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The End of Cognitive Policy Works — And New Beginnings!

Many of you read my post earlier this year about the evolving practice of Cognitive Policy Works, where I shared the diagram below to chart our progress over the years.  Since that time, the core questions about where this work might go have been resolved.  And I am excited to share the news that the […]

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Can Culture Really Be Studied Scientifically?

It is worth pausing to reflect on the fact that cultural studies have historically been separated from science.  Yes, it makes sense to apply the tools of science to the movement of planets, properties of metals, and other physical things.  But isn’t culture different?  Isn’t it made of something other than physical stuff?  This is […]

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The 4 Step Path to Human Thriving

This article is co-authored with Michel de Kemmeter and published concurrently on his blog at Uhdr UniverseCity. It is time to state clearly what is needed to live in a sustainable world. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi We have all heard these prophetic words.  But exactly […]

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Will the Surveillance Meme Keep Us From Global Democracy?

Thanks to the ubiquity of mobile phones and digital infrastructure, it is now possible to achieve direct democracy at the global scale.  We are already seeing inklings of its emergence in the rise of Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, and more recent activities in Egypt, Brazil, and Turkey.  Yet there is a cultural force at […]

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The Climate Meme Research Report is Here!

We are excited to announce that our first round of research is complete. The climate meme has now been analyzed and is ready for public viewing. Thanks to everyone who made this possible! This is the first ever glimpse of the cultural memes that tell us how to think, feel, and act on the threat […]

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Can the United States Heal Its Politics in Time?

If I had to pick one word to describe the political culture of the United States, I would call it unwell.  Throughout the last several decades — the entirety of adult political life for most active citizens — we have been plagued with lies and deceit, anger and betrayal, a toxic polarization that has rotted […]

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A Climate Activist’s Guide to Moral Worldviews

At the heart of the climate crisis is a profound clash of worldviews. People live in different ideological camps — beholden to their own beliefs, values, judgements, and ideas about the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The failure of climate activists to engage the broad public effectively is largely attributable to this great […]

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A Major Report on the Framing of Poverty

Earlier this year, I had the profound honor of bringing together a team of frame analysts, data technologists, and international development experts to focus on one of the most critical problems in the world today — our rigged global financial system.  We worked closely with the campaign team at /The Rules to uncover important insights […]

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Applying Meme Science to Global Warming

This article is co-authored by Joe Brewer and Lazlo Karafiath.  They are co-founders of DarwinSF, a social impact company whose mission is to help good memes spread. It was originally published on We all want to live in a world that supports life and promotes human well-being.  Okay, do we really want to?  That’s […]

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Why It’s Hard to Replace the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Metaphor

Writers on economics have been talking since the election about why the “fiscal cliff” metaphor is misleading. Alternative metaphors have been offered like the fiscal hill, fiscal curb, and fiscal showdown, as if one metaphor could easily be replaced by another that makes more sense of the real situation. But none of the alternatives has […]

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