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Rebuilding Trust in America (NEW)

America faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, and the deluge of information and misinformation has been staggering. Pervasive distrust undermines authority and credibility of leading institutions, and hinders collaboration within and amongst communities. What does the state of trust look like in America today? And how can we as citizens bridge these gaps?

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2021 Series The Community Series

Aging in the 21st Century

On the whole, the population of the United States is getting older. But what does that entail? How might an aging population impact cultural perspectives on old age or prompt social changes? What can a workforce of older adults bring to the economy? What are the financial costs associated with this population trend in terms of retirement and health care? Individuals, private businesses, and policymakers will all play an important role as the impacts of an aging population become clear.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series

Campaign Finance

This brief dives into the basics of campaign finance, specifically the key terminology and debates surrounding campaign spending; the types of political organizations that raise and spend money in the political process; laws and court cases that have shaped campaign finance; and helpful information to know before you donate.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series

Civic Engagement

What is civic engagement? Why is it important and how can you become more involved in your community? In this brief, we seek to provide our Circle members with a deeper understanding of the importance of Americans’ participation in civic life. We’ll also explain how The Policy Circle helps to build social capital, a crucial element of society strongly related to civic duty, and how you can become a more engaged citizen.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series The Foundational Series

Creating Career Pathways

What policies can best meet the labor needs of our currently growing economy? And how can this urgent need for qualified workers be leveraged to lift up those in distressed communities who are in particular need of improved opportunity? The Policy Circle has assembled a panel of speakers who are leading the charge in proven tactics, like apprenticeship programs and technical college scholarships, and emboldening women and those with disabilities in the workforce. This brief provides an overview of workforce readiness, why it matters and what your role can be, especially in relation to distressed communities.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Business Series

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

The way processing systems function means personal data online is part of regular life, as are the dangers that come with it. What exactly are the dangers of unprotected data? What are the roles of citizens, businesses, and the government when it comes to technology and data? How can these stakeholders work together to promote safe cybersecurity practices and frameworks that protect data without infringing on individual rights and freedoms?

Part of the Conversation Series: The World View Series

Digital Landscape

Technology has become an essential component of our lives. The following brief explores the digital landscape within the United States and across the world, as well as what governments and individuals can do to advance the social and economic benefits of technology. What is the best way to build digital infrastructure? What about the world’s population that still lacks Internet access? Will new technologies impact how businesses and governments function? What are the technological implications for education, healthcare, or privacy rights?

Dodd Frank

The Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law in 2010 following the 2008-2009 economic recession. But what caused the housing and economic crisis of 2008? Was it greedy bankers? Was government policy to blame? Read on to see the role government policies played in incentivising overrated subprime mortgage lending and the lessons that can be applied to Dodd-Frank reform.

Economic Growth

Economic growth is the increase in what a country produces, particularly the amount of goods and services, over time. Economic growth all over the world has exploded in the last two and a half centuries. This dramatic growth has brought unprecedented opportunity, health and happiness to people across the globe.

How did this happen and how can we continue this surge in opportunity? This brief covers how economic growth impacts society, key economic indicators that track growth, what roles the government and the private sector play, the current state of our economy, and a discussion of economic policy ideas that could enhance our nation and the world.

State Specific Information: Wisconsin
Part of the Conversation Series: The Business Series

Education Savings Accounts

What would you do if your child was not thriving in his or her school environment? What if you could use the money your state sets aside for him or her to tailor a better educational fit? Education Savings Accounts may provide the flexibility of choice for parents facing this dilemma. What exactly are they and how do they work?

Education: K-12

Education is the pathway to a productive life. All people need basic literacy, math skills, and knowledge of the world around them to function in today’s society and to be informed citizens. But despite increased spending, our educational outcomes as a nation are stagnant. How can the U.S. education system better prepare young people for their adulthood and careers? This brief gives an overview of the major topics within K-12 education and some ideas for reform with the goal of every student having access to an education that equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to be self-reliant and successful in the 21st century.

State Specific Information: Indiana Wisconsin
Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series

Elections & Election Integrity

In a democracy, the government derives authority from the consent of the electorate. Holding elections and exercising the right to vote are essential to democracy. Many laws and rules govern the people and resources involved in campaigns and voting to make sure elections are competitive and inclusive. This brief will focus on election basics and ways to ensure free, fair, and secure elections.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series