What’s the Latest?• Incorporating Facebook Into Online Engagement: A Practical Guide• Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?• Civic Health and Unemployment II: The Case Builds• Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement• Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers
Are we developing theUNDERLYING STRUCTUREneeded to support dialogue & deliberation work?
Are we REALLY leaving people and communities more able to solvetheir own problems and create their desired future?
All Communities are Facing…• Fewer public dollars• Increasing responsibility for communities to solve their own problems• Power distributed widely and thinly• Government key, but only one actor in developing and implementing solutions• Increasing diversity and potential for polarization - John Parr, National Civic League, 1993
NCL’s Civic Index• Civic participation• Community leadership• Government performance• Volunteerism and philanthropy• Intergroup relations• Civic education• Community info sharing• Capacity for cooperation and consensus building• Community vision and pride• Inter-community cooperation
Infrastructure for Strong Democracy• A legislative mandate for participation• Safe, accessible physical spaces• Broader access to technology• A sufficient facilitation infrastructure• An organizational infrastructure• A trustworthy, fact-based media• Robust civic education
Universities = Infrastructure • Centers for deliberative democracy • Facilitation training • Convening role, space, mission • Student leadership development • Research and evaluation support
Community of Practice • formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning • shared domain or topic area
Many Specialized CoPs• Fabulous Facilitators group in SF Bay Area• ALA’s Deliberate listserv for librarians who support civic engagement• Texas Forums• Collaboration DC• Local IAP2 chapters, NCDD networks, IAF groups, Art of Hosting groups, etc.
Advice from the Field• Be clear about your purpose(s)• Build on existing assets• Don’t tie too closely with one approach• Affiliate with an institution that can provide support without controlling• Create a self-sustaining infrastructure you can fall back on• Provide at least one open space