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Challenges to Democracy Public Dialogue Series and Blog

I wanted to share some news from one of our newest supporting members. I finally got Archon Fung to take the plunge and join NCDD during the recent member drive. (Yay!) For those who don’t know, Archon is the Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship at the Harvard Kennedy School, and he’s one of the top researchers in our field.

ArchonFung-borderArchon is a key member of the faculty for the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School. The Ash Center advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. One of its three major programs is the Program on Democratic Governance, which researches those practices that resolve urgent social problems in developed and developing societies.

In honor of its 10th anniversary, the Ash Center launched a public dialogue series named Challenges to Democracy. Through a series of events with scholars, policymakers, journalists, and artists, the Center seeks to broaden and deepen public dialogue on how we might address democracy’s greatest challenges in order to adapt and preserve our form of government.

The series launched October 3 with a standing room-only event featuring a panel discussion moderated by WBUR and NPR’s On Point host Tom Ashbrook on the threat economic inequality poses to the health of American democracy—and broadcast on the On Point radio program. Additional challenges will include immigration, lack of representation, business power, political polarization, the risks and opportunities created by digital technologies, the place of cities in American democracy, the decline of popular movements, and more.

The Challenges to Democracy Blog, launched in October 2013 by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (and edited by Archon), captures the stories and lessons of the public dialogue series, exploring ways that American democracy is being tested, digging deeper into possible solutions, and pointing readers to news stories germane to the series. The blog provides unique content including in-depth accounts and audio and video recordings of past events, interviews with public figures asking their thoughts on the greatest challenges to democracy, lengthy excerpts from the books of featured speakers, and posts highlighting new research from the Ash Center faculty and Democracy Fellows.

Check it out today at www.challengestodemocracy.us/home/ and stay tuned for future blog posts in the series.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher is the Founding Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and also serves as a Research Deputy for the Kettering Foundation. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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