Area of Concern

Civic Futures

California has always been a frontier—a place of change and innovation. From the gold rush to the rise of the film industry, from the free speech movement of the 1960s to the emergence of Silicon Valley as an engine of innovation, California has reinvented itself time and again.

Perhaps this is why many of us find ourselves asking: Can California do it again? Today the state is facing some of its toughest challenges. And its future will be crafted from our responses to these challenges—as individuals, as organizations, as communities. We can already see signals of some of these responses as we scan the California landscape. They point to very divergent futures, to alternative scenarios in which we come face-to-face with what we value.

This map is an invitation to explore the future worlds that are already emerging today in California. It’s a tool to tackle, head on, the big questions facing the state. It’s a chance to think about the alternatives, to compare and contrast scenarios that provoke us to think in new ways, to ask better questions and engage in important conversations with our neighbors, our colleagues, and our community leaders. Perhaps most important, it’s a way to reinvent ourselves as 21st century Californians.

Take a tour of California’s landscape-in-the-making. Grapple with one or more of the big questions. Imagine your day in one of the future scenarios. And then take your next step—it may be the first step toward building the new California dream.

The work is the result of workshop with multi-disciplinary experts and is being published in collaboration with California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).

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