Air Date

November 1, 2023

Featured Guests

Natalie Tran
Executive Director, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Foundation

Janice Burner
Group General Counsel and Head of Civic Engagement, Travelers

Betsy Martin
Director, Southern Region, Boeing Global Engagement


Hilary Crow
Vice President, Civics, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation


In a time when democracy is more vital than ever, workplaces are uniquely positioned to support the civic knowledge and engagement of their employees. During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 2023 Business Solves conference, a panel of business leaders discussed why and how companies can bolster American democracy and civic health.

Businesses Can Provide Opportunities for Employees to Bolster their Civic Knowledge

Betsy Martin, director of the Southern Region of Boeing Global Engagement, emphasized that many employees are “hungry to engage, to give back, and to volunteer” — and it’s up to businesses to provide those opportunities.

Natalie Tran, executive director of the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Foundation, agreed, noting that community impact and meaning in work are particularly important for millennial workers. While the ‘why’ is apparent to many businesses, she added, the ‘how’ can be more elusive.

“That’s what we try to answer at the Civic Alliance … [by creating] resources,” Tran explained. “We have an election starter toolkit, resource guides, workshops, and seminars. That way, we can … learn from each other … and help companies elevate corporate civic engagement. 

Travelers also created an initiative for its employees, Citizen Travelers, to promote civic knowledge amongst its 30,000 employees. 

“The last couple years have made us realize how important, at the local level, leadership is,” said Janice Brunner, group general counsel and head of civic engagement at Travelers. “We … [offered employees] opportunities to get out into their communities, and also [provided] tools and resources [with] nonpartisan information.”

With Challenges Ahead for Our Country, Our Actions Matter

Few would deny that the United States is facing challenging times right now, particularly concerning civic education. For example, a study by the Reboot Foundation found that, if asked to give up either TikTok or the right to vote for one year, over half of respondents would choose the latter.

Despite this, Martin remains an “eternal optimist,” noting that businesses can take action to reverse these trends for the better.

“It’s a tough road. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and the statistics are stark, but we’ve got good people that are leading the charge,” said Martin. “The actions that we choose to take today — [whether that’s] investment, what we encourage our employees to do, the opportunities we provide — will either pay dividends or consequences for the future. And we can’t be passive; we’ve got to dig in and go deep on this.”