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
The militarization of police forces in cases such as Ferguson, Missouri’s riots has led the state of Utah to question what can be done to prevent such an overuse of force from happening. Utah expanded upon a law passed by Democratic legislature in Maryland, which Utah’s ACLU reworked with some libertarians, to require the police to provide data about SWAT team usage. Utah’s success demonstrates that demilitarization bills passed with bipartisan support are not impossible.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
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
A positive transformation in a Mississippi prison has become a focal point for a growing number of states rethinking the use of long-term isolation. Humanitarian groups have long argued that solitary confinement has devastating psychological effects, but a central driver in the recent shift is economics. Some officials have also been persuaded by research suggesting that isolation is vastly overused and that it does little to reduce overall prison violence.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
Why do schools teach music in a way that turns off so many young people rather than igniting their imagination? A program that taps into students’ passion for pop and rock is revitalizing music education in many schools.Read More
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