Finding Common Purpose
About This Blog
Finding Common Purpose is a blog about building a 21st Century Social Contract so that more people are born healthy, gain a quality education, secure a well-paying job, and live a healthy and secure life. It is written by Andrew Wolk, founder & CEO of Root Cause.
In Finding Common Purpose, I will be exploring important—indeed, fundamental—questions about the work Root Cause and others engage in, focused on whether our efforts are making enough of a difference in the context of ensuring lifelong success for individuals, families, and communities from healthy birth to a quality education, a well-paying job, and healthy and secure aging.
I see this blog as kind of self-interrogation in which I pose these questions in public, think out loud about the answers, and encourage a conversation with you, the reader, as well as through interviews with people from government, nonprofits, the business sector, philanthropies, and communities nationwide.
Finding Common Purpose is born of the same culture of inquiry and commitment to continuous learning and improvement that has shaped Root Cause’s practice for fifteen years and grounds our mission today. My aim is for us to consider, together, what our Common Purpose really is. A starting point is a firm belief that what we have all been building over the past decades can be harnessed in the twenty-first century as a major force to help bridge the growing divisiveness in American society and enable more people to achieve lifelong success.
1/20/20 - In my blog post closing out 2019, I revisited the question I posed in March when I first launched this Finding Common Purpose blog: To what end? The question is so central, so important, that it cannot be asked too much. I’m starting out my 2020 posts by posing it again, in the context of where the blog is heading...
School is the Means—A Good Paying Job Should Be the End
12/23/19 - To what end? That’s the question I posed back in March when I launched the blog Finding Common Purpose. It’s a question I continue to pose to myself and to the tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations, myriad government programs at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels, thousands of foundations...
Raising College Graduation Rates: A Conversation with Dana Dunn of UNCG
12/9/19 - For the past several posts, I’ve been exploring one particular span of the pathway to lifelong success: the transition from high school to college or some other post-secondary education/training and on the way to a good-paying job.
Why Do So Many Low-Income College Students Drop Out? A Conversation with Patrick Rametti, Director of College Completion at Uncommon Schools: Part II
11/18/19 - My last post, “It’s the Academics Stupid!,” introduced Patrick Rametti, Director of College Completion at Uncommon Schools—an organization that manages 54 nonprofit, charter public schools, kindergarten through high school, in urban locations in ...
It’s the Academics, Stupid! A Conversation with Patrick Rametti, Director of College Completion at Uncommon Schools: Part I
11/4/2019 - Do you know that 38% of undergraduates are at public two-year colleges? That of the remaining 62%, three-fourths attend four-year public colleges and universities? Or that overall, only 11% of students from the lowest-income quartile graduate within six years—and that 40% never finish?
Whiteness Opens Doors: A Discussion with David Delmar Senties, Part II
10/21/19 - When David Delmar Senties faces hurdles to get more companies on board as employers of Resilient Coders graduates, his “whiteness” allows him to jump over them. I ended my last blog post with a promise to tell you the details.
Do Classism and Racism Keep People from Being Hired? A Discussion with David Delmar Senties
10/7/19 - I’ve been thinking a lot about the “handoff” problem between different points along the pathway to lifelong success, and in my most recent posts I’ve focused on the transition from high school to some kind of post-secondary education or training that results in a good-paying job. To help ensure the success of a young person...