Andy Goodman and Stories Vs Data

By John EsterleContinuing the story telling theme from my last post….Free Range Thinking is a monthly newsletter written by Andy Goodman for “public interest communicators who want to reach more people with impact.” In this December article he cites intriguing research that explores the persuasive power of stories vs data. In this contest, the research he cites shows a clear winner: stories move people to action (in this case donating money) in a way data doesn’t. Why? Because they engage people emotionally. No news here, but the research offers intriguing findings about what happens when you compare a stand-alone story with the same story plus statistics that put the problem in a wider context. Somewhat surprisingly, introducing statistics into the …   Read more

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Social Innovation and Democracy

by John EsterleThe Deliberative Democracy Consortium and The Democracy Imperative have released a thoughtful, comprehensive report on the conference they hosted in New Hampshire this past July. Having attended that gathering, I appreciate the effort to synthesize what was learned and to share some things that have happened since. It’s worth checking out.The appendix highlights two overarching themes/questions that animated the conference:1) How do we move from diffuse democratic experiments to more just, comprehensive systems?2) How do we educate and prepare citizens to be more effective participants in a just and deliberative democracy?One innovative approach to answering those questions is found in a new article by Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, co-directors of The Right Question Project (a …   Read more

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If it Bleeds it Leads?

The Politics of Attention in the Tenderloin

By James Tracy

[ The power of story and different conceptions of leadership are two themes we continue to explore with our blog. Today, we’re pleased to present this post from guest blogger, James Tracy, who runs the Community Housing Organizing Project of TWI grantee Community Housing Partnership. The Community Housing Partnership was created as a partnership between formerly homeless individuals and housing developers. The Community Housing Organizing Project, led by James Tracy, provides structure for the organization’s community-building work, improves advocacy, and strengthens the leadership development pipeline.]

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Long live the rose that grew …   Read more

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2010: Serving the Emerging Paradigm

by Pia Infante In this New York Times’ 2009 Year in Pictures snapshot, I was reminded that this Administration, for all its disappointed high hopes for year one, does attempt/intend to do a successively modern iteration of public dialogue. And even though this picture documents the improbable meeting of four men, the public dialogue I’m thinking of is actually far more wide-spread (think 308,243,000 residents in the U.S. alone) and much more viral (think gmail or twitter), but retains the premise of engaging folks across spectrums, geography, and (most importantly) preferred company. As evidenced by the Open Government efforts (expertly followed by NCDD) and the tech/social …   Read more

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What are the Rules of Engagement in Copenhagen?

By Pia Infante As the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen kicks off a two-week gathering of 110 world leaders and roughly 15,000 delegates, I must admit that I’m intensely fascinated about the mechanisms for dialogue and decision-making at an event that some analysts have already predicted will fall quite short of a unilaterally signed treaty to effectively reduce carbon emissions by 2020. Oh, to be a fly on the wall somewhere among the 60,000 square meters of the Bella Center, the largest conference center in Scandinavia. The conference agenda discloses few process secrets, looking very much like many conference programs – there are …   Read more

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