Policy over Politics: Bridging Differences to Make Democracy Work

A Conversation led by Chelsea Clinton featuring Up to Us and CGI U Alumni


Our political system only works if it can address the needs of the people it serves. Yet the ever-increasing gap in party politics, or “hyperpartisanship” is preventing our political process from meeting those needs. The next generation is playing a different game. Around the country, young people are taking action in their communities to break partisan narratives that perpetuate the “doom loop” and put policy over politics. In this 40-minute panel discussion, panelists explore the everyday methods that young people are using to put aside political differences to make democracy work. On Tuesday, November 9, 2021 Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, moderated a special discussion with Up to Us and CGI U alumni:

  • Ishrat Aishee, Analyst at Accenture (the Emcee)
  • Xavier Lopez, Deliberative Dialogue Facilitator, National Issue Forums Institute
  • Ben Ritz, Director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Funding America’s Future
  • Yulkendy Valdez, Co-Founder & CEO, Forefront

Part of Net Impact’s program portfolio, Up to Us is the only nation-wide program that supports next-generation leaders to raise nonpartisan awareness around building a sustainable fiscal and economic future. Since the launch of Up to Us in 2012 in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, student teams have engaged more than 200,000 of their peers through innovative and engaging campus activities. Students receive funding, training, and hand-on support over the semester to design and implement their own awareness campaign about our long-term fiscal and economic sustainability. Over the course of eight years, Up to Us has engaged over 1,200 campus competition teams, signed over 131,000 pledges, and engaged over 370,000 people. Up to Us is administered by Net Impact, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization.