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Aspen Institute

The Bond That Unites the United States

Matt Blackwell | Posted 11.24.2015 | Impact
Matt Blackwell

One of the greatest aspects of this position, and the entire point of promoting national service, is the people I have connected with that I would not come to know in my daily routine.

How My Adventure In National Service Came to Shape the Rest of My Life

Kevin D. Ward | Posted 11.23.2015 | Impact
Kevin D. Ward

Today, colleges and universities should be creating expectations of service for their prospective students and recent graduates.

Let's Tackle the Disconnect Between Americans and Service to Each Other

John-Paul Smith | Posted 11.20.2015 | Impact
John-Paul Smith

Today less than 0.5 percent of the U.S. population actively serves in the armed forces. The decline of duty has not only resulted in a disconnect between U.S. military personnel and American civilians, it's created a disconnect between Americans and service to each other.

Service: What, Exactly, Is the Point?

Godfrey Plata | Posted 11.19.2015 | Impact
Godfrey Plata

Here's the thing: As a person of color and a Filipino immigrant, I sometimes cringe when I think of "service." The first thing I envision is a white adult working in a "third world" country like the Philippines, huddling together with versions of a four-year-old me, darker-skinned and of modest means.

A Better Milwaukee Starts With the Right Question

Amanda Panciera | Posted 11.18.2015 | Impact
Amanda Panciera

I was meant to serve. As the child of a police officer and a paramedic and the grandchild of war veterans, service was in my blood. Caring deeply about others was in my soul. My first word was even "justice." (This is likely because my German Sheperd puppy was named Justice, but still.)

What Charleston Can Show Us All In the National Service Movement

Gordon Rooney | Posted 11.17.2015 | Impact
Gordon Rooney

Discussions on race are important, and we should continue having them, but it's going to take more action to move us forward. While there is no one panacea, I am confident as to what a piece of the puzzle looks like.

'My Goals Are Twofold: Education and Inspiration'

Greg Ericksen | Posted 11.16.2015 | Impact
Greg Ericksen

My narrative and experience as an AmeriCorps member and my year of service is not unique; it's actually very common. I was a young, college-educated adult looking to turn my altruism and idealism into reality.

A Different Kind of Entrepreneur In San Diego

Anna Lenhart | Posted 11.13.2015 | Impact
Anna Lenhart

When I decided to take a "year-off" between my junior and senior year of college to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I expected to get a needed break from studies and help some people. I was not expecting to launch my startup career.

Service Before Self: Why We Need to Support the Franklin Project

Randy Frazier Jr. | Posted 11.12.2015 | Impact
Randy Frazier Jr.

In 1988, my peers and I had ample motivation to serve. In today's political, economic, and social environment I worry that my children may not have the opportunities or motivation to similarly serve their country.

'We are Responsible for Our Nation and Our Communities'

Roch Turner | Posted 11.11.2015 | Impact
Roch Turner

We can count how many meals were distributed, homes were built, or jackets provided to the homeless. But we cannot quantify the value to the service member who sees critical issues in a community being addressed, nor the value received by the recipients of that service.

Millennials: 'We've Sold Our Children a Very Narrow Definition of Success'

Elizabeth Barrett | Posted 11.16.2015 | Impact
Elizabeth Barrett

The millennials are an impressive group. Although often maligned for being self-centered and entitled, they are also the most highly educated, well-traveled, open minded, and tech savvy of any generation before.

How My Year of Service Matured My Head and My Heart

Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz | Posted 11.10.2015 | Impact
Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz

Unfortunately, I also witnessed the financial obstacles this pathway of service posed for low-income members who wanted to serve in their own communities, but needed additional financial support in order to participate in full-time service year programs.

How My Students and I Built a Classroom of Scientific Inquiry and Social Justice, and How It Changed My Life

Mike Meaney | Posted 11.10.2015 | Impact
Mike Meaney

My pessimism toward technology began as a young boy. I vividly remember the feeling of a syringe blasting cold molding putty into my ear cavity. I was being fitted for a device called the Speech Easy. Worn like a hearing aid, the device produced the "choral effect," and was supposed to ease the severity of my stutter.

Redefining Wealth for the 21st Century

Janet Topolsky | Posted 10.19.2015 | Impact
Janet Topolsky

To most minds, wealth means money. But even in times of low economic inequality only a few people have had abundant money. And a bag of that money in an empty room is nothing but paper.

Integration of Health Services is Key to Saving Women's and Children's Lives

Jane Otai | Posted 09.22.2015 | Impact
Jane Otai

When my sister-in-law Angelina was six months pregnant, she went to a health facility for a routine antenatal care visit. This was not an easy thing to do, however. She lives in rural Kenya and in order to reach the facility situated 15 kilometres away, she sold her pig.

Why Job Candidates from Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Are Good for Business

Carrie Hessler-Radelet | Posted 09.16.2015 | Impact
Carrie Hessler-Radelet

One year since Obama's call to action, nearly 250 employers from private, public, and nonprofit sectors have signed on as Employers of National Service.

KENTPRESENTS Provocative Topics
Summer School Vacation

Sharon Hoge | Posted 09.21.2015 | Travel
Sharon Hoge

Normally the Kent School campus bustles with students of high school age but for two and a half days this summer the students were adults spending "vacation" days studying "What Comes Next" at the KentPresents ideas forum wrangling with subjects from cybersecurity to cancer to criminal justice.

Is "Dumb And Dumber" An American Political Trademark?

Bernard Starr | Posted 09.16.2015 | Politics
Bernard Starr

What else don't our elected officials know? And should we be concerned? More important, can we do anything to ensure that our representatives are informed on important issues?

One Nation: Rediscovering American Compassion

John Bridgeland | Posted 09.11.2015 | Impact
John Bridgeland

Americans after 9/11 reset their civic sights, and for at least four years following, increased those habits to help one another and serve one another. But our country stands at a crossroads yet again.

10 Years Later: Katrina's Legacy of Service

Reese May | Posted 08.26.2015 | Impact
Reese May

But despite the storm's destruction, and the ongoing problems with disaster recovery in America -- New Orleans' story is hardly all doom and gloom. In the years since Katrina, New Orleans has given many the opportunity to become our very best selves.

Is the SEC Against Income Inequality -- or for It?

Judith Samuelson | Posted 08.11.2015 | Business
Judith Samuelson

Let's not pop the Prosecco just yet. Another SEC rule being debated now would effectively endorse the root cause of excessive CEO pay -- the practice of paying CEOs based on the company's stock price.

Transforming Education in Haiti Takes Collaboration

Jean-Claude Brizard | Posted 07.28.2015 | Education
Jean-Claude Brizard

In Haiti, only 30 percent of children from low-income households will successfully complete primary school. Ten percent will complete high school and 1 percent will reach university.

Moving The Country Forward -- Dartmouth College Elects to Become a Model for Civic Engagement via The Franklin Project

Marshall Brown | Posted 07.23.2015 | Education
Marshall Brown

How do we teach civic values to young people at a time when money has thoroughly corrupted politics, where serious policy discussions have been drown out in favor of infotainments, manufactured outrage and 'click-bait?'

Collaboration is Cumulative

Tamsin Smith | Posted 07.23.2015 | Impact
Tamsin Smith

Questions about the future -- how we not only navigate it, but lead it responsibly -- require us to look backwards and to look around in the present, as well as to look forward. If we fail to respect each other, how can we expect the future to be kind?

How The New York Public Library Is Bridging The Digital Divide

The Huffington Post | James Thilman | Posted 07.21.2015 | Arts

 The 11th annual Aspen Ideas Festival drew impressive crowds to the picturesque Colorado mountain town in late June, inspiring audienc...