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>  Crowd-hitch a ride to explore America's new frontiers

Governance Futures USA

Track: Explorers
Region: West

Bringing the Social Inventor's Toolkit across America!

$5,375 Raised out of $5,000
4 Supporters
-500 Days Remaining

What is your project?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that has."

—Margaret Mead

We are living in a world of ever growing complexity. These are uncertain times for all of us individually, as well as for our governments and communities.

Because of this, there is a growing desire to re-evaluate our civic governance system. With the first ever National Day of Civic Hacking under our belt, increasingly we are seeing a widespread call for innovation in our neighborhoods, cities and states.There's a growing energy to dive into projects and begin civic hacking. 

I want to take Institute for the Future's Inventor's Toolkit across the country to examine our beliefs and assumptions about society, and teach people how to become social inventors in their own neighborhoods.

Holding philosophical hackathons in the style of Philosophy for Children Hawai'i, I'll act as a collaborative facilitator as we examine our beliefs about the basic foundations of society, human nature, and civic governance.

Gov Futures Lab USA wants to introduce the Inventor's Toolkit and the philosophical hackathon as a way to begin promoting a culture of system and futures thinking in an intellectually safe environment. It creates gives us an opportunity to better understand our own beliefs, and apply critical thinking to some of the complex questions we face today.

The philosophical hackathon assumes these basic premises:

1. We are all born with an innate sense of wonder.

2. We all have a philosophy (whether we call it that or not). It's the set of beliefs we've developed based on our experiences in the world, and our association with others.

3. Philosophy is not writing in a book—philosophy happens in our interaction with others. Philosophy is active, not passive, and the more we practice it, the more we hone our beliefs and perceptions about the world around us.

Inspired by American Pragmatism and philosophers like John Dewey, William James, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the discussion platform is simple but important to creating an intellectually safe community.


What is your perception of the future, and how does your project respond to that perception?



How will you use your time in each city to advance your project?


What is your project designed to accomplish?

"We live not in a passive society, a read-only society, but in a writable society," says Beth Noveck. 

Writes Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet, "Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way to the answer." This train voyage is an experiment in living the Big Questions that face our planet today.

The foundations of our society, created for the past, are not working today—why? What exactly are the foundations? What are assumptions do we hold about these foundations, or about society at large?

Through examining our beliefs and exploring ideas in an intellectually safe environment, we will move down paths of untried thought and begin to co-create our preferred future.

Based on our discussions about human nature, society, and the world around us, how can we create mechanisms and prototypes that uphold our most important values?What will the markets look like? The commons? How will law and policy, technology, built environment, and cultural norms work if they were built upon a different kind of philosophical foundation? 

Encouraging people across the country to create prototypes from their preferred future— like a constitutional preamble, an art piece, a speech, a graphic novel, a blog post, a software algorithm—they're welcome to submit it to Institute for the Future's Gov Futures Lab!


How do you plan to share the outcome of your project and the impact of your MTP experience with others?

The experience can also be followed on Twitter (#govfuturesUSA), and via regular blog posts on Gov Futures USA.

Collecting thoughts, questions, and inspirations from individuals in 6 cities across the country, the frameworks and foundation for our future society will begin to emerge—and so will more questions!


Lindsea K. Wilbur

About Lindsea K. Wilbur

Lindsea K. Wilbur, born and raised in the countryside of Oahu, is a member of Planetary Collective, a future philosopher in space, a learner and a collaborative facilitator. Studying and conducting research at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM), she feels most at home in the Futures Studies, Human Computer Interaction, and Philosophy department. Before UHM, she spent some time in San Francisco, New York, and Paris. Her other projects include directing an open source scifi RPG about human civilization in outerspace (currently in production), and writing about arts and culture in Hawaiʻi.