Gift Our Leaders

Click above to watch a 3 minute video summary of our April 2013 crowdsourced trip to Washington D.C. to personally deliver COLLABORATION SOUP to all 100 Senators.

March, 2016.  As we reflect on all that’s happened since then, we continue to be humbled, grateful, and encouraged by all that we learned.

GRATITUDE -First, and really most important, is the gratitude for all of you who helped make it happen – for your thoughts, encouragement, support, money contributed, suggestions, sharing of our many emails, and help in so many ways. You are the heart and soul that drives all things good and great. From the deepest place within Delia, Paul and me, we say thank you!

THE SENATE – We were warmly received by all the Senators and learned that they too want to work together and can over many issues, as in 80% of the time. It is the 20% left that is the most polarized and gets the attention and drama. Read Paul’s blogs posts for his wonderfully written descriptions of our adventures. Here’s Paul’s real time commentary on our adventure.

Day 1 Blog

Day 2 Blog

Day 3 Blog

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Finished delivering COLLABORATION SOUP books to all 100 Senators

NO LABELS – Through our preparation and research, we discovered a very dedicated group in DC called NO LABELS, who’s mottos is Stop Fighting, Start Fixing. We spent 1-1/2 hours on Thursday with them and met their hard-working team. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene, and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work. We will continue to support them and ask that you do also.  Check them out –


THE POWER OF INSPIRED ACTION – Lastly I want to say something about the power of taking inspired action. Delia and I write a monthly Newsletter with tips to support and inspire people to have successful collaborative experiences. In Jan 2013 I wrote about my decision to go on this quest to DC and why. Following through with this quest and all the ups and downs and indecisions and doubts, has changed my life.


(From Collaboration Soup Jan 2013 Newsletter)

If you have an inspired idea, we encourage you to go for it.  Sometimes the answer to the question “Why?” is a simple, “Why Not?”

  • Invite people to co-create with you.  Really, you DON’T have to do it alone (chances are you CAN’T do it alone).

  • Find allies — those who believe in your dream.

  • Have a particular image, or mental picture, of the result you want.

  • Set a date and tell people – then you are committed.

  • Take regular quiet time to stay connected with you deepest inspiration.

  • Be willing to take risks and make mistakes.

  • Share news and updates, wins and successes, and even challenges broadly (social media is great for this).


We started GIFT OUR LEADERS Nov 2012, with an indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign.

We are on a quest to deliver a message and a tool to our members of Congress that says: Work Together, NOW!

click to view


Tired of Washington Gridlock? Tell our Washington Leaders to

Work Together, NOW!

Why We’re Doing This

We need our newly elected leaders to move beyond political differences, party lines, and personality clashes, and reach across the aisle to create bridges and find sensible bipartisan solutions to America’s challenges.

We are tired of the gridlock. We need Washington officials to stop acting like kids in opposite corners of the sandbox. We need them to work together more effectively on shared interests for the benefit of the American people, now. We know that delivering this message can make a huge difference for all Americans!

What This Project is About

GIFT OUR LEADERS sends a message to our elected leaders. Just imagine…the inauguration is over and Washington has heard a new song sung by the American people with the powerful refrain: “Work together. Fix our problems. Work together…for all of us.”

The White House and Congress return to work determined to do things differently, but are not quite sure how. In March 2013, we are going to Washington to deliver one small, powerful book titled COLLABORATION SOUP. The book is a gift from the American people and a reminder that the problems we face are bigger than party boundaries and more important that special interests.

COLLABORATION SOUP gives them a simple, practical, and effective format to find common ground. A new kind of conversation takes place, trust and respect grow, wheels begin to turn. Creative approaches to old problems appear, old log-jams break up, and cross-party alliances form to champion new solutions. The American people notice that government is working together and respect for our leaders grows.


President Obama and Mitt Romney having a one on one lunch Nov 29, 2012.
If our top leaders can do it, then Congress can do it too.

We’ve complained, signed petitions, tweeted about it, discussed it endlessly on facebook. Now it’s time to take a different kind of action! Let’s send a gift to our leaders. Let’s remind them that we want them to collaborate, and send them a simple guidebook on how to do it.

We can’t waste more time. We are tired of all the Congress bashing and we want to work with leaders who are open to collaboration. We want to highlight and support the Senators that ARE collaborating effectively and encourage and inspire others to do so, and do it well. We have put out the call for a passionate dynamic film and photography crew to take with us to document our quest and to capture and tell the stories of success. We are committed to making this happen, and you can be part of it.

Our Team

Paula Vigneault and Delia Horwitz are co-authors of COLLABORATION SOUP: A Six Step Recipe for Co-Creative Meetings and Other Conversations. They have over 25 years of experience working with local governments, non-profits, and businesses as collaboration specialists, facilitating strategic planning, team building, and effective meeting design. Their practical, effective tools for collaboration have helped diverse groups to find their common interests and take action.

Where We Are with the Project Now

We have the books ready to go. We just have to get it there. Rather than send it in the mail, we are personally delivering the book March 2013. We are also creating a Pledge of Collaboration we are asking every member of Congress to sign. We will film the story and create a documentary of our journey.

Why We Need Your Help

We need a minimum of $4000 for the first phase of GIFT OUR LEADERS. It takes us, the American people, to fund this quest. Come be a part of this powerful and significant project!

What Your Money Will Pay For

A book for each member of the Senate, airfare and housing for 4 people to travel to Washington for a week in March 2013 (Delia and Paula and our film crew of 2).

Can We Exceed Our Goal?

Yes! The more money we raise, the more quickly we can bring the message of COLLABORATION SOUP to all members of Congress. The more money that is contributed, the more elected leaders we can gift with this message and these tools; Governors, state and local elected officials.

What We Offer You in Return for Your Contribution

You will be a part of this significant movement, aimed at supporting our elected officials in Washington to work together effectively for the American people. Through your support and helping us get the word out, you will join us and be a voice heard in DC.

$15 sends one book to Washington hand delivered by Paula and Delia.

$50 sends one book to Washington hand delivered by Paula and Delia PLUS you will receive an e-book copy of COLLABORATION SOUP and a photo of us delivering the book.

Please contribute! Every little bit helps.

I’m Really Inspired and Ignited by Your Project. How Else Can I Be Involved?

Please help us spread the word about our GIFT OUR LEADERS project AND our film!

Tell your friends about the project:

Share the video at the top of this page.

Post a link to our website on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.

Link to our website from your blog.

Send us an email at [email protected].

Let us know if you know someone who might be interested in the project.


Be a part of the solution–send a message and a gift to Congress to work together….for all of us.

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