Our response to Charlottesville

We watched the violence and hatred in Charlottesville with horror and anger. The attitudes we saw there aren’t new, and they shouldn’t surprise any of us, but they should make us all rise up and demand better of our country. The goal of FutureShift is to play what role we can in bringing about a better world, and if our future doesn’t have justice and equality for all people, then it’s not actually better. FutureShift was founded by, and so far continues to be the work of, two white women. Since the beginning of this project, we’ve been aware that …

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Harlots is the Most Feminist Show You’re Not Watching

There has been much buzz about Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale — the dystopian drama set in a theocratic future where women are owned and bred like animals. Less talked about but just as good is their other series Harlots, which is an exercise in the power of the female gaze.   Harlots is the story of two rival brothels in 18th century London run by madames Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley. Harlots is unique as a feminist show in two ways. The first is that the entire creative team behind the show — the producers, director, writers, and most of …

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Jedi Wisdom for Activists

Happy May the Fourth! This Star Wars Day, we’re honoring the Rebel Alliance and everything Star Wars has taught us about how to be activists. Here are some of our favorite lessons and inspiration from the Skywalkers and their allies that have given us hope. Has Star Wars inspired you to fight the evil empire? Tweet with #May4thRebellion and tell us what you’re doing for the rebellion today. Do or do not. There is no try. The Empire is massive, and it can seem too vast and powerful to turn aside, never mind stop it. But then, lifting a ship …

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Announcing the 2017 Worldbuilding for Change Winners

It’s going to be a tough year for organizations looking to make a better future.  That’s why we’re excited to announce the 2017 winners of our signature Worldbuilding for Change workshop. Congratulations Restorative Justice Fund and Citizens for Global Solutions! Restorative Justice Fund is a nonprofit justice reform incubator based in Los Angeles. They identify, design, and deploy low-cost/high-impact programs that make our justice system more effective, cost-efficient, and equitable. Restorative justice is an alternate theory of justice that promotes healing over punishment. Citizens for Global Solutions has the “great goal” of establishing a democratic federation of nations with enforceable world law. Its mission is …

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Comedy Sci-Fi to Survive Inauguration Weekend

As Donald Trump is sworn into office tomorrow, there will be at least 64 million Americans who are scared of the future, inspired to fight back, and/or in need of an escape from reality. Science fiction and fantasy are great because they can alternately offer all three. But sci-fi also tends toward the dark and terrifying — something that quite frankly no one needs more of at the moment. So grab a warm blanket and a stiff drink and tuck into these satirical speculative fiction movies and TV shows to help you make it through inauguration weekend:   If you’re …

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How Do Movement Leaders Already Use Speculative Fiction?

Earlier this year, FutureShift surveyed about 100 people who work in social change and political movements to find out what role speculative fiction plays in their work. It turns out that lots of folks working in progressive, political, and social change movements are already drawing on fantastical stories from culture to inspire and explain their work. Here are three quick takeaways from the survey. 1.) People from many different movements and issue sectors see the relevance of speculative fiction to social change work. Despite the diversity of issue areas represented in the survey sample, most respondents could draw clear connections between …

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North Carolina Is Why We Need More Transgender Characters in Our Stories

North Carolina’s bathroom bill has put a spotlight on trans phobia and discrimination in recent weeks.  The debate is full of misinformation and fear-mongering, which is disappointing, but not surprising considering that the topic of trans rights is brand new to so many cis people. One 2013 poll found that 24% of people didn’t understand what the term “transgender” meant, 5% had never heard the term before, and only 9% know a friend or family member who’s transgender. (More probably do know a trans person personally, but may not be aware they’re trans.) To me, that 9% is especially telling. …

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