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From 1995-2000, the Saguaro Seminar strove to develop a handful of far-reaching, actionable ideas to significantly increase Americans' connectedness to one another and to community institutions. The resulting BetterTogether report was designed not as a detailed civic engagement blueprint for the twenty-first century nor a cookbook with thousands of potentially promising programs that may lead to civic engagement. The BetterTogether report tried to unlock our civic imagination and publicize a few approaches, networks, organizations, or strategies that should be employed more broadly to build social trust and reciprocity in neighborhoods nationwide and re-engage America civically. (For more information on the eight meetings leading to BetterTogether, see the background here.)
Since 2000, the Seminar's mission is both to improve social capital measurement and the availability of social capital data and to undertake analysis of building social capital in a changing environment - in increasingly diverse communities, with changing faith communities, in workplaces, and amidst greater social and civic inequality.
Joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.
Every ten minutes of commuting reduces all forms of social capital by 10%.
For information on how to increase social capital in your own community, go to www.BetterTogether.org, where the final report of the Saguaro Seminar is now available.