Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (a guest posting)

This is a guest blog posting from the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), with amazing information and links for those interested in this type of thing. enJoy, Reemberto

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Matt Leighninger

Advance copies of Carolyn Lukensmeyer's book, Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table, can be ordered now at

Instead of so-called 'town hall meeting' candidate debates, we need meaningful participation after the election, argues Harold McDougall in the Huffington Post –

How are local governments using citizen academies to improve civic engagement? Morse and colleagues at the UNC School of Government have created a repository of resources.

What do the budding fields of change management and deliberative democracy have to offer one another? Will Friedman and Alison Kadlec explain.

David Smith has joined the Davenport Institute as a National Civic Engagement Fellow –

The Finnish government is creating an ‘Open Ministry’ platform – – which will allow citizens to propose, and build support for, new laws to be voted on in the country’s parliament.

The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network has announced an Empathy Initiative Essay Contest – – with $500 for winners in each category.

In Philadelphia, the Office of New Urban Mechanics will use technology and peer networks to let citizens help improve gov't

Knight's "Digital Citizenship" report – – lays out what the foundation and its allies have learned from their work in technology for engagement

Ilir Zherka will be the next executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship –

Al Dzur's new book, Punishment, Participatory Democracy, and the Jury argues for increased civic engagement in criminal justice "Dzur considers how the jury, rather than merely expressing unreflective public opinion, may serve as a participatory institution that gathers and utilizes citizens' juridical capabilities. In doing so, the book resists trends in criminal justice scholarship that blame increases in penal severity on citizen participation and rejects political theorists' longstanding skepticism of lay abilities. "

Slides available from Matt Leighninger's presentation at #iap2aforum on online engagement and long-term public participation planning

As part of its Be Fearless initiative – – the Case Foundationis looking for the unsung individuals who have a successful track record of tackling social challenges because their approach is bold, uncommon, experimental and unconventional. $650,000 in grants, software and technology prizes and outdoor adventures will be awarded to these fearless change makers.

The "Shaping Our Future" project offers materials to launch community or campus forums – – including a discussion starter video, citizen's issue guide, and moderator's guide.

Online engagement in the favelas of Brazil –

Public Agenda has produced the Citizens' Solutions Guide series – – a set of 6 voter guides that help citizens wrestle with some of our nation's most critical issues.

You can now sign up for an online "Big Issues Hangout" put on byFace the Facts USA –

In Germany, online tools are being used to create "liquid democracy" – – described as a "sliding scale between direct democracy and representative democracy, where each member can decide where they sit in the spectrum at any given time."

Script and slides from Martha McCoy's great talk at the Frontiers of Democracy conference – – on "The US Democracy Project: Where can we be 100 years from now?"

Peter Levine on the bottom-line economic and social reasons why citizenship matters – "So far, the Obama administration has been much better at talking about citizenship than actually encouraging it. If the president takes concrete steps to boost civic participation, even pundits may start paying attention."

The National Institute for Civil Discourse has launched 'Your Words Count' – The site is intended to to help restore confidence in American government by encouraging civil discourse.

NCDD launched its Catalyst Awards program at its recent conference in Seattle. These two $10,000 awards will "encourage leaders and innovators in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving to combine forces to develop projects that jump-start the field’s next best ideas and impact our communities’ and our country’s ability to solve its most challenging problems."

ICMA's "Measuring Community Engagement" – - describes an engagement program and the specific measures developed for the city of Montgomery, Ohio, and explores how communities can determine the outcomes of all their engagement programs.

AmericaSpeaks is looking to expand their online engagement capacity by building a core of online associates who might be interested in short-term contract work.

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