Shift the Country

Engage With Everything: This Is A Mass Action Push To Make Shift Happen

How We Can Hold This Country Together, Help Each Other Through These Crises, Get People Engaged, & Make Change Along The Way

Shift the Country is a new initiative founded in this moment of great disruption.  We're here to foment mass action.  Mass volunteerism.  Mass engagement.  Mass transformation.  Big shift.

Our 4-part mission, should you choose to join us, is to hold civil society and institutions together, to help people help each other through several crises happening at once, to get people engaged in doing all of that, and to make transformation along the way.

Join us here.  Help fund us here.

Our 4 principles help us survive, and to navigate this time of chaos.  The principles of connection, community, resilience, and problem-solving can also help us shift toward a more equitable, just, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable society.

Change is coming, whether we drive it or not.  We – all of us – can help that change be transformation.

Our Five-Part Strategy

  • Provide Key Civic Engagement Tools:  We recommend a core set of 15 all-purpose civic engagement tools designed for exactly this moment and mission that any individual or group can use for action at any level – with ideas, context, and examples for use;
  • Help Engage the Majority of Voters:  We help get voters engaged to counter the natural tendency of humans to disengage due to collective trauma from the worsening coronavirus catastrophe, and from emerging tyranny and nationalistic oligarchy (an engaged, active majority of voters can push back tyranny and oligarchy);
  • Drive The Narrative + Public Agenda:  We help drive the narrative, and help people advocate for solid opposition agendas/priorities at every level to build consensus for revitalized institutions and a social contract that serve all Americans better than ever before;
  • Leverage Social Networks To Reach Further:  We leverage social networks plus marketing for greater permeation and reach in both the real world and online – to foster the “viral spread” of action, engagement, activities, problem-solving, stories, messages, and ideas.
  • Help Build Power Through Greater Alliances:  We build power by helping people build bigger and more coalitions of coalitions, groups, teams, businesses, organizations, nonprofits, institutions, and individuals in greater alliances than ever to help us have more engagement than ever.

The US is in a massive disruption. 

Americans are fighting for our lives, the lives of the people we love, our safety, and a fair shot at getting through.  At every level, elected officials, governments, and institutions are often not helping us survive, stay alive, and thrive as best they could.  This country is in a giant pivot.

This civic engagement approach can help people help each other through all of this, help people save lives, help get more voters engaged and voting, help hold this country together… and create something like a phenomenon.  A shift to a different future.  Shift.  We make shift happen.

The US needs action, coalitions, ideas, and empowerment now.  The Shift the Country framework can help catalyze organic, structural, systemic action and transformation in US communities as we find our way through, together.

Change is coming, whether we drive it or not.  We – all of us – can help that change be transformation.

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How We Get Shift To Happen

The Shift the Country framework is spelled out in an 11-page white paper (in PDF).  The same information that's in the white paper is on this page right here for mobile reading, and in this set of links:

If you're looking for more depth or insight about where all of this came from and why other than what's in the sections above or the white paper (the same things), check out Back Stories: This Disruption Was Not Unexpected.

Where We're Making Shift Happen - To Start

As funding allows, we will be ramping up our social media activity, broadcasts, webinars, workshops, storytelling, and community-building.  We go outward from here:

What's Next?

Good question!

Now that we've got this here website information up about what we're doing, and we did our first-ever introductory video (skip the first 3 minutes), we need to start getting more information out about the tools and how to use them. 

To get that shift going, we're kicking off fundraising on GoFundMe to get us launched for the first six months - and ready to ramp up like NOW

Aiming for six months of funding gets us through the election and the Biden Administration's initial transition.  That's some positive thinking right there.

Then we get started on how to use each one of the 15 Tools for Civic Engagement... 

  • We're imagining that there will be different kinds of information for each of the 15 tools - like a basic quick "how to" page, and then videos, podcastss, examples, and stories of people actually using the tools.
  • Plus, you can combine the tools and use them in different ways for action in any of the 10 Structural Areas - For Action & Change, or for any action.  So we'll plan to put out videos, examples, and stories of people doing that, too.
  • And we'll do videos, workshops, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, and other stuff to help people make shift happen in general - for the mission.  For helping people through, for getting voters engaged, for holding society together, and for making change along the way.
  • Holler when you've got stories to tell and examples of stuff we can share.  That's all part of the strategy here - spiraling up, and fostering tipping points.  Amplifying.  Getting the word out.  Sharing each other's progress.  Then we spread it further, and keep right on going.

More Money Makes More Shift Happen

We're super-brand-new as of July 2020.  We're at the very very very very very beginning of fundraising.  And we're totally crowdfunded.  Every bit of help helps us make more shift happen.

The funding we have so far - for real - is what you see on GoFundMe:

Money is an amplifier.  It's not the only one.  You can use the tools, tell your stories, help support the shift, talk to people about what we're doing, share it, & sign up for team work.

Shift the Country is a newly formed left-leaning 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization created to promote social welfare.  Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.

Making Shift Happen

We – Americans – can help build coalitions.  We can help each other survive a deadly pandemic.  We can help the US hold a successful and fair election.  We can help hold this country together during the pandemic and a potentially tumultuous presidential administration transition.  We can help institutions help us survive, while we also work on transforming them to serve all Americans in more equitable, just, and sustainable ways.  We can help shift this country so that we can partner with other countries for a global transformation to address the urgency that is climate change.

“We believe that COVID-19 will be one of the biggest economic, political, and cultural turning points of our lifetime, and how we respond will shape our future.” – New Media Ventures website

People are already fighting for each other; fighting for this country; fighting for public health action to save lives.  They are working to help keep other people alive in hospitals and nursing homes; to keep grocery stores and other critical services operating; to help feed people; to help reform police departments and spending in communities everywhere.

We – together – can do even more.  It’s going to take millions of us doing all the things.  Shift the Country is bringing more of the things, as are so many others.  Together we can help organize, catalyze, and amplify action and transformation at a scale never before seen in this country.

Shift the Country can help you and anyone else take it to the next level.  We’re here to make serious shift happen.  We’re here to help us all survive, stay alive, and thrive.  There are ways.  We find them together.


"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other." - Douglas Everett

Thank you for your interest and support.  We will absolutely find ways through.  We help each other forward.  That's how we get it done.


I'm In! Sign Me Up
How Can I Support All This Shift?
15 Tools to Make Shift Happen
Events to Shift the Country
The Shift the Country White Paper

The Blog
The Focus Areas - for Navigating Disruption

Shift the Country as it is now organized grew out of the Proposal to Shift the Country, completed April 24, 2019 and pitched to various organizations and campaigns.  The initiative has evolved and iterated since that time into its current organization as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

shift the country - events shift the country - general
Shift the Country - White Paper

The Shift the Country white paper is the basic foundation for the 501(c)(4) organization, mission, and initial operations.

VIDEO: Creating Tipping Points (Tool)

This is on how to deliberately create tipping points - or how to deliberately make something "go viral" either online or in the real world. Creating tipping points & leveraging social networks to do it is one of the 15 Civic Engagement Tools that help us make shift happen. It's also one of the 5 parts of our strategy to Shift the Country.  Our "tipping points" tool online is here.  This video is on the founder's wall on Facebook here. August 6, 2020.

VIDEO: How Do We Hold US Through The Inauguration?

So the US President isn't willing to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Now what? We have options for everyday actions. It's more than voting, and it's more than protesting. Check this out to find out more (also we do know how to spell - major typo in the video chyron though). 9/24/20. This video was livestreamed to our Shift the Country FB Page as well.

VIDEO: How Taking Care of People Can Help Save US

We can counter the individualism damaging the health and well-being of this country by looking after each other. Caring about people. Celebrating community. Having compassion. Embracing humanity. Anchoring in connection and community. Doing that can help make shift happen, too. This was originally broadcast on the Shift the Country Facebook page on August 15, 2020.

VIDEO: Inaugural Video, Shift the Country (Ep 001)

Episode 001 of FB Live and other broadcasts to come.  8/1/2020.  Executive Director Vanessa Burnett and Gary Monti from the Board of Directors kick off the series with a 60-minute overview of the work planned by the new Shift the Country nonprofit.  In the spirit of adaptability, the first 3 minutes is dead air as we were working out the broadcast bumps.  It's a work in progress. Broadcast covers the mission, 5 principles, 5-part strategy, 15 civic engagement tools, 10 structural change areas, and context and structure behind the work - such as countering tyranny, nationalist oligarchy, and addressing a massive pandemic catastrophe.

VIDEO: Shift the Country Mission

Shift the Country is a new nonprofit founded in this moment of great disruption to help people help each other through several simultaneous crises, to hold civil society and institutions together, to get voters engaged in doing all of that, and to make transformation along the way. This video is about that mission & why we're doing it. Original broadcast on our Shift the Country Facebook Page on August 6, 2020.

VIDEO: These 6 Months Are The Fight Of Our Lives

We're in some stuff. This one is on the 5 main parts of the risk landscape in front of us between now and February - through the election and transition of administrations. Plus - how do we survive? August 30, 2020.  The 5 main parts of the risk landscape include 1) the out of control coronavirus pandemic (and complex system interruptions and related cascading effects); 2) emerging authoritarianism in the US; 3) the influence of a growing nationalist oligarchy on destabilization in the US; 4) an information war with many fronts; 5) the election and transition of power. This also gets into the 5-part Shift the Country strategy to help us get through these next months.

VIDEO: What Is Civic Engagement Anyway?

We're pushing massive civic engagement in the US to help us through all the crisis and chaos in front of us. What the heck is that, anyway? This video gets into that. Here's our list of 15 civic engagement tools. It's a list for now as we're writing the tools - but if something jumps out, you can start doing it now. These are for us to make shift happen where we live. This video is also on the Shift the Country FB page. September 3, 2020.

VIDEO: Why Civic Engagement Is Critical

The mission here at Shift the Country is to help people help each other through several simultaneous crises, to hold civil society and its institutions together, to get voters engaged in doing all of that, and to make transformation along the way. This video is on why civic engagement is such an enormous piece of all of that. This was originally published on August 15, 2020 on the Shift the Country Facebook page.

VIDEO: Wicked Problems of Now vs. Magical Thinking

The initiative to Shift the Country was built in the summer of 2020 for this highly unique & unprecedented moment in time. It's a whole set of wicked problems, & some were understood to be huge risks prior to this year. Our framework is set up to help people navigate the complex landscape of multiple disasters combined with active erosion of government institutions and active obstruction of response efforts. The first 48 minutes get into how magical thinking works & why it isn't helpful now. The second half gets into complex systems, a great disruption, and catastrophe and big disaster preparation in the US based on experience inside the federal systems that were supposed to be built to help with some of the current crises. This was originally broadcast on our Shift the Country Facebook Page on August 9, 2020.