Boston had a hard time solving civic problems efficiently and holding its leadership accountable. In response, a team in the Mayor's office was charged with "making Boston better through clever, low-cost hacks" such as a mobile app that allows residents to send government service requests to City Hall.Read More
Very few people go to city council meetings. MindMixer, a tech startup company, increased civic participation in states across the U.S. with online platforms for city officials and the community to discuss ideas.Read More
A Dallas urban neighborhood was dilapidated with abandoned storefronts and offered no vitality for pedestrians. A group of artists and community members created Build a Better Block, in which local artisans and small businesses took over a vacant block and transformed it for a limited time to encourage the ingredients for more permanent urban renewal.Read More
Tulsa Public Schools drew on expertise across many sectors and extensive neighborhood input to address the issue of thousands of empty seats in local schools. Through a community-focused process, they were able to mindfully close under-utilized schools and better maximize the community's resources for students.Read More
The ability of social media and online civic participation to impact law and politics is still developing, but one social media tool - Friendfactor - was used successfully in New York to help bring about the passage of Gay Marriage Equality. It may be an indicator for how powerful platforms like this one will continue to play a role in societal growth and change.Read More
The Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas suffered from recession-closed businesses and crime. Then community members used placemaking, in which people shaped their own environment to improve the quality of life, and the concept of Build a Better Block, which was a pop-up event showcasing art, food, music, and local faire. The idea gives citizens a fresh look at the possibilities through which to transform the space in which they live, and it has attracted attention across the country and around the world.Read More
Hawaii private school students were taught about ecological sustainability, but public school students were not. After losing a school essay contest about sustainability, a high school student convinced Hawaii’s legislature to pass a resolution requiring that every student learn the meaning of the concept. Due to this student’s advocacy, the state is also piloting a program to install solar panels on its public schools to teach children how to be more self-sustaining.Read More
The Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies provides a "blueprint" for peaceful and democratic revolution, busting myths about the process of nonviolent revolt and helping dissidents in countries around the world to accomplish political goals, such as fighting corruption or protecting the environment.Read More
Global social and economic problems are difficult to change. However, fan-activism fuels the interests of fans of popular young adult fiction. Books such as Harry Potter and the Hunger Games have inspired activist groups that raise awareness of global hunger, reading, and relief supplies to impoverished nations, among others. Being a fan has served as a bridge to become politically active and solve the world’s problems.Read More
Alleys in Seattle were once places of illicit, illegal, and unsanitary activity. The International Sustainability Institute in Seattle began organizing music and art events to bring in people, which, in turn, cleaned-up the crime and garbage. As an urban development strategy, adjacent vacant storefronts re-opened for business and beautification could be seen in new gardens.Read More
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