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Core Ideas

Citizens

Democracy requires responsible citizens who can make sound decisions about their future, and can act on these decisions. Through joint learning exchanges, Kettering studies how citizens might accept their responsibility, make sound decisions about what is in the public’s interest, and join forces to act on those decisions.

Communities

Democracy requires a community, or a society of citizens, that can work together. We research the way citizens face persistent problems in their communities. These problems, such as poverty, violence, and gaps in educational achievement, require citizens, communities, and institutions to work together to address them.

Institutions

Democracy requires institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening society. While institutions can affect the public’s ability to govern itself, they can also unintentionally weaken self-rule by substituting expert knowledge for public knowledge. Aligning institutional routines with citizens’ work is the central challenge. 

Kettering Foundation News

Power of Concession

Written by: Kettering Staff

With this one act, Rep. Ryan has strengthened the American experiment.

WATCH: Lemmie Speaks at 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)—Economic Change in a World Divided

Written by: Kettering Staff

Valerie Lemmie, the Kettering Foundation’s director of exploratory research, joined an illustrious panel of development and civic engagement professionals at the annual meeting of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

Reflections on Illiberalism

Written by: Kettering Staff

As part of the Kettering Foundation’s ongoing research, our staff and allied organizations gather for monthly Dayton Days research sessions to reflect on the ideas guiding our work and to share new insights.

Race and Political Trust in the United States

Written by: Kettering Staff

As part of the Kettering Foundation’s ongoing research, our staff and allied organizations gather for monthly Dayton Days research sessions to reflect on the ideas guiding our work and to share new insights.

Four Decades of Democratic Learning: David Mathews and the Kettering Foundation

Written by: Kettering Staff

On Tuesday, September 27, the Kettering Foundation board of directors, staff, colleagues, friends, and family joined on our Dayton campus to honor David Mathews and his four decades of service to the Kettering Foundation. Mathews was president and CEO from 1981 to 2022.