Privatization of government-run services, from education to infrastructure, has been an ongoing trend in recent decades, and SpaceX continued it by successfully launching a private rocket in 2008. Robert Frost, a NASA instructor and flight controller, aptly explains of the pros and cons of this shift here, and alludes to the tensions between of public good and private profit that are a root cause of many complex challenges.
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The rise and potential of social innovation labs (or “social labs”) can no longer be overlooked. Today, they take many forms and are housed in diverse sectors, including civic, private, academic, and government. They all share the goal of bringing diverse stakeholders together around complex social challenges. But what does a “social lab” even mean?Read More
California became the first state in the nation to set carbon reduction goals when it passed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, on August 30, 2006. This landmark legislation was just the initial step in climate leadership for the Golden State, which extended its cap and trade program to 2030 just last month.
Hosted at IIT’s Institute of Design, the first national Service Design Network conference occurred last week in Chicago. Insights filled my twitter feed and explored everything from improving the navigability of the citizenship process for immigrants to inciting behavior change through gamification. But what does service design even mean?Read More
On August 8, 1945, President Harry Truman signed the United Nations Charter, making the US the first nation to join the new international organization. While we take it for granted today, after the devastation of World War II the UN was a major step towards a more peaceful world.
One of the only government agencies mentioned explicitly in the US Constitution, the US Post Office was established on July 26, 1775, more than a year before the Declaration of Independence. While the Internet has largely supplanted it as an everyday communication network, leaving it in a deep crisis, it is difficult to imagine where our society would be without it.
June 14 is a special day in the history of computing: Charles Babbage proposed his difference engine to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1822, and UNIVAC 1 was dedicated for service to the US Census Bureau in 1951. While we probably take their importance for granted today, the development of these devices was indispensable to better understanding and managing complexity.
Building on last week’s theme of collaboration and in honor of the late Dr. Benjamin Barber, a champion of cities and democracy, we will explore the difference between city “government” and “governance.” But what does governance even mean?Read More