• Romesh Ratnesar
    Deputy Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Paul Steiger
    Founding editor-in-chief and former CEO of ProPublica
  • Katharine Zaleski
    Co-founder and President, Power to Fly
  • Charles Best
    Founder and CEO,
  • Heather McGhee
    President, Demos

NationSwell Council members have access to


Meetings with America’s leading problem-solvers
Jeffersonian-style dinners to unpack and advance solutions
Introductions to the broader NationSwell network of innovators
Opportunities for direct service and impact

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  • “NationSwell gives the opportunity for a wider view of how America is actually becoming a better place.”
  • “Such an incomparably high-energy, engaged group! Loved the forum and the chance to put so many good people to work to solve a pressing challenge.”
  • “I left inspired with new ideas for service. I find NationSwell to be a refreshing oasis in the New York of today."
  • "Those were the best questions and suggestions I have ever gotten."

Members of the NationSwell Council know that America faces challenges.
They also believe that those problems are solvable.
Council members are committed to advancing innovations that:

  • bridge the OPPORTUNITY divide
  • make GOVERNMENT work
  • preserve our ENVIRONMENT

“A group of successful people from multiple fields… who are passionate about service to others”

Council events are intimate forums in which members engage in collaborative discussions with featured guests and one another around important national challenges, efforts to solve those challenges, and how best to advance the solutions.

  • August 24, 2017

    Coffee with Deepak Chopra (NYC)

    Join the NSC + Deepak Chopra, world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation for an afternoon recharge! Deepak and Council member Kabir Sehgal recently collaborated on a new “spiritual activism” project called “Home: Where Everyone is Welcome,” inspired by American immigrants. Together with Deepak and Kabir, we’ll share in coffee and tea, poems over music, a short guided meditation, and conversation.

  • September 7, 2017

    Feeding Innovation (NYC)

    Join the NSC in partnership with Forbes and Food Bank For New York City for a discussion on innovations in the fight against hunger.

  • September 8, 2017

    Innovations in Health (NYC)

    America’s healthcare system and its systemic challenges have become a hotbed for divisive politics. What if we could put politics aside and truly redesign our approach to health from the ground up? What would a new vision for American health in the 21st century look like? Join NSC members and resident experts Prabhjot Singh (Director, Arnhold Institute, Mount Sinai) and Perry Halkitis (Director, the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies; Professor, NYU) for a conversation on innovations in health and the role of communities, institutions, and individuals in building greater access to quality care.

  • September 14, 2017

    Empowering America’s Workers (SF)

    America’s working class, including immigrants and domestic workers, face enormous barriers to economic opportunity today. Join Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and NSC member Carmen Rojas, CEO of The Workers Lab, for a discussion on sustainable solutions and innovations to expand economic empowerment for America’s low-wage workers. Together, we’ll explore how effective community organizing and workforce development can build agency amongst these populations, and we’ll consider the new challenges and opportunities on the horizon as we face the future of work.

  • September 26, 2017

    Women in America: What’s Next? (NYC)

    2017 began with seismic effect as millions of concerned women gathered across the country to raise their voices on the heels of a toxic 2016 election cycle. With the ultimate glass ceiling sturdily intact, women must confront the economic, social, and political hurdles that remain.

    So, what happens now? Join the NSC as we discuss what it means for women and girls to navigate this landscape in America today. What progress can be realized to advance the issues affecting them from healthcare to immigration to race and identity to securing the highest positions of power? We will examine this question through recent events and the current political realities and opportunities, with a focus as always on solutions.

  • September 27, 2017

    A conversation with Deval Patrick (BOS)

    Join the NationSwell Council for a small breakfast and wide-ranging conversation with Deval Patrick, former Massachussetts Governor and managing director of Bain Capital’s Double Impact business. Governor Patrick will share the biggest lessons he learned in public service, his hopeful vision for the country’s future, and the power of capital for impact.

  • September 27, 2017

    Environmental Vision for the Future (NYC)

    We face a range of environmental challenges — climate change, ocean health, and species extinction to name a few. There’s even a sense that we may have crossed the point of no return. How can we overcome a growing sense of cynicism? What measures can we take to improve the current situation? What does a new environmental vision for the future of look like? Join a group of NSC resident experts for a deeply thoughtful conversation on how to produce a renewed environmental future. Together, we will reflect, ideate, and aim to paint brushstrokes around what that better future could look like and the roadmap to get there.

  • October 4, 2017

    NationSwell on the Ground: UTEC (BOS)

    NSC member and UTEC Executive Director Gregg Croteau is hosting a site visit in Lowell for members to see the impact of the nationally recognized youth development agency he leads up close. UTEC works with proven-risk youth to break barriers and nurture social and economic success. Together with a small group of NSC members, we will see the program in action and then move into a strategic advisory discussion to provide Gregg with additional guidance, ideas, and support.

  • October 12, 2017

    An Economic Vision for the Future (BOS)

    Join Gerald Chertavian (founder and CEO, Year Up), Ron Walker (former secretary of labor, State of Massachusetts), and a group of NSC members for a thoughtful conversation about the many dimensions of a renewed American economy and a prosperous future. We’ll explore the range of economic issues facing our country (stagnation, productivity, and income inequality, just to name a few) and together, reflect, ideate, and paint brushstrokes around what this better future could look like.

  • August 16, 2017

    Storytelling for Change (NYC)

    Join resident experts, including Council members Rakia Reynolds, President of Skai Blue Media, Raeshem Nijhon, Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Fictionless, and Thaler Pekar, CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners for a discussion on the power of storytelling to advance social change and generate impact. Together, we’ll explore real world examples of storytelling leading to large scale impact and consider lessons we can take away to accelerate progress on the issues we care about most.

  • August 15, 2017

    Ecosystems for Entrepreneurship (DC)

    Building a healthy ecosystem for social and traditional ​ventures requires all members of a community to play a part. In a forthcoming report from ​Halcyon Incubator with collaboration from ​Deloitte​, UMD, and others, DC ranks highly in U.S. cities equipped to support diverse, inclusive ​social ​entrepreneurship. As the District looks to address social, business, and governmental challenges in the years ahead, we will hear from leaders across the DC social entrepreneurship landscape about what it takes to foster a healthy ecosystem and the barriers and opportunities that lie ahead​ in this burgeoning and ever changing landscape​.

  • August 10, 2017

    Summer Social (NYC)

    Join the NSC for an informal evening of drinks + conversation! There is no agenda or featured speaker, just a time to come together and engage with other members of the Council community. Ahead of the event we’ll connect you with fellow members we think you’d be interested in meeting.

  • August 10, 2017

    Summer Social (SF)

    Join the NSC for an evening of drinks + conversation! Rather than a formal program, this will be a dedicated time to come together and connect with other members of the Council community. Ahead of the event we’ll curate groups of fellow members who we think you’d be interested in meeting.

  • July 25, 2017

    An Economic Vision for the Future (BOS)

    We’ll gather a group of NSC resident experts and a few special guests for a deeply thoughtful conversation about the many dimensions of a renewed American economy and a prosperous future. We’ll explore the range of economic issues facing our country – stagnation, productivity, and income inequality (just to name a few) – and, together, reflect, ideate, and aim to paint brushstrokes around what this better future could look like and the roadmap to get there.

  • July 19, 2017

    Immigration in America: A Conversation with Ali Noorani (NYC)

    NSC member Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, will join the NSC for a hopeful conversation on immigration and the changing American identity. Ali’s recent book, “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration” has been widely praised as a valuable look past the national headlines and into the realities impacting people locally.

  • July 19, 2017

    Bridging the Digital Divide (SF)

    One in four households are without a home internet connection. Technology drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education, with especially little access in low-income communities. Together with Chike Aguh (CEO of EveryoneOn) and Hadi Partovi (founder and CEO of we’ll discuss how low-income and minority Americans disproportionately find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide, and we’ll explore solutions to expand access and increase equity.

  • July 13, 2017

    Data in the 21st Century: Exploring our Shared Values (DC)

    The conversation around data collection, storage, and usage has seeped into every facet of our lives. Like technology, “data” is inherently neutral but, through application, has both the capacity to do harm and accelerate progress. Join NSC resident experts including Datacoup director Glenn Nye (NYC) and SPQR Strategies founder & principal Tim Sparapani (DC) for a discussion about the shared norms and values our society might apply to the collection and use of data, how to bring about a more nuanced public understanding of data-related issues, and the (non) policy-based approaches we can take to apply our shared values.

  • July 12, 2017

    Prosperity Through Diplomacy: A Conversation with Tom Nides (NYC)

    Tom Nides, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, will join the NSC for a discussion on strengthening the American economy and creating prosperity through diplomacy. Tom will share with us his take on the current geopolitical and economic climate, reflections from his experience at the State Department, and his vision for building shared prosperity by leveraging international relations in the decades to come.

  • July 11, 2017

    The Future of Work (NYC)

    Join the NSC and resident experts for a conversation on the future of work. Together, we’ll explore the changing dynamics affecting the workforce and consider scalable, sustainable small business-focused strategies that build bridges from legacy jobs to new jobs. While much of the national discussion is premised on keeping large corporations in America and retraining workers for those jobs, there is a huge opportunity to leverage the nation’s thriving small business ecosystem to keep Americans purposefully employed.

“The NationSwell Council - a membership network of innovators”

Members join the council by invitation or application.

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For inquiries about membership or for more information about the NationSwell Council, please contact us at