Creating Citizens

What is Creating Citizens?

Creating Citizens is The Commonwealth Club’s civics education initiative. Building on more than 118 years of nonpartisan civil dialogue at The Commonwealth Club, Creating Citizens brings students and educators into the conversation.

Civil dialogue is fundamental to a healthy democracy, yet our nation is more polarized and divisive than ever. We know young people are watching and listening, and we know they want to speak up. Creating Citizens gives them this chance.

Programs feature civic leaders from across the ideological spectrum, thinkers and influencers young people respect, and youth themselves. Students develop their own perspectives on complex issues and learn the power of mutually respectful dialogue in a diverse society.

Join us as we work together to create the next generation of active, empowered citizens. Our democracy depends on it.

2023 Graduates

Congratulations 2023 Graduates

Did you just graduate from high school or college? Are you about to? Maybe you know somebody who is? We want recent graduates—from the class of 2023—to continue learning and exchanging ideas AFTER they graduate. So if you are a recent graduate, we are now offering you a FREE one-year membership to The Commonwealth Club.

The Commonwealth Club will keep you informed and connected. Every year we host hundreds of dynamic conversations on climate change, racial justice, politics, food systems, social movements, entertainment, wellness, pop culture and more

Click here to activate your membership

California Book Awards for Youth

Participate in the California Book Awards

To celebrate more than 92 years of the California Book Awards, we invite readers aged 13 and older to read with us and share your responses to the 2023 finalists!

To ensure that everyone can participate, free books can be sent to people, schools and organizations with financial need. Email for more information.

Learn more


Our Team
Dr. Lauren Silver

Lauren Silver, vice president for education, launched Creating Citizens in 2020. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and has been an educator in museums, pre-K–12 classrooms, and universities for more than 25 years. Before joining The Commonwealth Club, Lauren founded the education department at the Computer History Museum; worked at Stanford University as an education curator at the Cantor Arts Center and a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education; and she was a family education specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Griffith Swidler
Griffith Swidler, school partnerships manager, joined the Creating Citizens initiative in 2022. His background is in community development and education. Before joining The Commonwealth Club, Griffith worked for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, taught secondary school in France, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo.