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Design Cycle #3: Fantastic Civic Imagination

Written by Nicole Mirra
May 18, 2020

During this school year, the 3D Project has gotten us thinking about the concept of community in many ways:

  1. The communities we find meaningful in our lives
  2. The possibilities and tensions that we experience in our communities
  3. The opportunities and barriers that arise when talking about civic issues with students from different communities

Underneath the political systems and boundary lines that we humans create between states and nations to separate “us” from “them,” we are a community of people living among each other at this particular moment in time. We are very similar and very different from each other in important ways – our identities, our histories, our beliefs, and our experiences. And it often seems like we are having a very hard time figuring out how to make decisions about how to live together through our differences. People seem divided. Polarized.

You brought up serious issues in your discussion groups. The environment. Guns. Health. Race. Gender. Technology. And so many more.

Now take a moment to imagine a not-too-distant future. These issues are not going away; in fact, they are getting more urgent. How is your generation going to address them when it is so hard for us to talk across serious differences in how we see the world and each other?

This can seem very heavy. It is. But it can also be hopeful.

For your final 3D challenge, we want you to let your imaginations run wild and be creative as you want to be as you dream of what the future of civic community could and should be. What kind of future do you see? Is it a drama? A tragedy? A comedy?

This is NOT about being realistic or cautious. Think WAY outside the box. What kinds of superpowers will it take to build a more compassionate community? Go for the fantasy or the sci-fi. There are no restrictions.