We blitzed Jake to ask why he wanted to start ChangeRoots and here’s what he said…
“I started ChangeRoots because after President Trump got elected… I wasn’t so mad that he got elected, but I was shocked at how divisive and vitriolic and contemptuous the country had become. I wanted to understand how we had gotten here and what we could do to get to a better place as a nation.
As I looked into it further, toxic partisanship emerged as that sort of central thing that was causing the gridlock, the hate and contempt.
Another word for toxic partisanship is tribalism, which is basically me thinking ‘I’m right’, and you being on another team… and me being like, ‘you are wrong and you are actually evil because you think differently.’
So it’s more of a mindset, and a way of thinking than anything else, and so I started ChangeRoots to see if we could help change people’s minds using principles of conflict resolution which have worked in places like Rwanda where there’s two tribes murdering each other because they hated the other tribe.
There are techniques out there that can teach people how to see someone on another team as a human and having good ideas and work with them to create solutions that can benefit everybody.
So ultimately our goal is to live in a world rooted in love where we all stand for our own well-being over things like political loyalties and political teams.”
When surfing today’s airwaves, skepticism is good. Full stop. So, why should you trust us?
- We’re post-partisan. Political news is right or left. We’re not. ChangeRoots will show you the good and bad, useful and stupid of both sides.
- We use quotes. We avoid editorializing. The ChangeRoots feed is straight from the politician’s mouth.
- We’re data driven. We don’t want to tell you what to think; we show you the data.
- Our bias is post-partisan. We’re going beyond political parties.
- We can do better. We’re human. We welcome criticism. We tell our users to look out for people who say they have all the answers. We’re no different.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to take ChangeRoots for a spin and judge for yourself. You’ll see how we are different.
Our mission is to equip people to influence politicians to do better and prioritize us — the people — over their political team. We empower people to support leaders that rise above partisanship, bridge divides and create resilient, win-win solutions.
How We Do That
Through the ChangeRoots app, users micro-donate to U.S. politicians or their opponents by tapping “like” or “dislike” on curated statements published on a Twitter-like feed. To make it easy for the user to reward post-partisanship, each statement featured on the feed is tagged as post-partisan, toxic, or neutral based on our proprietary tribalism framework. We gamified the app experience to reward users who encourage post-partisan behavior. We also educate our users through the Politidex, which breaks down and compares policies between politicians, quizzes, and partisan scores.
Why Will That Work
Micro-donations tied to specific statements deliver politicians clear incentives. Politicians are shown exactly why they received funding or why their opponent did. The more politicians take post partisan actions, the more funding they get from the ChangeRoots community. The more they take toxic actions, the more funding their opponent gets. It becomes a very simple equation for politicians. Act post-partisan, get funded. Act toxic, get fired.
A Movement Harnessing Existing Energy
ChangeRoots harnesses the growing energy and numbers of younger Americans who are fed up with tribalism and demanding better from leaders and government. Our generations, Millennials and Gen Z, vote with our wallets and choose what companies to buy from based on values rather than price. We feel more fulfilled when we are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. We don’t identify with either political party in record numbers because the current system doesn’t work for us.