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Breaking ground on a new Agora to facilitate discourse in a polarized world

Nov 17, 2021
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University is on its way to having a beautiful campus home where its growing faculty can host events and engage with the public, furthering its mission of fostering the sort of open and inclusive discourse that is essential to the health of our democracy.

On November 15, a ceremony marked two key milestones in the SNF Agora Institute’s  continuing development: a groundbreaking for the new building and the installation of a significant cohort of new faculty. Work on the construction site is already underway, and the building, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, is expected to open in 2023.

The celebration included a welcome for the new scholars who joined the SNF Agora Institute this year, more than doubling the size of its faculty. In keeping with the spirit of the institute, the new faculty hail from a range of disciplines, from history to sociology to political science.

Meet the new cohort of faculty

“Educational institutions like Johns Hopkins are in the position to lead us in this effort of making our world a better place for all,” remarked SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “Initiatives like the Agora, focusing on what may seem like simple notions of civic engagement and civil discourse, can hopefully contribute to such causes in a significant way. But we have to make sure we are not complacent, we take nothing for granted, and we try to collectively inspire leaders of all life’s ‘denominations’ to trust our vision and mission so that what we can offer becomes relevant, just, productive, and effective.”

Read Andreas’s full remarks

Created in 2018 through a $150 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the SNF Agora Institute brings together experts from political science, psychology, philosophy, and other disciplines to translate scholarly insights into actionable knowledge that can make pluralistic democracy more resilient.

Learn more about SNF’s work supporting civic engagement and civil discourse