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The Saguaro Seminar on Civic Involvement

The Saguaro Seminar is an ongoing initiative of Professor Robert D. Putnam at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The project focuses on expanding what we know about our levels of trust and community engagement and on developing strategies and efforts to increase this engagement. A signature effort was the multi-year dialogue (1995-2000) on how we can increasingly build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities. The Saguaro Seminar issued the report Better Together (www.bettertogether.org), in December of 2000, calling for a nationwide campaign to redirect a downward spiral of civic apathy. Warning that the national stockpile of "social capital"—our reserve of personal bonds and fellowship—is seriously depleted, the report outlined the framework for sustained, broad-based social change to restore America’s civic virtue.

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