The uprising has been building for some time. To reclaim our democracy, the people must be heard.
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.
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.
As daunting as the challenges are, committed communicators across the country are working hard to address racism in order to create progress. A number of researchers, scholars and practitioners around the country have done great work identifying helpful strategies for different objectives. To this body of work, Topos is adding two additional research-based approaches designed […]
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.
An interesting tweet caught our attention: “If we view ourselves as besieged victims who need to go into hiding, then we will cultivate fear and hoarding. If we view ourselves as a community working hard to protect the most vulnerable among us, then we will cultivate courage and helping. Mindset matters.” This perspective strikes us […]
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, […]
“Privatization of our water systems is a threat to democracy and the common good. Topos Partnership understands that and created tools for advocates to fight off attempts by private interests to take control of our water and to advance the larger ideals and values of the public good.” ~ Donald Cohen, Executive Director, In The […]
Metaphors can be indispensable tools for conveying complex or abstract ideas in simple, vivid and sticky ways. This Framing Science Brief discusses the power of metaphorical language and imagery, and the challenge of getting it right. Read and download it here.
Negating or refuting a statement is less effective than we think – and it can even end up reinforcing exactly the wrong perspectives.
The upcoming debate over funding for the NEA is an opportunity for advocates to build broader support and shift thinking about the arts as a public good. Here are some tips.
The most effective communicators on fast food strikes connect the issue to “all of us” in four ways….
The common sense idea that thriving communities and a strong economy depend on employers providing reasonable compensation for work has the power to lift a range of job quality solutions.
Recent wins on minimum wage campaigns suggest we’re at a tipping point on raising minimum wage.
We may be better off not using the word “inequality” as a leading idea, and using other words for now.
A review of our recent research findings on how to clarify for people why raising the minimum wage is good for all of us.