On the evening of May 30, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), first proposed in 1921, that would constitutionally outlaw discrimination on the basis of sex. The last major push to pass the ERA occurred in the 1970s, and while nationwide ratification may be mostly symbolic, it would exemplify how accumulated, dedicated efforts often drive large-scale change.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.
Filtering by Category: History
Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Planning Council released Our Equitable Future, a set of recommendations for the Chicago region to address its systemic racial and socioeconomic inequities. As Foresight has seen firsthand in its work with Elevated Chicago, a partnership focused on equitable transit-oriented development, overcoming these historically-entrenched issues requires both structural and cultural shifts across local institutions.
I’ve written previously about the recent privatization of space exploration, and companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin continue to capture headlines. However, publicly-funded, research-driven space exploration is still going strong, as NASA plans for the May 5 launch of InSight, a Mars mission that will measure the planet’s tectonic activity for the first time.
Reporting from this week's Auto Show China, a new Wired article highlighted the “shockingly normal” design of BMW’s new electric SUV. Automakers’ increasingly ordinarily-looking electric vehicles seem to indicate that they are becoming a part of the mainstream, a promising sign for more widespread adoption.
A group of youth from South Florida is suing state officials for their inaction on climate change, arguing that sea level rise threatens their future prosperity. Whether or not their effort succeeds, these young people’s engagement and commitment to safeguarding their communities makes me hopeful about the next generation of leaders.
A US appeals court ruled on April 10 that women can’t be paid less than men due to salary history, and many states, including Illinois, are pursuing legislation that would bar employers from considering prior salary altogether. These types of oft-overlooked mechanisms can reinforce existing power structures, and dismantling this one will hopefully help to address the gender wage gap.
One year ago this week, I wrote my first installment in this series about Birkenhead Park, one of the earliest public parks in modern history. Starting next week, I will pivot to writing about notable events of 2018, in the hopes of demonstrating that history and progress are not merely relics of the past, but are being made every day.
Published at the dawn of the Cold War in 1946, the Acheson-Lilienthal Report proposed a collaborative, international approach to share the benefits, and mitigate the threats, of nuclear energy. Its eventual abandonment gives it a melancholic subtext, but its authors’ foresight is inspiring, and a worthy reminder that humanity's most pressing challenges require both global and long-term thinking.
The Selma to Montgomery March, organized by a coalition of African-American organizations, began on March 21, 1965 and built significant momentum for the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year. It is a reminder that systems change is achieved not through the benevolence of powerful leaders, but rather through collective action by ordinary people, who often overcome violence and oppression to change the status quo.
On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his famous radio “Fireside Chats,” explaining his rationale for a bank holiday during the Great Depression. Perhaps his greatest achievement in these broadcasts was to communicate complex ideas in clear, accessible language, an essential skill for leaders working on thorny challenges or in emerging fields.
Evolutions in communication technologies have shaped each generation’s ways of relating and working together, from the earliest handwritten manuscripts to today’s video chat applications. Alexander Graham Bell pioneered perhaps the most important of these leaps this week in 1876, when he patented his telephone and used it to transmit speech for the first time.