Upcoming Common Ground for Action (CGA) Forums and National Week of Conversation Opportunity for K-12 and University Faculty

Blog Category: 

  • online forums

From Kara Dillard - Many of you are already aware of and familiar with the National Issues Forums' (NIF) online deliberation platform Common Ground for Action (CGA).  We’re trying a few new things and reminding everyone of some upcoming CGA events to promote deliberation. See some upcoming CGA dates and times.

The National Issues Forums' (NIF) Common Ground for Action online deliberative forums can be convened specifically for your campus or classroom, neighborhood or town, or community group. Participating in online forums is easy - all you need is a computer and internet connection; no microphones or video required. 

Here is how a locally-organized online forum might work:

  • You set the date and time in coordination with our CGA coordinator, Kara Dillard, and invite your participants.
  • Participants will register online for your specific forum at a link available only to those in your community, campus/classroom, or organization.
  • Online forums deliberate in groups of 10-12, but we can organize multiple simultaneous "breakout" sessions to accommodate your forum plans. Online forums last about two hours but can be easily modified to fit a shorter or longer time window.
  • You and your team of moderators can moderate as usual. If you like, we'll provide a co-moderator who's very familiar with the CGA platform and can handle any technological tasks or issues (They're actually very rare).
  • All of the NIF issue guides are available for you to use in CGA, including those recently updated for the Hidden Common Ground initiative. These include:
    • Health Care
    • Mass Shootings
    • Immigration 
    • A House Divided
    • The Economy (starting in September)
    • National Security / Foreign Policy
    • Safety and Justice

More details on CGA and how it works can be found here: nifi.org/cga 

FOR K-12 AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY: If you're just looking for interactive, deliberation based assignments for your students: NIFI also convenes a week long series of CGA-based deliberative dialogues specifically for college students on April 20th through April 25th. Our aim with these forums is to give students a chance to deliberate with peers at campuses that are different from theirs – geographically, population size, and ideologically. We hope this allows students to hear voices they might not otherwise hear in a in-person campus forum. This year, we're deliberating using the NIFI issue guide “How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings In our Communities?” As a part of their Hidden Common Ground election year project, USATODAY may be covering these forums in the future and talking about the results, so these are real forums with real impact (NCDD did a confab about it a couple of months ago). We'd be happy to have any or all of your students participate in this!  Or if you'd  like to moderate a CGA forum, we could use your help. More information, including registration info, here: https://www.nifi.org/en/events/national-week-conversation-cross-campus-college-online-forums-how-should-we-prevent-mass