Building A Movement: Democracy Entrepreneurs | Alan Khazei

Alan Khazei builds movements. First, it was expanding service through City Year, which later became the brainchild for AmeriCorps (which has facilitated 1.2 billion hours of public service!). Then it was expanding social entrepreneurship through Be the Change. Now Alan is spearheading the group Democracy Entrepreneurs, which just hosted its first Democracy Entrepreneurship Summit at the Harvard Kennedy School. Inspired in part by seeing his own family divided by the 2016 election, he’s working “to get underneath what is going on in our democracy” and to support organizations in this space.

In this episode, Alan talks about the importance of service — "not as a Democratic idea or a Republican idea... but as an American idea," about his work to expand service opportunities with Presidents George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, and about his hopes for the future of Democracy Entrepreneurs.

I had this interesting situation with these two sides of my family – both incredibly wonderful people who deeply love this country – one side voting for a president who then banned the other side of my family. And it’s really why I doing the work I’m doing now, because I feel like we have to get underneath what is going on in our democracy, we have to support the people who are emerging to make our democracy more inclusive and participatory and fair for everyone, and that we have to bridge these divides, which I am still very hopeful that we can do if we come at it with an open heart and open mind and don’t prejudge people…
— Alan Khazei

Audrey Scagnelli