Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

No Greater Mission. No Greater Means.

How National Service Can Advance Bridgebuilding

A bipartisan, working blueprint for the future from David Eisner and John Gomperts

National Service and Connecting Across Differences

Americans are deeply divided today. Toxic polarization poses an urgent and dire threat to civic functions, social fabric, and the fate of our democracy. We believe that our national service sector is uniquely positioned to address this looming threat – if we reimagine it to meet the demands of the moment with renewed purpose, vision, and ambition. A stronger national service sector has the potential to be an engine for bridebuilding today and to help inoculate future generations from the dangers that political polarization, hate, and violence pose to a thriving democracy.  

This working paper is the product of more than 70 interviews with leaders and practitioners in national service, military service, civic bridgebuilding, democracy, peacebuilding, psychology, and brain science. It represents a range of political ideologies, perspectives, and generations. The collective wisdom of these interviewees, combined with the authors’ decades of experience at the highest levels of national service and bridgebuilding, all point to the extraordinary opportunity before us: to heal our democracy and rebuild a critical pillar of civic infrastructure.  

We invite you to read the working paper and share with us your reactions by using the form below.

The No Greater Mission Initiative grew out of a 25 year+ cross-partisan relationship between Convergence CEO, then America Online Executive, David Eisner, and then Corporation for National and Community Service Chief of Staff, John Gomperts. David and John are grateful to the team at Convergence that drove this initiative and the Einhorn Collaborative and Schmidt Futures for resourcing it.

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About the Authors

David Eisner is the President & CEO of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service and a former chair of All for Good, the nonprofit, open-source platform that animated President Obama’s signature service initiative, Serve.gov.

John Gomperts is a long-time leader in non-profits and government organizations devoted to civic engagement and to creating greater opportunity for children and youth. He is a former President & CEO of America’s Promise and a former Director of AmeriCorps.

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