2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation Dotmocracy Showcase

Summary: 
A demonstration of the Dotmocracy process as part of the Methods Showcase at the National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation Dotmocracy in San Francisco, California. View photo
Date / Time: 
August 4th 2006
Name of Facilitator(s): 
Jason Diceman
Number of participants: 
30
Total number of ideas dotted: 
27
Preamble: 

Basic instructions and the following preamble were posted on the wall:

We the participants of the 2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation have a great opportunity to share tips and suggestions with each other to improve our individual skills and to improve the sector as a whole.

Please contribute your ideas and opinions in this process so we can learn from each other and commonly recognize and share our collective brilliance!

Two questions were posted in large print:

a) What are some most useful tips for dialogue and deliberation facilitators?

b) What can be done to get more leaders to adopt dialogue and deliberation?

Details: 

14 ideas were posted for answering question A, and 13 ideas for question B.

Approximately 30 people participated in the process over the period of about 1.5 hours.

Below are the compiled most popular and interesting results as interpreted by the facilator:

 

a) What are some most useful tips for dialogue and deliberation facilitators?

Collective agreement, in order of popularity:

  • Set a tone and concept for discovering, curiosity, deep listening, in group conversations / dialog
    Comment: How?

  • Remember to use silence to provide space for people to reflect during process
    Some comments: easy, personalize/internalize learning, promotes 'wisdom' , transformation if harvested

  • Validate all group participants' ideas by annotation / documentation without value-laden input (i.e. with neutral stance)
    Comments: ...this works, ...small groups sometimes are more spontaneous

  • Listen and support listening (by [non-violent behavior])
    Comments: Listen - learn, extraordinary power

  • Find a co-facilitator or support person (system) when you are taking on much emotionally, complexity
    Comments: For back-up / support? diversity, assists in meeting progress, ...adds it's own complexity

  • Very specific question ideas - Classify a short list of probable outcomes


Not enough dots to recognize popularity:

  • Involve those with different views in framing / reframing the issue for dialogue or deliberation

  • Remember to give space for 'voice' that are not nessarily verbal, linear, etc ([e.g.]. time to 'tune in' ground, with a natural object, etc.)

  • Learn nonviolent communication

  • Verify input and show you are listening well with 'what I hear you saying is...' statements where you summarize input. Then write it in a list.
    Concern: Let people say what they mean - don't always interpret.


b) What can be done to get more leaders to adopt dialogue and deliberation?

Collective agreement, in order of popularity:

  • Show leaders an example that has [it] working Comment: Mentor and train people / build capacity

  • Explore with them how it meets their interests

  • Have them participate in an ongoing positive process to learn and care for others.
    Some comments: ..build openness..., Make it fun - sneak it in Concerns: willingness to participate, the won't take time to do this.

  • Demonstrate and document outcomes in realted or similar environments.

  • Demonstrate (statistically) how much time is save in council / meetings / staff time
    Some comments: ...show $ value of D & D, Will this move the leaders?, Too bureaucratic not a dialogue.

  • Identify funding from foundations for govt's to engage in D & D.
    Weaknesses: Identify alone - enough? Show value, money follows, Need to get them engaged.

Not enough dots to recognize popularity:

  • Demonstrate potential for leaders to appear in media

  • Develop a dynamic video presentation showing D & D in action and benefits, distribute to leaders.

  • Pester them! Kidnap, Blackmail, mail overload, paparazzi style invasion

  • Deveop lots of communication with people to establish a dialogue


Learnings: 

Although friends will often translate for eachother, try to always bring instructions and materials in English and Spanish when facilitating in American cities - especially for public process.

Use at least 30 pt bold font for posted instructions, preamable and results policy.