Building Common Ground in Washington DC and Beyond

Episode 5

Is America really hopelessly divided? Our co-founders explore ongoing efforts to advance bipartisanship.

America is often described by the news media as being hopelessly divided between two opposing camps that hate each other. But not only is the reality among everyday citizens very different, in Washington DC itself politicians, non-profit groups and several leading journalists are highlighting new efforts to find common ground.

Our co-founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen discuss their recent trip to Washington, where they met with Utah’s Republican Governor Spencer Cox to learn more about his plans to work across the political aisle. Governor Cox will become Chair of The National Governors Association this summer and plans to put a special focus on solving the nation’s polarization problem, restoring what he calls “healthy conflict” to our political discourse.

At a separate venue, they sat down with three other leading players in the bridging space: David Blankenhorn, Co-Founder and President of Braver Angels; Keith Allred, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse; and journalist Amanda Ripley, who has written extensively about conflict.

Also in this episode of Our Take on Common Ground: Erik and Bruce share their take on President Biden’s State of the Union Address and the Republican response.

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is Co-Founder, CEO and Board Chair of Common Ground Committee. He is a 30-year veteran of the information technology industry including an executive position at world-renowned analyst firm Gartner, launching several successful software start-ups, and roles as industry analyst, software developer, and chief information officer (CIO). Mr. Bond graduated with an AB degree in Politics from Princeton University where he was a national-class distance runner.

Erik Olsen

Erik L. Olsen is Co-Founder, CFO and Board Member of Common Ground Committee. He has more than 25 years of experience in investment management and fund management, and nine years of real estate investment experience. Mr. Olsen serves as Managing Partner of CataMetrics Management, a Registered Investment Advisory firm. Mr. Olsen specializes in macroeconomic analysis and policy issues. Mr. Olsen holds a B.A. degree from Principia College and an M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.