Delta Dialogues: Read the Official Story, Get the Backstory


deltadialogues-phase1-story-thumb-500x670Phase I of our 2012 multistakeholder project, the Delta Dialogues is officially done, with the publication of the story of the process and a lunchtime panel in Sacramento attended by 150 people, including journalists and bloggers. Joe Mathews, professional journalist and storyteller, wrote 12,000 page-turning words, giving Michael Lewis a run for his money. The published story, designed by Amy Wu, includes candids of the participants and photos taken by Groupaya staff of the complex Delta landscape, the silent central figure that haunts these difficult conversations. To read the story for yourself, download your own copy here.

For those of you curious about how a practitioner thinks about a multistakeholder conflict, join Eugene Eric Kim, Rebecca Petzel, and myself, as we talk about the real story behind the design and facilitation of the Delta Dialogues. How were the participants chosen? How were they convinced to give their time to a once-a-month conversation that had the exquisitely “modest” goal of shared understanding, in a sea of well-funded and well-connected organizations, including such heavyweight players as the California governor, all aggressively advocating for their desired future of the Delta? How was conflict handled? What were the critical factors that enabled this project’s success? What were the biggest challenges? Why did it take a team of seven to pull it off? What would we do differently if we could do it all over again? What is next for the Delta Dialogues? Are there any lessons that are relevant for other organizations?

We’ll be meeting Wednesday, February 20, in San Francisco to discuss the project from a practitioner perspective, from 3:00-5:00 pm. RSVP in the comments below if you are interested in joining the conversation, and we’ll let you know the location.