Katherina Rosqueta and Conor Carroll, from Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, and Harris Sokoloff, from Penn’s Graduate School of Education, discuss a new guide to strengthening democracy on a Wharton Business Radio podcast.
A rising tide of incivility threatens to drown America’s public discourse, a wave building from the dysfunction in the nation’s capital and washing over even the smallest towns. Voters are more divided than ever along political lines, and social media only amplifies the noise. The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania wants to bring people back together so that they can effect real change. The center’s latest publication, titled “We the People: A Philanthropic Guide to Strengthening Democracy,” aims to contribute to that goal.
The guide highlights five core elements of a robust democracy: empowering citizens, fair processes, responsive policy, information and communication, and social cohesion. The report notes that when these five elements work in unison, they reinforce one another to improve democracy. Katherina Rosqueta is founding executive director of the center, Conor Carroll is project manager for We the People, and Harris Sokoloff is an adjunct professor at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and founder and director of the Penn Project for Civic Engagement.
“Democracy and our government are focused on the same issues that philanthropy cares about—strong local economies, good education for all our children, good health,” says Rosqueta. “And government is a source of funding for many of the nonprofits that philanthropists also support, so they are inextricably connected.”
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