AmericaSpeaks convened a diverse group of 60 elected officials, community leaders, corporate officers, scholars, technology experts, journalists and young people on November 19-21, 1995, in Airlie, VA, in order to explore new innovations in governance and identify what break thoughs will be needed to generate new models for national governance as America approaches the next millennium. The Conference on Governance was co-sponsored by the Council for Excellence in Government, the Institute for State and Local Government of Harvard University, and the National Civic League.
The national network represented at the Conference engaged a 2-day process structured by some of the best thinkers in social systems to generate visions for new models of governance. From these collective and individual visions AmericaSpeaks derived a set of criteria for creating a new architecture for democracy—more authentic ways of ensuring that citizen voices prevail in our national life. These criteria comprise a systems approach which includes governance, the institution of government, and the political process, and which operates at multiple levels of society.