Connections 2017: Letter from the Editors

At first we struggled with the focus of this year’s issue of Connections. We began with the idea of a review of the “state of democracy.” We quickly realized, however, that this story is being well-enough told by myriad others. There appears to be no end to reports of the decline of democracy in the United States and around the world.

Without denying the challenges and threats, we also recognized that what we are seeing at Kettering is something quite different.

Most of the people that join in learning exchanges at the foundation are not motivated by the state of democracy. They are exploring ways to create more constructive environments in which they and people they need to work with can do useful work, beginning in the places where they live. They are thinking as inventors.

The 2017 issue of Connections provides a sense of what that spirit of invention feels like. The stories are about instances of self-discovery—stimulated in part by experiences in the Kettering learning exchanges—and of the innovations that are resulting.

The articles are practically illuminating, and we hope they are inspiring. Because while we do not deny the need for reminders of the threats to democracy, we also see the need for reminders that it is always being born anew.

Download Connections 2017