Call for Proposals for NCDD Seattle!

In case you haven’t heard, NCDD is holding a national conference for civic innovators this October 12-14 in Seattle. NCDD conferences bring together hundreds of the most active, thoughtful, and influential people involved in public engagement and group process work across the U.S. and Canada.

Imagine spending three days with some of the most amazing people in our field and exploring together how we can shape the future of this important movement… there’s really nothing like it. We hope you can join us at NCDD Seattle.

Today we’re announcing our call for proposals for our concurrent sessions. We’re interested in finding many creative ways to highlight the best of what’s happening in public engagement, group process, community problem-solving, and community arts — and we know you have lots of ideas! Download the Application for Session Leaders today to see what we ask for, and start working on your proposals. We can’t wait to see what you’d like to offer!

Please note that the deadline for proposals is June 29th.

Here is some guidance for those thinking about presenting sessions at NCDD Seattle…

At NCDD 2012 in Seattle, we want to focus participants’ attention on the importance of building a more robust civic infrastructure — in our practice, our communities and our country. By “civic infrastructure,” we’re talking about the foundational building blocks needed to strengthen our vibrant democracy: institutions and public agencies that utilize participatory processes for decision-making, great places and online spaces where citizens can gather, a cadre of trained moderators, and strong networks that can mobilize to solve problems.

Our attendees are interested in exploring dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement work at many levels — ideas for nationwide action, strategies they can use in their communities and organizations, and skills and knowledge to build their own successful practices.

When planning your session, please consider this overarching theme as well as our goals for NCDD Seattle:

  • Equip participants with the skills, knowledge, resources, and connections they need to improve and expand their work.
  • Increase awareness of the latest innovations, thinking, and opportunities in public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving.
  • Help form new supportive, collaborative relationships and strengthen existing ones.
  • Inspire Seattle and have a positive impact on the region.
  • Leave conference participants energized to do more great work.

We are also looking for innovative ideas focused on the arts, media, and online technology; sessions about engaging underrepresented groups (especially youth); sessions that put people to work (especially on Seattle- and regionally-focused efforts!); and sessions focused on the ongoing challenges we face as a field — such as how to measure our success, how to obtain buy-in from power-holders, how to bridge the research-practice gap, and how to gain support for work that’s focused more on process than on obtaining specific outcomes.

Some advice from the NCDD Seattle planning team for potential session leaders:

  1. Be innovative with your session. NCDD attendees are generally not too impressed with traditional panels or long speeches. Get them engaging with you and each other. Think about how you can get them out of their seats and moving around the room. And think about what you’d like to learn from them (not just what they can learn from you).
  2. Share your stories. NCDDers prefer hearing your stories to getting a run-down of your organization or methodology. People are interested in learning about what you did, what you learned, and how they may be able to learn from your experience.
  3. Share the latest. What’s the latest research? What are the latest innovations in the field? What new challenges are you facing? What are your latest accomplishments?
  4. Co-present. Some of the best workshops at NCDD conferences have been collaborative efforts involving multiple presenters from different organizations and universities. Have you thought about who you can co-present with? Now’s the time to contact them to see if they’d like to offer a session with you!

Not sure you’re ready to draw up a proposal yet?
Use the comment field to float your ideas by NCDDers and members of the planning team. Perhaps you have a project that was particularly innovative at addressing a common challenge people face in their dialogue and deliberation work? Share what the project is and what areas you think attendees would most benefit from hearing about — we will try to match you up with others who have found different ways to address that same challenge and make suggestions for who might co-present with you!

And feel free to look over the amazing list of workshops (aka concurrent sessions or breakout sessions) we offered at NCDD Austin for ideas and inspiration.

Deadline for submissions

Please email your completed proposal to [email protected] on or before June 29th, 2012. Members of the conference planning team will review your proposal and respond by email to the first contact listed in your proposal by the end of the day July 9th.

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