Why is it that accusations of corruption do not seem to stick to Donald Trump?
About Topos Partnership
Founded by veteran communications strategists Axel Aubrun and Joe Grady of Cultural Logic, and Meg Bostrom of Public Knowledge, Topos has as its mission to explore and ultimately transform the landscape of public understanding where public interest issues play out. Our approach is based on the premise that while it is possible to achieve short-term victories on issues through a variety of strategies, real change depends on a fundamental shift in public understanding. Topos was created to bring together the range of expertise needed to understand existing issue dynamics, explore possibilities for creating new issue understanding, develop a proven course of action, and arm advocates with new communications tools to win support.
To serve we-the-people, we need strong laws and processes to keep government on track.
Law should determine the timing of a Supreme Court nomination, not one man’s whimsy.
Fundamental to every public policy is the ability to fund that policy. And yet, issue advocates typically avoid communicating about taxes and budgets, leaving that challenging work to budget policy experts. Recognizing the need for a broad and ongoing culture shift that breaks out of issue silos, Topos has made tax and budget policy a […]
Topos strategic paradigm shift for the arts focuses on how to shift people’s thinking about the arts from a private good to a public good. Our research finds that according to the Cultural Common Sense “the arts” is an elite pursuit, a luxury, that should be paid for through ticket prices (as a market good) […]
Embedded in the popular imagination as “the world’s oldest profession,” prostitution continues to be very visible in our society. Yet there had been little research into how the public actually thinks about this issue and what, if anything, they think we can or should do about it. Topos research provides the most comprehensive view of […]
For nearly two decades, Topos has been raising the alarm about Americans’ distance from government and working with advocates to reclaim it. Not only have Americans lost confidence in government’s ability to act effectively to solve problems, they no longer see government as representing them. They don’t feel like citizens in a democracy, but like […]
Race is centered in all of our work. No matter the issue, race influences how people understand the problem and solution, and people of different backgrounds bring their own perspectives and life experiences to the dialogue. On a challenge as deeply rooted and complex as racism, multiple strategies are necessary. Different goals require different approaches: […]
Science and evidence-based decision-making have been under assault in recent years. Dueling scientists and propaganda cause confused citizens to opt out of the debate. A clear, simple understanding of the basic mechanism under debate goes a long way toward building public support for the right actions. Once people have learned something new, they can’t unlearn […]
Adding solutions to the protest narrative.
What hasn’t been heard? Obstacles as well as contributions — ideas that combat stereotypes and lead to lasting change.
The uprising has been building for some time. To reclaim our democracy, the people must be heard.
People’s willingness to hold the Trump Administration accountable for the current crisis depends on a chain of reasoning that defines the nature of the crisis and its solution.
House Democrats’ HEROES Act proposal puts state fiscal relief in the spotlight. This document is intended to serve as a brief primer on how to make the case for federal aid. We are grateful to our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for providing expertise and insights to inform this primer. Lesson […]
How to critique government without inadvertently undermining its importance, an especially crucial lesson now when the federal government is run by an Administration that is dismantling our democratic institutions.
Conservatives and progressives demonstrate sharply different perceptions at the level of the Cultural Common Sense.
Trickle down…Bootstraps…these flawed mental models of the economy – most often used by those speaking from a conservative point of view – might, at long last, show signs of weakness, providing an opening for progressive models of the economy. Communicators can use this quick review of economic models to win arguments for progressive economic policies […]
To some of us, it is baffling how long it is taking for some Americans to do their part to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19. How hard is it to understand that more time spent around other people means more chances for the virus to spread? The catchy and (sorry) viral “Stay the F— […]
Eat healthy. Exercise. Wash your hands. We have learned a lot of lessons about health and healthcare, and are learning new lessons now from the current crisis. But many of these lessons still feed into the deeply entrenched American assumption that health outcomes are all about the decisions we make as individuals. The current moment […]
Voting rights advocates are moving quickly to advance a range of reforms that will protect and improve voting rights in light of COVID-19. As the specific policy agenda is taking shape, Topos research provides guidance in how to think about the narrative challenge. While the pandemic should be reason enough to enact pro-voter policies, forces […]
Right now there’s lots of great advice about messaging in light of COVID-19 and about how to transform engagement strategies with social distancing in mind. In addition to these critical needs, there is an additional, overlooked need that we, progressive leaders, need to take on. NOW. We need stories that teach truth, create civic engagement, […]