The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University was established in 2017 as an interdisciplinary institute to explore the vulnerabilities in civil discourse in the United States and around the world and to foster the open exchange of ideas that is the cornerstone of healthy democracies.

This institute draws its name and inspiration from the ancient Athenian agora. Originally designed as a marketplace, the agora grew into the heart of democratic governance in Athens, a central space of conversation and debate for citizens. To this day, it remains an enduring symbol of the promise of engaged and inclusive dialogue.

Leveraging the unique strengths of Johns Hopkins – its world-class faculty, its interdisciplinary focus, and its dedication to bold experimentation – the institute will seek to reinvigorate the ethos of the ancient agora for the 21st century. Scholars of the institute will undertake probing studies into the decline of modern dialogue and decision-making, develop and test innovative reforms to reverse this trend, and share lessons learned to promote open discussion and debate on the critical issues of our time.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare.

The SNF funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.