Building Blocks of Citizenship: 50 Ways to Be a More Engaged, Active Citizen This Year
Even for the human race, we are newborns when it comes to citizenship. Our notion of citizenship was born out of the 18th century—if human history were plotted out on a calendar that would make the citizen’s birthday December 31 at 11:59 p.m. and 59 seconds. In the scheme of things, we’re newcomers to the very notion of citizenship.
And we’re not exactly working overtime to catch up.
While we routinely spend our entire lives becoming good family members and our adulthood becoming good parents, when it comes to being good citizens, we’re stuck in a prolonged infancy.
That’s why we’ll be sharing essays, reports, and provocations over the next 50 weeks to reinforce 50 key building blocks to citizenship. Play around with them, experiment, stack them up, DO them—hopefully, by the end, we'll have learned to walk.
Citizen Building Block #1: Consume Local News
Citizen Building Block #2: Champion a Pet Issue
Citizen Building Block #3: Commit 1 Percent of Your Time to Service
Citizen Building Block #4: Measure Your Carbon Footprint
Citizen Building Block #5: Get a Library Card
Citizen Building Block #6: Give Blood
Citizen Building Block #7: Get a Passport
Citizen Building Block #8: Be an (Un)Simple Pilgrim
Citizen Building Block #9: Become a Member of a Cultural Institution
Citizen Building Block #10: Take an Alternate Route
Citizen Building Block #11: Learn to Cook a Dish With a Story
Citizen Building Block #12: Plant a Guerrilla Garden
Citizen Building Block #13: Learn About Your Town's Sister Cities
Citizen Building Block #14: Collect and Share Your Neighbors' Contact Info
Citizen Building Block #15: Get to Know Your Local Police
Citizen Building Block #16: Learn About Your Local History
Citizen Building Block #17: Take Public Transportation
Citizen Building Block #18: Try Biking to Work
Citizen Building Block #19: Walk 30 Minutes a Day
Citizen Building Block #20: Reduce Your Waste, Starting with a Reusable CupCitizen Building Block #21: Go to Your Local Park
Citizen Building Block #22: Become an Upcycler
Citizen Building Block #23: Create a Map of Your Neighborhood
Citizen Building Block #24: Take a Staycation
Citizen Building Block #25: Take a First Aid Class
Citizen Building Block #26: Support Local Businesses
Citizen Building Block #27: Be in Touch with Your Local Leaders
Illustration by Jessica De Jesus
How Helsinki Became a Public Transporation Paradise One European city plans to make car ownership obsolete within a decade
Follow the Crowd NanoCrafter and the rise of group intelligence Why online gaming may just be the future of science
The Empathy Mirror Neurofeedback enables us to better see ourselves in the other. Recent discoveries in neurofeedback can teach you to be less of a dick.
Robots On Ice Probe the Arctic Why a team of research robots is investigating disappearing sea ice, and why you should care.
Don’t Turn Away Colin Finlay photographs the consequences of climate change. You will never see more beautiful photos of the deteriorating state of our planet than the ones in this photo feature.
Puppy Love How dogecoin spawned an improbable community of giving What a canine-emblazoned cryptocurrency can teach about philanthropy
Positive In, Positive Out: How a USC Alumna is Coping with Lymphoma Coast Guard Reserves member Cassie Sulfridge, 28, had just graduated from MSW@USC, the Southern California university’s web-based Master of Social Work program, and was working two jobs when her life was turned upside down.
Politics by Yummier Means An Israeli-Palestinian popup restaurant and the precarious art of gastric diplomacy Two chefs win over hearts, minds, and stomachs in Jerusalem.
Rag Time Seven seriously f’d up t-shirts that somehow made their way onto shelves Brazil’s “lookin’ to score” tee is, unfortunately, part of a recent tradition of aberrant apparel.
LeBron James Complicates Cleveland's Comeback Story Returning to Cleveland, LeBron James contends with a city’s past and conflicting views of its future
The Equalizers For these Brazilian footballing legends, competitive play wasn’t a diversion from societal ills, but a means to redress them. A secret history of the fight for social justice among Brazil’s greatest soccer stars of the past century
The Real Implications of Detroit’s $500 Houses Sometimes the Rent is Too Damn Low