Fortifying America’s Civic Foundations

    It starts with Franklin

    The Franklin Project is building a community of civic leaders promoting the legacy and mindset of Benjamin Franklin to fortify our democracy.

    The Franklin Project will incubate and advance civic innovations that tackle the systemic roots of exclusion, inequality, and distrust that have prevented our democracy from flourishing. During a time when our political culture is coarsening and our economy is suffering, the example of Franklin — the consummate bridge-builder and practical problem solver — represents a model of American leadership that must be better understood and implemented across the country.
    The Franklin Project seeks to harness the best in people to improve themselves and their community; the Project will work to incubate new ideas and partnerships to support the next generation of American civic leaders and social entrepreneurs to restore the promise of the  American Dream.

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    Promoting Franklin’s pre-partisan civic values of humility, collaboration, and practical innovation.

    The Franklin Project seeks to promote Franklin’s legacy and ethos as a roadmap to success in the 21rst century. We will work towards this goal the same way Franklin would: through entrepreneurship and ingenuity, by bringing people together, by mobilizing resources, and by forging new relationships that surface new collaborations. In particular, the Franklin Project seeks to use Franklin’s Junto Club’s community building technology to create peer groups and partnerships for social entrepreneurs and civic innovators solving concrete problems at the local level.

    Our Inspiration – Ben Franklin

    No one in the United States history did more to create and model the best version of the American character than “Citizen Ben.” That too few citizens are aware of his true legacy represents a national failure that needs to be corrected.
    Franklin was a child of immigrants, a social entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a diplomat, a technologist, and a satirist who arguably had a more positive impact on his city and the United States than anyone else ever has. He exemplifies the Greek character trait of arete — the core moral foundation of Athenian citizens — which translates as excellence for the common good. Called the “first” and the “essential” American, Franklin represents tolerance, respect for difference, humility, and entrepreneurship for the common good.

    He represents a strong belief in people’s ability to put themselves, their society, and the world together to do great things and make substantial improvements.He saw a strong civil society imbued with a continually improving and educated citizenry as the critical bulwark to help America defend freedom and create inclusive prosperity for all.

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    Current Issues

    “We still need Ben” Reckoning with Franklin and Slavery

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Across the country, local governments are deciding what historical figures should remain immortalized on public property. Statues have fallen and names have been stripped from public buildings of history-makers who were on the wrong side of slavery. Should Franklin also be taken down?

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    Franklin Forum 2021

    We are gathering innovators and educators to co-create a new kind of organization to strengthen American democracy and address our common challenges.

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