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Looking Forward with Kettering / NIF’s “National Debt” Conversation

Last month, Kettering Foundation president David Matthews reached out to the National Issues Forums community urging them to continue the conversation about last year’s featured issue, the National Debt, in support of the eventual report to national officials. Outlined in the corresponding issue guide, A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills? (available here), the initiative encouraged conversations across the country throughout 2011 and 2012. But more are needed, and the Kettering Foundation is asking for some help.

Let’s start with an overview of the issue presented by Kettering and the National Issues Forums…

Matthews’ request, as detailed in a short memo on the NIF website, lays out Kettering’s plans for moving forward on the issue. You can read the complete memo below…

The National Issues Forums initiative needs your help.

As you may recall, each year one of the National Issues Forums (NIF) issues is featured in a report to Washington officials, and last year that was the national debt. But as you know, this issue hasn’t gone away; in fact, will be a hot topic again after the elections. Americans will want to talk about that highly contentious issue, and the NIF book will be as relevant then as it was during last year’s debates.

We need to be able to draw on more NIF forums for next year’s report in D.C. The sponsors of the last round of debt forums may be convening deliberations on other issues. So we need to identify and enlist a new group of forum sponsors.

To do that, Bill Muse, Jean Johnson, and Carol Farquhar Nugent have agreed to start an NIFI Expansion Committee to be chaired by Wanda Minor. Kriss Gang from the Kettering Foundation will serve as liaison.

Some novel possibilities have already surfaced. Leonardo Neves Correa, one of Kettering’s international residents, has contacted the National Association of the Deaf, a national organization that would be interested in issue framings in sign language. This would certainly be a new and welcomed addition.

Do you have other suggestions and contacts you would be willing to make? If so, let me or Bill Muse, our president, know (bmuse@nifi.org or 1-800-221-3657).

Additional News & Resources

A National Issues Forums Initiative Needs Your Help (June 2012)

Help Continue the National Conversation (September 2011)

NIF Starter Video – A Nation In Debt (Preview) (Kettering Foundation video, 2011)

“A Nation in Debt” – Issue Guide Details (2011)

Order “A Nation in Debt – How Can We Pay the Bills” (2011)

* A complete list of news & resources from the National Issues Forums can be found here.


Andy Fluke
Andy Fluke is the co-founder of NCDD and currently provides creative support to many of NCDD's publications and events. He also works with a handful of other NCDD members on a variety of projects as consultant and designer. More about his work can be found at www.andyfluke.com.

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