Programs & Publications

Public Agenda’s Hidden Common Ground® initiative challenges the narrative that Americans are hopelessly divided and incapable of working together. Through research, journalism, and public engagement, Hidden Common Ground helps Americans identify and strengthen their common ground, productively navigate their differences, and create fair and effective solutions to the challenges of our time.

Hidden Common Ground explores issues including overcoming divisiveness, responses to the coronavirus, health care, economic opportunity, racism and police reform, and immigration.

The Kettering Foundation is a research partner of the Hidden Common Ground initiative. Hidden Common Ground is supported by a diverse group of foundations including Carnegie Corporation of New Yorkthe John S. and James L. Knight Foundationthe Charles Koch InstituteRockefeller Brothers FundCivic Health Project and through the generosity of individual donors.

Learn more about Hidden Common Ground.

The New York Metro Agenda is our program specifically serving our home city and region through nonpartisan research, cutting-edge public engagement and local events. 

New York is our home base. It is also a hotbed of democratic innovation, and we are supporting this civic energy through actionable research, cutting-edge democratic practices, and thought-provoking events. Recent local projects have supported better health care services for low-income families; better small businesses/community relations; and collaboration between residents and scientists on environmental resilience in Jamaica Bay.

Recent work:

Avenue NYC

Cycles of Resilience - Jamaica Bay

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Healthier Democracies, a new initiative by Public Agenda, works to strengthen American democracy by sharing best practices and innovations from around the world. The project identifies promising global case studies of community engagement and offers recommendations for American public officials. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the initiative lays out a path to equitable, deliberative and collaborative relationships between governments and the communities they serve. The views expressed here don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Jeni Arndt, Mayor of Fort Collins, Colorado

Rosie Berger, Former Wyoming State Representative (R)

David Blount, Mississippi State Senator (D)

Tanisha Briley, City Manager, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Tom Carroll, Village Manager, Silverton, Ohio

Misty Mason Freeman, Director of the Legislative Policy and Research Office, Oregon State Legislature

Maria Hadden, 49th Ward Alderwoman, City of Chicago

Stacy Householder, Director, Leadership and International Programs, National Conference of State Legislators

Nigel Jacob, Co-Chair, Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics

Manish Jani, IT Director and Deputy Director, Colorado Legislative Council

Valerie Lemmie, Director of Exploratory Research, Kettering Foundation

Doug Linkhart, President, National Civic League

Pete Peterson, Dean, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University

Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin

Claire Woodall-Vogg, Executive Director, City of Milwaukee Election Commission