Generational Leaders

At, we talk a lot about civic ethics and about learning to be civic ethicists. We are, in fact, preparing the groundwork for imagining and developing a new field: civic and public ethics.  But what does that mean? And what is a civic ethicist? What does it take to become one? And why does a community need civic ethicists? 

We're hoping to answer those questions in forming Generational Leaders. is a new type of local organization dedicated to advancing a new idea:  Our communities benefit when people educate each other to become independent critics and fair-minded civic troubleshooters on local issues with ethical significance… and when they act on behalf of everyone to improve the places where we work, play and live.

As part of our mission, we’re striving to broaden civic discussion and increase public engagement, both through traditional approaches and events, and by introducing new models and programs. 

Because the making and mentoring of civic ethicists requires mutual encouragement and education across the generations, we decided that one of the best ways to achieve this particular goal was by establishing a group of early adapters. That, in essence, is where the Generational Leaders begins. 

Recognizing the value of experience, we've patterned our "new idea" on successful mentor programs initiated by other organizations from across the nonprofit world.  In many cases, these programs are designed to bring new people into the fold and to support the unique mission of the group. All for the good.

Given that we are socially minded, it's only natural that we would want to connect with others who welcome not only a chance to socialize, but also to discuss issues and ideas that impact our lives and have ethical consequences for the places where we work, play and live.



  • Mentoring and being mentored
  • Socializing with open-minded individuals
  • Being receptive to listening and learning about different perspectives and solutions
  • Discussing the various ways ethical issues impact our lives and our shared communities
  • Bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Helping to develop and acknowledge the skills of civic ethicists in the places where we live
Generational Leaders: Annual Reception and Launch
Each of our board members will choose one or two individuals to mentor—or be mentored by—for a year.  Although these mentors and mentees are likely to be a diverse group, with eclectic interests and varied backgrounds, they will all have some common concerns and interests.  Specifically:
  • They will be values-driven individuals
  • Who are interested in exploring and sharing how ethical perspectives can be applied to issues of great importance to everyone, 
  • Who enjoy participating in lively give-and-take discussions on ethics-related topics,
  • Who are looking to expand their professional networks and support groups,
  • And who are eager to connect with other open-minded people. 

Generational Leaders: Eating and Meeting
During the year, will host three Generational Leader Dine and Discuss Forums on ethics-related topics that are local in nature, but have national implications and consequences.
Topics for the year will be determined by Generational Leader participants. Possible forums might address the challenges of financing access to high quality education for all children, the ethical impact of health care reform on the elderly, the implications of long-term unemployment, and the wise use of natural resources for sporting activities.
Generational Leaders: The Good of Mentors
By providing an opportunity for participants to meet new people and talk with big-picture experts, Generational Leaders will offer:
  • A valuable mentoring experience
  • A unique opportunity to grow professional networks
  • The ability to introduce ethical perspectives into local policy debates
And it may even give the civic ethicist an influential and enduring role. One that is meaningful and beneficial to the community. And one that creates leaders mindful of ethics for generations to come.
If you'd like to receive updates about Generational Leaders  and learn more about Dine and Discuss Forum podcasts, along with information on how is cultivating civic ethics where we live, please contact us at: [email protected]