NCDD Year in Review — and Request for Support!

This has been quite the year, for NCDD and all of us. Our tiny staff (me, Andy and Joy) and our amazing Board and volunteers do the best we can to support the dialogue and deliberation community. As always, we need your support to keep this work going – so please think us in your end-of-year gifts.

I was just looking over our blog posts over the past year to get a good sense of what 2012 has been about for NCDD.

As we close out 2012, we’re in the midst of two major projects. We’re running the NCDD Catalyst Awards, an experiment we hope will enable our community to launch some innovative projects that help our field move forward in ways we can only do when we join forces. At the same time, we’re responding to our community’s need to respond meaningfully to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, by convening calls among network leaders and mobilizers in our field, and hosting a new (and very active!) workspace on Hackpad (at to encourage us to think together about what we can do.

Much of the year was devoted to our 5th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, which turned out to be an incredible gathering of 400 of (in my opinion) the best people IN THE WORLD. Many of you devoted time and resources to that event, planning workshops, making fantastic speeches, proposing collaborative projects, providing sponsorship funding or scholarship support, capturing video, audio and photos during the event, and of course participating in our planning team.

See the amazing set of videos that Jeffrey Abelson has been releasing featuring speeches and interviews conducted at the conference.

Conference planning is incredibly resource intensive (though well worth it when we get to see all of your smiling faces!), but there is so much else that we accomplished in 2012.

Remember these things?…

  • Our Confab calls on the GroupWorks Card Deck, on exploring what public officials really think about public engagement, and on what civic infrastructure means to all of us.
  • Our first Book Club, featuring the Kettering Foundation’s research anthology Democratizing Deliberation, which got over 100 people engaging about cutting-edge theory in our field.
  • NCDD’s newly launched partnerships with CommunityMatters, Participedia, the Kettering Foundation, the relaunched DDPE certificate program, the Program for Participatory Budgeting…
  • The map of California public engagement projects we launched in partnership with the New America Foundation’s CCIP program.
  • Our explorations of what it might take to develop a robust, sustainable online infrastructure to support nationwide dialogue, and our various looks at what kind of civic infrastructure communities need in order to support and sustain quality public engagement and problem solving work over the long term.

And of course we can’t forget the day-to-day work NCDD does to keep you in-the-know and connected…

  • Sharing job openings, grant opportunities, and calls for facilitators via our listservs, blog and social media sites
  • Posting about the latest and greatest resources (books, discussion guides, videos, articles and more) on dialogue, deliberation and public engagement work
  • Posting about the latest news and events in our field
  • Hosting amazing discussions and knowledge-sharing on one of the best listservs out there — the NCDD Discussion list
  • Negotiating discounts for you on some of the best trainings in our field
  • Connecting with great new people all of the time, and welcoming exciting new members into the network like Jonathan Haidt, Parker Palmer and Eric Liu
  • Continuing to plug away in our ongoing work with various White House offices to ensure that open gov efforts are inclusive of the quality public engagement work our members are doing

Thinking about what all we’ve done together in 2012, I’m grateful to all of you for playing a role in making it happen. NCDD has always been a collaborative effort, and your participation and support are vital.

As 2012 closes, would you take a moment and help us move forward in 2013? Your donations make everything we do possible. Please help us continue this work with a year-end donation to NCDD. Your gift to NCDD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is tax deductible.

You can make a contribution today at

We hope you all have a wonderful, safe holiday with your families. We’ve been privileged to work with you these past ten years, and look forward to what’s in store for us in 2013!

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