A large and growing body of knowledge exists about how to carry on powerful conversations — methodologies, facilitation know-how, dynamic understandings, and more. This knowledge informs professions ranging from therapy to diplomacy and conflict resolution, from organizational development to creativity and innovation, from community revitalization to activism and deliberative democracy, from family relationships to education and spiritual development.
At the leading edge of the deeper understandings of conversation’s power are innovative contributions like Peggy Holman’s recent book Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity, and her related earlier paper, Engaging Emergence — and the ambitious project to create a “pattern language” for group process now nearing its first stage release by Tree Bressen, Co-Intelligence Institute president John Abbe, and many others (including me).
Stepping back from the leading edge, we find a wealth of incredible knowledge, broadly useful in many aspects of life. Over the last year I’ve found some excellent resources about this, compilations of pathways into and around the world of powerful conversational practice. You’ll find these resources in this email.
One amazing compilation is the “Best-of-the-Best Resources about Dialogue and Deliberation” compiled by Sandy Heierbacher, coordinator of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD). Read over her list below and, if you find something interesting, go to the original URL. There you will find active links to virtually everything on her list.
Building on Sandy’s work, I’ve developed an additional list, given first below: “The Best Online Compilations of Conversational and Participatory Processes”. Together, the sites linked there describe and link you to well over a hundred different processes.
May this information serve you well in your efforts to serve your groups, your community, your organization, your world and the unfolding future we all share.
Blessings on the Journey.
Lists with Links Below the Line….
By Tom Atlee
What follows is National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) director Sandy Heierbacher’s biased opinion on what are some of the best books, guides and tools out there about dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. This list is kept intentionally short, but feel free to email your suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Below links go direct to the source. Using the master link above, note the “go” at the end of each source, that leads to an overview and then a direct link.
BEST COMPENDIUMS [IN BOOK FORM]•
The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems, 2nd Edition (Peggy Holman, Tom Devane and Steve Cady)
• Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners (Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas/UNDP) (free download!)
• The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century (John Gastil and Peter Levine)
• The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating Systemic Change in Organizations and Communities (Barbara Bunker and Billie Alban)
• Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The International Association of Facilitators Handbook (Sandy Schuman)
BEST BOOKS FOR FACILITATORS
• Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Sam Kaner)
• The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches, 2nd Edition (Roger Schwarz)
BEST TOOLS FOR UNDERSTANDING THE FIELD
• Resource Guide on Public Engagement (NCDD)
• Engagement Streams Framework (NCDD)
• Public Participation Spectrum (IAP2)
• Public Participation Toolbox (IAP2)
• Core Principles for Public Engagement (NCDD, IAP2, and the Co-Intelligence Institute)
• Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation Graphic (Sandy Heierbacher, based on Martin Carcasson’s work)
• Spectrum of Processes for Collaboration and Consensus-Building in Public Decisions (Suzanne Orenstein, Lucy Moore and Susan Sherry)
BEST HOW-TO GUIDES AND MANUALS
• Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action & Change (Everyday Democracy)
• Let’s Talk America Hosting Manual (basic structure for running a Conversation Cafe)
BEST HOW-TO GUIDES FOR PUBLIC MANAGERS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
• How to Hold a Public Meeting (Archon Fung)
• A Practical Guide to Consensus (Policy Consensus Initiative)
• Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement (Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres)
BEST HANDY LITTLE TOOLS FOR DIALOGUE AND DELIBERATION FACILITATORS
• Sample Ground Rules for Dialogue and Deliberations Processes (NCDD compilation)
• What is Deliberation? Quotes from Leaders in the field (NCDD compilation)
• What is Dialogue? Quotes from Leaders in the field (NCDD compilation)
• Keypad Technology & Experts (NCDD compilation)
• A Ladder of Citizen Participation (Sherry Arnstein)
• The Ladder of Inference (Chris Argyris)
• Let’s Talk America Wallet Card (basic dialogue principles & rules in a nutshell)
• The Little Book of Cool Tools for Hot Topics ($5 book by Ron Kraybill and Evelyn Wright)
BEST ARTICLES ON DIALOGUE AND DELIBERATION
• Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need? (Martha McCoy & Pat Scully)
• Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement (Cynthia Gibson)
• Sustaining Public Engagement: Embedded Deliberation in Local Communities (Archon Fung and Elena Fagotto)
• Beginning with the End in Mind: A Call for Goal-Driven Deliberative Practice (Martin Carcasson)
• Talking With the Enemy (Public Conversations Project)
• Deterring Fake Public Participation (Jim Snider)
MUST-HAVE BOOKS ON DIALOGUE, DELIBERATION AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
• Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together (Bill Isaacs)
• The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation (Daniel Yankelovich)
• Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation (Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard)
• On Dialogue (David Bohm)
• Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (Margaret Wheatley)
• Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe (Xavier de Souza Briggs)
• Community: The Structure of Belonging (Peter Block)
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