Citizen Summit



Citizen Summit 2018


Laying the groundwork for a citizens’ “unconvention” in 2018  that will catalyze a national,    transpartisan citizens’ movement.

We are continuing to explore the possibility of a Citizen Summit — a third convention — in the fall of 2018. The narratives of the two party conventions could be stated as “elect me and my party and we’ll “fix it” and that of the Citizen Summit, “it will take citizens and leaders from all sides to ‘fix it’”.  Both John Steiner and Mark Gerzon have returned to Kansas City to deepen conversations with potential allies. We are also now in conversation with city leaders in Dallas and Denver.

In preparation for the Citizen Summit and the emerging citizen movement, Project Director John Steiner has:


  • engaged with Eric Liu’s Citizen University and the Civic Collaboratory and with leaders in the democracy reform field
  • participated in World Civility Day, held recently in Hammond Indiana that may lead to a new national Civility Alliance and Civility Cities under the leadership of Carolyn Lukensmeyer (National Institute for Civil Discourse) and Lew Bayer (National Civility Council).
  • met with key philanthropy leaders at the annual Council on Foundation, held in Dallas this year, to build further interest in the healing role of philanthropy in our hyper polarized society and in relation to the philanthropy initiative below.
  • supported the work of Bill Shireman of Future 500 and Trammell Crow, founder of the largest Earth Day event in the world, in Dallas, which is catalyzing transpartisan collaboration around oceans, forests, and climate.
  • exploring with other major national institutions regarding a potential convening for national leaders the transpartisan field
  • continuing to explore the efficacy of a national, transpartisan citizen constituency/movement


                     Utah Citizen Summit 2016

On November 12 2016, in partnership with Mediators Foundation’s 2016 Citizen Summit efforts, Salt Lake City and the state of Utah, hosted a Utah Citizen Summit — a convening of leaders from various sectors and participants from various local constituencies, including the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake Country and former mayor of Salt Lake City, The Republican majority leader of the Utah State Summit, a top aid the Republican Secretary of State and the Democratic prosecutor of Salt Lake City. It was lived streamed across the country to those want to work together for a stronger, more innovative and collaborative America. Other cities are currently being invited to host their own gatherings. It was also recorded.

These two afternoon panels, the second of which was facilitated by Mediators Board President, Mark Gerzon, and the evening session at which John Steiner, Mediators Board member and Mark Gerzon received lifetime achievement awards for their work in the transpartisan field can be found at Salt Lake Civil Network

The Utah Citizen Summit unequivocally demonstrated that there is an alternative to hyper-partisan politics and Americans across the divides are willing and wanting to come together after a highly contentious election season.

Expressing a third narrative that can generate new possibilities and a spirit of hope, The Summit:

  • celebrated of values, process, ideas and success stories;
  • offered a place for all Americans, including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who believe that we can and must work through our differences to solve the problems facing our country;
  • created a high-profile, inclusive event in Utah that gave citizens inspiration and a voice and made an emerging grassroots movement more visible – and powerful;
  • showcased tools and methods that can work in local communities or on Capitol Hill – tools and methods that enable Americans to communicate respectfully and seek common ground;
  • used the latest collaboration software and content aggregation tools to provide a template for a new type of technologically empowered participatory democracy.

We at Mediators are extremely grateful to John Kesler, served as Communities Editor of National Civic Review, the oldest and most respected journal in the United States addressing local civic and democratic practices.  John founded and chairs the Salt Lake Civil Network and the Global Civil Network, which played a major role in putting on the event, and he was a leader in the founding of The Utah Civil and Compassionate Communities Initiative.


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