The Kettering Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Charles F. Kettering, best known for inventing the automobile self-starter, created the foundation in 1927. Gradually, the foundation expanded its focus to look beyond scientific solutions, recognizing that problems like world hunger are not technical problems, but rather political problems. In the 1970s, the foundation began to concentrate on democratic politics, particularly the role of citizens. Today, Kettering’s research is renowned around the globe because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities, and their nation.
In an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote a word and then carefully expunged it, smearing the ink and overwriting it so as to completely obliterate the original. Using spectral imaging technology in 2010, Library of Congress researchers revealed that Jefferson had changed the word “subjects” to “citizens,” revealing an important shift in the Founders' thinking: the people's allegiance was to one another, not to a distant king.… read more »
An animated archetypal flood story that imagines how politics was first created. It counters the idea that public deliberation is some kind of new technique to be used on communities and encourages a notion of democracy that is citizen-centered.… read more »