Meet the change leaders: Lisa Kay Solomon, futurist
David Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.
Lisa Kay Solomon is a futurist and designer in residence at Stanford University’s design school, where she leads programs and classes on futures thinking and design-driven agency. Her classes include Inventing the Future, Flights in Futures: Building Stories of Tomorrow, and LinkedIn Learning’s Leading like a Futurist.
However, Solomon’s work extends far beyond the classroom. Her innovative civic engagement work brings together youth from all parts of the country and all political persuasions to bridge divides and to learn how to examine difficult civic issues from a future-seeking perspective. She doesn’t just want our next generation to vote. She wants them to become confident voters and empowered citizens.
In 2020, Solomon’s Vote by Design engaged thousands of new voters to envision the futures they wanted to see, and then to work backward from that point to what kind of leader would help guide us there. By asking students to think about the leadership skills they value and why it matters in furthering their hopes for our future, she helps new voters develop frameworks and tools to become more deliberative and active in what often feels like an overwhelming and opaque process.
Recently, she helped launch a new civic engagement initiative called The Team, which helps college athletics prioritize and infuse civic engagement into their programs. By working closely with a passionate team of coaches and athletes, she and her team believe that sports is a vehicle for not only creating great athletes and competitors, but great citizens and leaders as well.
Change, the architecture of an imagined better world, happens when we help people learn how to translate civic knowledge and civic skills into a lasting civic disposition — the attitude that they can wake up each day and take an active part in the world around them.
Solomon believes young people are all, in one way or another, futurists in the making — engaged in thinking about the kind of country they want to live in and looking for ways to breathe that into existence.
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Solomon last week for the CityBiz “Meet the Change Leaders” series. Watch to learn the full extent of her remarkable work and perhaps you’ll become more civically engaged as well.
David L Nevins interviews Lisa Kay Solomonyoutu.be
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