In 2010, the National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) will be partnering with cities around the country to host one-day workshops designed to enhance public engagement and build skills in quality engagement processes.
Thanks to the Austin community’s rousing support for the highly successful 2008 NCDD Conference and the flurry of dialogue and deliberation activities in Central Texas over the past seven years…
Austin has been selected as one of the partner sites!
This workshop will connect people in the public engagement / dialogue and deliberation field with people from public sector, civic, educational and other organizations in an interactive learning environment focused on several key knowledge areas:
- What constitutes quality public engagement? What principles and key considerations are necessary to effectively and meaningfully engage citizens to make difficult policy decisions and to address community challenges?
- How can we best utilize online engagement tools? What are the criteria and strategies for understanding the implications of an ever-growing array of online engagement tools? What are some effective use of these tools and how can we blend the online strategy with more traditional forms of engagement.
- How can we enhance partnerships between practitioners and the public sector? How can we effectively match the needs and priorities of public sector entities with the skills and expertise of dialogue and deliberation practitioners.
A local project team, being headed up by Diane Miller, is working on developing the approach for the day seeking event sponsors and firming up a date and location.
More details will be coming soon, but if you want to learn more or have suggestions for sponsors or other outreach ideas, you can email Diane at email@example.com.
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Posted in Announcements, Texas Forums Events, Workshops and Seminars, tagged bill bradley, e-democracy, Ellen Miller, Freedom of Information Act, Freedom of Information Foundation, i-government, online citizen participation, open government, President Johnson, Right to know, Sunlight Foundation, Susan Combs, transparency, Vivek Kundra on April 19, 2009 |
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Date: May 15, 2009
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
FREE, BUT REGISTRATION REQUIRED
1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, a landmark law that profoundly changed how citizens can learn about their government.
On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas
at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this free, one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.
The topics to be covered will include:
- Innovations in fiscal transparency online
- Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
- The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
- Innovation in the states
- The future of “i-government”
- Citizen participation online
- How technologists can help
This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.
President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.
Already there is an explosion of new tools on the Internet to access government information in innovative ways.
The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of
Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience.
Featured speakers include
- Bill Bradley, The Hon. Former Senator
- Vivek Kundra, White House Chief Information Officer
- Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller
- Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation Director
For more information and to register…
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Fielding Graduate University’s fifth graduate level Certificate Program in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement is being held this fall (August 15, 2008 through January 15, 2009). I completed this program the very first year it was held and was very impressed with the instructors, the reading materials and my fellow students. From what I hear, it has only gotten better and better!
This distinctive program focuses on recent innovations in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement featuring outstanding faculty who have played key roles in developing these approaches. It strives for the development of mastery in our practice of dialogue and deliberation.
Designed and delivered in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, the Kettering Foundation, and the Public Dialogue Consortium, the program features an outstanding faculty of scholar-practitioners (Hal Saunders, Barnett Pearce, Phil Stewart, Keith Melville, Jan Elliott, John Dedrick, Linda Blong, Kath Fisher). It also features guests in phone dialogues who are widely recognized scholars and innovative practitioners. Previous featured guests have included Carolyn Lukensmeyer (AmericaSpeaks), Juanita Brown (World Cafe), Martha McCoy (Everyday Democracy), Bob Stains (Public Conversations Project), Shawn Spano, Frank Barrett, Joe Peters, Janette Hartz-Karp and Jim Fishkin (Center for Deliberative Democracy).
Come join us and learn with others from different backgrounds and countries who share your energy and enthusiasm for this work. Learn in two face-to-face workshops, online, and on the phone with world renowned practitioners. To help make it easy for those attending the NCDD conference, the first face-to-face workshop will take place in Austin, Texas immediately after the conference.
Here’s what a few previous participants had to say:
- “The DDPE certificate program is exceptional.”
- “Altogether an outstanding experience.”
- “The Program was extremely valuable.”
- “This program has had, and continues to have, a huge impact on my thinking and the way I do my work.”
For a course outline and to check out other testimonials, see www.fielding.edu/hod/ce/dialog/index.html. You can also check on the website to see when the next informational conference call is being held.
Tuition is US $3490 if you register by the early bird deadline of July 15, 2008. NCDD members’ tuition is only US $3,140 (10% discount). Registrants enrolling after July 15 will be charged US $3,740 ($3,390 for NCDD members). Register at https://www.fielding.edu/forms/ce/ce_registration.htm.
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[This report is being filed by Erin Kreeger, a member of Texas Forums, graduate of the Fielding Graduate University's Certification in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement and an adviser to the University of Houston Downtown's Center for Public Deliberation. Erin will be an ongoing guest blogger for Texas Forums so check back often to hear her insights!]
On April 4th and 5th around 25 incredible people gathered at The University of Houston – Downtown Center for Public Deliberation for a powerful workshop on moderating and recording public deliberation forums. These forums are opportunities for people to join together with others to talk about difficult issues, gain new insights on ways to approach those issues and to choose ways to work towards creating powerful individual and group action, including influencing public policy. The workshop provided an opportunity for people who may not have done something like this before to learn from some seasoned experts, to learn from each other, to practice participating in two deliberative forums (one on the achievement gap in education and one of the energy problem), to moderate a forum, to record insights and themes from the forums and to begin building a community of practice. How great is that!
Though two day workshops can be challenging to design in a way that’s flexible enough to adapt to people’s needs and questions yet structured enough to end on time, this planning team did that brilliantly – keeping us engaged for the entire 2 days – including 7 hours of Saturday time. Here’s what participants had to say about what worked really well and what could be done differently next time.
What I’m taking with me/Keep It!
- Role playing/Practice moderating forums
- Intentional prep activities – not arbitrary
- I was engaged
- Power of communication
- The workshop kept moving
- Good to have to jump into activities
- Having multiple instructors
- The printed materials to read later instead of being read to
- Applicable – can apply ideas right away
- Great modeling of practices
- Strength of moderators and their stories
What I’m leaving behind/Drop it
- Need clearer directions to get to the center
- More vegetarian food options/easy to identify veggie food
- More signs in building directing to room
- Want video of the practice forum
At the end of the workshop, one participant said that she felt she had found her public deliberation family. I find that feeling of community is inspiring and happens a lot in this line of work. But what’s especially exciting to me about this particular workshop is that The University of Houston Downtown Center for Public Deliberation in partnership with Texas Forums has the skill, desire and dedication to provide those family member with the resources they need to stay connected and to convene, moderate and record public deliberation forums so that community members of all backgrounds have the opportunity to meet with each other in a public dialogue, to identify the concerns they hold in common and to create action on issues that are important to them. That’s something I’m excited to be a part of. It’s a great example of inviting change.
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I’ve asked Virginia York to take notes here of the debrief of the Everyday Deliberation exercise we are doing at UHD where people tell stories of a time when they had to make a difficult decision and deliberated personally. The participants work in triads. One person tells their story, another person is the questioner who listens carefully and asks questions to help the storyteller reveal the reason why the decision was difficult and the third person serves as the observer.
Here’s Virginia’s notes of the debrief of this exercise…
Stories of every day deliberation dealt with divorce, real estate purchases, elderly parents, illness, etc.
What made this decision difficult:
- there were bad things on both sides
- values were in tension
- I had to consider other people
- goals can be uncertain
What values were in conflict:
- reason vs emotion was an example of tension
- other examples were to lay out potential outcomes
- more reasoned risks
- values can be in conflict,
- long range goals and short term needs,
- my values may not be the same as others,
- what I want to do vs what I should do,
- duty vs pleasure,
- are all of the options being explored?
- are there too many options,
What images of deliberation come to mind?
- Controlled passion
- Never actually seen deliberation happen because there is always an element of persuasion. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time at the capitol.
- Deliberation always brings up the term “calm”.
- Recently was part of a jury where we deliberated very well. We listened to the three dissenters and came to a common ground and both parties were happy with our final decision.
- Togas! The Greek Columns. The Socratic approach of knowledge for its own sake where the answer emerges.
- Barbara Jordan was the most deliberate person – slow, calm, thoughtful
- Trying to reach a destination – there is a commitment to reach that destination through the dialogue process where everyone is engaged
Now on to a forum on Too Many Children Left Behind: How Can We Close the Achievement Gap?
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I am writing this from the University of Houston Downtown’s Center for Public Deliberation training for new moderators. For the past two months, I have been working with Windy Lawrence and Tom Workman, the co-directors of this new endeavor. We are finally doing our first training session for moderators in Houston. We have 25 participants with a significant representation from the Houston Public Library. We are also joined by a representative from the Clinton and Bush Presidential Libraries.
We just introduced the participants to the cast of characters involved in public deliberation and the work we will be doing with Texas Forums and UHD Center for Public Deliberation. We also introduced them to the key areas that the partners will work on independently and in collaboration.
Texas Forums and the University of Houston Downtown will collaborate and work on the following key areas:
- Research and Development
- Training and Professional Development
- Support Local Initiatives by Building Capacity
- Develop and Support Statewide Issues
- Communication and Public Information
We invited the participants asked questions about the partners, but they immediately jumped into offering ideas about who else should be involved. Very exciting energy!!!!
Can’t wait to post more, but it’s time for me to lead my session on Everyday Deliberation.
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On Thursday, October 18th, about 60 teachers, administrators, parents, government officials, and youth gathered at Reagan High School in Austin, TX for a series of three forums on “Too Many Children Left Behind: Closing the Achievement Gap in Central Texas.” The diverse group is gathering on behalf of a diverse Austin Independent School District. Other area districts are involved in the same types of forums, which are sponsored by many groups including Texas Forums, E3 Alliance, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, the United Way, Univision, and KEYE TV42.
The welcome spelled out the reason for being there. It was said that “Despite advances, we know that it is not enough–it’s unnacceptable. You see great stories in some schools, but not districts. It’s a regional problem. We need everyone’s thinking in the region on this issue. We’ve got to work smarter, work together. Tonight is the first of three sessions. Give us your best thinking with an AISD perspective.”
It was also said that “If we don’t solve this problem, it affects the market in this state–whether kids are college ready–in a globally competititve economy. The problem is not enough graduate and not enough go to college or get a post-secondary degree. This leads to less salary, less access to healthcare, and more of a chance of going to jail. The loss will be $40 billion in earnings by 2030 if gaps are not closed.”
Tonight’s dialogue and other related forums will culminate in a regional forums and a regional blueprint. Everyone’s experiences are the lens to look at possible options and opportunities. Next blog posts will include participants’ comments made during their small group sessions such as the youth who shared that “Some kids have an attitude. They’re wasting my time and the teacher’s time. I’m here to learn. Teachers have motivated me to do my best.”
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On National Presidential Caucus Day — Friday, December 7, 2007 — thousands of local, self-organized, Internet-enabled, face-to-face gatherings across the country will convene in caucus to discuss and deliberate candidates and the issues. Participants will voice their preferences at their choice of a local Republican Caucus, Democratic Caucus or at an Open Caucus.
Just prior to the Iowa Caucus and the official primary season, organizations and individuals are invited and encouraged to try to elevate their issues, ideas, and candidate preferences to the forefront of the national dialogue by starting or attending a local caucus on National Presidential Caucus Day.
Citizen-led and open, the goals of the National Presidential Caucus are to:
* Help the country better prepare for the vital business of selecting its next president, not in haste, but through 1000′s of informed face-to-face discussions and thoughtful deliberations.
* Foster deeper and more meaningful access to the country’s political system toward the goal of helping revitalize American democracy.
* Create a new voice for those willing to participate in person.
National Presidential Caucus registration at http://www.nationalcaucus.com will open to the general public in early September.
National Presidential Caucus results will be compiled and reported at http://www.nationalcaucus.com after the event.
Technorati Tags: deliberate, democracy, forums, National Presidential Caucus, LBJ Library, Texas Forums
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In August, two of Texas Forums’ own – Diane Miller of Envision Central Texas and Tim Eubanks of Austin Voices for Education and Youth – had the unique opportunity to explore the concepts of deliberation with 150 innovative and passionate young people at a conference in Washington D.C. entitled “Bridging the Partisan Divide: Rediscovering Deliberation”. Diane Miller filed this report…
The annual conference, hosted by the Arsalyn Program, brought together young people ages 16-20 from all over the U.S. to develop skills that would help them communicate effectively with those of opposing views and find common ground for action.
Tim and I co-facilitated an interactive workshops on deliberative decision making utilizing the National Issues Forums model and exploring the issue of “Americans Role in the World”. The workshops were well received, with some participants expressing their appreciation for the format that allowed diverse points of view to be explored rather than debated. There were even a few folks from Texas who plan to get more involved with Texas Forums and find ways to use this model in their communities!
This was the first time the Arsalyn conference has incorporated skill-building sessions on dialogue and deliberation (D&D), providing attendees new perspectives and practical tools for influencing political activism and civic discourse. Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, worked with Arsalyn staff to make D&D a central focus of the conference. In addition to the workshop on Deliberative Decision Making, other workshops were held on methods such as Conversation Café, Study Circles, and Sustained Dialogue, as well as a case study workshop that had participants working together to develop D&D approaches to community problems. All of the facilitators left the conference deeply impressed by the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the young people and feeling rewarded to be part of this successful collaboration!
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