Today marks ten years as executive editor of the Kettering Foundation’s issue guide series.
The team of colleagues that I have been working with to develop these materials is remarkably talented and insightful, and has grown to be a second family. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to do meaningful work to further the public good.
Kettering creates these issue guides for the National Issues Forums network to use in deliberative forums that people all across the country (and world) convene. In these forums, people talk about and make decisions on many of the most difficult questions facing our communities. Issues like health care, immigration, public safety and policing, and more.
The Kettering Foundation is a research institute that studies the question: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? An excellent overview of Kettering’s core insights is here.
In the past ten years we have produced 52 such documents. A conservative estimate suggests that more than 40,000 people have used these materials over the years, in group settings in communities all over.
While these publications are almost always brief, a great deal of research goes into them including in-depth conversations with ordinary people from all walks of life, and scans of strategic facts and the main arguments being made about each issue. This document describes the process, so anyone could do it in their own community or network.
I am thankful to have reached this milestone. There is much more to be done, but this has been a start.