Building New Frameworks for Strategic Action

The world is changing quickly around us.  Shocks have rolled through the global economy.  The political culture has become polarized to the point of profound dysfunction.  Sophisticated media systems are in place to spread lies, sow division, and distort public perceptions.  And a convergence of global challenges lie before us that are not getting the urgent attention they require.

Now is the time to build new frameworks for strategic action.  In the United States, we need to recognize that our national political institutions are broken.  The Congress is both divided by partisanship and corrupted by powerful interests.  And the White House lacks bold vision and leadership for addressing these chronic threats.  Simply trying to get “our people” elected is not going to be enough.  Waiting for action on climate change from up on high is a fools errand.  And letting billionaires influence public will through manufactured “populist uprisings” is not the recipe for building a 21st Century economy that is resilient in the face of epic global threats.

This is why I have urged the community gathered around Cognitive Policy Works to help fund The Progressive Strategy Handbook.  Because we need frameworks for action in a turbulent period of massive transition.  Consider the following inadequate approaches that are commonplace today:

  • Align with a political party and attempt to stack it with the right people;
  • Mobilize masses of people to petition legislators to take action on climate change;
  • Pour the vast majority of our monetary resources into media purchases for political ads;
  • Set major agendas around election cycles on a 2 or 4 year scale;
  • Focus in individual issues and drive philanthropy toward narrow categorization.

These are the institutional norms of today.  They don’t work.

Instead we need to think holistically and recognize the larger patterns driving our political and economic institutions.  Fundamental shifts need to occur in the ways we organize, the scope of our vision for the future, and the depth of transformation that is considered sufficiently worthy of our scarce resources.

I am looking for others who share this perspective.  Together we can develop a shared agenda for taking bold, strategic action.  We’ve got to move quickly and keep our eyes on the horizon of a changing world.  The time for building the political capacity to drive progressive change is now.

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Cognitive Policy Works specializes in providing organizations and individuals with frame analysis, policy briefs, strategic advising, and training.