A NCDD Listserv synopsis of the conversation entitled: How to pick stakeholders for a stakeholder dialogue
Listserv Contributors: Tom Altee, Adrian Segar, Peter Jones, Marjo Curgus, Peggy Holman, Chris Santos-Lang, Betsy Morris, Eric Simley, and Sally Theilacker
Synopsis by: Annie Rappeport, NCDD Intern
“The approach to stakeholder selection is the most critical step in the design of fair and inclusive dialogues that reflect a community’s contributions and perspectives” ~ Peter Jones, NCDD Member
In your dialogue and deliberation work do you find yourself struggling as much about who to invite to a dialogue as how to set the agenda?
In part one of We Are All Catalysts, the focus was on examples of groups in dialogue in deliberation who showcase how our powerful inner sparks can be used to transform conversations and communities. In part two, we want to follow up and have all of you help guide our continued conversations!
“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.” ~ Yogi Berra
We live in a world of noise. Many of us lament at the current environment of ideological polarization that hinders respectful and productive conversation. We have the power to break through this noise and create spaces for listening and thoughtful dialogue. It can seem daunting in the current ways of the world, but the tools are accessible and the need critical.
“After all, the ordinary hero hiding in each of us is often the most powerful catalyst for change.” ~ Tate Taylor
We all have a spark within and we choose every day how we will or will not use our spark. In our NCDD community, we spark conversations–dialogues that change hearts and minds and steadily change the world. Our sparks can be small or big, but we must work intentionally to ensure that the sparks catch fire. What do I mean by this? I mean that it is up to us, as those working firsthand in the creations of spaces for dialogue and deliberation, that we do not work in isolation. Like the catalysts in science, we must interact with others to create the chemistry worth having in our world.
Looking back, 2016 was an important year for NCDD and the dialogue & deliberation community. NCDD and the field saw a lot of important things happen and transitions take place, and as we look forward to the work ahead, we also wanted to look back at what we’ve accomplished and what’s changed.
Of course, the biggest effort on NCDD’s part was organizing the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation on “Bridging Our Divides,” a timely focus on the important work of bringing people together across differences of politics, race, socioeconomic status, and more. We had 350 public engagement practitioners, journalists, academics, public officials, funders, and students converge for this three-day gathering focused on sharing stories, exploring collaborations, and talking about what’s next for the dialogue and deliberation community following the divisive election season. You can view the schedule and speakers, watch panels, and more in the Events section of our site.
Earlier this week, NCDD hosted a special post-election Confab Call during which over fifty of our members and affiliates had a rich, inspiring, and for some, therapeutic conversation about what kind of work people in the dialogue and deliberation field are doing to address this post-election moment.
The call was part of our ongoing #BridgingOurDivides campaign, during which we’ve been encouraging our members to share about the work happening in our field that’s aimed at fostering bridge building, and to share resources that can build capacity to move forward together despite differences. The Confab Call was its own kind of resource, and if you missed the call, you can hear about all the great projects, insights, and resources that were discussed during it by reading over the discussion and links from the call’s chat transcription here. NCDD members who missed this event can watch the recording by clicking here. But there are many more resources we want to share with you all today.
In case you haven’t heard, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation has become the new steward of Conversation Café (CC). Andy has revamped the CC website, which you can check out at www.conversationcafe.org, and we are in the process of reconnecting with the CC network and figuring out how we can best support and grow this important community.