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contrasting possibilities

What’s a Conceptual Policy Possibility?

Interactivity Foundation Project Discussions aim at generating contrasting conceptual policy possibilities with the hopes of expanding and enriching public thinking about a complex area of social and political concern. You might think of a “policy” as providing a...

False Dichotomies and the IF Discussion Process

While on a recent family vacation, I had the “opportunity” to watch a couple hours of cable TV news/commentary.  By which I mean that I lost the coin toss with my spouse over which of us would accompany our over-excited children to the hotel pool, where a steady...

What is Poetry?

When Robert Frost was asked ‘What is poetry?’ he replied ‘Poetry is the kind of thing that poets write’. A natural response to such a definition might be a knowing smile and a barrage of questions that try to get at the core of what poetry is or what it might be....

Creating New Lenses, Asking Different Questions

In 2004 the inventor Saul Griffith, then young grad student at MIT, won the prestigious Lemelson-MIT prize, based in part on his invention of desktop device to manufacture inexpensive eyeglass lenses on demand. Griffith was motivated by a concern for underserved...

In Praise of Partisanship? Exploring Divergences

Praising partisanship might seem like a strange thing to do—at least for a non-partisan organization like the Interactivity Foundation. In the discussions we facilitate, whether in our “Discussion Projects” or our ensuing “Public Discussions,” we don’t seek to...

Summiting a Concern Around the IF Sanctuary Table

I recently caught up with one of the Frontline episodes on my DVR.  This one was called Storm  Over Everest, and it initially aired on May 13,2008.  You can view the episode here, if you like. The episode recounts a violent blizzard trapped numerous climbers at...

Hope, Change, and that Political Fog of Enthusiasm

Public policy possibilities are often developed and discussed within a fog of enthusiasm. It’s not that the people who advance them do not think at all about their possible practical consequences. But they tend to think a lot more about the consequences that are...