Posts Tagged ‘AmericaSpeaks’

If you’re in the DC area or interested in relocating, this would be a very cool job!

Director of Online Engagement and Participation, AmericaSpeaks

The Director of Online Engagement and Participation will lead AmericaSpeaks’ initiatives to design, facilitate and organize online participatory processes that provide citizens and stakeholders with a greater voice in governance processes. The Director will be responsible for generating new projects through which AmericaSpeaks may engage the public online, representing AmericaSpeaks in discussions with federal agencies about how to use online methods to create a more open government, managing a group of online associates and partners to deliver online engagement programs, and forming and nurturing partnerships with other online innovators. The Director will also oversee the organization’s online and social media presence.

AmericaSpeaks seeks a candidate with deep experience in the field of online engagement and participation. Candidates should have a proven track record of leading online participatory processes.

AmericaSpeaks is a world leader in the field of citizen engagement and public deliberation. For more than fifteen years, AmericaSpeaks has helped citizens influence many of the most pressing issues facing the public, including the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site after 9/11, the creation of regional plans for the greater Chicago and Cleveland regions, and the development of a recovery plan for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. AmericaSpeaks’ mission is to reinvigorate democracy; we are doing this by developing innovative tools and a rich infrastructure for engaging citizens in our nation’s policy making process. For more information about AmericaSpeaks, visit http://www.facebook.com/l/25ce2;www.americaspeaks.org.

The Director will report to the Vice President of Citizen Engagement. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

* Lead AmericaSpeaks’ initiatives to engage citizens and stakeholders in online participatory processes
* Work with other AmericaSpeaks’ staff to attract and develop new projects to engage citizens and stakeholders online, especially with federal agencies
* Form and nurture partnerships with other leaders in the field of online engagement to deliver projects and develop new innovations
* Form and manage a group of consultants who can assist AmericaSpeaks in delivering online engagement projects and online aspects of other engagement projects
* Oversee the content of the AmericaSpeaks website and social media presence, and work with AmericaSpeaks’ communications associate and interns to ensure that content remains dynamic and fresh
* Develop and manage an online innovations agenda for AmericaSpeaks to ensure that the organization remains a leader in the field
* Develop programmatic and budget protocols for the delivery of online deliberations and engagement processes to support business development and the delivery of programs by associates and other partners
* Work with the organization’s communications cluster on the marketing and branding of the organization

Knowledge and Skills Preferred for the Position

* Demonstrated track record of organizing, designing and facilitating online efforts to engage people in crowdsourcing, dialogue or other related online activities
* Familiarity with online current online platforms for engaging the public, like IdeaScale, User Voice, etc. and social media tools
* Familiarity with online organizing practices, including social network and blogger outreach
* Entrepreneurial skills and the ability to develop new business
* Strong preference for candidates who live in or are willing to move to the Washington, DC area
* A commitment and passion for increasing the voice of citizens in policy making and realizing AmericaSpeaks vision
* Excellent oral and written communication skills
* Strong interpersonal and communication skills
* Experience with directing large, complex campaigns or initiatives
* Strong management skills
* Willingness to adjust hours according to the demands of the job and travel
* Proven ability to meet multiple deadlines and balance numerous projects while maintaining a perspective on long-term goals
* Strategic thinking
* Basic web skills such as basic HTML, CSS and image manipulation preferred
* Familiarity with Salsa is preferred
* Familiarity with the field of deliberative democracy is preferred

To Apply
Resumes with a cover letter should be submitted to Joe Goldman at jgoldman [at] americaspeaks [dot] org with “Director of Online Engagement” in the subject line. All attachments should be in PDF or Microsoft Word format and titled as follows “Lastname_Firstname_

For more information about AmericaSpeaks, visit: http://www.facebook.com/l/25ce2;www.americaspeaks.org.

AmericaSpeaks is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and value a diverse work force, and we seek diversity among applicants for this position.

Read Full Post »

OK, I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but when thousands of people connected by satellite and webcast join simultaneously across a country as large as the US to deliberate our economic future, being one of a select group of facilitators making it happen sounds like a pretty memorable opportunity.

You have that opportunity on June 26.

I am the site manager for the Dallas gathering of the AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy so naturally I’m strongly encouraging the Texas Forums network to participate, but many of you are outside of Texas and can also help the good citizens in your own community make some tough choices about how to reduce the federal debt.

We are currently recruiting table facilitators for the following Town Meeting locations:

Albuquerque, NM
Augusta, ME
Casper, WY
Chicago, IL
Columbia, SC
Dallas, TX
Des Moines, IA
Detroit, MI
Grand Forks, ND
Jackson, MS
Louisville, KY
Missoula, MT
Overland Park, KS
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR
Portsmouth, NH
Redlands, CA
Richmond, VA
San Jose, CA

AmericaSpeaks will provide a 90 minute training on the content – I’m assuming none of us are experts on the federal debt – and you will need to be on-site on June 25 for a few hours to become familiar with the venue and participate in the facilitator training. If you are bilingual, (Spanish, in particular in Dallas) your skills are definitely in need.

A National Advisory Committee is providing guidance to the project and a National Content Team is making sure that the materials are accurate, fair, balanced and easy-to-understand. The materials are still in development, but the day will involve presentations streamed to multiple site, interspersed with facilitated dialogue about policy options to reduce the nation’s debt, culminating in participant-determined priorities using hand held keypads.

At the end of the day, every participant will walk out of the Town Hall Meeting with a brief report on the day and the decisions that they made.

But the reporting doesn’t stop there. (And here’s where it really gets historic.)

The results will also be shared with the President’s Bipartisan Fiscal Commission (Texas’ 5th District Congressional Representative Jeb Hensarling serves on this commission) and with other members of Congress (I’ve also been coordinating with Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson’s staff) and Organizations and Government offices that focus on the budget.

I know that many of you live in Austin, but this would be such a wonderful experience that it would be worth the trip, particularly if you’ve got friends in Dallas willing to put you up. Or, you might double up and share accommodations with other Austinites. I’ve been staying in Dallas about once a week and have found reasonable hotels.

AmericaSpeaks will provide a $100 stipend, thanks to the generosity of the project funders. It isn’t much, but since so many of you do this work as your passion, it’s nice to be able to offset the costs.

Plus, look at how much you’ll learn and what a treat it will be to say you had a hand in this unprecedented National Town Meeting about an issue that will determine so much of this country’s future.

For more information and to apply, click here!

Read Full Post »

How many of us really spend a significant amount of our time thinking about the federal budget, in particular the escalating federal debt? It’s certainly been in the news lately. And I don’t think I’m just taking notice because of my new assignment working on this issue.

I’m noticing. I’m getting worried. I’m getting involved. And you can too.

Here’s why you should:

Unless we do something about it, America will be facing a fiscal train wreck over the next decade. Driven by rising health care costs, an aging population, and a habit of spending more than we have, our national debt is projected to reach unprecedented levels in the coming years that cannot be sustained.

If nothing is done:

  • uncontrolled deficit spending could lead to inflation, a collapsing dollar and even more debt,
  • rising interest rates could make it harder for young people to get student loans or for families to get a mortgage for a new home,
  • large and small companies might find it more difficult to hire workers without access to new investments,
  • other national priorities will go unfunded as we pay back the interest we owe.

So what can we do?

On June 26th, thousands of Americans who represent every walk of life will sit together at tables in communities across the country simultaneously talking about the values and priorities important to us as Americans.

AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy will be a national discussion to find common ground on tough choices about our federal budget. Americans from across the country will come together to weigh-in on strategies to ensure a sustainable fiscal future and a strong economic recovery.

This non-partisan discussion about our federal budget will lead to solutions developed by thousands of people that will be shared with leaders in Washington.

If that’s not cool enough…(and this is for my Texas Friends)…

Texas (Dallas to be specific) is one of six sites hosting the largest of the forums, each of which will be linked together by satellite and the Internet for a truly national conversation!

I have been hired as the Site Manager for this event which means that I am working with a team (Public Relations, Event Logistics, Outreach, Facilitator Recruiters, Production Managers, and a Local Engagement Team) to assemble 500 people who are demographically representative of the Dallas region for a five hour discussion on June 26 at the Dallas Convention Center. Whew!

But when I’m not feeling overwhelmed by this daunting task, I am invigorated by the scope, breadth and potential impact.

This will be an unprecedented national town meeting in which every geographic region will be represented in the conversation at the same time. Not only that, but we will be recruiting a diverse group of participants that reflect the demographic make-up of their communities so each site will be a microcosm of the community and collectively we will reflect the tremendously rich diversity of our nation.

During the day, participants will deliberate this issue, set priorities with hand-held keypads, and make recommendations that will go to the President and Congress. Participants will look at the tough realities and propose solutions to the President’s Commission on Financial and Fiscal Responsibility. (If you are so inclined, check out the three hour video of their first meeting held on April 27.)

We are in conversation with members of Congress. I’ve had the good fortune to work with the staff of Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson and Jeb Hensarling who also serves as one of 18 member of the President’s bi-partisan commission.

And the Washington staff of AmericaSpeaks are also working with the Obama administration.

This is an amazing opportunity for the public to make a clear statement about the values that should drive tough fiscal decisions.

So how can you get involved?

I’d love to hear what you decide to do. Keep me posted!

Read Full Post »

International Journal Logo

We’re counting down to The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation Conference here in Austin October 3-5, 2008 at the Renaissance Hotel (Arboretum) with half-day and full-day pre-conference sessions scheduled for October 2.

This conference is packed full of opportunities to learn, listen, laugh and lunch. The conference will feature a free Conversation Cafe, a meeting of Geeks Who Dialogue, a Poetry Slam, a panel of leading Conservatives who have embraced dialogue, youth-led events, and an original musical composition created during the conference! Here are some of the featured speakers:

Here’s a sampling of the workshops being offered:

  • How Can We Combat Climate Change with Dialogue and Participation? An International Perspective
  • How Can WE Revitalize Democracy with D&D?
  • What Moves You? Exploring the Spiritual and Moral Roots of Our Dialogue Practice
  • Exploring How our Work in D&D Contributes to Social Change
  • Embedding D&D into Government Systems
  • Fireside Chat on Embedding Citizen’s Voices in Our Governing Systems
  • Coming to the Table: Addressing Racial Reconciliation in America
  • The Power of Poetry to Facilitate Change

If you can’t make the full conference, here are a few options:

  • Attend a pre-conference on Thursday, October 2 for only $95 (full day) or $50 (half day). See pre-conference schedule here.
  • Attend the free Conversation Cafe also on Thursday October 2 in the evening. Come at 6:15 to learn how to facilitate a conversation or come at 7:30 to participate.
  • Register for just one day for the rate of $150.

Special offer for students!!!!
If you are a student or know a student who should attend, don’t let the conference fee get in the way. Bluebonnet Hills is offering $300 scholarships for student registration rate to help you  attend. That means the student only pays $25! If you are a student and want to participate in this conference that will have workshops led by the Rockrose Institute’s Youth Dialogue Project, complete this application online.

A very active local planning team led by Diane Miller has been working for almost a year to
make sure that this is the best NCDD conference ever and put Austin on
the D&D map.

Still not sure if this conference is for you? Ask yourself these questions about who you are to find out…

  • If you are an artist, an activist, a trainer, teacher, scholar, student, philosopher, community change agent, political leader, policy-maker, librarian, or just someone who believes that the world works best when we sit down and engage in meaningful dialogue, then you won’t want to miss this opportunity.
  • If you are convinced that there are better ways for us to work on community problems than the traditional debate, vote, mandate, legislate then this conference is for you.
  • If you envision a future in which all people-regardless of income, position, background
    or education-engage in lively, thoughtful, and
    challenging discussions about what matters to them, then you will find kindred spirits at this conference.
  • If you would like to meet 350-400 people from around the world who are working on issues like racism, Jewish-Palestinian dialogues, political polarization, gentrification and climate change, they’ll be here in Austin in October.

If any of those descriptions sound like you, then register here!

Read Full Post »