Teneo Community Vision BookPublished on March 9, 2023
This 85-page 2019 manifesto sets out the guiding beliefs and organizing principles for the Teneo Network.
The ideas are guided by the outlined principle that significant cultural change is best achieved through a network of powerful elites (presumably the Teneo Network) rather than from the bottom up. The document outlines a criticism of the Republican Party, right wing media, and think-tanks for their work to "engage a mass, grassroots audience" rather than focussing on "influencing the influential." It calls this strategy "fundamentally flawed." Teneo founder and former CEO Evan Baehr, who wrote the document foreword, holds degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
From the document:
"Americans like to tell themselves a story about how cultures change: the “bottom up” method. This view holds that culture is the accumulation of values held by the majority of people."
"...According to this view, if you want to change culture, you need to change the hearts and minds of the majority of people, and the culture will shift as a result. Although this view is comfortingly democratic, it is flawed. This view does not take into account the fact that powerful minorities have the power to shift the views of the majority. If culture were truly democratic, then you would expect the power of any minority—whoever it might be— to be minute. It is not."
The document highlights the organizing model of the Federalist Society ("FedSoc") in developing "the definitive pipeline for conservative legal talent."
"FedSoc currently has more than 60,000 members and hosts more than 350 events a year, making it the premier network of conservative lawyers in the country. By casting a wide net, FedSoc leadership is able to identify and develop a much smaller group of the very best conservative legal talent. This smaller group of legal superstars is actively cultivated and connected by FedSoc leadership."
"Frequent, highly personalized communications from FedSoc’s senior leadership team ensures that this network of legal superstars and their supporters know each other and can coordinate on shared projects. This community of lawyers, investors, and executives work together on projects that seem well beyond the scope of FedSoc. In fact, many of the allies working on these projects would (correctly) say that the projects are not “FedSoc projects” at all."
Obtained by Documented and ProPublica