Important Resources


Our elite class system is the predominant political and social force in our country at this time. And it has been that way since the beginning of not only our country but virtually all Western societies. 

In spite of this America is rich in democratic practices, attitudes, dispositions, organizations, systems, traditions, and committed people. In order to grow our democracy we must use and develop all of these resources as well as create more powerful ones.

In this section we list significant organizations and people who are behind growing our democracy, not just fixing what we have. Our list has four categories: Culture, Group Dynamics, Organizing, and Practice.

We see these as the four key elements in building a long-term democracy movement driven by everyday people in all of our diversity. These four categories are also the primary areas of concentration in our Growing Democracy Learning Labs.

We have begun this list in September 2023, and will add to it continuously. Please contact us if there are people or organizations you think belong on our lists, and tell us why.

Thank you and enjoy your explorations of our resources.

Digital organizing makes mailing lists and raises money. Relational organizing does that while it creates meaning and power. If we want to grow our democracy to become the predominant social and political force, everyday people have to organize on a scale that will meet the scale of the challenges.

“Using power with others… is about attending to more needs of more people, thereby adding both to their power, their capacity to mobilize resources to meet their own needs, as well as to the whole. Time and time again I am astonished by seeing that bringing in more needs results in solutions that tend to be more creative and more robust. I mourn how many people live and die without having this magical experience, because explaining it takes the life out of it…” (Miki Kashtan, “Transforming Power Relations: The Invisible Revolution”)

Braver Angels, Inc.

Brings Red and Blue everyday people together to hear and understand each other and build relationships. 

America’s polarization crisis has been building for decades and is now deeply rooted in our major institutions. Turning the tide is an enormous task; it requires repair in citizen-to-citizen relationships in a nation of 260 million adults, as well as meaningful changes in the rules and practices of many of our major institutions.No single organization, no matter how successful, will be powerful enough on its own to heal the divide. If our aim is truly to strengthen our democratic republic, our only practical strategy is to help ignite and shape what scholars and others call a social movement, and what we call a Civic Renewal Movement.

Center for Efficient Collaboration

They describe themselves as a “collaboration consultancy that helps organizations tap their full potential and guides multi-stakeholder groups to alignment.” 

They work from a big picture of “a world full of groups and organizations whose collaborative culture and awareness of shared purpose infuses everything they do. Their grounding in purpose drives them to align practices with values, prioritize effectiveness and resource-efficiency, and stretch to reach decisions that serve their mission. Their collaborative way of working means they co-create outcomes that attend to what’s important for everyone involved.”

We have worked with two of their members, and this is why we are listing them as an important resource.

Industrial Areas Foundation

The IAF partners with religious congregations and civic organizations at the local level to build broad-based organizing projects, which create new capacity in a community for leadership development, citizen-led action and relationships across the lines that often divide our communities.

The IAF… is widely recognized as having the strongest track record in the nation for citizen leadership development… 

The IAF, which includes the West / Southwest IAF and Metro IAF, currently works with thousands of religious congregations, non-profits, civic organizations and unions, in more than sixty-five cities across the United States and in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Partners in Health

PIH's community-based model…pioneered in Haiti has been training and hiring thousands of accompagnateurs (community health workers). The use of accompagnateurs is one of the most effective ways of removing structural barriers to adequate treatment of HIV and other chronic diseases while increasing job growth in communities that desperately require employment to further benefit the community's social structure. 

The PIH model of accompagnateur care is outlined in the 5-SPICE framework, a scholarly article detailing the tenets of a successful community health worker program.

Netflix documentary, Bending the Arc, tells the story of how PIH began and developed.

Prosocial World

The science of ProSocial World is centered on studying and stewarding positive cultural evolution in any group on Earth.
ProSocial helps foster collaboration within and between groups at multiple scales – emulating the cooperation of a multicellular super-organism.
Our science-based approach…can be applied to all topic areas (e.g., health, education, business, sustainability, spirituality...) and all scales from small groups to large networks and organizations, to the whole planet.
Modern evolutionary science tells us that…transformative change does not happen through force, but by changing contexts to reinforce certain behaviors and cultural traits over others.

The science of ProSocial is focused on understanding and fostering social contexts in which individual and group interests are aligned, such that cooperative behaviors are reinforced more than selfish behaviors. These prosocial groups act more like a single organism, rather than a collection of individuals.

Presencing Institute

Growing out of the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, the Presencing Institute (PI)… supports organizations, businesses and governments to make the transformations that will allow them to achieve their highest future potential.

PI supports organizations, businesses and governments to make the transformations that will allow them to achieve their highest future potential.

PI works with each organization to co-design processes that shift the behaviors and practices within teams and with key stakeholders in order to generate better results for everyone, and allowing them to lead from the future as it emerges.