• 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.

  • July 25, 2017

    An Economic Vision for the Future (BOS)

    We’ll gather a group of NSC resident experts and a few special guests for a deeply thoughtful conversation about the many dimensions of a renewed American economy and a prosperous future. We’ll explore the range of economic issues facing our country – stagnation, productivity, and income inequality (just to name a few) – and, together, reflect, ideate, and aim to paint brushstrokes around what this better future could look like and the roadmap to get there.

  • August 10, 2017

    Summer Social (NYC)

    Join the NSC for an informal evening of drinks + conversation! There is no agenda or featured speaker, just a time to come together and engage with other members of the Council community. Ahead of the event we’ll connect you with fellow members we think you’d be interested in meeting.

  • August 10, 2017

    Summer Social (SF)

    Join the NSC for an evening of drinks + conversation! Rather than a formal program, this will be a dedicated time to come together and connect with other members of the Council community. Ahead of the event we’ll curate groups of fellow members who we think you’d be interested in meeting.

  • August 15, 2017

    Ecosystems for Entrepreneurship (DC)

    Building a healthy ecosystem for social and traditional ​ventures requires all members of a community to play a part. In a forthcoming report from ​Halcyon Incubator with collaboration from ​Deloitte​, UMD, and others, DC ranks highly in U.S. cities equipped to support diverse, inclusive ​social ​entrepreneurship. As the District looks to address social, business, and governmental challenges in the years ahead, we will hear from leaders across the DC social entrepreneurship landscape about what it takes to foster a healthy ecosystem and the barriers and opportunities that lie ahead​ in this burgeoning and ever changing landscape​.

  • August 16, 2017

    Storytelling for Change (NYC)

    Join resident experts, including Council members Rakia Reynolds, President of Skai Blue Media, Raeshem Nijhon, Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Fictionless, and Thaler Pekar, CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners for a discussion on the power of storytelling to advance social change and generate impact. Together, we’ll explore real world examples of storytelling leading to large scale impact and consider lessons we can take away to accelerate progress on the issues we care about most.

  • September 27, 2017

    Environmental Vision for the Future (NYC)

    We face a range of environmental challenges — climate change, ocean health, and species extinction to name a few. There’s even a sense that we may have crossed the point of no return. How can we overcome a growing sense of cynicism? What measures can we take to improve the current situation? What does a new environmental vision for the future of look like? Join a group of NSC resident experts for a deeply thoughtful conversation on how to produce a renewed environmental future. Together, we will reflect, ideate, and aim to paint brushstrokes around what that better future could look like and the roadmap to get there.

  • July 19, 2017

    Immigration in America: A Conversation with Ali Noorani (NYC)

    NSC member Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, will join the NSC for a hopeful conversation on immigration and the changing American identity. Ali’s recent book, “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration” has been widely praised as a valuable look past the national headlines and into the realities impacting people locally.

  • July 19, 2017

    Bridging the Digital Divide (SF)

    One in four households are without a home internet connection. Technology drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education, with especially little access in low-income communities. Together with Chike Aguh (CEO of EveryoneOn) and Hadi Partovi (founder and CEO of we’ll discuss how low-income and minority Americans disproportionately find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide, and we’ll explore solutions to expand access and increase equity.

  • July 13, 2017

    Data in the 21st Century: Exploring our Shared Values (DC)

    The conversation around data collection, storage, and usage has seeped into every facet of our lives. Like technology, “data” is inherently neutral but, through application, has both the capacity to do harm and accelerate progress. Join NSC resident experts including Datacoup director Glenn Nye (NYC) and SPQR Strategies founder & principal Tim Sparapani (DC) for a discussion about the shared norms and values our society might apply to the collection and use of data, how to bring about a more nuanced public understanding of data-related issues, and the (non) policy-based approaches we can take to apply our shared values.

  • July 12, 2017

    Prosperity Through Diplomacy: A Conversation with Tom Nides (NYC)

    Tom Nides, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, will join the NSC for a discussion on strengthening the American economy and creating prosperity through diplomacy. Tom will share with us his take on the current geopolitical and economic climate, reflections from his experience at the State Department, and his vision for building shared prosperity by leveraging international relations in the decades to come.

  • July 11, 2017

    The Future of Work (NYC)

    Join the NSC and resident experts for a conversation on the future of work. Together, we’ll explore the changing dynamics affecting the workforce and consider scalable, sustainable small business-focused strategies that build bridges from legacy jobs to new jobs. While much of the national discussion is premised on keeping large corporations in America and retraining workers for those jobs, there is a huge opportunity to leverage the nation’s thriving small business ecosystem to keep Americans purposefully employed.

  • June 27, 2017

    National Security in a New Era: A Conversation with Ambassador William J. Burns

    Ambassador William J. Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Deputy Secretary of State, will join the NSC for a wide-ranging conversation on U.S. foreign policy in a changing international landscape. Ambassador Burns will discuss his role on the Iran nuclear deal, the changing U.S. relationship with Russia, and the biggest international challenges he sees over the next decade.

  • May 23, 2017

    An Economic Vision for the Future (New York City)

    America faces a range of economic challenges — stagnation, productivity, and income inequality to name a few. What does a new economic vision for the future of the country look like? Join a group of NSC resident experts for a deeply thoughtful conversation about how the many facets can come together to produce a renewed American economy and a prosperous future. Together, we will reflect, ideate, and aim to paint brushstrokes around what that better future could look like and the roadmap to get there.

  • May 18, 2017

    National Service Symposium: Cross-Sector Collaboration (New York City)

    In a time of deep national division, a shared experience rooted in citizenship holds the promise to transcend differences, increase proximity, and bring Americans together in common cause. Join NationSwell and Service Year Alliance for a special symposium on national service from 2:00 – 6:00pm. Over the course of the afternoon, participants will learn from expert speakers about the pivotal role of public-private partnerships and cross-sector collaboration, roll up their sleeves, and work together to help realize the vision of the service year as a new civic rite of passage.

  • May 11, 2017

    The Politics of Education (New York City)

    A group of NSC resident experts will discuss how to move politics forward — nationally and locally — in order to attain better outcomes in education. Together, we’ll explore not only what can be done on a policy level, but also the political realities that must first be addressed to foster an environment in which smart ideas can be implemented.

  • May 9, 2017

    Reimagining Criminal Justice (San Francisco)

    Adam Foss, ‎former assistant district attorney at Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and co-founder and president of Prosecutor Integrity believes we need to completely reinvent the role of prosecutors in our criminal justice system. Foss will share with the Council his vision with the Council for a US justice system built on opportunity, support, and community rather than punishment. He contends that prosecutors wield enormous power and by changing their approach, we can create a system that is both more economically efficient and more just.

“The NationSwell Council - a membership network of innovators”