Have A Great Weekend

We want to confess our naiveté right up front.

We thought that the news cycle might slow down for a hot second in the hours after the election. We are heartbroken at another mass shooting. We are tracking election results that are heading to recounts and legal challenges. Things seem to be moving faster than ever.

If you’re willing to keep reading after that confession, we do have a few more thoughts.

First, thank you to everyone who helped make this a record-setting election. We salute every single person who stepped up, volunteered, registered new voters, worked to make our representative democracy even more representative. Congratulations to all of our CtK Alums who knocked doors, did comms, wrote essays, backed candidates, shared expertise, and, at all turns, showed up on behalf of our democracy. We are immensely proud.

Second, let’s acknowledge that this is a complicated moment. We’re all being asked to grapple with a lot of complexity. We’re asking people to hold the tension of the opposites all the time. The ground keeps shifting and the world seems to be speeding up and contradicting itself nearly all the time. (Or, as Alexandra Petri put it: the news is like if the Augean stables were also somehow a hydra.) Reports are telling us of further polarization and an exhausted majority.

So we’re asking you, our alums, our loyal antagonists, to live into your training. Find ways to listen and be open. To be clear, when there is racism, misogyny, anti-semitism or a threat to the republic, we know you will work to reduce hate. But the only way forward is to believe that we are all in it for the sake of the nation, for the future of our country, for the rights of all people. Now is the time to forge productive alliances.

Now is the time for loyal antagonism.

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We want to share a few post-election reads and reminders, all focused on healthcare:

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And from us to you, one more expression of our gratitude: You are the champions of our democracy, and we are optimistic about the future because of you, because of your hard work.

Thank you.

Loyal Antagonism in A Post-Midterm World

At CtK, we focus on loyal antagonism as a way to bolster our democracy.

We train loyal antagonists to remain open to contrary opinions, listen, and engage in productive dialogue across ideological divisions. Loyal antagonists hold their own opinions at the same time that they place value on the opinions of others. Persuasion is not our focus.

When leaders engage with differing perspectives, they expand their knowledge base. This leads to better problem solving. This creates space for vulnerability, honesty, and collaboration. Shared values and understanding help remove barriers between people.

CtK is redefining the rules of engagement by creating a space that fosters immediate bonds between people who might usually hold positions that are diametrically opposed. The bonds that this training forms often go beyond CtK and manifest in real-world working relationships and friendships that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

We saw that throughout the midterm election cycle where CtK Alums from across the ideological spectrum stripped away the rhetoric and got straight to the point: How do we best protect our democracy?

We are all here for the democracy. Together, we can forge a strong path forward. Now is the time to be a loyal antagonist. Join us.

Have A Great Weekend

This is it! The last weekend before midterm elections.

If you are supporting a candidate, consider helping them with their last minute GOTV efforts. Host a phone bank, knock some doors! If you’re a parent (or an auntie, uncle, grandparent, or a babysitter of any variety) CtK Alum Katie Bethell’s organization Paid Leave US offers 5 Tips to GOTV with Kids This Weekend.

Then, join CtK Alums like Anton Vuljaj and #BeAVoter: make sure you get to the polls! Make sure that your friends are voters, too. Behavioral economist Dan Pinker shares some science to help you get your friends out to vote!

Turned away at the polls? Here is what you need to know.

Low civic participation is one of the most profound challenges we face in the U.S.
— Ashley Spillane

Here’s what five of our CtK Alums had to say this week about how we can make our democracy better for everyone:

Plus two announcements!

We’re proud to announce that CtK Founder, Lori Brewer Collins, has been invited to speak at the Obama Foundation Summit and Patriots & Pragmatists later this month!

ACA registration is open from November 1 to December 15. If you or someone you know is in need of healthcare coverage, sign up now.

StandUpandVote.jpg

On Gratitude

We asked CtK.Campfire Alums to share a little about what the experience has meant to them. We were humbled by what they had to say.

“It is rare to be in an environment that simultaneously fosters vulnerability and warmth, inspiration and humor. CtK provided us with the tools to connect, to share pieces of ourselves and to share the stories that draw us to our work. It also gave us the space to open up and truly hear others’ stories, especially those that we are not accustomed to hearing. I came home from the weekend newly reinvigorated to imagine possibilities for our collective futures — and to start taking the actions that will turn those futures into reality. I believe every leader should have an opportunity like CtK: the opportunity to be surprised, to challenge our assumptions, to touch our third rail questions, and to hear the sorts of perspectives that add new nuance and depth to our work. I am grateful to be joined to this community, and I look forward to watching the ever-growing imprint it will leave on our next-generation cross-partisan political community.” -Ari Wallach, Cohort III

I believe every leader should have an opportunity like CtK: the opportunity to be surprised, to challenge our assumptions, to touch our third rail questions, and to hear the sorts of perspectives that add new nuance and depth to our work.
— Ari Wallach

Have A Great Weekend

CtK Alums in the news over the past week:

  • CtK Alum Sara Houlobek quoted in this important essay on healthcare and tech, “Just as Holoubek declared 2018 the year of pilot testing she also shared a prediction about next year. ‘2019,’ Holoubek said, ‘will be the year of bad voice tech experiences.’”

  • CtK Alum Katie Harbath on facebook’s efforts in the lead up to global elections: The “war room is something new that we’re trying in terms of having a physical presence, and we’ll reevaluate and see how it works here after the U.S. midterms to determine if this is something that we want to continue for major elections going forward.”

  • Devoted Health, founded by CtK Alum Todd Park, former chief technology officer for the Obama administration, also features the work of CtK Alum DJ Patil who previously served as the U.S.’s chief data scientist during the Obama administration. Find out how they plan to utilize tech to direct healthcare to seniors.

  • CtK Airlie Retreat participant Ben Yee with his latest newsletter.

Have you published something recently? Been quoted sharing your expertise? Launched a venture? We’d love to recognize your work! Please let us know what you’ve been up to.

As for our CtK team, well, we’re each gearing up for the midterms in different ways.

  • Lori is in Europe training global leaders—and getting in a little Tuscan r&r as well. (She voted early, before she left the US.)

  • Jen is in Northern Manitoba Canada with polar bear biologists learning about bear biology and climate change from the (relative) warmth of a Tundra Buggy. (She also voted early, before she left the US.)

  • Loretta is holding down the fort in DC and making sure that CtK keeps moving forward. (She’s planning to vote on Election Day.)

What are you up to? We’d love to hear from you!

From the Campfire: Rules of Engagement

At Campfire, we ask people to show up and be vulnerable. But we never do it without laying the ground rules.

How can we ask each participant to tell the group about the people and experiences that led them to where they are today or expect them to let their initial wariness dissolve without some parameters? Because, really, we want to get to a place where we see each other as human, where we respect whatever forces delivered each of us to this place. Without a foundation forged in mutual respect, how can we expect to discuss the state of democracy, civic engagement, and hyper-partisanship constructively?

So here they are, our ground rules:

  1. Be an active, constructive contributor.

  2. Commit to respect all points of view and agree not to weaponize.

  3. Assume positive intent.

  4. Be brutal in your honesty and gentle in your delivery.

  5. Maintain confidentiality about who’s in the group, what was said, and the details you’ve absorbed. In short, observe the Chatham House Rule.

We believe these rules translate into the foundation of a well-lived personal and professional life. We take them with us and try to live by them every day.

And we make time for walks, shared meals, and—whenever possible—conversation around a campfire. We’d recommend that you do, too.

Early Voting!

We posted this to twitter today and thought it was important enough to repeat:

This is your Tuesday midterm election reminder to VOTE! Remember: if your state allows early voting you can vote now!

(We're looking at you:
AK
AZ
AR
CA
GA
HI
ID
IL
IN
IA
KS
ME
MA
MN
MT
NE
NV
NJ
NM
NC
ND
OH
SD
TN
TX
UT
VT
WY)
Interested in the full list of early voting dates? Check out a complete list here.
#YourVoteCounts #YourVoiceYourVote

On Gratitude

We asked CtK.Campfire Alums to share a little about what the experience has meant to them. We were humbled by what they had to say.

“Attending CtK.Campfire was one of the best decisions of my personal and professional life. It is a weekend that cannot be adequately described - it must be experienced. CtK has made me learn and grow in ways I couldn't have foreseen, but that ultimately make me a better colleague, spouse, person and - ultimately - a loyal antagonist. I didn't know that this was something I was searching for until I found it. CtK is one of the few organizations that truly provides value long after the event ends.” - Brittany Adams, Cohort IV

I didn’t know that this was something I was searching for until I found it.
— Brittany Adams

Have A Great Weekend

A few highlights from the week that was.

We launched CtK 2.0!

  • Last weekend, CtK alumni representing all four cohorts got together to work on furthering CtK's mission. It was amazing to be back in a room full of Loyal Antagonists working on a common goal! We wanted to recap for our entire, extended group of Campfire Alums what we talked about and where we're going next--with your help!

  • Click here for a full summary.

A recent report on polarization.

  • Here at CtK, we’ve got some thoughts on why an experiment like this doesn’t work, and why Campfire does.

  • Ezra Klein writing in Vox makes a point that we can get behind: "The studies that show intergroup contact reduces polarization and suspicion also show that that contact needs to have certain features — it needs to be positive, there need to be shared goals, there ideally should be a reason for cooperation."

  • We’ll be building on this point in the coming days, keep your eye out for more.

Bishop Garrison profiled in The Bridge. Congratulations, Bishop!

West Wingers topping book lists again! O Magazine’s list of 14 political books to read before you go to the polls: each one will help you make a more informed vote.

As always, we want to remind you to vote! We’re t-minus 18 days until the midterms and most places have opened early voting. (Look at the lines to vote early in GA!) Please make a plan and get out to VOTE!

CtK 2.0! Alums are making it happen.

CtK.Campfire Alums continue to cultivate the karass!

Last weekend, CtK alumni representing all four cohorts got together to work on furthering CtK's mission. It was amazing to be back in a room full of Loyal Antagonists working on a common goal! We wanted to recap for our entire, extended group of Campfire Alums what we talked about and where we're going next--with your help!

Alumni Engagement 

CtK invited each of you to Campfire for the amazing skills and vision you bring to the table. We want you to stay engaged!

Cohort Ambassadors will be the first line in connecting all cohort alums to the mission and overall CtK goals, events, and upcoming projects. The retreat team generated a description of CtK Ambassadors. Want to become one? Sign up!

We're gathering testimonials so that you can share in your own words what CtK and Campfire mean to you in your life and work. We've received some powerful expressions--and we want to add yours to our website! Please write a testimonial and click here to mail it to us directly.

And, last but not least, Save the Date! You should have received a save-the-date about next year's alumni event. Thanks to alumni feedback, we plan to host the Annual Alumni Event during the last weekend in March every year. Put it on your calendars, we hope to see you there! 

Attending CtK.Campfire was one of the best decisions of my personal and professional life. It is a weekend that cannot be adequately described - it must be experienced. CtK has made me learn and grow in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, but that ultimately make me a better colleague, spouse, person and - ultimately - a loyal antagonist.
— Brittany Adams (Cohort IV)

Funding and Donations

Already, CtK is having an impact!

We are still a young organization with a big idea that requires trust and vision and long-term buy-in. We have an exceptionally energized and passionate group of alumni and supporters. But we'll need to continue to grow our funding and we need your help to do it

Throughout the non-profit and political landscape, we see examples of how gifts big and small combine to ensure organizations and campaigns remain vibrant and get their message out. This is where you come in! We rely on our alums for donations, connections to funders, and grants that you help us identify and apply for. 

Please consider making a donation! 

If you know of philanthropists, organizations, or grants--or anyone you are aware of who may be interested in furthering our mission--please let us know!

p.s--If your company has a matching grant program, don't forget to apply for your match if that's available to you!

Marketing & Communications

We want to spread the word about what we're doing and bring more awareness to the importance of Loyal Antagonists! 

  • We created a Key Messages document that will fuel future communications. Please use it when you're talking about CtK!

  • We want to generate joint op-eds from Loyal Antagonists. If you're interested in participating, please let us know!

  • We want to amplify our social media presence. We'll be adding more original content and updates on the successes of our alums. Keep us up to date on your accomplishments! Please consider sharing CtK with your networks.

We're also considering a prototype for a podcast (working title: The Loyal Antagonists), based on the spectrum exercises we do at Campfire. If you're knowledgeable about podcasts or interested in participating, please let us know!