img_4073

A Breakthrough for All Americans

To all Americans who reacted to last night’s nomination of Hillary Clinton with disparagement, vitriol, conspiracy theories, and even hate-speech: Please take a moment to think about what what was accomplished, and to whom it might matter. Regardless of what you think of Hillary Clinton, for the first time in the history of our Republic, one of the two major parties (at last) nominated a woman as candidate for the presidency.

This is an historic moment for our democracy.

We should be humbled by how long it has taken, and proud of our ability to evolve as a people. To anyone who is not in politics, the decades of service and struggle to which this breakthrough candidate has committed herself, should be humbling. Future generations can now take for granted that the presidency really is an open office, to which any young girl or boy can aspire.

At the time our nation was being born, Mary Wollstonecraft observed correctly that any nation in which some are excluded from the rights and privileges of full education, public life, decision-making and self-determination, is diminished by that exclusion. Such a society is deprived of all of the personal virtues and talents the excluded persons might bring to its public life. She observed that everyone in that nation is diminished, even the most powerful of the old guard, who feel this diminishment affects only others.

Last night, whether you will ever vote for or support Hillary Clinton, we all became freer, in a deep and important way.

We should take a moment to celebrate this, as a tribute to the power of an evolving democracy and to the values that allow us to live with openness and unity, as both adversaries and as patriots, all at once. There is honor in showing grace to an accomplished leader of the other side, especially when we mark a milestone in advancing human liberty. It is that kind of grace that we proclaim is great when we talk about the greatness of our democracy.

img_2827-2

True Independence Requires Reciprocal Civic Empowerment

“A republic… if you can keep it…”

The work of building up to a better outcome has always already begun, before we have a chance to think about the work itself or its necessity.

The act of leading, then, is a recognition of the forces that are converging and a conscious understanding of how to work with them, when and to what purpose.

Having just arrived back from a journey to the heart of our democracy, I am again affirmed in the feeling that our democracy is deeply personal. And so, the success of our democracy depends on the intimate experience each participant has of the democratic process.

Continue Reading

Civics for Rapid, Scalable Climate Action

Active Citizen Participation to Universalize the Paris Effect 

ace-logoArticle 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for public participation in climate action. This can mean many things; we propose it mean that active, direct citizen participation in the design and deployment of climate solutions be the standard. We propose this be done universally, through a network of collaborating partners to ensure mutual empowerment through the same process of empowerment of citizens and community groups.

Continue Reading

The Presidential Ask

The 2016 US Presidential election is once again being framed as a brutal contest of wills between two disparate ideological camps: the activist government liberal and the skeptical libertarian conservative. Neither party is actually offering anything like that kind of decisive metaphysical clarity. On both sides, there are deep divisions over how to put ideas into practice and which ideas express the “pure” sense of principled public service.

The world is more connected than ever, and this means all issues of public controversy are now more complex than ever. Every choice, whether in the realm of action or in the realm of ideas, has ramifications. Interconnectedness and complexity mean those ramifications are less and less likely to flow directly from the ideological core of a given way of acting, thinking or talking.

Continue Reading

Tunisian winners of Nobel Peace Prize prove the power of dialogue

by Gina Torry

For anyone who has ever asked themselves if their voice as a citizen matters or could make a difference when it come to peace and security — the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, has issued a resounding response: Indeed.

Continue Reading

Pope calls for Dialogue and Mutual Empowerment

In his historic address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis called America “a land of dreams”, which he said can lead the world in a shift to deep, inclusive politics and economics that brings people together, eliminates harm, and guarantees dignity and reciprocity. 

Pope Francis has come to the United States with a very clear and universal message: there are injustices no free and conscientious people can accept and against which all people of good will should work together. Challenges like climate change, immigration and income inequality are not ideological issues, partisan issues or issues of opinion or preference; they are deep moral issues. And we must do our best to work in solidarity, to oppose these unnecessary injustices.

Continue Reading

Leveraging Linkages from the SDGs into Climate Action

by Sarabeth Brockley and Joseph Robertson

Late on Sunday, August 2, the member states of the United Nations succeeded in adopting by consensus an ambitious outcome document from the intergovernmental negotiations on 17 global goals for reducing human suffering and expanding dignity, peace, opportunity and resilience. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the outline for international cooperation between 2015 and 2030. The stated mission is to “to free the human race within this generation from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet for the present and for future generations.”

Continue Reading

No more posts.