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We are Empowered To Run

#effectivegovernance comes from #thoughtfulleaders who are empoweredto.run

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Our Founding Story

What we do

We train thoughtful leaders everywhere to run for office successfully and govern effectively.

Why we do it

We wish to see American politics rooted in civic engagement and responsive, evidence-based policymaking - the foundation of effective governance. This vision is dependent on who we elect to office and how they will govern. Voters have limited input. Most of the 520,000 elected offices nationwide are not significantly contested. Many good people are interested in pursuing these offices, but most won’t run because they consider themselves unprepared for the race or the job. Those who do run are often not equipped or motivated to advance good governance. We can prepare good candidates with the right training at large scale.

Who we focus on

We design our service for thoughtful leaders. We believe good political leaders are ‘thoughtful’ in two ways: they have a desire to serve others and an ability to think critically. We cannot easily pre-filter for, nor train thoughtfulness. Our trainings, instead, rely on and strengthen these qualities.

Where we focus

Of the over half a million seats nationwide, we focus on the 99%+ that are down-ballot: state legislative and municipal seats. These positions have incredible tangible impact on our lives, but never get the love that presidential, congressional, or gubernatorial seats do. This is where the vast majority of first time candidates will start and will anchor their perspective of “how to be a politician” for the rest of their public career. We can most effectively help a candidate establish best practices in their first race; behavior change after a candidate is in office or when pursuing higher office is far harder.

How we do it

Online platform

To address the size and scope of the challenge, we train candidates online and with blended learning. The Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) movement in higher education has transformed our ability to train a lot of adults efficiently, effectively, and remotely. We are applying the best technologies and practices to the domain of politics, policy, and governance.

Innovative curriculum

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  1. Run With Your Community: How do I authentically and confidently represent both my community and myself? How do I ensure I make decisions consistent with our shared values?
  2. Get Local on Policy & Governance: How do I get and stay smart on the top policy issues in my state and locality and the authorities that impact them?
  3. Build Your Case: What is my pitch to voters and how do I communicate it?
  4. Develop Your Campaign: How do I create and execute a winning campaign strategy? (We redirect candidates to external trainings on topics covered well by others.)
  5. Prepare to Govern: How do I effectively make progress in office on issues impacting my community?

Our shared values compass

When we develop any content, we use the following fundamental American values as our true north for editorial decisions. We ensure course material aligns with the cause of freedom, with opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and cooperation among all; and supports smart, evidence-based, efficient, effective, responsive, active government.

Effective pedagogy

We use proven adult learning methods to effectively teach our course material, including scaffolding, multimodal instruction, team and peer-based learning, demonstrations, and case studies. Our training is centered on experiential learning (i.e. learning-by-doing), where candidates start a lesson, then apply what they’ve learned in their local community, and then come back and reflect on their experience before the next lesson.

Collaborative development & delivery

We build on and support the work of complementary political, policy, and governance organizations. We develop our trainings in collaboration with subject matter experts, making their knowledge accessible to future political leaders. We then deliver these trainings in collaboration with a diverse collection of candidate recruiters, many of which do not have the capacity to train their full membership on this valuable information. We strive to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our collective efforts.

Process for continual improvement

We believe in good design and have adopted the latest industry methods from Human-Centered Design, Lean Startup, and Agile Development. Our process aims for “product-market fit”: making sure our courses truly solve the pain points of the candidates. We cycle through phases of deep user research, brainstorming, prototyping, testing, evaluating, and improving our service.

Where we are going

Update: Our next steps…

Who we are

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit

In August 2017, we incorporated Empowered To Run as a charitable nonprofit (EIN: 82–2656986). With this status, we are easily able to partner with other 501(c)(3) organizations. Additionally, all donations to us are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Team

CEO & Executive Director: Dr. Steven Sinha is a policy & political strategist, organizational designer, and civic-tech entrepreneur. Before founding Empowered To Run, Steve rose to be Deputy Coordinator for Knowledge Management and a Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of State, after starting as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. He is an alum of Clinton ’16 (government innovation policy advisory team) and Obama ’08 (field organizing in California and Colorado). Steve started his career in academia, teaching and researching artificial intelligence at U.C. Berkeley in the Neural Theory of Language group (co-founded by George Lakoff). From this work, he earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science & Business. He also holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Board of Directors

Institutional Support

Check us out

Web: https://www.empoweredto.run

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Empowering thoughtful leaders everywhere to run for office successfully and govern effectively. Want to help? hello @ empoweredto.run

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