Giving Compass’ Take:
• Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) talks with Will Friedman of Public Agenda about the “Sounder Public Judgment Working Paper Series” which helps the public grapple with today’s tough issues.
• How does public judgment contribute to a strong and healthy democracy? What is the “call to action” for philanthropy from this series?
Thinking through complex, challenging issues in today’s day and age is becoming increasingly difficult for the American public, but our democracy is dependent on our ability to decipher between rhetoric and truth, identify misinformation, and cut through the issues that divide us.
Public Agenda’s “Sounder Public Judgment Working Paper Series” aims to “help the public come to terms with tough issues in today’s digital and divisive world.” The series is supported by a lead grant from the Ford Foundation, and additional funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Rita Allen Foundation.
PACE’s Kristen Cambell sat down with Public Agenda’s president Will Friedman to explore these challenges and learn from the paper’s potential solutions. The two discuss the society’s difficulty forging common ground, how public judgement contributes to a strong democracy, why there may be space for hope, and how philanthropy can play a role in creating conditions for sounder public judgment. Here’s the conversation:
Kristen Cambell: What inspired the series? Why did Public Agenda decide to prioritize this project?
Will Friedman: The capacity of partisan actors and special interests to manipulate public opinion for narrow ends and sow discord to disempower the people is growing fast in the digital age. Unfortunately, society’s capacity to support sound public thinking and forge democratically meaningful common ground on solutions to our mounting problems is failing to keep pace. The result is the unstable populism, political polarization, demagogic leadership and endemic mistrust that defeats problem solving and endangers democracy itself.
Read the full article about Sounder Public Judgement by Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) at Medium.
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