In August 2003 nine of us NCDD folks came together online to better understand and articulate the mission of - and goals and visions for - the field of dialogue and deliberation (D&D) in society. We invite your participation in this inquiry.
What is a mission?
A mission is something larger than our job, our practice, our focus, etc. A mission embraces all of these within a story about the value of our work and how it helps make the world a better place.
A mission gives meaning to what we do, perhaps elevating it to that mythic enterprise known as The Work.' If we scholars, practitioners and activists involved in this D&D field could share a sense of what 'The Work of dialogue and deliberation is, we might go about it as a calling and relate to each other with even more passionate openness and co-creativity than we already do.
What is are visions and goals?
A goal is a solid something that we can reach for and know that we*ve accomplished.
A vision is an image of what we might see in the future if we were to accomplish our goals.
Mission, Vision and Goal Statements
Crafting statements of our mission, visions and goals can be useful to the extent they arise out of and give voice to our existing sensibilities and passions. They have to call to us, from inside us and outside us, so they should feel really right.
But in the process of trying to craft them, we will need to talk to each other, to share the inquiry. And it is ultimately this CONVERSATION about our mission, visions and goals that will tell us what we are all about. We hope that this Wiki will stimulate such conversation - and we look forward to the remarkable statements of our mission, visions and goals that are sure to emerge. At the same time, we fully expect that those statements will continue to evolve forever as they are crafted and owned by subsequent generations of practitioners and scholars in this increasingly influential field.
The Process So Far
Two possible mission articulations were placed in a special spot online where we commented on them. They are contained in a document called "Exploring the Mission and Role of Dialogue and Deliberation" at http://www.quicktopic.com/23/D/VW8waAsd4Jfh.html, which you are free to visit.
When someone commented on one of the paragraphs, a little pair of rose-lens glasses was automatically posted next to it. You can click on the glasses icon to see their comments.
And now these initial statements are brought to this Wiki where many more of us can work on them and originate our own mission, visions and goals.
Periodically Sandy, NCDD members and others may choose particularly cogent articulations that emerge from these pages to use elsewhere as they wish. But the overall inquiry can continue as long as we want it to, alive and interactive.
Introduction to this process
The professionals, organizers, academics and advocates who are gathering under the NCDD umbrella are potentially a profound resource for communities, nations and the world.
This truth - and the profound responsibility it implies - is only somewhat realized by members of the NCDD network, themselves. And it is even less understood by the rest of society.
For the sake of the good functioning and peaceful transformation of societies, we need coherent statements of the visionary role of dialogue and deliberation in our society's effectiveness, survival and evolution. Below are links to proposed statements that you can read, revise or comment on.
Initial NCDD Mission Explorers