By Andy Mead
Shortly after Cornell Brooks walked into the Cousins House for lunch, David Mathews handed him a package of papers that Brooks had written for the Kettering Foundation.
Democracy requires responsible citizens who can make sound decisions about their future, and can act on these decisions. Through joint learning exchanges, Kettering studies how citizens might accept their responsibility, make sound decisions about what is in the public’s interest, and join forces to act on those decisions.
Democracy requires a community, or a society of citizens, that can work together. We research the way citizens face persistent problems in their communities. These problems, such as poverty, violence, and gaps in educational achievement, require citizens, communities, and institutions to work together to address them.
Democracy requires institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening society. While institutions can affect the public’s ability to govern itself, they can also unintentionally weaken self-rule by substituting expert knowledge for public knowledge. Aligning institutional routines with citizens’ work is the central challenge.
By Andy Mead
As attention to public deliberation has increased, one core interest of researchers has been evaluating the impact of deliberative processes.
As a topic of inquiry and self-help, leadership has been covered from many angles and by many disciplines.
Join us for a national conversation on The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask of Higher Education?
Those of you who have participated in Kettering’s annual summer Deliberative Democracy Exchange have probably heard Kettering Foundation president David Mathews tell a story about a small village that faces a recurring flood. It is a fable of sorts.