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I still think that the No Labels movement has some merit.  There are some good people working on it, locally.





-----Original Message-----
From: Debra Porta <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sat, Dec 4, 2010 1:09 pm
Subject: Re: [NCDD-DISCUSSION] ACE: Participants as activists for a culture of dialogue?


The Coffee Movement is experiencing what appear to be growing pains (reminds me a lot of a small-ish nonprofits moving to the next level), a not uncommon event when something takes off like a shot beyond the expectations of those with the original idea. My impression is that they are working to definitely brand themselves and really focus in on who they are as an organization. 
 
They post their minutes online, which seem to give a good indication of where they are at: 
 
http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/content/interim-board-meeting-minutes-11-29-2010 
 
 
 
 
Quoting John Backman <[log in to unmask]>: 
 
> Re: [NCDD-DISCUSSION] ACE: Participants as activists for a culture > of dialogue?This has been a fascinating discussion all the way > round. One thought for the time being: What we've been discussing > sounds a bit like what the Coffee Party has tried to do. My > recollection is that the party made an impressive initial splash > (though still, I think, below the national media radar) and has put > a lot of effort into organizing, holding a convention, and defining > its mission. I don't know, however, how it's faring now. Does anyone > else know? Would it be worth joining forces with them? 
> 
> John Backman 
> The Dialogue Venture 
> 518.449.4985 
> [log in to unmask] 
> www.dialogueventure.com 
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: JA 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 7:20 PM 
> Subject: Re: [NCDD-DISCUSSION] ACE: Participants as activists for > a culture of dialogue? 
> 
> 
> Dear Tom, Lucas, Kenoli, et al -- 
> 
> An animating theme that runs through the ongoing conversation here > about building a movement -- as well as last month's exchange about > the Jon Stewart rally -- is that there is an obvious and urgent need > in this country to find a way to inspire vast numbers of fellow > citizens to engage more seriously and effectively in political > decision-making and common-good problem-solving -- and that D&D is a > proven way to empower citizens to do so. Probably the only way. 
> 
> ACE is the latest call for better organizational power to reach > that goal -- in this case by trying to catalyze a movement of > current and former D&D participants in the hopes they will help grow > the field by becoming "active agents of change." To lobby for > increased D&D opportunities in their own spheres, and to help enable > the movement to do so on another level. 
> 
> Tom Atlee's ideas are very compelling, and his approach echoes > what John Backman wrote last month when he said that he tends "to > aim toward people who are already at least interested in the idea of > dialogue, on the theory that building a critical mass of engaged > citizens will allow the "spirit of dialogue" to spread out from > there in a viral manner. " 
> 
> It's an attractive theory, but I think easier said than done as > currently conceived. 
> 
> Building a movement toward a culture of D&D, powered by true > believers, is a fabulous idea. It is, in fact, the only way it can > be done effectively. And bringing that culture to fruition is > precisely what American politics needs to become once again useful > to the common good, especially in these polarized times. But it > will take a very long time for this type of movement to succeed if > it depends solely on the skill and will of early adopters and > movement leaders to increase their numbers through sheer enthusiasm > and elbow grease. 
> 
> Such folks, by their nature, are not likely to engage in raucous > street theater or noisy disruptions in other public venues like > members of other movements do, notwithstanding the effectiveness of > those tactics in luring TV cameras and the ears of political > leaders. Nor would this movement have access to the many millions > of dollars needed to saturate the airwaves with its message via > expensive TV spots. Nor is it likely to have the > attention-generating benefit of major politicians or journalists > promoting it from the get go, like other new movement launches have > (ie: No Labels). 
> 
> Even if D&D participants, or the entity that unites them, did > manage to find a different way to spread the word -- and did it > brilliantly -- we'd still need much more than that to turn a ripple > into the kind of wave that would be felt in DC, and in state and > local seats of government. 
> 
> To generate the level of public interest needed to force > politicians to pay attention requires big numbers -- numbers that > are light years beyond the current coterie of people who participate > in D&D, even if they all got a couple friends to join in as well. 
> 
> For all the amazing work this community does, there's no escaping > the fact that the concept of D&D -- its very existence -- let alone > its huge potential -- is so far under the radar of the average > citizen -- or mainstream journalist -- or typical politician -- that > it is, for all practical purposes, invisible. It therefore needs a > massive public awareness-building campaign. 
> 
> So I'd like to suggest to everyone concerned with movement > building, whether through ACE or otherwise, that you place "brand > promotion" at the very top of your to-do list. I know this doesn't > come easily or naturally, witness Kenoli's comments that he's "much > better at the process part than.... advocacy, outreach fundraising, > etc. I'd venture to say most of you share his self-analysis. 
> 
> But unless this kind of brand promotion is done, and done > superbly, the tide will never rise to the level needed to > counterbalance the uberwave of "Me" The People populism that's > charging our shores, growing stronger every day. 
> 
> So what can be done to radically multiply the numbers right away? 
> 
> Media. Media. Media. 
> 
> Mass media attention, and the creation of artful visual media to > generate it. 
> 
> As to the particulars of a media-focused brand promotion campaign > that could actually be affordable to a start-up -- there's no better > way than through an ongoing series of creatively conceived, and > relatively low cost web videos -- trying first one, then another, > then another -- until one or more of them click and catch a viral > wave -- setting the stage for a full tilt video-driven press > campaign, national TV appearances by movement leaders, and full > length film and TV projects (funded by well-heeled supporters drawn > in by our rapidly growing numbers). 
> 
> Conceiving, producing, and popularizing high impact videos is my > area of expertise. It's also my present day passion to put those > skills in service of birthing a culture of D&D. So I've developed a > comprehensive video-driven brand-promotion proposal which I'll be > sharing with all major Deliberative Democracy and Civic Engagement > organizations in the next few weeks to see if there's enough > field-wide interest to do this kind of movement-building with the > full tilt firepower needed to get where we need to go in our > lifetimes. I will also share that proposal on this listserv. 
> 
> Until then, please consider me an enthusiastic supporter of the > idea of building a movement of D&D activists whose mission is to > grow the field in any/all ways possible. Starting now, even before > there's an infrastructure for video production and brand promotion. 
> 
> In that regard, I feel there's a need to simplify and electrify > any introductory message sent to prospective movement members to > help them in their own outreach, and for any other movement efforts > to communicate with the broader general public or the media. It's > critical to develop language that describes what D&D actually is for > people who've never heard of it. Language that is concise, > compelling, and demonstrates an obvious answer to a widely shared > problem. 
> 
> I have some ideas to contribute in this and other foundational > areas. But wondering if we should carry on this conversation in > another forum, so as not to clog up this listserv with long emails > that may not be of interest to everyone here. Do any of you have > the ability to set up such a forum? Also, is there an easy way for > NCDD to get a quick poll of who on this listserv would be interested > in being part of this focused conversation other than looking for > responses to these occasional listserv posts? 
> 
> With great respect for all you do -- from your D&D Cheerleader-in-Chief. 
> 
> Jeffrey Abelson 
> http://www.songofacitizen.com 
> 
> 
> ---------------------- 
> 
> 
> From: Lucas Cioffi <[log in to unmask]> 
> Reply-To: Lucas Cioffi <[log in to unmask]> 
> Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2010 16:50:23 -0500 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: [NCDD-DISCUSSION] ACE: Participants as activists > for a culture of dialogue? 
> 
> Hi Tom, 
> 
> As we've come to expect from you, this is a brilliant vision. > A few thoughts: 
> 
> a.. The most important thing is to "get people on the bus" > and then to figure out where and how to drive it. Count me in. I > encourage others on this list to get on the bus by emailing Tom > privately or replying to all if they have additional thoughts to add > to the conversation. 
> b.. There are at least two to start something like this: 1) > small and quickly with on-hand resources or 2) big and less quickly > with significant resources from foundations and corporation. Both > options should be kept in mind. 
> c.. Let's double check to be sure that we can't do this > within existing organizations. Leaders from NCDD and IAP2 may come > around to such an idea. Or maybe not, and that's OK too. 
> d.. I believe there is tremendous latent energy around these > ideas, and people will sign up if they perceive they are joining a > winning team. Leadership is a critical factor in building that > perception. We all know that whoever steps up to lead something > like this will face many months of challenges, and the leader(s) > must be committed up front to persevere. 
> e.. Why hasn't this happened already? I don't know, but we > should consider why our networks are more energized around knowledge > sharing rather than collaborative action. What are the barriers > that have prevented us from doing this in the past and are they > still with us? I think part of the answer is the lack of > incentives; many of us are focused on growing our slice of the pie > rather than baking a new pie. But we can figure a way our of this > dynamic. 
> 
> Anyway, count me in! 
> 
> Lucas Cioffi 
> AthenaBridge Inc 
> Washington, DC 
> 
> --------------- 
> 
> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Tom Atlee <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
> 
> Dear NCDD and IAP2 friends, 
> 
> I want us to expand our efforts to create a culture of > dialogue and deliberation. I believe this is particularly urgent in > the US, because US public policy has a disproportional impact on the > wellbeing of everyone on Earth and on the future of the planet. So > the sooner, the better... 
> 
> I don't think our professional networks (like NCDD and IAP2) > are sufficient to birth that conversation-based political culture. > We need help. Lots of it. I believe it is time to engage current > and former participants in public dialogue and deliberation as > active agents of change in this direction. 
> 
> From all the evidence I see, the vast majority of people who > participate in organized conversations on public affairs are > profoundly affected by the experience. Most of them discover a > richer form of citizenship than they have ever known before and are > quite excited about that. They feel listened to and empowered. 
> 
> That excitement and empowerment constitute an > as-yet-untapped resources for birthing a culture of high quality, > high impact dialogue and deliberation. These citizens have sensed a > form of citizenship they would love to see practiced more broadly > and taken seriously in official decision-making. They sense it > could really help their communities and their country. 
> 
> Their primary concern is that officials or the public will > ignore the results of their good work -- and this is often the case. > Some also have concerns about the quality of the process they have > just been through. These concerns are assets: BECAUSE they are > diverse and concerned but quite ordinary citizens, they are both > well motivated and well positioned to promote the use, quality and > influence of organized public conversation. (Who better to > impartially monitor the quality of process and facilitation in > official participatory democracy initiatives and institutions than a > network of process-aware ordinary citizens?) 
> 
> To have an impact, these folks just need to get organized. > That's where we come in. 
> 
> I suggest that this source of transformational power could > be brought into being relatively quickly by us -- members of NCDD > and IAP2. We convene and facilitate SO many public conversations in > the U.S. We have direct access to the participants in those > conversations. We could talk with some of our most enthusiastic > recent citizen participants about forming an organization -- or > perhaps both a non-profit and a lobbying organization -- of, by, and > for those participants who want to catalyze a culture of strong > citizen engagement in public affairs. 
> 
> Below is one possible vision for such an organization. 
> 
> Please share your thoughts, critiques, creative ideas, and > desires to participate in realizing such a vision. I think it could > make all the difference in the world. 
> 
> Coheartedly, 
> Tom Atlee 
> Co-Intelligence.org 
> 
> ============== 
> 
> AMERICAN CITIZENS ENGAGED (ACE) 
> 
> An interest group / network of current and former > participants in organized public conversation and deliberation on > public issues. 
> 
> PURPOSE 
> 
> To promote the growth of a dynamic culture of quality public > dialogue and deliberation in the U.S.A. - as part of a broader > engagement of citizens actively co-creating the long-term wellbeing > of their communities, country and world. 
> 
> FUNCTIONS 
> 
> * Social networking - promotes social activity, friendship > and conversation among diverse public engagement participants 
> * Advocacy - strategizes, educates, organizes and lobbies > for broader use of citizen engagement that is effective, judicious, > and empowered 
> * Quality Assurance - reviews major citizen engagement > initiatives and monitors citizen engagement institutions, > publicizing its critical and appreciative findings 
> * Fundraising - promotes to the philanthropic community the > value of funding high quality citizen engagement and public > participation 
> * Research - promotes studies into factors that influence > the use, quality, impact and appreciation of citizen engagement > practices and institutions 
> * Training - trains members in dialogic political theory, > facilitation, PR and advocacy work, coalition-building and other > skills to support the network's purpose 
> * Projects - organizes and catalyzes efforts that further > the network's purpose, usually in collaboration with other > organizations and networks 
> 
> ALLIES 
> 
> * ACE would liaise closely with NCDD, IAP2, League of Women > Voters and other networks of public engagement professionals -- > especially to recruit new ACE members, but also to evaluate public > engagement proposals, processes, initiatives and institutions. 
> * ACE would work with participation-oriented politicians, > public officials, and media to promote understanding of and demand > for citizen engagement in governance. 
> * ACE would collaborate with academics and philanthropists > to pursue projects of mutual interest. 
> * ACE would work with groups promoting volunteerism, > activism, stakeholder conversations, community renewal and > resilience, and other public betterment organizations to promote > broader, more effective and integrated citizen engagement in public > affairs. 
> --- 
> 
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> 
> 
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> NCDD's discussion and announcement lists are generously provided by > L-Soft ( www.lsoft.com ) and are powered by L-Soft's LISTSERV > mailing list management software ( > www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html ). Learn more about NCDD's > email lists in the community section of the NCDD website ( > www.thataway.org/community/lists/ ). Please read this mailing > list's rules ( www.thataway.org/community/listrules ) before you post. 
> 
 
 
Debra Porta 
President 
Pride Northwest,Inc. 
971-285-6104 
 
--- 
 
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NCDD's discussion and announcement lists are generously provided by L-Soft ( www.lsoft.com ) and are powered by L-Soft's LISTSERV mailing list management software ( www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html ).  Learn more about NCDD's email lists in the community section of the NCDD website ( www.thataway.org/community/lists/ ).  Please read this mailing list's rules ( www.thataway.org/community/listrules ) before you post.