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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

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

Government, Community, and Sports Teams: Tax Credits

The impact of sports in the United States is undeniable: sports teams have had lasting social and economic effects at the local level in their own communities and at the professional level across the country. What goes into the economic value of sports teams? What do sports bring to communities? What should the role be, if any, of government in fostering sports in community development?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series


Traditionally, owning a home has been equated with achieving the American Dream.

As Housing America states it: “Without safe, decent and affordable housing, children won’t get the education they need; seniors will be unable to age in place; veterans and people with disabilities will not be surrounded and supported by community, and families will be unable to thrive.”

So, is owning a home still a crucial part of the American Dream? And what about housing for those for whom it has been a perennial struggle? What roles do society and government play to meet the universal need for a safe place to call home?

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The Community Series

Opioid Epidemic

Although opioids can be effective in treating chronic pain, they also pose risks to patients due to their highly addictive properties. These risks have fueled the U.S. drug crisis that kills thousands of Americans each year. What are the root causes of the drug crisis? What is the role of government, industry, and individuals in trying to help Americans facing this public health emergency?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series


America has always been considered the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, individuals can find themselves trapped in a spiral of poverty preventing them from reaching their full potential. This brief covers what human creativity can accomplish in an entrepreneurial economy regarding the issue of poverty.

State Specific Information: Connecticut
Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series

Rebuilding Trust in America (NEW)

America has 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

Stitching the Fabric of Neighborhoods

Strong neighborhoods and communities have long been central components of American life. How have technologies and social trends changed neighborhoods over time? The local business owners on Main Street, the members on the city council, and the residents living in the suburbs all play an important role in the future of neighborhoods. What do people today want in their communities?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series

Understanding Law Enforcement

The purpose of law enforcement is to protect communities, hold individuals accountable, and ensure justice. But how exactly do police carry out these duties, and what other responsibilities have they taken on? Who controls the police force at different levels of government and who holds them accountable? How can we bridge gaps between citizens and officers?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series