Interactivity Foundation's Newsletter 1.2
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Crime & Punishment:
Racial Discrimination and Civil Rights

 - Pete Shively
Crime and Punishment is the Interactivity Foundation’s most recently published discussion guide. This guidebook presents five broad “possibilities” or frameworks for public policy for addressing the current and future challenges of our criminal justice system. 
Although there is no single possibility among the five that is solely concerned with issues of racial discrimination and civil rights, these issues are inextricably intertwined with every aspect of our crime and punishment policies and with each of the five possibilities. In fact, in the view of those who contributed to the development of this guidebook, race—and to only a slightly lesser extent economic class—is so central to how we define, enforce and punish crime that it is impossible and misleading to separate it into a single possibility. Instead, issues of racial discrimination and civil rights are, sadly, part of the whole and every part of Crime & Punishment just as harmful bacteria are present everywhere in the world around and within us:  in the air, water, soil, on our skin and in our bloodstream. (read more)

IF, Civility, and Our Community

- Adolf Gunderson
Look at recent events in DC, and you’ll find all the proof you are likely to need that civility is a precondition of reasoned discussion.  What’s maybe not intuitively obvious is that politics can just as easily work the other way around: thoughtful discussion can produce civility.  That’s important because to succeed as a society, we need not only working institutions, but also citizens that are capable of adapting those structures to changing circumstances and then running them effectively.  People keep talking about “fixing the system.”  Institutions, structures, and systems are undeniably important.  But who is to do the fixing—now and over the long haul—if not competent citizens?  (read more)
Featured Article:

IF in the Online Classroom

- Shannon Wheatley Hartman 

Online education went mainstream years ago. Conservative figures from the Department of Education indicate that over five million college students took an online course in 2012. The Babson Survey Research Group, which has been collecting data on distance learning since 2002, puts that number above seven million. Despite the discrepancy, both studies found that online learning is on the upswing. Ninety percent of academic leaders believe that it is likely that a majority of all higher education students will be taking at least one online course in five years’ time. Two-thirds of chief academic officers believe that there will be substantial use of student-directed, self-paced components in future online courses. The same percentage of academic leaders report that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy. Despite these growing trends in online education, educators still feel unsettled—disturbed even—by online courses. (read more)


Growth Through Discussion in Wisconsin

- James Schneider

Wisconsin is a great place for cheese, football and discussions? 
Wisconsin facilitators (IF-WI) have completed 28 discussions during 2013 and will continue at a similar pace through 2014. Several of our facilitators have used the newly released IF reports with groups already familiar with IF discussions while also introducing new audiences to IF using some of our more popular existing topics. (read more)

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New Reports Have Been Released

Three new reports have been released for public discussion. Please feel free to follow the links listed below:
  1. The Future of Arts in Society
  2. The Future of Family
  3. Crime and Punishment

March's newsletter will feature:

  • Highlights about IF's work in China
  • A description of the upcoming report on Water
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