Opportunity to Win 100K with the Engaged Cities Award

Has your city worked through a local issue by engaging its community? Then check out the incredible opportunity to win $100,000 with the Engaged Cities Award from Cities of Service! There is a webinar on Nov. 29th to learn more about the award and its application process. Make sure you register by clicking here in order to join the webinar. You can read more about the award below or find the original on the Engaged Cities Award site here.


Introducing the Engaged Cities Award

Cities, more than ever, are facing an array of public challenges. Many cities are tapping into the expertise and talent of citizens to tackle these challenges head on.

That’s why Cities of Service is launching the Engaged Cities Award. We aim to find and elevate the growing number of diverse and creative ways city leaders are harnessing the power of people to solve problems.

Is your city solving problems together with citizens? Perhaps you are tapping the power of citizen science initiatives to map neighborhood issues. Or using new methods to measure satisfaction with public services. Or crowdsourcing resident ideas to find new fixes for old problems.

The Engaged Cities Award will celebrate the best and most creative strategies we find – ultimately enabling peer cities from around the world to learn from, adopt, and improve upon these strategies back home.

Join us for a webinar on November 29 to learn more about the award and the application process.

You can read the original announcement on Engaged Cities Award site at www.engagedcitiesaward.citiesofservice.org/.

NCDD Discount on Upcoming Future Search Workshops

We are thrilled to share with you that the Future Search Network is offering NCDDers a discount on their upcoming workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here] and make sure you register for the workshops ASAP to enjoy this great offer! You can read the announcement below or find the original on FSN site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops in Philadelphia

Future Search Network is offering 2 workshops in Philadelphia, December 11-13 and 14-15. Participants are coming from Australia, UK and across the US to learn how to use Future Search for planning and innovating in their Community, Business or Congregation.

Sign up with a Special Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD – 5% off the early registration fee. Save as much as $800! Let us know if you need more help with tuition. Contact Sally at fsn@futuresearch.net.

Future Search is among the best-established and most effective methods for enabling people to make and implement ambitious plans. At the Managing a Future Search workshop, you willlearn how to get the “whole system in the room,” help people find common ground, and create long-lasting follow-up. At Lead More, Control Less workshop, you will learn how to focus on structure, not behavior, to allow people to grow, share ideas, take responsibility and manage themselves.

Register Today!

PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA
DECEMBER 11- 13, and 14-15, 2017

with Sandra Janoff – co-founder, with Marvin Weisbord, of Future Search Network, and recipient of the Organization Development Network 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award!

“There is a high return on this investment in human capital. It takes a lot of energy to plan but it’s worth it because of the new relationships you build, the energy unleashed, the new perspectives people get on key issues.” – Brian Roberts, United Methodist Church, NJ

Managing a Future Search – A Leadership Workshop
December 11-13, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

MFS Workshop Details        mail and e-mail registration form

This workshop is for leaders and facilitators who want to learn how applying Future Search principles and methodology enables an organization to transform its capability for action. Four key principles underlie the Future Search design:

  • Getting the “whole system” in the room.
  • Exploring the same global context (“whole elephant”) as a backdrop for local action.
  • Focusing on the future and common ground rather than conflicts and problems.
  • Inviting self-management and personal responsibility for action during and after the conference.

This highly successful strategic planning method is used around the world and in every sector to:

  • Create a shared vision and practical action plans among diverse parties.
  • Devise a plan and gain commitment to implement a vision or strategy that already exists.
  • Initiate rapid action on complex issues where no coordinating structure or shared vision exist.

Lead More, Control Less – A Master Class in Leadership
December 14-15, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Lead More Workshop Details        mail and e-mail registration form

“Self control is the best control.” Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

In this workshop, based on the new book by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord, “Lead More, Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership skills that Overturn Convention”, you will learn a philosophy, principles and actions that produce superior results while reducing your need to control. These skills will support the way you work with diverse groups and complex problems.

Speed and complexity are impacting leaders everywhere! There are insights and skills that you can learn that overturn conventional responses and let you experience more self-control in leading in today’s world.

In her work around the world, Sandra discovered that she could get better results by creating an unconventional approach to leadership – focusing on structure rather than behavior and letting people take responsibility and manage themselves. This leads to higher motivation, greater creativity and productivity. These lessons are brought together with real world experiences to create a unique and memorable seminar.

You can read more about the workshops on Future Search Network’s site at www.futuresearch.net/method/workshops/.

Don’t Miss Tech Tuesday with Gell, Tomorrow Nov. 14

In case you missed our original announcement, we wanted to remind everyone that we are hosting our next FREE Tech Tuesday, tomorrow November 14th from 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern/10:00-11:00am Pacific. We’re very excited to welcome Loren Bendele, Founder and CEO of Gell, a new mobile/web platform for civil discourse on important issues.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn about Gell – register today!

Gell is a free mobile/web platform that brings elected officials, parents, students, educators, administrators and concerned citizens together for civil discourse on issues that matter. Gell encourages, facilitates and moderates healthy discussions and debates. They then make it easy for users to find the top rated opinions for and against important issues and candidates, so the community can form its own opinions from a balanced and diverse set of facts and opinions. Columns of opposing views are displayed side-by-side, so users can quickly get a balanced viewpoint and formulate their own opinions. The community can flag inappropriate content (personal attacks, spam, off topic, etc.) for removal from the site. That way, the discussion stays focused on what matters most, while not being distracted by “noise” or irrelevant conversations.

Loren will walk participants through Gell and answer your questions about this new and exciting platform. Loren is a serial entrepreneur, and prior to Gell was the co-founder and CEO of Savings.com which he led from launch in 2007 through acquisition in 2012 by Cox Media Group and continued to run within Cox until 2015. Loren was also the founder of Favado, a grocery app that aggregates all the most popular sales and coupons for every major grocery store across the country.

Watch this video to learn more about Gell

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.

Participatory Budgeting Host Training in NYC, Nov. 30th

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and how to bring it to YOUR community? Well, there’s an exciting opportunity for those who happen to be in the NYC area! We encourage you to check out this upcoming training with NCDD member org, the Participatory Budgeting Project and their PB 101 training in NYC at the end of November. You can read the announcement from PBP below or find the original on their site here.


PB 101 Training in NYC, November 30 2017

You know that participatory budgeting (PB) is a better way to empower communities. You know that PB engages them in finding solutions. You know that PB builds new connections that make communities more resilient.

PB makes increases trust in government and reduces corruption by making budgets transparent. PB is making healthy, actively engaged communities.

We know it’s a tough time to be working on engagement and democracy. People are tired of politics as usual, tired of their voices not being heard. Our democracy is not working. At PBP, we have a solution: Share real power over real money, launch PB in your community!

Are you ready to get started?

Thousands of people across North America and around the world are already taking budgets into their own hands and building civic power with PB. Your next step is to join us to learn the skills necessary to launch PB in your community.

NOVEMBER 30, 2017 | 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004 | 10a-5p
REGISTER NOW

Leaders like you, in more than 3,000 cities, municipalities, schools, and organizations have started PB, for three main reasons:

  • It’s Effective. The process motivates broad participation and engages communities in finding solutions that respond to community needs.
  • It’s Fair. PB engages a true cross-section of the community. More people get inspired and involved, including those who often can’t or don’t participate like youth and immigrants.
  • It’s Visionary. By supporting their communities to become more resilient and connected, leaders who do PB build a legacy as bold and innovative.

Now’s the time to dig deeper and learn more about how to get started!

Join us — and other PB organizers from across the East Coast — for a PB training in NYC this fall!

REGISTER NOW

At this full day PB training you will:

  • Become a PB expert.
    • You will gain an understanding of PB and why it’s a best practice for public participation through experiential learning.
    • You will practice skills including PB facilitation and implementation planning.
  • Plan to bring PB to your community.
    • You will learn how to build an advocacy plan to gain the support of key community leaders.
    • You will practice presenting PB and overcoming common obstacles.
    • You will create a detailed plan for next steps to support your organizing work to launch PB.
  • Connect to a network of civic leaders like you.
    • You will forge connections peers who are working to change the way democracy works in their communities through PB.

DATE: Thursday, November 30
TIME: 10am-5pm Eastern
LOCATION: 42 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10004
COST: $225 early bird (before November 1) / $285 (after November 1)
REGISTER NOW: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3091652

The training team will be lead by Melissa Appleton. Melissa manages the implementation of participatory budgeting projects and innovations on the East Coast for the Participatory Budgeting Project. With over eight years of experience supporting group and inter-personal dialogue as a facilitator, mediator, and trainer at the largest community mediation organization in the US (New York Peace Institute), she brings a passion for collective decision-making to participatory budgeting. Melissa is happy to be supporting group deliberation and participation with diverse communities more locally after doing conflict resolution work internationally in Timor-Leste, Kosovo, and Israel. She received a graduate degree in Peace Education from Columbia University and, though a proud Vancouver B.C. native, has called New York City home for 12 years.

You can read the original version of this announcement on the Participatory Budgeting Project’s blog at www.participatorybudgeting.org/pb101-nyc2017/.

 

EvDem Host Intergenerational Webinar This Thurs. Nov 9

Our friends at Everyday Democracy – an NCDD member org – are hosting an intergenerational webinar this coming Thursday, November 9th from 12pm – 1pm Eastern/9am – 10am Pacific. The webinar will feature Families United for Education, who will share their experience on building an intergenerational network to address racial and educational inequities in Albuquerque.  We encourage you to register ASAP for this webinar! You can read the announcement below or find the original on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.


EvDem Logo

Intergenerational Equity Webinar: Spotlight on Families United for Education

Intergenerational equity is the practice of treating everyone justly regardless of age and considering the structural factors that privilege some age groups over others. We do this by building strong relationships and partnerships, sharing power across generations, creating mentorship and cross-generational learning opportunities, and making space for youth voice.

This webinar will explore best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work. Families United for Education will talk about their work building an intergenerational network to address racial inequities in Albuquerque schools. They will discuss their successes and challenges.

Join us for our intergenerational equity webinar on November 9th at 12pm ET.

What: Best practices for building intergenerational equity in your work, through the experiences of Families United for Education.

When: Thursday, November 9 at 12pm ET

Presenters:

Malana Rogers-Bursen, Program Associate for Everyday Democracy
Omkulthoom Musa Qassem, Leader for Families United for Education
Corrina Roche-Cross, Leader for Families United for Education
Tony Watkins, Leader for Families United for Education

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1057858115539498753

Families United for Education:

Families United for Education (FUE) is a decentralized, self-organized network of approximately 500 families in Albuquerque, NM that formed in response to gross gaps in educational outcomes between white students and students of color. FUE successfully researched, wrote and advocated for a family engagement policy for Albuquerque Public Schools that passed the APS Board of Education in 2012. The research that went into the policy included dozens of one-on-one meetings, community forums, and small group meetings that uncovered the lived experiences of students and families in our schools. Thus, the policy that emerged reflects those lived experiences.

The policy calls for “utilizing the histories and cultures of our families as a foundation for education”, “safe and welcoming environments”, “building relationships and capacity”, “expanding communication”, and “equitable and effective systems.” FUE strives to model the elements of the policy with each other in our organizing efforts. Since the passage of the policy, FUE has continued its campaign for racial justice by organizing candidate forums for APS school board elections, and convening anti-racism trainings for school board and community members. Most recently, FUE successfully advocated for ethnic studies to be included in APS’s academic master plan, and organized anti-racism trainings for ethnic studies teachers, new board members, and APS administrators. We are currently advocating for authentic implementation of ethnic studies district-wide, K-12, and urging the District to develop rapid response protocols to address incidents of racism in our schools.

Omkulthoom Qassem is a Palestinian-Chicana graduate student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a degree in Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies. She has been working in community based organizing and educational endeavors for the last few years and is particularly passionate about undoing-racism efforts, media literacy, identity development and multicultural education. She previously received her bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Foreign Languages with a minor in Peace and Global Justice studies. Omkulthoom has been working with Families United for Education for about one year on facilitation, communication, and anti-racism projects. She is dedicated to FUE’s dedication to bridging the gap between policy development and community. She believes that community at all age levels should have a voice in the policy that guides and outlines the governmental education system of the community.

Tony Watkins is a 53 year old white man who moved to a border town of the Navajo Nation when he was eleven years old. He started out on anti-racism work resisting the use of a U.S. History textbook in his daughter’s high school. Since then, Tony has joined over 500 families in Albuquerque to research, write, and advocate for a family engagement policy for Albuquerque Public Schools. The policy passed the school board in August, 2012 after a lengthy organizing effort and is a reflection of the lived experiences of families in our schools. In addition to organizing with FUE, Tony sits on the Leadership Council of Within Our Lifetime, a national network dedicated to ending racism within our lifetimes.

Corrina Roche began organizing since middle school through Bikes Not Bombs, an organization that focuses on youth and transportation justice. Since, she has continued to work with community in various forms. Corrina is currently a senior at the University of New Mexico working toward a degree in dance with a concentration in Flamenco. She plans on also receiving her elementary education teaching license and has been engaging with and studying public education for the past few years. Corrina is has been a member of FUE for the past two years because she is passionate about providing quality education to students and engaging with schools that reflect and uplift the families, communities, and backgrounds of students. Through working with students, she has seen the damage racism has done to our public education system and is committed to advocating for students and their right to receive anti-racist, empowering, and creative education.

You can find the original version of this post on Everyday Democracy’s blog at www.everyday-democracy.org/news/intergenerational-equity-webinar-spotlight-families-united-education.

CGA Forums and Trainings Coming up in November

We wanted to let everyone know about several updates this month from NCDD member org, Kettering Foundation on their Common Ground for Action online forum. Throughout the month of November, Kettering will be holding several CGA opportunities using the recently released Opioid Epidemic issue advisory. Also available are two training events for those interested in learning to moderate CGA forums; a general one for those new to CGA and another tailored for K-12 and college educators. Register to join these online forums and trainings by clicking on the links in the announcement below. This announcement was from the October Kettering newsletter – sign up here to start receiving their newsletter.


Common Ground for Action Activities in November

As usual, there are several opportunities to participate in a deliberative forum from the comfort of your desk. Please register at the links below if you’d like to join, or, if you can’t make any of the dates yourself, please help us spread the word and reach new audiences by sharing the links via email or social media. All of this month’s forums will use the What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic? issue advisory.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 11a.m. EST | REGISTER

Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Monday, Nov. 20 | 5 p.m. EST | REGISTER

Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST | REGISTER

There are also two upcoming moderator training sessions for those who want to learn to hold their own online forums. These online sessions are held in two-part sessions of two hours each. (Please plan to attend both parts of the workshop.)

CGA New Moderator Training
Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 5:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, Nov. 16 | 6 p.m. EST
REGISTER

CGA for K-12 & College Educators Moderator Training
Thursday, Nov. 30 | 12 p.m. EST
Friday, Dec. 1 | 12 p.m. EST
REGISTER

If you’ve been trained as a CGA moderator, but it’s been a while and you’d like a refresher (or you just have some questions), Kara Dillard will hold online “office hours” on November 3, 10, 17, and 27 at 11 a.m. EST. Just hop on this link to talk with her.

Announcing the November Tech Tuesday Featuring Gell

NCDD is excited to announce our next Tech Tuesday will feature the platform Gell. Join us for this FREE event Tuesday, November 14th from 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern/10:00-11:00am Pacific.

Gell is a free mobile/web platform that brings elected officials, parents, students, educators, administrators and concerned citizens together for civil discourse on issues that matter. Gell encourages, facilitates and moderates healthy discussions and debates. They then make it easy for users to find the top rated opinions for and against important issues and candidates, so the community can form its own opinions from a balanced and diverse set of facts and opinions. Columns of opposing views are displayed side-by-side, so users can quickly get a balanced viewpoint and formulate their own opinions. The community can flag inappropriate content (personal attacks, spam, off topic, etc.) for removal from the site. That way, the discussion stays focused on what matters most, while not being distracted by “noise” or irrelevant conversations.

Joining us for this call will be NCDD member Loren Bendele, founder and CEO of Gell. Loren is a serial entrepreneur, and prior to Gell was the co-founder and CEO of Savings.com which he led from launch in 2007 through acquisition in 2012 by Cox Media Group and continued to run within Cox until 2015. Loren was also the founder of Favado, a grocery app that aggregates all the most popular sales and coupons for every major grocery store across the country.  Loren will walk participants through Gell and answer your questions about this new and exciting platform.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn about Gell – 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.

Watch this video to learn more about Gell

Upcoming Public Engagement Webinars from ILG

We are always excited to see NCDD members collaborating with each other, which is especially why we wanted to share these upcoming fall webinars from NCDD member org, the Institute for Local Government! Among the webinars, NCDD member Sarah Rubin will be teaming up with fellow NCDDers Ashley Trim of the Davenport Institute and later on with Gina Bartlett of the Consensus Building Institute, to share their public engagement expertise. We encourage you to check out the announcement below or find the original on ILG’s site here.


Upcoming ILG Webinars

For information about upcoming webinars in development, please contact Melissa Kuehne, mkuehne@ca-ilg.org.

The Brown Act
Date: November 1, 2017 | Time: 10:00am
Description: This webinar will provide an overview on when and how to communicate with officials to be in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act and help attendees understand the role and rules limiting the agency’s clerk, executives and local officials in the decision-making process. Additionally, panelists will share relevant updates and hypothetical examples of missteps and how to avoid them.

Panelists:
– Peter M. Thorson, Richards Watson & Gershon
– Teresa Stricker, Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai

Are You Ready for Public Engagement?
A Conversation for Cities, Counties and Special Districts
Date: November 8, 2017  |  Time: 11:00am
Description: Join Sarah Rubin, Public Engagement Program Director at the Institute for Local Government, and Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University for an interactive webinar about how public engagement can help you build trust and develop sustainable policy within your community. We will look at setting a good foundation for public engagement within your organization, and explore some key questions to ask before you get started.

Panelists:
– Sarah Rubin, Institute for Local Government
– Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University

Tips to Promote an Ethical and Transparent Culture
Date: December 5, 2017 | Time: 2:00pm
Description: What practices can a local government put in place to promote public trust and confidence?  What practices can minimize the risk of missteps that could undermine or damage this trust and confidence?  This session will help answer these fundamental questions and provide attendees with tips to:

  • Encourage ethical best practices,
  • Promote transparency in their work place and in their community, and
  • Share information with the public about agency operations and the decision-making procession.

Panelists:
– Ruben Duran, Best Best & Krieger
– Maggie Stern, Kronick Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard

Public Engagement: When to Use a Professional Facilitator
Date: December 14, 2017 | 10:00am
Description: In the midst of planning public engagement, many face the decision of whether to contract with a professional facilitator or work with someone in-house. With limited staff and resources, this can be a difficult decision. In ILG’s 2015 survey, 69% of local government respondents in California do not feel that they have adequate staff, resources, or training to do effective public engagement.

Sometimes outside help, even in the face of limited resources, is needed. During this webinar, participants will be able to think through criteria for deciding when to use someone in-house and when to bring in a professional facilitator. What are the advantages? How can one justify the expense? Who’s qualified and how to find someone to help? The Institute for Local Government Public Engagement Program Director Sarah Rubin and the Consensus Building Institute Senior Facilitator Gina Bartlett will share insights and resources to address these dilemmas.

Panelists:
– Sarah Rubin, Institute for Local Government
– Gina Bartlett, Consensus Building Institute

You can find the original version of this announcement on ILG’s site at www.ca-ilg.org/post/upcoming-ilg-webinars.

NICD Explores Civility on Listen to America Tour

In case you haven’t heard, the ‘Listen to America’ tour kicked off last month and has been traveling from city to city to hold conversations with folks on their hopes, fears, and what it means to be American. The listening tour, a project by Huffpost and NCDD member org the National Institute for Civil Discourse, is seeking the voices often unheard and to facilitate conversations around civility while building the capacity to listen with each other. Read the full schedule to find out where the tour has gone so far and below you can read where the upcoming stops are going to be.

Below is an excerpt from the article written by long time NCDD member Carolyn Lukensmeyer of NICD and you can find the full original version at Huffpost’s site here.


Seeking Civility: The ‘Listen To America’ Tour

This week, HuffPost journalists embark on something normally reserved for politicians and presidential candidates. Over the course of the 25-city “Listen to America” tour, journalists at HuffPost will seek out voices from individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds to share their hopes, dreams and fears.

Listening tours provide an opportunity for political candidates to reach out and connect with everyday Americans and clear an important leadership hurdle: the ability to show that they care about people.

It’s not every day journalists adopt a tactic used by political candidates. But in our tumultuous times, empathy appears to be a skill that is lacking across society. As Americans continue to grow further apart, they seem to have stopped listening and resorted to shouting down people who might disagree with them.

Americans may not agree on very much these days, but we can recognize the divisions in front of us. A Pew Research Center poll from January found that 86 percent of Americans believe we’re more divided today than in the past. It’s only through listening, understanding, and respecting one another can we start to bridge this divide.

You can read the full article on Huffpost’s site here

Upcoming Tour Schedule 

Oct. 3 – Detroit + Dearborn
Oct. 4 + 5 – Fort Wayne, Ind.
Oct. 6 – Milwaukee, Wis.
Oct. 9 – Des Moines
Oct. 10 – Kansas City
Oct. 11 – Lincoln, Neb.
Oct. 13 – Casper, Wyo.
Oct. 16 – Livingston, Mont.
Oct. 18 – Provo, Utah
Oct. 20 – Tucson, Ariz.
Oct. 23 – Albuquerque, N.M.
Oct. 25 – Odessa, Texas
Oct. 27 – Houston
Oct. 29 + 30 – New Orleans

You can find the full original version of this article by Carolyn Lukensmeyer of NICD on Huffpost’s site at www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/seeking-civility-the-listen-to-america-tour_us_59b7213ee4b0883782dec284?

Online Facilitation Unconference Coming Up Oct. 16-22

We encourage the NCDD network to attend the fourth edition of Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) on Oct 16-22. 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!

As part of NCDD member benefits, NCDD members are eligible for a 20% discount when you use discount code “NCDD2017”. Make sure you register and get your tickets ASAP! Follow OFU on Twitter with the hashtag #OFU17 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 2017

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

Join us October 16-22, 2017, alongside International Facilitation Week.

Share, learn, connect, and have fun with participants from (or currently based in): the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Finland, Iceland, Australia, Peru, Canada, and the United States.

ABOUT

What is Online Facilitation Unconference?
The Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is a community-driven event that brings together people from the public, private and non-profit sector whose work includes, or who have an interest in, facilitation in virtual environments.

OFU is about sharing, learning, making new connections and having fun.

When does the event take place?
OFU 2017 will once again take place alongside International Facilitation Week and run for exactly one week, from Monday, October 16 to Sunday October 22, 2017.

Who’s organizing the event?
The event is run by the Center for Applied Community Engagement, LLC, a private institute and social enterprise 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.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Do I have to be a professional facilitator in order to attend?
No, anyone with an interest in online or virtual facilitation – whether for professional or personal reasons – is welcome! While a good number of our attendees do facilitation for a living, many others perform the functions of convener and facilitator as part of their regular job.

Do I have to have prior experience with facilitation in virtual environments?
No, OFU aims to bring together experts and newbies alike. Everyone can contribute!

Who are the attendees?
Here are some of the job titles people are bringing to the table this year (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

Where are attendees from?
So far, our registered attendees are from – or currently based in – the following 15 countries from around the world (in alphabetical order):

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

FORMAT & FOCUS

What is an unconference?
An unconference is a conference where the attendees create the agenda. We’ll have more to say about this over the coming weeks. Make sure to sign up for the mailing list.

What do you mean by “virtual environment”?
Anything that creates venues for people and groups to interact outside a strictly in-person context: phone conferences, online chat, video conferencing, virtual reality etc. as well as augmented in-person processes and events.

AGENDA & SCHEDULE

What is the agenda for the event?
A handful of introductory sessions will be scheduled ahead of time. These will likely take place on Monday and/or Tuesday of that week. We’ll try our best to fit them into one of three daily slots (see below).

The rest of the agenda will emerge dynamically once the unconference gets under way as people suggest potential topics, find collaborators, negotiate timing and add sessions to the schedule.

We recommend that unconference sessions get scheduled from Wednesday at the earliest, giving everyone enough time to find out about them and sign up.

Who can propose session topics?
Anyone is encouraged to make suggestions and lead sessions.

What are the three main daily time slots?
In order to maximize connection and collaboration across key time zones, we suggest that sessions be scheduled to fall into one of the following slots:

1. Americas + Europe: 8-11am Pacific Time (that’s evening 5-8pm in Europe)
2. Americas + Australasia: 4-7 pm Pacific Time (that’s 9am to 12pm in the morning in Sydney)
3. Europe + Australasia: 12-3am Pacific Time (that’s morning in Europe & afternoon/evening in Sydney)

This is simply a recommendation and has worked well in the past. However, attendees are free to pick whatever session times work best for them.

VENUES

Where will the conference be held?
Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) is a virtual event.

In terms of online meeting venues, we will provide a central space where people can introduce themselves and plan the schedule together.

Regarding individual sessions, which online meeting venues will be used is up to the session leads. In the past, people have used a wide variety of tools depending on topic, group size, where they are based etc. We’ve also had people make tools available for others (e.g., WebEx, Adobe Connect).

TICKETS

Where can I get tickets?
Please head on over to Eventbrite for to purchase your ticket and register for the event.

Will there be stipends available for students or people of low income?
Our goal is to make this event as inclusive and as accessible as possible.

As of September 20, a first batch of 10 pay-what-you-like tickets has been made available for students, people of low income, attendees from developing countries etc. Just pick the amount that best fits your needs – no questions asked!

We’ll add more tickets over time as the number of regular registrations increases.

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CONTACT

How can I get in touch?
Please shoot us an email to let us know any questions, ideas or concerns. Thanks!

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