KF News and Ideas

A Conversation on the Nature of Leadership

As a topic of inquiry and self-help, leadership has been covered from many angles and by many disciplines. To learn more about leadership, former Kettering Foundation research assistant, Jack Becker, sat down at a recent Kettering Foundation research exchange with Tina Nabatchi, Martín Carcasson, and Jeffrey Nielson. All three have written either directly or peripherally on leadership. Their conversation spans the nature of leadership, ideas for reform, claims to new thinking, and how we can better manage demands for high-functioning leaders and organizations.

LIVE STREAM: The Changing World of Work

Join us for a national conversation on The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask of Higher Education?

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, from 9 am-noon, the National Issues Forums Institute will stream the event live from the National Press Club on the all-new nifi.org.

New Video: The Creation of Politics

Those of you who have participated in Kettering’s annual summer Deliberative Democracy Exchange have probably heard Kettering Foundation president David Mathews tell a story about a small village that faces a recurring flood. It is a fable of sorts. In spite of the villagers’ many efforts to stop the flood, the waters return again and again. So the people in the story had to make a decision: should they move across the river, where another band of people already live? Should they stay in their homeland? Or, should they move to higher ground?

Longtime KF Associate Kate Sheaffer Has Passed Away

Kate Sheaffer, a longtime associate who helped bring national attention to the Kettering Foundation’s work, died at a Hospice in Calvary Hospital in New York City Monday, November 3, after a long battle with cancer.  She had been a prominent part of the KF family for more than 30 years.

Developing Our Civic Culture: State Legislators and Public Engagement

Photo taken at the National Conference of State Legislatures & Kettering Foundation Citizen Engagement Workshop • Dayton, Ohio • July 9-10, 2014

Hawaii state senator Les Ihara Jr. has found many state legislators interested in engaging, deliberating, and collaborating with citizens and stakeholders on public policy issues. Former Kettering Foundation research assistant Jack Becker recently sat down with Senator Ihara to talk about his work in supporting legislators’ citizen engagement interests.

Barn Raising Matters: Nancy Cantor at September Dayton Days

Maura Casey, a former New York Times editorial writer and now an associate with the Kettering Foundation, reports on Nancy Cantor’s recent visit to the Kettering Foundation. Cantor was invited to speak during September Dayton Days, our monthly research meeting. In particular, she was asked to address one of Kettering’s research questions involving institutions of higher education: How can community engagement practices evolve beyond service and volunteer models to contribute to and strengthen the civic life of communities?

Understanding the Public: Lessons from Public Agenda’s Jean Johnson

Since its founding in 1975, Public Agenda has been intimately involved in nonpartisan opinion research and stakeholder engagement.

Real Impact: The Challenges of Community Engagement in Higher Education

Many communities lack the basic civic muscle necessary to form a strong community. Conflict management and decision-making skills seem far and few, and basic political knowledge about our communities and nation, many argue, seem scarce.

Parent Involvement in Education: What Really Matters Most?

Would eating less margarine reduce the divorce rate in Maine? Could we increase the number of graduate engineering degrees by upping mozzarella consumption? Some correlations are ridiculous, which is exactly the point of the very clever web site “Spurious Correlations.”

Citizens and Elected Officials: What Kind of Relationship Should There Be?

Matt Leighninger thinks the capacities of citizens have grown tremendously over the years. But one of the misalignments between having better engagement and more productive use of citizens’ capacities has been the inclination of decision makers to adopt a “child-to-adult” orientation to the public. What we need, he says, is an “adult-to-adult relationship.”