• Help us launch

    Project will launch once we reach 100 funders

  • 3 challenges that bring us together across ideology

    1 million people ready to overcome division
    1 person that can help spark it all, you!

  • Star Unifiers

  • Timeline

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    Title Text

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  •  

    What is our theory of change?


    Social polarization is a dynamic process that can be reversed. Human societies are similar to living systems where individuals impact the whole and vice versa. By empowering individuals with new disruptive skills we can strengthen human connections and build new ones.

     

     

     

     

    PROBLEM

     

    Likeness in ideology shapes our
    group identity

     

    Group identity is defined in opposition to an out-group
     

    When people suffer they blame out-groups and harden boundaries

    SOLUTION

     

    Broaden group identity based on common human experience

     

    Create meaningful opportunities for cross-group interaction


    Empower people with new skills to overcome challenges and suffering

    What problem do we address?

    Freedom of Thought / Freedom of Speech / Democracy / Tolerance / Diversity


    Social Polarization

    Around the world our societies are increasingly divided and polarized. We are divided by narrow identities and us-them ideologies that separate us into in-groups and out-groups.

    Polarization is clearest in the political sphere, but the problem is more widespread. We are divided by schools of thought, faith practices, health choices and myriad other issues.

     

    We define polarization as the moment that we are willing to break off social relationships or create social distance because of perceived differences in identity and ideology.

    What research underpins our work?

     

    In 2018, Bestir Group was engaged by Omidyar Network to study the issue of polarization. Our work focused on biomimicry; that is, examining interdependent systems in the natural world and identifying ways to make human societies resilient against the forces of polarization.

     

    We found that all interdependent systems demonstrate at least five elements: connectivity, diversity, reciprocity, common purpose and oneness, and that by strengthening any of these areas we can strengthen the health of the system as a whole.
     

  • Other ways to help

    Introduce us to your employer

    We have a special plan for organizations.

     

    Are you an employer, CEO, manager?

    We have a special plan for you and your team.

    Know somebody in city government?

    We are working with city councils to pass America Together resolutions and promote the campaign.

    Have journalist friends?

    A warm introduction goes a long way.

    Have influencers friends ?

    We would love to work with them to promote the challenges and will have a budget to pay them.

    Are you a VIP that hangs out with celebrities?

    We would love celebs to model the challenges and have a whole plan for them.

    Own a cafe, restaurant or know somebody who does?

    Any help with hosting "breaking bread" or e.g. offering discounts to participating patrons will help accelerate our efforts.

    Have design and branding skills?

    Help us with the branding of our campaigns, custom artwork or collaborate with influencers to design co branded merchandise.

    Are you a teacher / coach ?

    Embrace America Together challenges with your class or team.

    Do you have a high social following?

    We would love to work with you to promote the challenges and will have a budget to pay if needed.

  • Draft Slides

  • Advisors

    Travis Granfar

    Mission

    Director of Bestir Group and Together. Former attorney with Ropes & Gray LLP, lecturer in ethics and innovation at Parsons New School, volunteer lawyer at Oxfam, NGO delegate at U.N. Subcommittee on Human Rights, entrepreneur and investor.

    Na'im Moore

    Art

    Communications specialist working with MNCs, organizations, and innovators. Clients include Microsoft, NGOs, universities, startups, and prominent authors. Prior development work with UNICEF and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

    Artis Apskalns

    Management

    Business manager at LICIOUS and lvl Design with multiple years of collected experience within marketing, sales and design across various companies and industries. Working with clients such as Civic Financial, Crossknowledge, Comerica, Jackson Lewis and others.

    Marina Terteryan

    Service Design

    Service, transformational experience and systems design. Design instructor at General Assembly.

    Marisol Enciso

    Research

    BA in International Relations. Researcher, analyst and content developer.

    Alya

    Experience

    Founder @ Openthink, an innovation strategy consultancy with a dynamic approach to business challenges producing value through transformative, cutting edge solutions. Innovation Advisor, Strategic Design and Management specialist with background in Political Science.

    Adam Hayes

    Strategy

    Partner & Founder at Openshop. Physical UX expert and a Systems Architect driven by Deep Play. Faculty of Strategic Design + Management at Parsons New School. Clients include Nike, Artsee, Silverneedle, McDonald’s, QT and Gordon Development.

    Phil

    Technology

    With 15 years of experience within technical roles, Phil has led and worked in teams of varying sizes and on projects of differing scale and complexity. Brings a solid foundation in methodical research and knowledge within business sector.

    Ricki Peralta

    Communication

    Senior Graphic Designer. Branding, web design and editorial design for new companies.

    Shannon Leigh

    Former head of digital production for Hearst Magazines responsible for the creation of digital video content for Elle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Car and Driver and other brands. Seasoned television producer with Disney and BBC. Prior philanthropic work at NSPCC and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    Jeff Eisenberg

    Long time production executive at Disney’s ABC network and Vice President of Production at WEtv. Veteran television producer experienced in development of multiple award winning television series including The View and Good Morning America.

    Sara Awada

    Design

    Researcher, Strategist & Account Manager at CUBOCC. Business dev. at Magid.

    Dr. John Woodall

    Psychology

    Board Certified Psychiatrist formerly of the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Founder, Unity Project.

    Jennifer

    Founder @ Content Matters. Led Art Access II - designed to increase museum attendance among under-served communities through education and community outreach. Faculty @Parsons, @FIT. currently @SVA Products of Design teaching design for social impact. Writer & lecturer about design and social justice.

    Jason Ighani

    Coaching

    Co-Founder, KITE. Founder, The Humanitarian Coaching Network. Team Design Specialist.

    Cynthia Artin

    President of Artin Arts, a strategic market- ing, branding and communications company headquartered in New York. Clients include private equity groups, hedge funds and venture capital firms, supporting their port- folio companies with growth strategies and market positioning. Prior philanthropic work at Birds Nest Foundation.

    Roy Steiner

    Impact

    Managing Director Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. PhD in Agricultural Engineering with a decade leading agricultural development initiatives at the Gates Foundation. Ex. Director of Learning and Impact at the Omidyar Network.

    Dan Makoski

    Design

    Leading design at Microsoft, Walmart, Google, Dell, United Airlines, among many others.

    Dr. Jonathan Jelen

    Academic

    Strategic Design and Management at Parson’s New School. Ex. VP sales and marketing at MIS.

    Lauren Weinstein

    Communication

    Expert speaking coach focused on increasing impact through compelling messages.

    Andalib Khelghati

    Education

    Urban education and leadership expert with a focus on children and communities.

    Kevin Bracken

    Social

    Marketing and social media expert, post-exit startup founder, event production-obsessed.

    Jon Clinkenbeard

    Media

    Content and Media Storyteller, Virtual Reality Filmmaker. Creative Director and Brand Strategy.

  • Polarization Examples​

    Abortion

    Borders

    Climate

    Equal pay

    Education

    Guns

    Health

    LGBTQ

    Police

    Taxes

    Vaccination

    Voting

  • What's next?

    1

    App

    We plan to deploy a fully functional app for anyone to become a Unifier

    2

    Worldwide

    We want to reach xxxxx people in the US and worldwide

    3

    Grow

    We will continue learning and improving our methodology

  • Why a Pre-Kickstarter

    Creating a Movement

    Movements are all about participation. It belongs to all of us.

    We can't do it without you

    Bigger funders will only get involved if they see a groundswell of support.

    A Massive Kickstarter

    A pre-launch campaign is the key to a successful Kickstarter.

  • Campaign Support

    There are various ways that individuals and organizations can champion America Together.

    Star Unifiers

    Our first fifty super-funders will be permanently recognized as "Star Unifiers" for their vision and courage to help bring Americans together.

    Artists

    Artists and musicians can help create campaign artwork, collaborate with influencers to design co branded merchandise and use their talents to spread our message.

    Brands

    Brands can sponsor America Together by teaming up with influencers, promoting challenges and hosting special events.

    Communities

    Local communities can make the campaign their own, decorating their towns, creating special events, and inviting business owners, institutions and families to participate.

    Employers

    Employers can encourage employees to participate and promote a culture of greater understanding within their organization.

    Hosts

    Restaurants, coffee shops and other venues can make "breaking bread" even more enticing by offering discounts to participating patrons.

    Influencers

    Influencers can bring the campaign to life by inviting their fans, modeling the "breaking bread" challenge and creating co-branded merchandise to help sustain the campaign and their own efforts.

    Media

    Media companies and journalists can raise awareness, explore the challenges and tell the human stories that emerge.

    Organizations

    Schools, churches, sports teams and other organizations can embrace America Together and vie with each other to mobilize participation.

  • Welcome friends!

    Together is a philanthropic project that empowers all of us with practical skills to overcome social division. America Together is our kickoff campaign which aims to inspire 1 million Americans to take part in our unity building challenges. We need 100 funders to launch!  

  • Hi friends & family!

    I'm so excited to share with you a truly special project that has the potential to reach millions of people and help us overcome division.

    To make it happen, we need to fund this stage with the contributions of many friends in order to attract support from institutions and prepare a public kickstarter.

    Travis, Joel and Shervin would love your support!

  • Hi friends!

    I'm so excited to share with you a truly special project that has the potential to reach millions of people and help us overcome division. It's the culmination of many years of work, will involve celebrities and major foundations, but I've decided to involve my closest friends to seed the campaign as I want it to be a movement that belongs to many people. I would love your feedback and support if you feel inspired to join me on this journey!

  • Information for Funders

    Pre-campaign activities include: fundraising; building our coalition of artists, entertainers and influencers; seeking media partners, sponsors and advisors.

     

    Funds used: securing IP social channels, developing campaign materials, collateral, campaign web and mobile platform capable of handling millions of users, support materials developed by anti polarization experts, managing civic society and institutional partners, engaging influential supporters, creating legal framework for B Corp to fund future work if project proceeds exceed costs, engaging artists to design rewards, organizing grassroots events and additional challenges.

    Challenge #1 - UNLOCKED

    Common Values

    Break bread with someone you profoundly disagree with about a polarized topic, listen to each other and answer a simple question: what do we agree on?

    #1

    Champion

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    #2

    Common Values

    Ask a simple question: what do we agree on? Use a mobile phone to record the interactions with folks of all walks of life at open houses, town halls, coffee shops and bus stops.

    #3

    Grand Kitchen

    Engage neighbour's family members -- children and grandparents -- in cooking a meal together.

    #4

    Challenge

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    #5

    Challenge​

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  •  

     

      

     

     

    America is going through a crisis.

     

     

     

     

    The United States are divided and our families and communities can’t seem to find common ground.

    We want to change that.

    America Together aims to get millions of Americans to start talking, listening and working together to make a positive change in our families, cities and country.

    Join the movement

  • Thanks for taking part in the survey!

  • Support America Together

    Sign-up to follow the campaign

  • Just for fun: this is us!

  • Polarization in numbers

    39% of Americans argue with friends or family over politics

    39% of Americans had arguments with family and friends over politics during the height of the 2016 presidential election.

    (Reuters/Ipsos poll, 2017)

    55% of social media users are worn out by political posts

    55% of social media users are worn out by how many political posts and discussions they see on social media.

    (Pew Research Center survey, 2020)

    34M hours of dialogue eliminated due to different political views

    34 million hours of discourse were eliminated during Thanksgiving dinners due to diverging political views among families.

    (University of California Berkeley, 2016)

     

    85% of Americans think political debates are negative

    Over 85% of Americans say that the political debate has become more negative and less respectful.

    (Pew Research Center survey, 2019)

     

    53% of Americans are stressed and frustrated when talking with people with different views

    53% of Americans find it stressful and frustrating to talk about politics with people whom they disagree.

    (Pew Research Center survey, 2018)

     

    76% of Americans think the country is deeply divided

    76% of Americans see the country deeply divided on its most foundational values.

    (Monmouth University poll, 2020)

     

    7,314 hate crimes in America

    were recorded in America, the highest number since 2008.

    (FBI Hate Crime Statistics report, 2019)

    93% of Americans see incivility as a problem

    93% of Americans believe incivility is a problem, 75% say it has risen to a crisis level, and 65% expect it to get worse.

    (Civility in America poll, 2019)

    55% of parents care about political affiliation in marriage

    28% of Americans want their kids to marry a Democrat, 27% a Republican, with only a 45% saying they didn't care.

    (Gallup Organization, 2017)

    21% of marriages are politically mixed

    21% of marriages are politically mixed with only about 4% being between Democrats and Republicans.

    (American Family Survey, 2020)

    60% of Americans are suffering high levels of stress

    6 in 10 Americans are suffering from levels of stress on par with those experienced during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War and even World War II due to political polarization.​

    (American Psychological Association, 2017)

    62% of Americans believe diversity makes the country stronger

    62% of Americans believe that the country's diverse population makes the US stronger.

    (Public Religion Research Institute, 2018)

    75% of Americans want to practice civility

    75% of Americans would be willing to set a good example by practicing civility, 66% are willing to encourage friends, family members and colleagues to be civil, and 53% will speak up against incivility if they see it.

    (Civility in America poll, 2019)

    66% of Americans are optimistic that we can come together

    66% of Americans feel optimistic that people who belong to different racial and ethnic groups can still come together and solve the country’s problem​s.

    (Public Religion Research Institute, 2018)

    54% of Americans think that community organizations and nonprofits are bringing people together

    (Public Religion Research Institute, 2018)