What's catching our eye as we're thinking about the world we want to build together? Who is catching our eye? And what and who is catching YOURS?

Email with what you'd like to see here.

(Inclusion here isn't an endorsement.) Learn more about why we're compiling these and what we're doing at
You can scroll through this spreadsheet or search for specific ideas or themes. Each inspiring idea has a description, external link, and is "tagged" along with ThirdSpace@ program themes: community safety, economics, and education, making the document searchable by tagged key words
Excerpt/DescriptionLinkTagged as
Interviews with NYers about what NYC could look like in the future

Change is around the corner, because it has to be. But how do we put it all back together, and rebuild it better and more fairly than before? In Japan, there's a tradition of fixing broken pottery by rejoining the pieces with golden lacquer; the practice is called Kintsugi, and the philosophy around it is centered on an acceptance of change. Instead of hiding the damage, "the repair is literally illuminated." The past few months have exposed countless pre-existing cracks in the city, and new ones have formed around those. In early May, we began to ask New Yorkers to fill these cracks with gold, and show us their dream of a finished project.

"Given that this is an opportunity for real change — what is your utopian idea of how NYC could look in the future?" ; New York City ;
Interview with Laurie Anderson '69

I played at the Kennedy Center on his 99th birthday. So that must've been 2016. And after the concert, they gave each of us a book called Quotations of John F. Kennedy. And it had the most amazing sentences about art and poetry, being the engines of America. The first line was, "I look forward to an America not afraid of grace and beauty." And I thought, why the hell not put that first? Grace and beauty, and art and poetry. And so that, to me, is enough of a mandate of state-sponsored music, and that it should be free for everyone, and everyone should be able to pick up an instrument and play one, like in Iceland, and everyone should be in a band.
Practices for imagining the future:

Visionary fiction is neither utopian nor dystopian, indeed it is like real life: Hard, realistic...Hopeful as a strategy. Visionary fiction disrupts the hero narrative concept that one person (often one white male, often Matt Damon) alone has the skills to save the world. Cultivate fiction that explores change as a collective, bottom-up process. Fiction that centers those who are currently marginalized—not to be nice, but because those who survive on the margins tend to be the most experientially innovative—practicing survival-based efficiency, doing the most with the least, an important skill area on a planet whose resources are under assault by less marginalized people. Visionary fiction is constantly applying lessons from our past to our future(s).
The principles of emergent strategy include:

collaborative ideation through interdependence and decentralization
creating more possibilities
nonlinear and iterative change
fractal thinking
transformative justice as resilience
Check out these examples of emergence in the natural world:
Murmuration of fish
Fractal thinking
From specialness to interdependence
Small is all
Decentralization and honeybees

A new limited series about building a better, more inclusive school system from the New York Times
Tom Colicchio has issues with food! Citizen Chef is about what we eat, where and who it comes from, and the politics, decisions, policies and people that shape our food system – with the goal of turning curious listeners into more informed, engaged citizens. Restaurateur, activist and Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio delves into policy, labor, hunger, democracy, sustainability, farming, health, social justice, technology and the restaurant business. Of particular concern is a post-coronavirus and covid-19 world.; mutual aid; economic security
Call for artist proposals

Imagine living in a truly just America. What is the culture of this future? What sounds do you hear? What images do you see? What fashions do you wear? How do you move your body?
We’re asking you to create the images, songs, poems, fashions, plays, performances, and cultures of this America free of hate and oppression. Art ; religion; future
Eyebeam's 30 new artist fellows

Mr. Gauthier’s search to reclaim his mother’s “digital body” has become more than an expression of grief; it is the source material behind a new artistic project called “Delete Me When I’m Gone,” which intends to provide a tool kit for anyone planning an afterlife washed clean of their digital persona. His endeavor is being funded by the Brooklyn-based art and technology center, Eyebeam through its new initiative, Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future, which supports 30 artists incubating creative solutions to a world torn asunder by digital surveillance, racial violence and a pandemic. ; science fiction ; digital ; future
Sonya Renee Taylor's fundraising pitch regarding the "#Buy Back Black Debt Project"

But if you are giving what makes you feel good but not what is transformative, I'm going to ask you to revisit your offer. I'm going to ask you to revisit your participation. Because this project is about...transforming the spiritual and material realities of people's existences. And so your giving needs to be transformative for you, too. If you are not transformed by what you are offering, you are not ready to offer yet...What is a transformative offer for you? The thing you give that makes you say, "Wow, I am I never anticiapted opening up possibility like this." security ; mutual aid
NationSwell's #BuildItBackBetter program/series

an initiative that will invite the NationSwell community to come together to surface the solutions and ideas that can help us to emerge from this period of crisis with a more equitable, inclusive, resilient society and planet.
Identifying the right actions in times of crisis requires reflection, and it’s in that spirit that I’m offering a new version of a mapping exercise that helps us identify our roles in a social change ecosystem. The map includes new roles that I’ve learned about through workshops and trainings. I’ve also developed a reflection guide (here) that goes with the map. Together, the map and reflection guide can be used at an individual level to reflect, assess, and plan, as well as at staff and board retreats, team-building meetings, orientations, and strategy sessions. This exercise can especially be helpful to re-align ourselves when we feel lost, confused, and uncertain in order to bring our fullest selves to the causes and movements that matter to us.
This zine: You Have Skills: Evaluating What Skills You Can Bring To Radical Organizing
Monument Lab

Monument Lab is an independent public art and history studio based in Philadelphia. Founded by Paul Farber and Ken Lum, Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on exploratory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments.

As a studio and curatorial team, we pilot collaborative approaches to unearthing and reinterpreting histories. This includes citywide art exhibitions, site-specific commissions, participatory research initiatives, a national fellows program, a web bulletin and podcast, and a workshop series for municipal and cultural officers.

Our goal is to critically engage the public art we have inherited to reimagine public spaces through stories of social justice and equity. In doing so, we aim to inform and influence the processes of public art, as well as the permanent collections of cities, museums, libraries, and open data repositories. Since 2012, Monument Lab’s projects have engaged 300,000 people in person, and garnered recognition from Americans for the Arts and the Preservation Alliance.
Zebras Unite

The most urgent human rights project of our time is reimagining business.

As we consider our current reckoning, will we stand by as history repeats itself? Will we watch as the status quo conducts itself under the facade of “tech for good”? Will we wring our hands over the dilemma of social networks without taking practical action to counter their destructive effects? Will we issue calls for increased regulation, “Hippocratic oaths” and pledges to “do no harm”? Will we hold our breath for the Business Roundtable to deliver on last year’s promise for multiple stakeholders being considered in the bottom line equation? Will we celebrate every incremental token of perceived “progress” as banks rake in record-setting profits? Will we ask politely for this industry to regulate itself and clap for their crumbs while overlooking the societal destruction it leaves in its wake?
This workbook for doing field research on pandemic unemployment, courtesy of Dana Chisnell

In my role with Project Redesign at, and in partnership with New America’s New Practice lab, I led a team of researchers to interview people from across the U.S. in May and June to learn what it has been like to apply for unemployment and other benefits during the pandemic...

We did develop a research kit and a workbook for anyone who wants to do research like this. You can download the research plan, interview guide, and story template, along with a few other tools for free from the project website.

Great briefs and research tools at this link.
This book -- What We Know: Solutions From Our Experiences In The Justice System

Featuring a chapter from Terah Lawyer, who manages the Homecoming Project at Impact Justice, which pairs community hosts with extra room in their home with people who are returning home after incarceration.
“A portal is a civic infrastructure - an alternative modality for political engagement and processes." - Gwen Prowse, Portals Policing Project
Finding Our Way is a podcast hosted by writer, healer, teacher, and Somatics practitioner, Prentis Hemphill. Prentis dives into topics of embodiment, boundaries, harm, creativity, and more with people who are working to reshape this world. This isn’t a podcast about answers. It is an exploration into ourselves, and the skills we need to create and embody the world we want. Welcome to Finding Our Way.
This book - Braided Sweetgrass

An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing.
This book - The Politics of Care

From the COVID-19 pandemic to uprisings over police brutality, we are living in the greatest social crisis of a generation. But the roots of these latest emergencies stretch back decades. At their core is a politics of death: a brutal neoliberal ideology that combines deep structural racism with a relentless assault on social welfare. Its results are the failing economic and public health systems we confront today—those that benefit the few and put the most vulnerable in harm’s way.

Contributors to this volume not only protest these neoliberal roots of our present catastrophe, but they insist there is only one way forward: a new kind of politics—a politics of care—that centers people’s basic needs and connections to fellow citizens, the global community, and the natural world. Imagining a world that promotes the health and well-being of all, they draw on different backgrounds—from public health to philosophy, history to economics, literature to activism—as well as the example of other countries and the past, from the AIDS activist group ACT-UP to the Black radical tradition. Together they point to a future, as Simon Waxman writes, where “no one is disposable.”
The MacPherson Memo, super-connector Susan MacPherson's regular roundup. Always something in there to spark the imagination, like this book - All We Can Save: Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. And this interview with Ben & Jerry.
How COVID-19 is unleashing technology to set food systems on a better course : One of the most striking images of the coronavirus pandemic is the contrast between farmers dumping milk, smashing eggs, and plowing vegetables back into the soil and consumers facing empty store shelves and long lines at food distribution centers. How is it possible to have over-abundance on one hand and scarcity on the other?

This article argues it is vital to correct pervasive information asymmetries and transaction costs across a vast food system (Figure 1) to move toward a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable model. Bank; food security; economic security; suppy chains; multilateral institutions
From Elizabeth Alexander, The Trayvon Generation in the New Yorker "What does it mean to be able to bring together the naturalistic and the visionary, to imagine community as capable of reanimating even its most hopeless and anesthetized members? What does it mean for a presumably murdered black body to come to life in his community in a dance idiom that is uniquely part of black culture and youth culture, all of that power channelled into a lifting?"
Creative Reaction Lab’s work is based on the belief that systems of oppression, inequality, inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned. We also believe that everybody is a designer — design is not restricted to people who have pursued design as a career path. We all have the power to influence outcomes. Every choice that we make every day contribute to a greater design., community safety, racial justice, community organizations, hyperlocal
How to be involved in your community - simple strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs
This podcast for kids -- we're wondering, what episodes do they have planned, and what episodes would we want to see?

Moola! Cheddar! Smackeroos! We have a lot of nicknames for money. And that’s nothing compared to the questions that kids (and sometimes the adults in their lives) have about it!

Questions like: Who invented money? How might you get your parents to agree to buy something you want? How do advertisers make you want what they’re selling — and how do you take your brain back? And why do things like pizza cost what they do?

“Million Bazillion,” a collaboration with “Brains On!” is Marketplace’s first-ever podcast for kids. Host Jed Kim will answer the sometimes awkward, sometimes surprising questions kids have about money.

Along the way, Jed will get some help from super-smart experts, kids and famous friends like Kristen Bell and LeVar Burton.
A set of web tools and design kits for college and university students to get involved in voting, civic participation
Visual ideas about do-able alternatives to retributive justice in the US criminal justice system -- a representation of restorative justice
The VICE Guide to 2030

The next-best thing to being able to predict the future is listening to those who will shape it.
This coming decade, the primary people tasked with that challenge are the oldest members of still-evolving Generation Z. And they have their work cut out for them: A health pandemic has engulfed countries all over the world, causing an enormous number of deaths, unprecedented economic blows, and widespread unemployment. Meanwhile, the climate continues to worsen and wealth disparity continues to grow. What could come next? More importantly, what should?

In mid-2019, we began trying to answer that question by talking to you—our Gen Z readers. Using a series of four in-depth questionnaires, we interviewed hundreds of VICE readers between the ages of 16 and 22, asking what they care about most and how they’d like to see things change in the future. Then, to understand where Gen Z stands out, we posed the same questions to members of the two generations before them, totaling more than a thousand participants overall. The answers we received, presented here across four categories, shouldn’t be taken as typical polling data. Rather, they should be read as insights and instructions from just a slice of young people today.
The We Will Emerge collection from PEN America

How can we be better when this nightmare is over?

That was the question Dave Eggers and I asked, as we emailed back and forth in April before George Floyd’s murder. We had the admittedly audacious hope that we could come out of the coronavirus crisis as a better people. We arrived at the phrase “We Will Emerge” and asked writers and thinkers to use that as a springboard. Dave encouraged me to take the reins from there. I thought I’d be lucky to assemble about two dozen friends. Along with PEN America, we ended up bringing together 111 writers, activists, academics, poets, and public servants in a collaborative project to imagine a blueprint for a post-COVID America. The voices represented in “We Will Emerge” were so willing and passionate that the project kept growing, fueled by a sense of urgency.
Some interesting conversations happening at the Texas Tribune Festival, like this conversation with mayors.

Six big-city mayors, three once-in-a-century crises, one unanswered question: How do we come back from this?
Tools that Undocumented university students can use to protect and advocate for the rights to education access to education, Immigration, undocumented, Georgia, Florida, adovcacy, human rights
The nation’s boldest scholars stand at the forefront of movements for economic and social justice – they are creating the catalytic ideas for transformative change. Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation are placing power in the hands of these changemakers through new Freedom Scholars Awards, $250,000 grants that give leaders greater freedom to build a truly representative economy that works for working families and people.

The $3 million Freedom Scholars program is a commitment to scholarship that is rooted in and supports movements led by Black and Indigenous people, migrants, queer and poor people, and People of Color. The awards support scholars who are shifting the balance of power to families and communities that have been historically excluded from the resources and benefits of society. With this award, Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation are recognizing the role that scholars play in cultivating the intellectual infrastructure necessary to nurture movements toward freedom.

Today’s Freedom Scholars work at the forefront of abolitionist, Black, feminist, queer, radical, and anti-colonialist studies and critical fields of research that are often underfunded or ignored. Support for their research, organizing, and academic work is pivotal in this moment when there is a groundswell of support to hold our political and economic leaders accountable.
This book: A Civic Technologist's Practice Guide, by Cyd Harrell

This friendly guide is for technology people who work, or want to work, in the public sector. In it, Cyd Harrell outlines the types of projects, partnerships, and people that civic technologists encounter, and the methods they can use to make lasting change. She focuses on principles and sets of questions to help technologists find the right way to do the most good, starting with finding the people already doing the work. Based on her years of government tech partnerships, Cyd offers practical advice on how to build alliances with public-sector partners, what tech (and non-tech) skill sets are most useful, and how to show up in spaces dedicated to stewardship rather than profit. You'll also find tips from experience on how to introduce new methods and tools, and how to connect with others in the field and work sustainably on hard problems.
Instead, for a new generation of Black activists, success lies in the process of making change — in politics, policies and social practices. On the campaign trail, we hire managers and organizers who have experiences in common with their communities. We design field plans with an eye to year-round engagement rather than a monthlong, extractive Get Out the Vote program. When we write campaign plans, we think about mutual aid and long-term governance. We want communications staff members who want to inspire and educate voters, not engage in the politics of fear. The ultimate goal of the ballot is to build and sustain coalitions of community members who can have a say in governance. We work to avoid what the political scientist Paul Frymer calls “electoral capture” — the Democratic Party’s habitual disregard for Black people’s political interests despite the fact that they are the party’s most loyal constituency and have no other reasonable alternative for representation.
Joanna Macy - Work that Reconnects

The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.
My Grandmother’s Hands - Resmaa Menakem

“My Grandmother’s Hands invites each of us to heal the racial trauma that lives in our bodies. As Resmaa Menakem explains, healing this trauma takes courage and a commitment to viscerally feel this racial pain. By skillfully combining therapy expertise with social criticism and practical guidance, he reveals a path forward for individual and collective healing that involves experiencing the sensations of this journey with each step. Are you willing to take the first step?”―Alex Haley, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
The City We Became - NK Jemisin

"A love letter, a celebration and an expression of hope and belief that a city and its people can and will stand up to darkness, will stand up to fear, and will, when called to, stand up for each other." York City
Love and Rage - Lama Rod Owens

In a time when the politics of anger—who gets to be angry, how, when and at whom—infuse every institutional and cultural sphere, Lama Rod Owens offers a radical re-envisioning of a deeply timely topic in his new book, Love and Rage The Path of Liberation Through Anger. Love and Rage will resonate with anyone who wants to metabolize or harness their anger for transformation and change.
Meet The Black Woman That Is Healing DC With Her Teas and Tonics (Found through OM Weekly newsletter)

Wellness is our birthright. When we go back 2-3 generations we see our grandparents had gardens… growing herbs, fruits and vegetables. Our urbanization has left us without that natural earth connection. We no longer recognize medicinal herbs and flowers even when passing them on the street. Herbal medicine is like electricity… you don’t have to see it or believe in it for its efficacy to shock you. https://
Learn about SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice): a national network of affiliated groups working together to expand our collective capacity to organize White people for racial justice.

Review their tools for building a chapter and take a look at their political education resources.
The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less

The degrowth movement wants to intentionally shrink the economy to address climate change, and create lives with less stuff, less work, and better well-being. But is it a utopian fantasy?
Mellon Foundation Announces Quarter-Billion-Dollar Grant Commitment for “Monuments Project” to Reimagine and Rebuild Commemorative Spaces and Transform the Way History is Told in the United States
Care 100

The most influential people in care of 2020

“Welcome to the Care 100.

The future of care—how we parent, heal, and age—is here and these are the people designing it.” safety
Design Justice Network

“The Design Justice Network is an international community of people and organizations who are committed to rethinking design processes so that they center people who are too often marginalized by design. We work according to a set of principles that were generated and collaboratively edited by our network.”
Community safety, imagination
The Truth Telling Project’s BIPOC Community Story Project on COVID-19

On behalf of The Truth Telling Project we are honored to share our first video project chronicling the impact of COVID-19 on BIPOC communities in the U.S. This project was one of the outcomes of our BIPOC Community Hearings on COVID-19 held this past summer, in June, 2020. 

Watch and share the stories BIPOC communities tell in 5 words of their experiences with how the Coronavirus has impacted us in our homes, workplaces, organizing, and communities. The world needs to hear our stories. #TheTruthTellingProject
Our new PORTALS report imagines possible futures arising out of today’s disasters. It is the latest installment of the annual Trends to Watch series, curated by our Exploration and Future Sensing team to support Omidyar Network’s mission of reimagining systems to build more inclusive and equitable societies. Across our focus areas of Reimagining Capitalism, Responsible Technology, and Pluralism, the work of “reimagining” requires that we interrogate our own assumptions about how systems need to change by listening to diverse viewpoints.

Created in collaboration with Guild of Future Architects, the 2021 report distills four open-ended provocations, designed to stir imagination and action, from a yearlong process of collective foresight. Between November 2019 and February 2021, the Guild invited 1,000 people to participate in a series of virtual sessions asking how systems that shape our daily lives could become more just and inclusive by 2036. A critical part of looking ahead was also looking back at how we arrived at today’s social, economic, and political realities.