For the last 25 years, I have worked as a sociologist on the frontlines and frontiers of democracy, particularly on citizen engagement among young people, lower-income families, and people of color. On the frontlines, I’ve worked as an organizer in student, environmental, labor and political party organizations (and once ran for state office) engaging diverse citizens on local to national issues in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, and Washington DC.
On the frontiers of democracy, I’ve worked on grassroots innovations from founding a university labor center, to conducting a deliberative poll, and running a student voter field experiment. In addition, since 2012, I have worked as the founder and director of Learning Life, a nonprofit lab based in Washington DC, to test and develop unconventional grassroots approaches to education and citizen engagement. Learning Life’s work has taken democracy and education from coasters, napkins and fortune cookies in DC restaurants, bars and cafes, to our current work in family diplomacy, organizing dialogues between families across the globe to nurture a more connected and caring world.
As a political sociologist, I write on democracy, citizenship, culture and education. This website includes some of my published and unpublished writings on the above questions, including articles I write for Learning Life as well as those that have been published in the Boston Globe, Orlando Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Albuquerque Journal, and other media outlets in print and online. For more about me, please see my bio page at Learning Life. For my more academic writing, please visit my academia.edu page. For a more complete list of my writings and other work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an updated copy of my CV. Also, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin.
Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about democracy, politics and polarization, how Americans think, citizen diplomacy, or inequality in Washington DC, click here for seminars I offer on those topics. In addition, if you’re (1) with a foundation, nonprofit or government looking to engage citizens, (2) a college student, graduate or young professional looking for ways to advance your career, or (3) a busy freelancer, writer, researcher, small business owner, or manager or director for a small nonprofit, and you’d like to increase your productivity at little to no cost, click here for consulting services I offer that may be just what you need.
Paul Lachelier, Ph.D.