Reject Hate, Every Time

The gift. It is an area of inquiry in deconstructionist postmodern philosophy, that connects to all the human aspirations we might classify as altruistic. The true gift asks nothing in return, not even recognition. At the heart of the act of giving, there lies a paradox: one must have the intention to give in order…

Barcelona som tots

There is a place in Barcelona, next to the Basilica Santa María del Mar, where an eternal flame arches over a unique, concave public square, in honor of all who have sacrificed to defend the ancient laws of Catalunya. It is a place to reflect on what makes people behave selflessly in service of others….

Stand with Charlottesville

Heather Heyer lost her life and liberty standing up for yours and mine. She gave her life in service of the simple, universal value that no form of violence, tyranny, or injustice, can be allowed to stand unchallenged. She knew she was facing danger; she told friends the threat worried her. She made a choice…

The Liberating Genius of Open Civics

My father’s father, whom we called J.R., was ideologically conservative and a committed Republican. He came to New Jersey from Indiana, to train with the Army Signal Corps, before shipping out to an around-the-world tour of duty in World War II. He ran for and won elective office as a mayor and state legislator. He…

Non-Partisan Citizen Empowerment is Working

Originally published April 28, 2017, by ICLEI USA Throughout the 21st century, cities are likely to be more and more the engines of design that determine how we live and whether our way of making a living in the world is sustainable. Every society everywhere grapples with questions of how much decision-making authority should be…

The Time for Everywhere-Active Climate Civics is Here

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how the shifting political ground of recent months affects the project of opening up a new and wider space for climate civics around the world. As some political forces seem to be arrayed against serious progress on mitigating climate change, we see the role of local, national,…

UNFCCC Stakeholder Participation Reform Proposal

Submission from Citizens’ Climate Education on ways to enhance participation of non-Party stakeholders in the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. This proposal is built around the same core structure as our submission made 21 May 2016, at request of the Secretariat, for inclusion in the Facilitator’s Report on the…

Why We Love the Villanova Wildcats

Unselfish excellence & a commitment to always-active learning The Historic 2016 Season The Villanova University men’s basketball team not only won the 2016 NCAA National Championship; they did so with elegance, grace under pressure, and a deep commitment to quality ethical play. The easiest thing you can say about why the Villanova Wildcats are a…

Gratitude

We make our way in the world through individual choice and group dynamics, but we don’t make everything we experience. Much of what we call our “world” is inherited—some good, some bad. We have inherited from the evolution of a brilliantly complex cosmos natural systems that sustain life. These include local ecosystems, regional watersheds, and…

The Politics of Exigency

Fierce Urgency & Democracy Rooted in Deep Principle Exigency is an immediate state of pervasive intense demand on our attention. “Exigent circumstances” are considered to be both emergent and critical enough to override one’s normal free will and moral decision-making. Under extreme pressures, the argument goes, one is less able to “live up to” the…

True Independence Requires Reciprocal Civic Empowerment

“A republic… if you can keep it…”  The work of building up to a better outcome has always already begun, before we have a chance to think about the work itself or its necessity. The act of leading, then, is a recognition of the forces that are converging and a conscious understanding of how to…

Goal 17: Just & Effective Futurebuilding through Partnerships

Future-building does not happen only in the halls of government. The quality of life in my hometown was designed by many people deciding many different kinds of things at different levels. Our town acquired an important value added when Silvio, who ran the local pizza shop for three decades, decided, day after day, to commit…