We are all slaves to “Angertainers” like Glenn Beck, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Rachel Maddow who make money off of our worries and anger. These players – more familiar to us than our legislative representatives – feed off of America’s fear in what author Nate Garvis calls “The Outrage Industry.” By and large, they advocate not for the common good, but for the insular good – what’s good only for the interests they represent.
Naked Civics isn’t about finding solutions through multi-billion dollar, angry political theater. Garvis shows us how cultural tools like Sesame Street and dish soap can bring about more positive change than political debate. Naked Civics delves into everything from higher education to lobbying, to the Green Revolution, to eggs, and carmakers. As Garvis unravels the true power that culture has over productive societal change, he cuts to the core of what really matters: Community imperatives- what Garvis dubs the “Naked 8.” These are the things that communities almost never argue about. To truly achieve the common good in all eight areas, we must realize that the problems facing the many governments, businesses, nonprofits, hospitals and universities of our communities are too complex for any one sector to do much on their own. It takes a community coming together – not by accident, but by design.
As it weaves a healthy dose of context with wisdom and even a bit of humor, Naked Civics doesn’t claim to answer all of our societal ills. Rather, it encourages us to ask more intelligent questions that will catapult us into a healthier era of prosperity. It’s about making strides through our culture – a far more powerful change agent than the law or politics alone.
Garvis shows that Naked Civics isn’t just about thinking outside of the box. It’s about denying the box is even there. If we want widespread change, we must redirect our gaze to a larger priority: the common good.
As a former Vice President of Government Affairs and Senior Public Affairs Officer for Target Corporation, one of the world’s largest retail operations, Nate Garvis has sat at the intersection of Fortune 100 business, government, politics, civics, media, health care, public safety, academia, philanthropy and non-governmental organizations for over twenty-five years. He is a member of a number of academic, think-tank, business and non-profit boards throughout the country, including Allina Health, the Public Affairs Council and the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Thomas University. He also serves as Senior Fellow and Social Innovator in Residence and Design Counsel at the Social Innovation Lab at Babson College. He is one of the co-founders of DoTopia, a social enterprise that is creating lifestyle philanthropy for all as well as a co-founder of Studio/E, an entrepreneurial experience for top-tier leaders conducted quarterly out of the historic James J. Hill Library.