Stand Together Summit tackles our country’s biggest challenges
What will it take to tackle the biggest challenges facing
our country? How can we possibly make progress when things seem so divided?
We believe we can, if we Stand Together to help every
person rise. And that’s what participants at the Stand Together Summit came
here to do as they gather in Palm Springs, California this weekend.
You may be wondering: What is the Summit?
In 2003, Stand Together founder Charles Koch hosted a small group
of business leaders and philanthropists to explore new ways to address the challenges
facing the country.
Since then, these gatherings have grown to include hundreds
of people from all walks of life – including social entrepreneurs, teachers,
scholars, policy makers, leaders of community-based nonprofits, and more.
This is a diverse group with different backgrounds and
perspectives, but we are united by a shared belief: Every person can succeed
and contribute to the lives of others.
And we share a commitment: To offer an alternative approach for
tackling our country’s challenges to the millions of Americans who feel
alienated by the extremes on all sides.
If you listen to those on the extremes, it can seem like
none of today’s big issues can be solved.
Consider the issue of immigration. The extremes are
dominating the conversation. One side calls for drastic cuts to legal
immigration, while the other calls for abolishing the laws and agencies that
secure our border.
These positions don’t reflect the views of most Americans.
75% of Americans believe immigration is good and most support reasonable
measures to secure the border. It’s not mutually exclusive.
So, where many see intractable, seemingly impossible
problems, we see opportunity, and we’re here to help chart a better way. To do
so, we focus on uniting people around areas of common ground and together
develop effective solutions to the big problems facing the country.
This approach has already achieved progress on critical
Uniting a diverse coalition that has led to historic criminal justice reforms. Watch the video below to see how leaders found common ground to drive a historic reform:
Partnering with 168 community-based organizations addressing poverty, reaching nearly one million people each year. Learn more about how social entrepreneurs are finding new ways to help people overcome homelessness here.
Supporting efforts that empower tens of thousands of K-12 teachers in both public and private schools to help their students realize their potential. In the video below, see how students gain the skills and confidence to succeed with Youth Entrepreneurs®:
This better way continues to gain energy. For instance, this
weekend’s Summit will be the largest we’ve ever had, and we’re working
side-by-side with some of the most influential and passionate voices.
At the Summit, we’re exploring opportunities to bring people together to do even more, and it begins with asking bold questions:
can we ensure that every kid is able to pursue an individualized education that
helps them realize their unique potential—while empowering teachers to best
serve their students?
can we help every person experiencing poverty find a path of empowerment?
can we rethink foreign policy to keep America safe while ending endless wars
that don’t serve our country’s interests?
can we fix our broken immigration system to welcome anyone who will contribute
to our country and no one who will do us harm?
How can we make good policy good politics and overcome the intense partisanship that often stands in the way of progress?
These are just a few of the questions that will be discussed
this weekend. We hope you’ll check back as we share more about the specific
initiatives that our philanthropic community will be launching this year, and
we invite you to find ways to get involved.
While the challenges we face are great, our country’s ability to overcome them is far greater.