10 Structural Areas For Action Anywhere

About These

Civil society obviously doesn’t boil down to ten areas.  There’s more stuff going on in the country.  These 10 structural areas are meant as a start; as catalysts or anchor points to help people get going on some kind of engagement.  They are part of the flexible framework with its 4-part mission, 5-part strategy, and 15 tools for doing helpful things.

These 10 areas are outlined to help identify key structural aspects of American society that are likely to be the greatest challenges through the 2020 election, in the time between the election and inauguration, through any developments related to the transfer or presidential power, and through the massive challenges of the pandemic and other disasters and their cascading effects.  Every one of these structural areas is enormous all on its own.  Every one of these areas likely has existing action, initiatives, organizations, groups, alliances, government, or nonprofits involved in at least some elements of it in any given community, state, or region.  Identifying what’s already in place and where there are gaps is critical to engagement.

10 Structural Areas For Action Anywhere


Short- and long-term information, action, and ideas related to the COVID-19 crisis and related public health and other response or non-response at any level.  This is not about replacing public health systems and institutions, but rather tools/options to help them work better, to increase funding/staffing, to extend reach and effectiveness, and to advocate for strategy and planning.


Information to help people/teams take urgent election at any level as needed for a range of issues – voter enfranchisement, voter suppression, on-site paper ballots, poll site safety & access, cybersecurity, vastly increasing mail-in voting or absentee voter ballot access, election process change education, voter registration, etc.  Info includes ways to tie in with existing work.


Short term access to food for survival, and resilience for food systems in crisis.  Longer term transformation to more regional, diversified, healthy food/agricultural systems and distribution with shorter supply chains, increased resilience, and increased efficiency and sustainability.


Short-term access and safety of housing and temporary housing for emergency public health measures to mitigate virus spread.  Longer term work to transform housing approaches and paradigms to better facilitate community and connection, stability, equity, access, affordability.


Short-term access and safety for educational systems & related interdependencies.  Longer term transformation of educational systems to increase access and equity, and to update educational systems to better fit the world, the economy, and the populations they serve.


Short- and long-term action and advocacy for medical, health, mental health, healthcare, institutions, systems, facilities, policies, ethics, laws, and insurance.  Short-term action may include helping institutions such as hospitals remain functional and financially stable during outbreaks, to have PPE or other equipment for COVID-19, and provisions/housing/food/etc. for staff.  Long-term action across the sector would be more transformative.


Short- and long-term engagement to transform policing, justice systems, and immigration paradigms and to shift funding/resources to better facilitate community health, prosperity, and well-being.  Action can anchor to existing recommendations, work, frameworks, resources, groups, and coalitions where they exist at any level.


Short-term pressure for business/corporate responsibility at every level on issues tied to the multiple crises.  Short-term advocacy for emergency economic stabilization at all levels in egalitarian ways that better serve all.  Transform the economy and supply chains over the longer term to more sustainable, resilient, and regional production/distribution approaches that better serve communities in a world with increasing disruption.  Catalyze prosperity; facilitate investment that fosters economic resilience, economic justice, the transformation of community landscapes, place-making, entrepreneurialism, innovation, creativity, and problem-solving.


Electrify the country and shift the economy with more sustainable, climate-friendly energy infrastructure.  Advocate for policies, codes, and financial investment that can catalyze massive infrastructure /energy transformation to mitigate climate change, increase infrastructure resilience, energy resilience, disaster resilience, and economic resilience.  Shorten supply chains, shift food and other production to more regionalized/localized systems, increase sustainability.


Short-term vulnerability analysis and action to mitigate pandemic infrastructure and energy disruption due to outbreaks.  Advocate for investment and action at every level to catalyze infrastructure and energy transformation to address changing risk landscape, to mitigate climate change, and to increase resilience and sustainability.


NOTE:  See the page on The Flexibility In the Framework for how to use these in combination with the 15 Tools For Doing Helpful Things.

LINKS.  || Shift the Country || I'm In! Sign Me Up || How Can I Support All This Shift? || 15 Tools For Doing Helpful Things || Printable Shift the Country Framework || FB || Twitter || Videos & Broadcasts || YouTube || Workshops & Scheduled Livestreams ||

MORE RELATED STUFF IS BELOW.  PATREON and GOFUNDME support help us make more shift happen faster.  Tagged resources below have more insight, examples, & stories tied to these 10 areas.  This framework here has flexible ways to use the 15 tools and to mix + match them with these 10 areas.  This page is an excerpt from the printable Shift the Country white paper.  Help us share this stuff everywhere with everyone you know & totally raise an absolute ruckus.  Thank you.  Good luck.

shift the country - structural change areas
VIDEO: Community Conversations (A Tool)

Having "Community Conversations" is one of the core of the 15 civic engagement tools that can help Shift the Country. These conversations can be online or in-person or both, & single events or a series. They can help us with solving problems & building resilience where we are - like for the pandemic - and also things like re-imagining public safety and racial justice. 9/3/2020. This video is tied to several Shift the Country tools because it relates to several of them - and it is a key tool for doing civic engagement, if not made more challenging by the pandemic.  Still, there are ways to make it work, to solve community problems, to drive community agendas, and to help people help each other through.

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: ODNI Stops Some Intel Briefings To Congress

Reaction to reporting that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has stopped in-person election interference intelligence briefings to Congress (see MSNBC story on this subject also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQjMkrolv8o). August 30, 2020. Also discusses certain areas for civic engagement related to this news and what it means for the US.

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.