speak and be heard.
  • Listen from the heart and serve as a compassionate witness for other people in the circle. To be an effective witness means paying attention to what’s being said without interpreting, judging, or trying to “fix” or rescue the person speaking.
  • Respect each other’s privacy and keep everything that’s shared confidential.

These guidelines are not new nor are they unique. However, they are incredibly effective creating a group experience that is deeply rewarding.

Gentle Facilitation
Finally, it is important to have someone that is able to lead the group with a gentle hand. Mostly, this person presents conversation-starting questions and quotes (or as I mentioned in a previous blog post allows them to be drawn from a hat), keeps the conversation on topic, makes sure everyone has had an equal opportunity to share and be heard and generally tunes into what is needed by the group. That sounds like it’s a lot, but it’s fairly simple. A good facilitator is one that fades into the background and appears to participate in the same way as other members. This establishes trust and removes any sense of hierarchy.

In my experience, setting, guidelines and gentle facilitation are what makes a good group experience, an extraordinary one.

I will leave you with a little food for thought from Ben Franklin:

“To expect people to be good, to be just, to be temperate, etc., without showing them how they should become so, seems like the ineffectual charity mentioned by the apostle, which consisted in saying to the hungry, the cold and the naked, be ye fed, be ye warmed, be ye clothed, without showing them how they should get food, fire or clothing.”

You can find the original version of this post on Ben Franklin Circles’ site at https://benfranklincircles.org/tips-advice/a-better-group-experience.

NCDD2018 Early Bird Extended Until Tomorrow, July 18th!

In case you missed the opportunity to get your tickets for NCDD2018 at the Early Bird rate, we’ve decided to give folks some extra time to take advantage of this great deal for one of the premier events in the dialogue, deliberation, and engagement field. Which is why we have extended the Early Bird rate to still be active until tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18th!

The National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation will be from November 2 – 4 in Denver at the downtown Sheraton. It is already shaping up to be an immensely engaging event, where over 450 leaders, practitioners, and enthusiasts in the D&D field will come together to dive deep into this work, collaborate, learn from each other, network, and build relationships that carry on long past the closing plenary. The conference team has been deep in planning over the last many months – developing interactive plenaries, coordinating a jam-packed workshop session line-up, and building networking opportunities in-between it all – you don’t want to miss this exciting opportunity! (Pssst, while not part of this early bird rate… insider tip: we also have several full-day pre-conference sessions that are being developed for Thursday, November 1st – stay tuned to the NCDD blog for more info!)

The early bird rate is $385 until tomorrow, then it goes to our regular registration rate of $450 on Thursday. So we encourage you to get your tickets for #NCDD2018 ASAP while this rate lasts!

You can learn much more about this year’s national conference at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2018, and register today at www.ncdd2018.eventbrite.com to take advantage of the Early Bird rate.

Want to get a better sense of what our conferences are like? Watch the video of NCDD2016 and NCDD2014 and learn even more about our past conferences by clicking here.