SAGE honored best-selling author Robert Putnam as its 2015 Visiting SAGE. Presenting to over 400 guests, Putnam discussed his newest best-seller Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, which looks at the growing barriers to upward mobility faced by children and families.
Putnam is a highly-acclaimed professor of public policy at Harvard University who served as an advisor to three presidents. He has received the Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in political science, and the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. He has written fifteen books, including Bowling Alone, the seminal work on the decline of social interaction in America.
At the event, Putnam shared a personal and authoritative look at the growing opportunity gap in our country, how and why the American dream of opportunity is broken, and ways in which we can work to restore its promise. Recapping the event, Ward Greene, President of SAGE, said “Putnam inspired us to focus on the things that made our country great and what we need to do to restore the promise of the American dream. SAGE is providing concrete opportunities for older adults to help younger and future generations, right here in Oregon.”
The purpose of the Visiting SAGE program is to spotlight visionaries who inspire people to serve and advocate for younger and future generations. This year’s event was co-presented by Literary Arts and the Chalkboard Project, with financial support provided by the Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation, and a reception sponsored by Beneficial State Bank. Promotional sponsors and other supporters included the Coalition for a Livable Future, Onward Oregon, SMART, Oregonian Media Group, World Affairs Council of Oregon, First Congregational United Church of Christ, and Et Fille Wines.