IFTF + You
The Governance Futures Lab brings social inventors and futures thinking to the challenge of designing better systems of governance. Today’s governments are, for the most part, incapable of dealing effectively and justly with the complex global challenges of the 21st Century. Governance failures will not only cause suffering for today’s citizens, but will ripple through time, constraining the future for generations to come. Revolutions have recently ruptured decades-old systems of government in the Arab world, and widespread dissatisfaction is growing in the United States and Europe.
If government as we’ve known it isn’t working, what fair, modern, and viable models will we have to rely upon to re-constitute society? The answer to this question may not be discovered—it may have to be invented.
The mission of the Governance Futures Lab is to reimagine and experiment with the basic architectures and processes of governance. We believe it is necessary to experiment with new systems and new rules to govern life on our planet. We have powerful tools to connect, organize and coordinate human behavior. We also have unprecedented amounts of knowledge about how the world works and humanity’s role in its own future.
We are now seeing the beginning of a broad global desire to rethink the relationship between people and their governments. Through a range of public activities and initiatives, the Governance Futures Lab aims to facilitate the definition and invention of new governance systems appropriate for an age of planetary challenges and human responsibility.
- Urban Futures Network—February-November 2015
Governance Futures Lab founders, David Evan Harris and Bettina Warburg are Artists-in-Residence at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2015, working with other IFTF colleagues to lead the Urban Futures Network, culminating in an exhibit in November 2015.
- City Innovate Summit—June 17-18, 2015
Bettina Warburg led the Maker Cities Track of the first City Innovate Summit, bringing together makers, activists, engineers and city officials from around the world to talk about making cities from the ground up.
- Tech + Democracy—February 18, 2015
The Governance Futures Lab partnered with the National Democratic Institute to host, Tech + Democracy: Perspectives from Argentina, Georgia, Kenya + the Czech Republic, an event that included members of parliament from eleven countries.
- Governance Design Workshop @ Personal Democracy Forum—June 6, 2014
Governance Futures Lab team members, David Evan Harris, Bettina Warburg, and Lindsea Kemp Wilbur presented a Governance Design Workshop to 50 participants, modeled on our ReConstitutional Convention and using our Governance Design Toolkit. David Evan Harris also gave a main stage talk on Leapfrog Democracies (video).
- Open for Change—October 10-12, 2013
David Evan Harris spoke at Hivos’ Open for Change conference in Rotterdam about App4Gov and the Governance Futures Lab.
- Millennial Trains Project—August 8-17, 2013
IFTF research affiliate Lindsea K. Wilbur joined the Millennial Trains Project to take our Governance Futures Lab’s Social Inventors Toolkit across the United States.
- Hack for Change—June 1-2, 2013
National Day of Civic Hacking took place June 1-2 in cities across the United States. The event provided citizens an opportunity to do what is most quintessentially American: roll up our sleeves, get involved, and work together to improve our society (visit hackforchange.org to learn more).
- ReConstitutional Convention—April 26-27, 2013
Governance Futures Lab hosted the ReConstitutional Convention, convening a community of social inventors and innovators passionate in designing and creating new governance systems. Our toolkit is now available online, as well as the lightning talks from the event. You can also view the frameworks and prototypes developed during the convention at reconcon.govfutures.org.
- Connected Citizens—January 22-23, 2013
What if we could reprogram our government together in just 24 hours? On January 22-23, over 500 players from 52 countries contributed more than 6,700 microforecasts in Connected Citizens, a one-of-a-kind, 24-hour collaborative forecasting game produced by the Institute for the Future (IFTF).
- CivicMeet—December 13, 2012
IFTF and the Governance Futures Lab partnered with the City of Palo Alto for a CivicMeet on December 13, 2012, to challenge citizens to innovate the civic experience in the heart of Silicon Valley. Upwards of 70 participants joined city staff, IFTF researchers, and interested citizens to think more strategically about the challenges of innovating civic life in the local community.