• Romesh Ratnesar
    Deputy Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Paul Steiger
    Founding editor-in-chief and former CEO of ProPublica
  • Katharine Zaleski
    Co-founder and President, Power to Fly
  • Charles Best
    Founder and CEO,
  • Heather McGhee
    President, Demos

NationSwell Council members have access to


Meetings with America’s leading problem-solvers
Jeffersonian-style dinners to unpack and advance solutions
Introductions to the broader NationSwell network of innovators
Opportunities for direct service and impact

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  • “NationSwell gives the opportunity for a wider view of how America is actually becoming a better place.”
  • “Such an incomparably high-energy, engaged group! Loved the forum and the chance to put so many good people to work to solve a pressing challenge.”
  • “I left inspired with new ideas for service. I find NationSwell to be a refreshing oasis in the New York of today."
  • "Those were the best questions and suggestions I have ever gotten."

Members of the NationSwell Council know that America faces challenges.
They also believe that those problems are solvable.
Council members are committed to advancing innovations that:

  • bridge the OPPORTUNITY divide
  • make GOVERNMENT work
  • preserve our ENVIRONMENT

“A group of successful people from multiple fields… who are passionate about service to others”

Council events are intimate forums in which members engage in collaborative discussions with featured guests and one another around important national challenges, efforts to solve those challenges, and how best to advance the solutions.

  • Rose Kirk
    March 7, 2017

    Implicit Bias (New York City)

    The Council will host a shared discussion on implicit bias — the attitudes and stereotypes we hold towards other people without our conscious knowledge. Together, we will share learnings on how to recognize implicit bias personally and in the workplace as well as what we can do to address it.

  • max stier
    March 8, 2017

    NationSwell Forum: Big Citizenship (Washington, D.C.)

    Join the Council for a forum on civic engagement, big citizenship, and public service in a divisive era. Together with Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, we will gather to learn from each other about the deep divisions uncovered this past year and how best to tap into our reservoirs of good will + shared values in pursuit of solutions.

  • timleberecht
    March 16, 2017

    Beautiful Business (New York City)

    In a time of automation and robots, NationSwell Council member and humanist business leader Tim Leberecht believes that the only work left for humans is the kind of work that must be done beautifully. Over dinner, Tim will share a new framework that defines a “beautiful organization” as open, mindful, caring, and artistic. It applies to both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

  • mic
    March 22, 2017

    NationSwell Forum: We The People (San Francisco)

    Join the Council for a forum on the role of cross-sector and community-driven solutions to move past our national divisions. Together with Council member Lenny Mendonca, who contends that “Progressive Federalism” represents the most constructive path forward, we’ll discuss the greatest opportunities to strengthen and expand social capital and rebuild trust across the country.

  • avlon
    March 22, 2017

    NationSwell Forum: The Evolving Role of Media (New York City)

    Join the Council for a forum on the evolving role of media and journalism in a new information environment. Together with John Avlon, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, we’ll discuss what it means to be a journalist in 2017, the causes of stratified media, and its effect on our democracy.

  • john allen
    March 23, 2017

    A Conversation with General John Allen (Washington, D.C.)

    General (Ret.) John Allen, former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, will join the Council for a wide-ranging conversation on leadership, national security, and America’s future.

  • Nederland, Leiden, 08-10-2010
Parag Khanna is Directeur van the Global Governance Initiative and Senior Research Fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.
Foto ; Arenda Oomen
    March 27, 2017

    Redesigning Government for the 21st Century (New York City)

    Parag Khanna, globalization scholar and author of Technocracy in America, will join the Council to discuss what a redesigned U.S. government better suited for the needs of the 21st century might look like. Drawing on the examples of cutting edge countries around the globe, we will learn about pragmatic ideas that have been proven to work in other societies and consider their potential application in America.

  • jeffrey walker
    March 28, 2017

    Systems Entrepreneurship (New York City)

    Social entrepreneurs face more complex challenges today than ever before. Join Council member Jeff Walker and resident experts for a discussion on the levers that leaders of social enterprises can pull to effectively change systems and maximize direct impact.

  • jonathan haidt
    April 4, 2017

    A Conversation with Jonathan Haidt (New York City)

    Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind,” will join the Council for a discussion on evidence-based methods for overcoming our national political divide. Jonathan started to promote intergroup civility and mutual understanding. Together, we will discuss ideas for tackling social issues in a way that dampens polarization, rather than ratcheting up discord.

  • emily cherniack
    April 12, 2017

    Running for Office (New York City)

    There are 500,000 elected positions in the United States. In a time of national division and concern over the future of our country, many more citizens are considering running for office on the local, state, or national level for the first time. This Council breakfast is geared towards members who are considering running for office and interested in learning how to navigate the experience. We will be joined by resident experts who have firsthand experience running for office as well as Emily Cherniack, founder of New Politics, which recruits and supports military veterans and national service alumni to run for office.

  • andrew yang
    March 2, 2017

    Generation Startup Film Screening (San Francisco)

    Council member and Venture for America (VFA) Founder and CEO Andrew Yang will join the Council for a special film screening and discussion of “Generation Startup,” the documentary capturing the struggles and triumphs of six VFA fellows who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. The film delivers a critical call to action to revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship.

  • 210-georgia-levenson-keohane
    March 1, 2017

    Innovative Finance: Investing in our Shared Future (New York City)

    The Council will host a shared discussion about the ways in which innovative finance is helping to tackle our most urgent problems. We will be joined by resident experts including Georgia Levenson Keohane, Executive Director of the Pershing Square Foundation and author of Capital and the Common Good.

  • reshma
    February 23, 2017

    Women and Girls in the Digital Economy (New York City)

    Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and Haley Van Dyck, Co-Founder of the US Digital Service, will join the Council for a discussion on expanding opportunity for women and girls in the emerging digital economy. Together, we’ll discuss solutions to build greater equity and diversity in important fields that have been historically homogenous, including science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.

  • brittany packnett
    February 16, 2017

    A Conversation with Brittany Packnett (San Francisco)

    Brittany Packnett, Black Lives Matter movement leader, Teach for America Vice President of National Community Alliances, and Campaign Zero Co-Founder, will join the Council for a discussion on race, equality, and social justice. Together, we’ll examine the roots, purpose, and goals of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as policy solutions that can create a more just and equitable country.

  • Whitehouse-062609-18447- 0005
    February 7, 2017

    A Conversation with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Washington, D.C.)

    U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will join the NSC for a discussion focused on public leadership and the need to act on climate change. In addition to his commitment to environmental issues, Senator Whitehouse is also the author of “Buffett Rule” legislation, which ensures that individuals earning more than a million dollars annually pay at least the same share of their income as those in the middle class. He is a strong advocate for job creation, strengthening small businesses, and economic fairness.

  • ranaforoohar
    February 1, 2017

    The Future of the American Economy: A Conversation with Rana Foroohar (New York City)

    Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor at TIME magazine and author of Makers and Takers, will join the Council for a discussion on the future of the American economy. Together, we’ll discuss key lessons from the financial crisis of 2008, continued vulnerabilities of the financial system, and solutions to ensure a better and more sustainable economic future.

  • 161115_NationSwell_0456
    January 26, 2017

    NationSwell Live! (New York City)

    Join us for the next edition of NationSwell Live! where we’ll enjoy good food, drink, and company. NationSwell Live! is designed to showcase the incredible leaders who comprise the Council and to build new connections and community. Council members will take the stage and present creative, hopeful ideas on being at our best.

  • jonathanlippman
    January 25, 2017

    Access to Justice (New York City)

    Former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will join the Council for a discussion on access to justice. Together, we will explore challenges and solutions in the criminal justice system, including legal services for low-income Americans and what it would take to achieve equal access to justice for all.

  • twinkle-lights-for-new-years-eve
    January 19, 2017

    SF New Year’s Party

    Join the Council for an evening of celebration as we usher in the new year.

  • arlierussellhochschild
    January 12, 2017

    A Conversation with Arlie Hochschild (San Francisco)

    Renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers In Their Own Land, will join the Council for a lunch discussion on her experience getting to know people in deep red Louisiana bayou country, building empathy and understanding for the emotions that have given rise to our current political climate, and finding common ground. She will suggest solutions that address the great divide in our country and can pave the way forward.

“The NationSwell Council - a membership network of innovators”