The Institute launched The Franklin Project in 2013, a program tasked with creating a voluntary civilian counterpart to military service in the United States. The initiative has engaged leaders in military, business, government, nonprofit, faith, academic, community-building, and other sectors to support large-scale civilian service. Its formation is vital at a time of national division, when the entrepreneurial energy of citizens must be harnessed to help solve public problems and bring people of different perspectives together.
The Franklin Project’s plan of action will be unveiled at the first-ever 21st Century National Service Summit. Its focus on national service comes as a direct result of General Stanley McChrystal’s call at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival to engage more Americans in serving their communities and country:
McChrystal also made the case for increased engagement in national service in a May 2013 op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, and Joe Klein of TIME magazine also covered what he calls McChrystal’s “new mission.”