C2D2 2005 – From Dream to reality
The dream began in 2002 when Sandra Zagon and Miriam Wyman went to the first National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) and instantly decided to make something similar happen in Canada.
Three years of talking, organizing, planning and fundraising, all the while imagining great minds thinking together, sitting shoulder to shoulder with thoughtful and learned colleagues from many sectors, sharing wisdom and expertise led to a conference intended to engage, inspire, and challenge.
The first-ever C2D2 took place in Ottawa and drew more than 300 people. The conference community included dialogue facilitators & practitioners, community developers & organizers, policy & decision makers at all levels of government, academics, researchers, people from think tanks, from the voluntary & not-for-profit sector, and citizens.
It had four big objectives which continue to guide our work and our events:
The conference was designed to be both interactive and experiential to provide learning opportunities, to showcase innovative deliberative dialogue tools and techniques and to model the values of good engagement processes.
C2D2 was a volunteer-driven event, undertaken by, with and for the dialogue and deliberation community in Canada. More than 50 volunteers created and implemented the conference.
Six organizing teams, each with a team leader or co-leaders, undertook key aspects of planning – program, communications, logistics, fundraising, outreach, and evaluation. Team leaders coordinated their own members and were the overall decision-making group. Two co-chairs directed the entire undertaking.
In keeping with the procedural values of all good engagement practices, we worked hard to model dialogue and deliberation in our planning, to be open and transparent, collaborative and inclusive.
The conference was carefully designed to provide opportunities for participants to interact with each other, to learn from each other and to begin the building of a community of practice dedicated to dialogue and deliberation.
All materials were bilingual. There was simultaneous translation in plenary sessions and community conversations. Each session – and each aspect of the program – had to meet one or more of thee conference objectives.
The Conference program modelled a range of dialogue tools and techniques - the tried and true, as well as new and innovative techniques and tools - at all scales, from small to very large:
C2D2 2005 was a hugely ambitious undertaking. It successfully met its objectives, and laid the foundation for the ongoing development of a Canadian community on Dialogue and Deliberation and for conferences to come.
The 2005 planning model continues to characterize all of our work – activities related to ongoing development of our organization as well as all conferences and regional activities. We continue to address “hot” topics and challenges in the field, we draw on the arts to extend our work and our thinking, and we work hard to model good dialogue and deliberation always.