Our Common Purpose, the final report of the Academy's Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, was the focus of a six-week conversation series this Summer at Westlake Community Services and Senior Center in Westlake, Ohio. The series featured weekly discussions about democracy and politics with over two dozen attendees.
Joe Konen, an emeritus associate professor at Ohio State University Extension, facilitated the conversations. In an email to Academy staff, Mr. Konen commended the practical applications of the Our Common Purpose report and stressed the importance of engaging participants. “Reading and discussing provide an excellent format for adult education. I think it works even better than a presentation followed by Q&A,” he wrote. “Also, especially when the topic contains controversial matters, it is important to have a strong leader to keep the focus on ideas rather than personages.”
Since the release of Our Common Purpose in June 2020, the report has contributed to public discussion of democracy reform through extensive media coverage, at briefings, meetings, and classes and events around the country. The report has served as an inspiration and guiding blueprint for democracy renovation including among the more than 70 champion organizations working to advance the report’s recommendations.