The IFTF Blog
Meet Mike Zuckerman: Secret aid worker + IFTF Fellow
A catalyst for new cultural spaces
Institute for the Future is pleased to announce that Mike Zuckerman is joining our community as an IFTF Fellow. Mike is a self-described culture hacker and pioneer at the intersection of tactical urbanism, the commons, and urgent futures. He is a co-founder of [freespace] and brings a passion for creating open spaces for communities to build cultural prosperity from the bottom up.
We are particularly inspired by Mike’s recent work in the informal migrant settlements in Greece where he rehabilitated an abandoned clothing factory, turning it into a humane shelter for refugees known as Elpida. Mike is a practical visionary who can bring on-the-ground know-how to our urgent urban futures. He demonstrated this know-how in his four months of brokering the complex private and public partnerships necessary to establish Elpida, where more traditional NGOs were unable to build the kind of community that residents have created for themselves.
With a particular interest in sustainability and crowd-sourced culture, Mike has a well-documented history of investing his time, expertise, and vision in challenging communities to rethink, redeploy, and redistribute underutilized resources where they are most needed. Mike co-founded [freespace], which he describes as “temporary space for lasting change.” Following the success of the inaugural [freespace] in San Francisco and a trip to the White House for the 2013 National Day of Civic Hacking, Mike helped build the [freespace] network of community spaces throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Mike is already at work envisioning 100 new places, both rural and urban, that have the potential to scale his style of community development by building locally crowd-sourced cultural spaces. We will be working closely with Mike over the coming months to begin to craft a set of foundational principles to guide our Cultural Prosperity Initiative.
You can contact Mike at: firstname.lastname@example.org