The Center for the Study of Liberty teamed up with American Philanthropic to host a dinner round table on the foundations and future of civil society. Twenty guests gathered to explore the idea of voluntary association, and how, for a large part of our history, citizens came together to discuss, debate, and solve social problems. They looked at how our public discourse has changed with the advent of social media, which draws into sharper focus the vast differences of opinion and values in our society.
During the discussion, guests unpacked three diverse perspectives on the health of our country and the cure for our fractured social bonds. In preparation for the event, they read an argument against finding common ground, an analysis of how markets relate to America's social fabric, and a case for hope in the "American project" of individual freedom and peaceful co-existence.
With the guidance of moderator Jeremy Beer, attendees investigated how the American conception of civil society has evolved over time. They asked questions about the proper role of civil society in relation to the government and to the private sector, and discussed what values we should favor to in order to rebuild civil society in the America of today.
6:00 PM – Opening Reception
6:30 PM – Welcome, introductions, and dinner
7:00 PM – Opening comments by leader
7:15 PM – Discussion
8:45 PM – Closing