latest entries . . .

No Posts for a While Due to Server Changes

Sorry, folks, but I need to cease posting to the blog for a week or two while our server does some switching over. I'll post again toward mid-February. Sorry for the hiatus!

Added January 30, 2005  -  Link to this entry

Purple America Poster & Products

I just stumbled upon something online that I fear everyone else may already have seen, but it struck me as such an important image that I had to post something about it. Professor Robert Venderbei at Princeton created a map of the U.S. depicting the 2004 presidential election results in shades of red and blue - not by state - but by county. And the result is a strikingly purple map.

This is a red/blue map that is not so black and white (aren't I clever?) - and a more realistic, truthful image for people to see during these polarizing times. You can buy all kinds of products with the purple map on it (I like the tote bag and the Ringer T-shirts), which I think is a good thing. The more people who can replace the red/blue state map in their mind with this purple map, the better. You can view the map at

Added January 27, 2005  -  Link to this entry

OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly

NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee sent an email to his popular e-mailing list today that I wanted to share with all of you. Tom forwarded an op-ed written by John Gastil and Ned Crosby about the remarkable Citizens' Assembly that has been breaking ground in British Columbia, Canada.

Tom considers the Citizens' Assembly to be the most empowered version of citizen deliberative councils that he has seen anywhere in the world so far, and he hopes it is only the first of many such innovations.

Tom points out that the short article below, which is targetted at residents of Washington State in the US, is a model for similar op-ed pieces that could be written for virtually any state in the US -- or for provinces, districts and nations around the world. Click below for the article.

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Added January 26, 2005  -  Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Releases Blueprint for Engaging the Public in National Policy-Making

AmericaSpeaks recently released Millions of Voices: A Blueprint for Engaging the American Public in National Policy-Making, a detailed report outlining a comprehensive strategy to engage millions of Americans in solving the nationís most critical problems.

The report reflects the collaborative thinking of 12 leaders in the citizen engagement field, convened by AmericaSpeaks over nine months. Millions of Voices is based on the premise that if we are to reinvigorate American democratic institutions, new structures and processes are needed to engage citizens in the nationís policy-making process. The report offers a plan for National Discussions that will engage at least one million Americans in substantive deliberations about public issues designed to inform and influence decision-making in Washington.

The report recommends National Discussions be convened regularly to address the most pressing national issues facing the country such as health care, foreign policy, and the economy. Development and production of the report were funded by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Click here for a free PDF version of this excellent report.

Added January 25, 2005  -  Link to this entry

IAP2's Asian Pacific Conference to be Held in Sydney this March

Our friends at the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) asked us to spread the word that the IAP2 Asia Pacific Conference "Risks and Rewards in Public Participation" is open for registrations now and they are filling fast. The conference will take place in Sydney, Australia March 6 through 8, 2005.

Given the importance of conversing with communities and working with them in building and planning, the conference is particularly timely following the devastating impact of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The conference includes an extensive line up of speakers from Australia, New Zealand and the USA addressing topics such as new futures and how to create them. Click below for more details, or just go to

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Added January 23, 2005  -  Link to this entry

Call for Presentations at 2nd Conference on Online Deliberation

Todd Davies sent an email to one of the NCDD lists a couple of days ago announcing the 2nd Conference on Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice, which will take place May 20-22, 2005 at Stanford University in California. This conference is a follow-up to "Developing and Using Online Tools for Deliberative Democracy," a two-day seminar which was held at Carnegie Mellon University in June 2003.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Symbolic Systems Program, the Center for Deliberative Democracy, the Center for the Study of Language and Information, and the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University, in association with the Public Sphere Project (a CPSR Initiative). Abstracts for presentations are due March 15. Click below for more details.

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Added January 22, 2005  -  Link to this entry

IAF to Publish Book Next Month on Best Practices in Facilitation

Next month, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will be publishing an exciting (to us, anyway!) book edited by Sandy Schuman titled "The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation." Published by Jossey-Bass, the 720-page book will be available in February for $75 for non-members of IAF and $52.50 for IAF members. This will be quite the resource!

The book covers a range of viewpoints on methods and techniques, issues, competencies, and resources. It includes a CD featuring the complete collection of articles published in the first five issues of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal. This collection will serve as an introduction to the field for the new practitioner and as a reference for experienced group facilitators who encounter new situations. Click below for the full table of contents (you may recognize some of the authors!), or go to IAF's online store to purchase the book.

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Added January 10, 2005  -  Link to this entry

IAP2 Calls for Papers for its October Annual Conference

I received an announcement today from the good folks at IAP2 (the International Association for Public Participation). They're calling for papers for their Annual Conference, which will take place October 17-19, 2005 in Portland, Oregon. You can read the Call for Papers for submission details and for descriptions of the presentation areas. IAP2 is accepting papers for presentations until March 11. Click below for the full announcement.

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Added January 06, 2005  -  Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Seeks Input on Matrix of Approaches to Online Public Deliberation

Lars Torres (NCDD Steering Committee member and Researcher for AmericaSpeaks) sent some emails out yesterday announcing the latest iteration of AmericaSpeaks' matrix of approaches to online public deliberation. You can view a PDF of the document at

Lars would love your input at this point. If you see something that is incorrect, or know of a project that is missing, email him at [email protected] to let him know.

Listed, described and linked to on the chart are: Ascentum, ByDesign/eLab, CitizenScape, Community People, DELIB,
Denmark National IT and Telecom Agency, Dialogue by Design, Fraunhofer Institut Autonome Intelligente Systeme, Human Sciences, Information Renaissance, Partnership for Internet Equity and Community Engagement (PIECE), Public Voice Lab,, ParTecs, Bodies Electric, Web Lab, and Wornex WorldDirector.

Added January 05, 2005  -  Link to this entry

Compassionate Listening Training to be Held in U.K. for First Time

Just got word today from Leah Green at the Compassionate Listening Project that Compassionate Listening is making its way to the UK! In addition to a February training in East Sussex in the U.K., there are also workshops coming up in the U.S. in the following cities: Charlotte, North Carolina; Mt Vernon and Everett, Washington; Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado. Go to the Compassionate Listening Project's website for more details or to register, or click below for info about the U.K. training.

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Added January 02, 2005  -  Link to this entry

Cool Facilitation Opportunity for New Yorkers

I received an email yesterday from Karly Li at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. The museum recently created a dialogue program called "Kitchen Conversations" for their public tour visitors. They are very excited about this program as it is the first ongoing public dialogue program ever conducted at the museum, and one of only two such programs in the country. They are currently looking to hire facilitators for the program, and wanted to reach out to the NCDD community. Click below for the full announcement.

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Added December 18, 2004  -  Link to this entry

News from the Public Conversations Project...

The Public Conversations Project's December E-News focuses on "Talking About Politics across Divides." The e-newsletter announces some great resources designed to help those who with to engage in respectful, meaningful conversations with people who have vast political differences. PCP's Executive Director, Laura Chasin, recently wrote an article for the Christian Science Monitor's "Talking with the Enemy" series, and PCP has created some resources around that series. Click below to learn more about all of this, and to check the dates for PCP's highly acclaimed trainings this spring.

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Added December 09, 2004  -  Link to this entry

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