Our Impact

Convergence develops solutions to tackle some of America’s toughest challenges. By building trust and relationships among ideologically diverse leaders from across the country, we enable new partnerships and spread solutions never thought possible.  

We are making a powerful contribution to our democracy, creating a culture that chooses collaboration first through our national projects, events, and our training and consulting program. 

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INFLUENCING NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

 

Building a Better Budget Process

Beginning in November 2016, Convergence Building a Better Process (B3P) project engaged an unexpected coalition of budget experts, advocates, and executives who are deeply affected by the budget decisions Congress makes each year. This group, which reflects a wide set of ideologies and interests, developed practical, politically realistic proposals to improve the process Congress uses to manage the federal budget.  

The project helped shape Congress’s deliberation and policymaking on the federal budget process. Through sharing the stakeholders’ final recommendations with over 50 Congressional offices and testifying before a Congressional committee, B3P stakeholders worked to help prevent future government shutdowns, reduce budget uncertainty, and restore faith in our government.  The testimony led to several of the group’s proposals being included in legislation considered by Congress’s Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.   

“In this day and age, it’s difficult to find bipartisan agreement, especially on the budget process. By speaking with voices from across the political spectrum, we’ve found that agreement. Together, we developed a set of recommendations that we believe will correct our nation’s course and help end the trend of self-inflicted, periodic crises.”

Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President & Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce  

 

Health Reform Roundtable

As the 2017 health care debate roiled the nation, our Health Reform Roundtable, consisting of experts who helped create the Affordable Care Act and those who worked to dismantle it, reached consensus and helped reshape the perceptions of both policymakers and the media as to the possibility of bipartisan reform on this contentious issue.   

“Convergence has brought together a diverse group of policy analysts – from strongly conservative to highly progressive – who have chosen to work together to craft a next generation of reform strategies. The Convergence group is unique because it is member driven rather than staff driven and member-assisted.  Both can be useful but are likely to produce significantly different results.” 

Gail Wilensky, Senior Fellow, Project HOPE  

 


SHAPING BUSINESS PRACTICES   

 

Project on Nutrition and Wellness

To explore ways to reduce obesity, diabetes, and other nutrition-related problems, Convergence brought together food manufacturers and retailers, public health experts, healthcare providers and insurers, and consumer advocates. The Project on Nutrition and Wellness created an approach that all these stakeholders could endorse – increasing consumer demand for healthier foods and beverages and making them more accessible and affordable.  They created a tool, the Grocery Retail Scorecard, which includes 90 evidence-based strategies that grocery retailers can implement in their stores to grow sales of healthier foods and beverages. Also, they worked with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and Cornell University to create a toolkit to promote sales of healthier food and drinks for NACS members who serve 150,000 convenience stores nationwide.  

“I have participated in a lot – and I mean a lot – of multi-stakeholder dialogues. None of these dialogues were as salient, as illuminating, or ultimately as productive as PNW.” 

Mary Sophos, Executive Vice President, Grocery Manufacturers Association   

 

Working Up

Convergence’s Working Up project on increasing economic mobility through work brought together major employers and small business perspectives, labor unions and other worker advocates, right- and left-leaning think tanks and advocacy groups, innovative non-profit service providers, higher education, and philanthropy. This effort helped several major American companies shift their practices regarding education and training for their workforces, career pathways initiatives, and access to predictable schedules. Even before the recommendations were released, stakeholders from Walmart and McDonald’s, among others, expanded their investments in workers, providing greater access to higher education and stronger career pathways.  

Walmart is going through a lot of changes, and I hope you all know how tremendously influential this group has been. Thank you all for teaching me and helping Walmart grow.”

Ellie Bertani, Director of Workforce Strategy and Innovation, Walmart  

 


SPARKING A NATIONAL MOVEMENT  

 

Education Reimagined

In six short years, Education Reimagined grew from a Convergence dialogue among ideologically diverse educational leaders to an independent national organization widely recognized as a leader in an emerging movement focused on learner-centered education. Today, Education Reimagined involves hundreds of educators, policy advocates, students, and other leaders who are working together to collectively advance a transformational vision and spread learner-centered education innovation across the country. They have attracted substantial financial support from diverse major educational funders.  

When you focus on building the quality of the relationships, then what increases is the quality of the kinds of conversations that you have…When you improve the quality of the conversations, then you will improve the quality of your decision-making.  And when you improve the quality of your decision-making, then you improve the quality of results.

Becky Pringle, Vice President, NEA

 


BY THE NUMBERS

Across multiple projects, surveys of Convergence participants show:

 

 

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