Imagine you could invite 30 of the smartest, most committed people in America to a dinner party where each guest had 10 minutes to discuss a single big topic: What can we do to make this country better? Not what government can do, not what business can do, but what can we do as concerned individuals, coming together in community?
That’s the basic concept behind Civil Society for the 21st Century, an in-depth article series that Independent Sector has just launched in partnership with the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In a time of deep polarization, mounting cynicism, and declining trust, we think this conversation is both essential and exciting.
The guest list for this party will probably surprise you. We tapped into our own network, nearly 40 years in the making, and then invited friends of friends of friends. We hope the mix of voices and viewpoints will make for a conversation that’s stimulating, provocative, and ultimately constructive.
Following some introductory thoughts from Dan Cardinali, here’s is the rest of the series:
American Context: The American Context of Civil Society by Yuval Levin
- Today’s Charitable Sector and Its Roots and Challenges by Alan J. Abramson
- Does the Tax Code Define Civil Society or Vice Versa? by Harold Hancock
- On Shared Vision and a New Social Compact by Bob Ross
- Civil Society and the Foundations of Democratic Citizenship by Daniel Stid
- Civil Society and American Exceptionalism by Brian Gallagher
- Aspirin and Democracy by Jan Masaoka
- Religion and American Civil Society by Kay Coles James
- Civil Society in a Majority-Minority America? California Offers Both Hope and Caution by Karthick Ramakrishnan
- What Rural America Can Teach Us About Civil Society by Allen J. Smart & Betsey Russell
- Keeping Democracy Alive in Cities by Myung J. Lee
- The Best Leaders May Be Those Who “Give Up” by Vu Le
- What motivates people to participate in civil society? by Ryan Streeter
- Civil Society in the Age of Incivility by Ai-jen Poo
- Public Trust Reboot: Unleashing the Millennial Civic Spirit by Yordanos Eyoel
A Question of Values: Looking to Civil Society for the Values that Shape a Culture by David Brooks
- Who Defines the “Good” in “Common Good”? by Sarah L. Kastelic
- Civic Virtues and the Healing of Partisan Divides by Bob Boisture
- Civil Society as Public Conscience by Larry Kramer
- Civics Can Make Us More Civil by Stefanie Sanford
- Volunteerism and U.S. Civil Society by Susan N. Dreyfus
Like any good discussion, we can’t say exactly where this will lead, and that’s why we’ve left lots of room for new voices. Please use these pieces’ respective comments sections to weigh in, make your voice heard via social media (#CivilRenewal), and tell us about new authors or topics to drive the conversation forward.
This party won’t be complete without you.