This is a bit of old news but I just realized I’ve only mentioned it in passing here on the Intellitics blog.

As reported previously, the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) announced the Catalyst Awards at their 2012 conference in Seattle, WA in October of last year (Intellitics was a conference sponsor).

I threw my hat in the ring with a project proposal around TV entertainment. A few people were interested, we formed a team and hosted a few planning calls (here, here, here). Here’s what we came up with:

Real Dialogues: D&D Reality Show

The world needs more dialogue and deliberation in order to successfully address challenging social issues, yet most people still aren’t aware of the possibilities. By producing a pilot for a highly engaging reality show based on deliberative practices, the Real Dialogues project will introduce D&D to a broad public. This easily reproducible format will help our field gain mainstream visibility.

In late January of 2013, our proposal made the round of finalists.

And in February, we were thrilled to learn that Real Dialogues had indeed won in the bridge building category.

Since then, the Real Dialogues team has been quite busy. Following an earlier update in mid-March, here’s the latest news I shared a couple of weeks ago: Real Dialogues Fall Update: Entering Production Phase

After months of design work and preparation, our Catalyst Award project is finally entering its production phase!

We will be using Google+ Hangouts to host three rounds of facilitated small-group dialogues online on the issue of employment and the minimum wage in the greater Chicago, IL area:

  • The first Hangout is for our participants to get to know each other and to explain and hear about their employment situations.
  • The second Hangout will feature interviews with Conservative, Liberal and Alternative experts, who will also drop in to answer questions.
  • The third Hangout aims to tie it all together: what have people learned, have they changed their perspectives, and will this affect their lives?

The first facilitated hangout took place on October 29 and featured three participants from the greater Chicago area talk about the economy, employment and minimum wage. Here’s a sneak peek:

The next two rounds of hangouts will take place over the coming weeks, and we hope to have a final product early next year at the latest.

Needless to say, this is a really exciting opportunity to figure out what’s possible at the intersection of civic engagement and media. Stay tuned!