I want to start a conversation with you about America ...



In 2020, Linley Foundation began the first phase of its initiative "The America I Want Is...".

Our goal was to inspire and support a national, grassroots discussion about America and its future..


The project continues to be a great success. Americans have responded with enthusiasm, honesty, and intelligence. 

We are now ready to introduce our initiative's second phase. It is our State-by-State program. More


As always, we invite you to participate. Send us a 30-second video, or audio, on your phone telling us the America you want.

It is important that we hear from you.

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We believe we have found — rooted in the North American story — the ideal model for a national conversation. It is the native American and Canadian First Nations tradition of the Talking Circle. 


Under the leadership of an elder, members of a tribe or band sit in a circle to consider an issue. A talking stick is passed from person to person. There is no crosstalk. Only listening. For thousands of years, this form of governance has been a powerful tool for resolving conflict and finding new direction. 


Inspired by this tradition, we have created America’s own Talking Circles. The objective is to respectfully listen to each other as we articulate a 21st century vision for America - a vision we might all come to embrace. More

Dr. Michael DeGagne is an Ojibway from the Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation. He is president and CEO of Indspire, and former president of Nipissing University.

Chief Dr. Bobby Joseph is the hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation in Western Canada. He is the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada.





Courtesy Reconciliation Canada

America is vast and diverse. It feels at times like many countries rolled into one. To allow everyone the opportunity to speak, we've digitized our Talking Circles. Social media has become America's Talking Circle and your cell phone the talking stick. Listen to a sample of a few of tens or thousands of submissions we will collect from Americans throughout the country. They are remarkable for their insights and diversity.

And now it's your turn. Tell us in 30 seconds, or so, what you want for America. More





In our American Themes interviews and discussions, we invite some of you to elaborate on your 30-second submissions. We will also ask experts, including, historians, politicians, educators and legal authorities, to debate some of the points you have raised. These discussions will be live-streamed and everyone will be invited to participate. 

Current Phase


State -by-State Talking Circles


Our states can be very different. We tend to be pragmatic about them. We want them to function well. We want to feel proud of them. In this part of our initiative, we are asking leaders and citizens of every state to tell us what they admire about their state. What message would they want to send the nation? And how would America be better off if it were more like their state?  


We have chosen Vermont as our model state. (Why?)

Vermont Vision 


What state are you interested in?


So what's next?


The culmination of our program will be the creation of a People's Assembly Talking Circle. We will select 150 Americans from the thousands of men and women, who will have participated in "The America I Want Is..." initiative. It will include people from all walks of life, all states, all races, and all ages--a comprehensive representation of America. This Assembly will be charged with reviewing all the material gathered. Their objective will be to come up with actionable recommendations for a revitalized American narrative--a narrative that includes everyone, an America in which we can all take pride. More

And then



 We shall return to our state and national leaders with the Assembly's recommendations. We shall ask them to consider how to put the people's voice into action. Our program will have come full circle.  

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