Join Us for October TechTues Call Feat Konveio on 10/23

In anticipation for the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, we have an exciting October Tech Tuesday that you won’t want to miss featuring Konveio! We have teamed up with Konveio to bring the NCDD conference guide to life by making it digital, interactive, and engaging (in addition to our classic hardcopy version). Learn all about it at the FREE Tech Tuesday on October 23rd from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00am-noon Pacific. Save your spot on the call ASAP and register today!

Konveio helps change agents, community-builders and forward-thinkers turn their collaborations into action, not just a PDF! The software is a digital outreach platform that turns bland PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action. Konveio is one of the easiest-to-use engagement tools on the market. Users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document.

Konveio is a proud sponsor of the NCDD conference. The software will be used to bring this year’s conference guide to life, with videos, maps, recaps, and presentations, as well as ways to provide feedback on sessions. On this webinar, we will be joined by Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, who created Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment). During this Tech Tuesday session, we’ll give a quick overview of the software, look at some real world Konveio examples, will showcase the #NCDD2018 conference guide and ask for feedback on how to improve it and make it more useful.

It’s great for leaders in the government space, non-profits or other fields who need to convey a draft plan, policy or finding, to make an impact or inspire action. Which is exactly what we’ve heard from early customers:

“We have been getting great feedback from our community on the use of Konveio. It was really easy to load our documents and it’s been easy to review and reply to comments within the document as well.”

“I have been consistently pleased with how easy the platform is to use. Konveio has been a great experience for my government client; it has injected a feeling of transparency and customer-friendly service that they are thoroughly enjoying.”

About our presenter:

Chris Haller is a nationally-recognized User Experience designer and Online Engagement strategist, with a broad background in local government, urban and regional planning and communication technologies. These skills, combined with many years of experience in consulting for urban planning projects, are what brings Urban Interactive Studio’s mission – to provide interactive solutions that allow citizens to participate in making our cities better places to live, work and play – to life.

This will be a great chance to learn more about Konveio and see how it comes to life for the #NCDD2018 conference. Don’t miss out – 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.

Announcing NCDD’s October TechTues Feat Konveio, 10/23

We have an extra special treat for our upcoming October Tech Tuesday featuring Konveio. This FREE event will take place Tuesday, October 23rd from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern/11:00am-noon Pacific. Don’t miss out – register today to secure your spot!

Konveio helps change agents, community-builders and forward-thinkers turn their collaborations into action, not just a PDF! The software is a digital outreach platform that turns bland PDFs into actionable websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback and spark action. Konveio is one of the easiest-to-use engagement tools on the market. Users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document.

Konveio is a proud sponsor of the NCDD conference. The software will be used to bring this year’s conference guide to life, with videos, maps, recaps, and presentations, as well as ways to provide feedback on sessions. On this webinar, we will be joined by Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, who created Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment). During this Tech Tuesday session, we’ll give a quick overview of the software, look at some real world Konveio examples, will showcase the #NCDD2018 conference guide and ask for feedback on how to improve it and make it more useful.

It’s great for leaders in the government space, non-profits or other fields who need to convey a draft plan, policy or finding, to make an impact or inspire action. Which is exactly what we’ve heard from early customers:

“We have been getting great feedback from our community on the use of Konveio. It was really easy to load our documents and it’s been easy to review and reply to comments within the document as well.”

“I have been consistently pleased with how easy the platform is to use. Konveio has been a great experience for my government client; it has injected a feeling of transparency and customer-friendly service that they are thoroughly enjoying.”

About our presenter:

Chris Haller is a nationally-recognized User Experience designer and Online Engagement strategist, with a broad background in local government, urban and regional planning and communication technologies. These skills, combined with many years of experience in consulting for urban planning projects, are what brings Urban Interactive Studio’s mission – to provide interactive solutions that allow citizens to participate in making our cities better places to live, work and play – to life.

This will be a great chance to learn more about Konveio and see how it comes to life for the #NCDD2018 conference. Don’t miss out – 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.

Join the Online Facilitation Unconference on Oct 15-21

The fifth Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is happening on Oct 15-21! This digital gathering is hosted by the Center for Applied Community Engagement LLC, and is a great opportunity for anyone interested in virtual facilitation – no previous experience needed! The early bird tickets are available until Oct 12th, so make sure you register and get your tickets ASAP! Follow OFU on Twitter with the hashtag #OFU18 for more #FacWeek updates. You can read the announcement below for more info or find the original on the OFU Exchange site here.


Online Facilitation Unconference 2018

Your favorite online event on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments is back!

Join us October 15-21, 2018. Tickets on sale now!

REGISTER TODAY!

What is the Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU)?
The Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is a learning exchange on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments. It is a community-driven event that brings together people from the public, private and non-profit sector from around the globe whose work includes, or who have an interest in, facilitating online.

OFU is a place to share, learn, make new connections – and have fun!

What is an unconference & how does it work?
OFU is an unconference. While traditional conferences come with a pre-determined schedule, an unconference allows the participants to create the agenda on the fly based on who shows up and what their interests are. In a nutshell, participants bring their questions and topic ideas and – in collaboration with their peers – suggest, schedule and host the sessions and workshops that meet their needs.

Unconferences require attendees to put in a bit of extra work, but the results can be magical.

How much time is involved as an attendee?
You can spend as much or as little time as you like. Based on past experience, the average participant tends to attend a handful of sessions over the course of the entire week. Sessions can vary in length but usually take anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes.

What do you mean by “virtual environments”?
“Virtual” refers to any process or experience that takes place outside a strictly in-person context. At OFU, we explore the methods for delivering facilitation using any tool, technology or channel that provides virtual venues, for example phone conferences, online chat, video conferencing, virtual reality, augmented or hybrid in-person processes and events.

Who’s organizing the event?
The event is run by the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC, a private institute and social enterprise based in San José, CA (USA) serving the growing professional field of community engagement and public participation practitioners from around the globe through market research, content publishing, industry events and other services.

What’s the history behind OFU?

  • In 2013, a group of people took this idea, which had been brewing for a while, and decided to run with it. Within a few short weeks, the first OFU was held.
  • In 2014 and 2015, OFU was organized by San José, CA-based digital engagement consultancy Intellitics, Inc.
  • In 2017, the Online Facilitation Unconference was moved under the ownership of the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC.
  • 2018 will be the fifth event.

ABOUT THE 2018 EVENT

When does the event take place?
OFU 2018 will take place October 15–21, 2018 – once again alongside and as part of International Facilitation Week, which is being hosted by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

What’s the schedule?
More details will become available the week prior to the event, but here’s a rough overview of how the week will unfold.

From now through October 15, you are welcome to:

  • Read this FAQ page to learn more about the event
  • Tune into the conversation on social media (see links below)
  • Think about topics you’d like to cover (either as a knowledge sharer, or knowledge seeker, or both)
  • Tell your friends and colleagues
  • Find out what areas of interest registrants have on their mind (sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll tell you)
  • Register for the event

Early in the week of October 15-21 (Tuesday through Thursday), you will have an opportunity to:

  • Attend one of several welcome mixers to get any questions answered, meet a first few of your fellow participants etc. (exact times TBD)
  • Join the online forum to introduce yourself, meet fellow participants, and discuss session topics
  • Attend one or more pre-scheduled warm-up sessions to help get your creative juices flowing (details TBD)
  • Add your sessions to the schedule

Later in the week of October 15-21 (Friday and Saturday), we hope you will:

  • Attend the unconference sessions
  • Add more sessions to the schedule (hey, it’s an unconference)

After the week is over, you can:

  • Explore on the session notes
  • Add your own notes and materials to the website
  • Read the conference report
  • Share your feedback and ideas for OFU 2019

We will announce specific times or windows for most of these activities shortly so you can plan ahead. Thank you for your patience!

Are all the sessions delivered in real time? Can I dip in and out or catch up later?
Yes, all sessions tend to be offered live (via some synchronous form of communication, e.g., Zoom, WebEx or the like). In theory, sessions could also be run as an asynchronous conversation (e.g., on the online forum we will set up), though not sure if we have seen too many of those in the past.

We encourage all session hosts to record their sessions and make them available afterwards. However, some sessions won’t get recorded due to various reasons (e.g., because they contain sensitive conversations). In that case, we encourage hosts to at least share a brief write-up or any other notes or materials they can make available that would give others an idea what was covered and help them explore the topic on their own.

Based on our experience, the average unconference attendee will make it to a handful of sessions. We will try our best this year to get participants to

a)  populate the unconference session plan as early in the week as possible, and

b)  stick to the recommended session windows

so as to make it more likely for more participants to be available for more sessions.

TICKETS

How much do tickets cost?
A regular ticket costs $49. Our early bird rate is $29 (good September 24 through October 10).

Students, retirees and other low-income people can attend for only $15.

For everyone else, including people from developing countries, we offer a “pay what you wish” option. We strive to be inclusive and don’t want anyone to miss out on the event due to cost burden.

Members of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will receive a significant discount. Details to be announced by September 25.

How do I register?

Please go to our Eventbrite page to purchase your ticket.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

Who should attend?
Anyone with an interest in facilitating in virtual environments is invited to join.

Do I have to be a professional facilitator in order to attend? No.

While a good number of our attendees do facilitation for a living, many others come from other backgrounds and perform the functions of convener and facilitator as part of their regular job or event outside their day-to-day work.

Do I have to have prior experience with virtual facilitation or technology? No.

Whether you are a complete newbie or already and expert – anyone with an interest in online or virtual facilitation is welcome.

In the past, OFU has always attracted a broad range of expertise levels (beginner, intermediate, expert, and everything in between). Thanks to the unconference format, everyone can contribute to the best of their capabilities!

Who are the attendees?
The people who show up at OFU wear many hats. Here are just a few of the job titles we saw at OFU 2017 (in alphabetical order):

  • CEO
  • Coach
  • Collaboration engineer
  • Community organizer
  • Community strategist
  • Consultant
  • Director
  • Facilitator
  • Founder
  • Head of school
  • Independent scholar
  • Organizer
  • Planner
  • Program analyst
  • Program coordinator
  • Senior product manager
  • Trainer

You can find the original version on this on the OFU site at www.ofuexchange.net/.

MetroQuest Online Engagement Tips Webinar on 10/17

In two weeks, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, 10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time; which was co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). This free webinar on Wednesday, October 17th will offer best practices for online engagement and share stories from successful engagement efforts. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time

Find out how ENR’s #1 transportation planning agency, an MPO, and County consistently engage 1000’s online!

Wednesday, October 17th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

REGISTER HERE

Navigating public involvement for your transportation plan doesn’t have to feel like a bad commute. In this webinar, ENR’s #1 transportation design firm, an innovative MPO, and creative County will help you find the shortest route to successful participation every time.

Join Jim Meyer, Senior Planner at AECOM, as he shares proven tips for effective online public involvement by exploring how he engaged 12,000+ citizens on three successful transportation projects. He’ll be joined by public outreach experts Amy Elmore from Pasco County and Johnny Wong from Hillsborough MPO to share their real-world journey to success.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for 10 proven tips! You’ll learn how to:

  • Engage 1,000s online for all planning projects, large and small
  • Integrate online engagement effectively in your process
  • Promote like a pro using innovative multi-media tactics
  • Collect public input that’s both quantifiable and actionable
  • Reach Environmental Justice communities

The session will culminate with answers to your questions in a live Q&A session with Jim, Amy, Johnny, and Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer at MetroQuest.

Speakers
Jim Meyer, AICP – Senior Transportation Planner, AECOM
For over 22 years, Jim has provided mobility solutions for state DOTs, MPOs, counties, and communities across the Country. Jim specializes in long range, multimodal transportation plans, having prepared over 30 long range transportation plans. Jim is actively involved in stakeholder and public outreach activities to ensure the plan recommendations reflect the desired community vision.

Amy Elmore, M.S. – Branch Communications Coordinator, Pasco County
Amy specializes in developing communication strategies and overseeing a variety of proactive marketing, communications, and production activities with the goal of promoting Pasco County, Florida. She has over 10 years of experience in social media marketing for small business and government organizations. Amy used her expertise to aid in county-wide social media efforts throughout Hurricane Irma.

Johnny Wong, PhD – Senior Planner, Hillsborough MPO
Johnny manages the performance measurement program and serves as liaison to the Intelligent Transportation Services committee. He served as project manager for the outreach portion of the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan update. It was the first time the LRTP produced a tri-county initiative, requiring extensive coordination with the neighboring counties of Pasco and Pinellas.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/10-Tips-for-Successful-Online-Engagement-EveryTime.html.

National Week of Conversation from October 5th – 13th

The next National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is October 5th – 13th! During NWOC, folks around the country will be joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. We encourage you to join a conversation already going on and/or start your own here! To help support these conversations, resources like conversations guides and helpful background information are provided on the National Conversation Project (NCP) site here, many from the NCDD coalition! And don’t forget to check out the 3k+ resources on the NCDD Resource Center too! You can read more in the post below and on the NCP site here.


National Week of Conversation: October 5-13

Americans of all stripes are stepping up to address the growing cultural crisis of hyper-polarization and animosity across divides. Together we can turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division with widespread conversations in which we #ListenFirst to understand. Supported by 100+ organizations, National Conversation Project promotes monthly conversation opportunities as well as National Weeks of Conversation.

In April of this year, thousands of Americans took part in the first National Week of Conversation (NWOC). More than 130 schools, libraries, faith communities, activist groups and nonprofits hosted conversations coast to coast in 32 states. These conversations were grounded in a pledge to listen first and seek understanding. The official #ListenFirst hashtag reached millions during NWOC and continues to be promoted by celebrities and journalists to millions more. NWOC events gained media attention across the nation including in the New York Times.

Majorities of NWOC participants walked away feeling more tolerant, understanding, appreciative and curious toward people with different perspectives. Two-thirds rated the value of their conversation as a 9 or 10 out of 10. More than three-quarters now feel better equipped and more likely to listen first to understand, as well as more likely to participate in conversations across divides. A survey of all Americans found 75% willing to set a good example by practicing conversations across divides, and 36%—amounting to more than 100 million people—want to see a national campaign promoting such conversations.

The next National Week of Conversation is October 5th – 13th! Join a conversation already going on or start your own here: www.nationalconversationproject.org/how_to_get_involved

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Bridging Divides

The United States is facing a cultural crisis. Increasingly in America today, we don’t just disagree; we distrust, dislike, even despise those who see the world differently. Animosity for positions is becoming contempt for the people who hold them. Difference and disagreement are deeply personal as we rage against and recoil from those we see as enemies across widening divides—political, racial, religious, economic and more. Most of us see fewer things that bind Americans together today and have few or no friends from the other side. The rate of loneliness has more than doubled to nearly 50%, creating a public health epidemic. We’re withdrawing from conversations—thereby eroding relationships and understanding—which threatens the foundational fabric of America. 75% of Americans say this problem has reached a crisis level, and 56% believe it will only get worse. Our condition is rapidly deteriorating into what’s now being described as a soft civil war.

There’s nothing wrong with passionate beliefs, disagreement, and protest, but it feels like something more dangerous is taking hold. Do you see it? Personally feel it? What’s changed? What can we do about it together? How we can bridge the divides that threaten our future?

Conversation Guides on Bridging Divides

Background Information to support these conversations:

National Conversation Project Calendar – click here

National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘18: October 5-13, 2018
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 2, 2018
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 7, 2018
Listen First Friday – Jan: January 4, 2019
Listen First Friday – Feb: February 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Mar: March 1, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Spring ‘19: April 5-13, 2019
Listen First Friday – May: May 3, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jun: June 7, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jul: July 5, 2019
Listen First Friday – Aug: August 2, 2019
Listen First Friday – Sep: September 6, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘19: October 4-12, 2019
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 6, 2019

You can learn more about the National Week of Conversation at www.nationalconversationproject.org/.

MetroQuest Online Public Engagement Playbook Webinar

Next week, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, Online Public Engagement Playbook; co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). The free webinar on Wednesday, September 19th will discuss the successful online engagement strategy which engaged over 5100+ Austin residents and led to the development of the city’s first comprehensive transportation plan. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


MetroQuest Webinar: Online Public Engagement Playbook

How is America’s #1 boom town planning for the city’s transportation future?

Wednesday, September 19th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

On September 19th, find out how Austin engaged 5,100+ citizens online to help inform and shape the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, its first locally-focused comprehensive transportation plan.

Join Liane Miller, AICP and Senior Business Process Consultant with Austin’s Transportation Department, as she shares the winning elements of her team’s online public engagement playbook. Learn how they combined a great online engagement experience with the right promotional strategy to involve thousands of people, including communities that have been underrepresented in past processes. Discover which of three transportation scenarios earned the most public support.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for innovative ways to involve members of your community! You’ll learn how to:

  • Reach more people, even with limited staff
  • Share and collect richer planning information by going online
  • Leverage business partnerships to lower barriers to engagement
  • Mine survey results to build a plan that works for all communities
  • Impress city council with a transportation plan informed by the people

Liane will be joined by MetroQuest Chief Engagement Officer Dave Biggs to share best practices and to answer your questions in a live Q&A session.

Thank you to our sponsors: APA and NCDD! AICP CM credit will be available.

Speakers

Liane Miller – Planning and Policy Manager, City of Austin’s Transportation Department
Liane works on planning initiatives, such as the development of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the City’s first multimodal plan. She previously led the citywide capital needs assessment and helped develop the comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin. Liane earned a BS from the University of Texas at Austin and master’s degrees in planning and public administration from the University of Southern California.

Dave Biggs – Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest
Dave is a die-hard champion of community engagement and has built a reputation for leading edge community outreach. He is an internationally-recognized speaker, author, and public engagement strategist. Dave is honored to serve as an advisor on best practices for public involvement to many planning agencies such as APA, FHWA, and TRB and public participation organizations such as IAP2 and NCDD.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/Online-Public-Engagement-Playbook.html.

Join the #DemocracyChat on Twitter, Monday September 10

We shared a post last week from NCDD member org and sponsor, The Jefferson Center, about their recent partnership with The New York Times to attend the annual New York Times Athens Democracy Forum in September. As part of this, they are hosting a Twitter chat under the hashtag #DemocracyChat on Monday, September 10th at 11 am CT. This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts on the current state of democracy and how to strengthen it moving forward. You can read the announcement below and find the original on Jefferson Center’s site here.


Join Our #DemocracyChat!

Want to share your ideas about how democracy is working today, and the steps individuals, journalists, governments, and companies can take to strengthen it? Join our Twitter chat on Monday, September 10 at 11:00 am CT with the hashtag #DemocracyChat! Add to Google CalendarOutlook, or iCal here.

We’ll discuss topics including…

  • How technology is changing the way politics work
  • How democracies can preserve human rights, while populist movements are on the rise
  • The responsibility of companies to uphold democracy

In just a few weeks, our team is heading to Greece to participate in the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, “Democracy in Danger: Solutions for a Changing World”. As an official Knowledge Partner, we’ve been working with the New York Times team to bring our Citizens Jury method of deliberation to Athens. We’re moderating a key breakout session, where senior journalists from the NYT will sit down with business leaders, policymakers, and other experts from around the world to discuss democratic solutions.

We know (sadly) that not everybody is able to join our conversation in Athens. We still want to know how you’re thinking about the state of modern democracy.

New to Twitter Chats? Twitter Chats happen when a group of Twitter users meet online at a specific time to discuss a specific topic with a designated hashtag. In our case, that hashtag is #DemocracyChat. As the host, the Jefferson Center (are you following us on Twitter? You should be!) will host questions to guide the discussion marked as Q1, Q2, Q3… and so on. You can answer these directly with A1, A2, and A3 at the beginning of your tweets.

To help keep you organized, you may want to use a website like TweetChat so you only see tweets related to the hashtag, which will make the chat easier to follow. Just type in #DemocracyChat to start, and TweetChat will integrate with your Twitter account.

We’re excited to hear your ideas! See you on Twitter soon.

You can find the original version on this announcement on The Jefferson Center’s site at www.jefferson-center.org/join-our-democracychat/.

Free Webinar Series this Fall on Storytelling for Good

The theme of our upcoming 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is how to bring dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement work into greater awareness and more widespread practice. There are a lot of components to what that means and we will explore this much deeper at #NCDD2018! One way to expand the reach and impact of the D&D field is through better storytelling of the work being done to deeper engage with each other. The Communications Network is offering a free Storytelling for Good webinar series this fall, and the first webinar on “Strategy” is August 28th 2 – 3 EST. You can read about the webinar line-up in the post below and find more information on The Comms Network site here.


Storytelling for Good Upcoming Webinars

Storytelling for Good connects you to a suite of tools and a growing community that can help you leverage the power of narrative to increase reach, resources and impact for your social impact organization.

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Strategy
August 28, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Stories are powerful: Our brains are literally wired to take in and preserve stories. Done well, stories can drive us to take action.

So how do you tell stories well? There have never been more ways to reach an audience, but it’s harder than ever to really get their attention.

We’re happy to introduce Storytelling for Good. It’s a platform designed with you in mind and will help you and your organization plan and execute a storytelling strategy—giving you the tools, resources, and case studies you need to become a storytelling organization from top to bottom.

In this webinar, we’ll focus on Strategy, one of the four pillars of storytelling.

Future webinars:

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Content
September 18, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Engagement
October 28, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

Webinar – Storytelling for Good: Evalution
November 8, 2018 2 – 3 pm EST
RSVP HERE

You can find the original version of this announcement on The Communications Network site at https://storytelling.comnetwork.org/.

Participatory Budgeting Lessons Over Last 30 Years

Participatory Budgeting has been rapidly growing across the world for the last 30 years, in all levels of government, in organizations, and in schools. There was a report released by the Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network on the current state of PB and its future; and NCDD member org, the Participatory Budgeting Project, recorded a webinar with the report authors, Stephanie McNulty and Brian Wampler. You can listen to the webinar in the article below and find the original on PBP’s site here.


Lessons from 30 years of a global experiment in democracy

The Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network recently funded a major new report on the lessons learned from 30 years of participatory budgeting (PB). In July, we hosted a webinar about the state and future of PB with report authors Stephanie McNulty and Brian Wampler.

Check out the webinar recording, slides, and key takeaways below.

We asked Stephanie and Brian about what it meant to write this report in 2018, a time of great change for PB and for democracy.

Stephanie spoke to how PB has grown since beginning in Brazil in 1989: “It’s sort of exploding, and happening all over the world in places that are very different from Brazil… It’s taking place faster than we can document and analyze.”

Brian shared about experimentation in PB happening with a variety of focus areas and in new contexts. Part of the power of PB is in how adaptable it is. Many folks experiment with how to design PB to best serve their community. And so, PB looks different in the more than 7,000 localities it exists in around the world.

“PB is probably the most widespread public policy tool to undertake what we consider democratizing democracy.”- Stephanie McNulty

In 30 years, PB has created significant impacts. Doing PB and studying it need more investment to further impact democracy. We’re still learning about the ways that PB can transform individuals and communities.

Early research suggests PB strengthens the civic attitudes and practices of participants, elected officials, and civil servants. Beyond changes at the individual level, the report documents changes at the community level. Changes at the community level include greater accountability, stronger civil society, improved transparency, and better well-being.

But, in the end, good PB doesn’t just happen; it has to be built. It requires intentional effort to ensure that PB practice lives up to its promise. It can yield benefits for those who participate in the early stages, but it takes time for those to expand to broader areas. PB is growing faster as more people learn about it’s potential. We need further research to  learn from what advocates on the ground know about PB’s impact—as well as it’s areas for improvement. The future of PB will require effort and sustained resources to support new ways of placing power in the hands of the people.

The report documents key ways PB has transformed over 30 years.

  • Scale. PB started at the municipal level in Brazil, and now exists in every level of government, and even within government agencies. PB is now being done for schools, colleges, cities, districts, states, and nations—places where people are looking for deeper democracy.
  • Secret ballots to consensus-based processes. When we spoke about what was most surprising or unexpected while writing the report, Brian talked about the shift in how communities make decisions in PB often moving from secret ballots to consensus-based processes.
  • Technology. New technologies are used for recruitment, to provide information, and to offer oversight. We don’t fully understand the benefits and limitations of this particular transformation, and look forward to more research on this question.
  • Increased donor interest. More international donors are interested in promoting and supporting PB.
  • A shift away from pro-poor roots. PB in Brazil began as a project of the Workers Party to pursue social justice and give power to marginalized communities and the disenfranchised. This is a core reason why many look to PB to solve deeply entrenched problems of inequity in the democratic process. Unfortunately today, many PB processes around the world do not have an explicit social justice goals.

We’ve learned that focusing on social justice actually makes PB work better. PB processes that seek to include traditionally marginalized voices make it easier for everyone to participate in making better decisions.

To wrap up our webinar, Laura Bacon from Omidyar Network, David Sasaki from the Hewlett Foundation, and our Co-Executive Director at PBP, Josh Lerner shared takeaways for grantmakers.

They discussed what we need to make the transformative impacts of PB be bigger and more widespread.

  • Medium and long term investment is important for PB success. One off investments don’t create the impacts of PB and can lead to a decline in quality.
  • Government support is crucial. PB works best when it complements government—not opposes it.
  • Watch out for participation fatigue. If the conditions for successful PB are not fully in place, residents and advocacy organizations can grow weary of continued involvement.
  • Funders should focus PB grantmaking in areas that have conditions in place for it to be successful. They should look at political, economic, and social contexts before funding the process.

Want more updates on the state and future of PB? Sign up for PBP’s Newsletter

You can find the original version of this article on the Participatory Budgeting Project site at www.participatorybudgeting.org/lessons-from-30-years-of-pb/.

Local Civic Challenge #4: Telling Your Community’s Story

In the final installment of the Local Civic Challenge from by NCDD member, The Jefferson Center, they recommend folks get involved in telling the story of your local community. Last month, the Local Civic Challenge offered a mini-challenge every week to encourage folks to be more civically engaged in your community and local democratic efforts. This fourth edition advises to get to know your neighbors and listen to their stories, as well as, participate in your local newsgathering and share the story of your community. You can read the post below and find the original on the JC site here.


Local Civic Challenge #4: Telling the Story of Your Community

Supporting local storytelling strengthens our relationships and preserves the history of our communities. When we listen to the experiences of our neighbors, we can better understand one another, which makes it easier to work through projects and issues together.

Think about your role in your local news ecosystem–are you subscribed to the local paper? Do you know what the current headlines are? Can you identify a few stories that aren’t being covered, but should be? According to a 2015 Pew survey, Americans are great at sharing news, but we don’t often get involved in actual newsgathering ourselves.

For this week’s civic challenge, we’ve found a few ways you can start collecting stories and amplifying diverse voices in your neighborhood:

1. Meet with people

Find events like garage sales, movies in the park, and clothing swaps where you can sit (or stand) across from someone and get to know them. If these don’t exist already, create your own community gatherings! Share online, and post to community bulletin boards in places like the grocery store and community center.

2. Submit an op-ed or write a blog post

Take stock of the local papers and blogs in your community to see where you could submit a story. Here are a few tips on how to start writing for your community paper.

3. Use technology

Apps and social media pages that connect neighborhoods are becoming more common, such as:

Nextdoor is a “private social network” for your community. While some people use the app to report a break-in or a lost dog, you can also post about upcoming cookouts or garage sales.

Ioby helps kickstart community projects, through crowd-funding, social networks, volunteers, and advocacy. You can find out what projects are happening near you, and if it’s a cause you can get behind, help spread the word.

Patch is a customizable “hyperlocal” news feed with real-time alerts, local articles, and easy social sharing.

Neighborhood Facebook groups are another way to share photos, events, news, and concerns with people who live close to you.

Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat: by following the hashtag and location of your city on these apps, you can see what people are posting about locally.

4. Host a listening booth

Setting up a listening booth is easy: find a spot with some foot traffic, set up a table and two chairs, and make a sign that says “Let’s Chat!” Giving people your undivided attention, instead of focusing on when it’s your turn to talk, will likely open up an incredible conversation about their life experiences.

5. Launch a community history project

Using all the techniques above, you can record stories with tools like the StoryCorps app, which give people a chance to easily record meaningful conversations that are then archived at the Library of Congress. On their website, you’ll find guides to asking questions, resources you need to record, how to prepare for a storyteller interview, and more.

If you like taking photos, you could pair your story collecting with a photo series, like Humans of New York.

This marks the end of the Local Civic Challenge! Do you have other ideas that will help people get engaged with their communities? Let us know below.

You can find the original version of this article on The Jefferson Center site at www.jefferson-center.org/telling-story-your-community/.