Free Guidelines for Accessible Design

Public services need to serve all the public. Not all the public are digitally savvy adults between the ages of 18 and 35 with perfect eyesight, hearing, and mobility. Accessible design ensures those with limited hearing, sight, mobility, and other impairments can access the public information and services that they need and pay for.

Election Lottery: A Fair Shot at Democracy

We say that people “throw their hat in the ring” when they run for election. But what if, instead of an election, we just selected a hat at random and its owner won the office? Election lottery is an old idea that’s becoming new again as a way to repair our civics.

Designing New Vaccines: Responding to Disease X

The spread of infectious diseases in the era of globalization means that public health is a global shared resource. A brand-new, infectious disease with no known cure or vaccine—call it Disease X—puts us all at risk. Unfortunately, designing new vaccines for unknown viruses isn’t enough to motivate the private sector to invest the time and...Continue reading

Three Social Ways to Reform Government Spending

In 2020, the US has the rare occurrence of income taxes coming due just 111 days before a presidential election during a recession. This combination will surely push economic topics to the top of the news feed. Voters will likely be flooded during the summer and fall with many top-down proposals to reform government spending....

Reparations for Racism: A Social Goods Approach

Recent and ongoing incidents of blatant racism and police brutality against African Americans has reignited the discussion of reparations for the US history of slavery and racism. After 250 years of legal slavery and another 150+ years of discrimination, what could reparations even look like? Here’s a design experiment for reparations, based on topics covered...Continue reading

Defunding the Police: The Big Picture

Recent protests against racism and police brutality have included calls for “defunding” police departments. I think few people, if any, want to completely abolish a critical social good such as public safety. So, calls for defunding are likely not literal and absolute. If that’s the case, then what are protesters demanding? How We Fund Public...Continue reading

Distributing Coronavirus Supplies: Comparing U.S. and South Korea

During the coronavirus pandemic, public officials have promoted social distancing and strongly encouraged us to stay home. But aside from promoting this behavior through traditional and social media, what else could these officials have done to increase the likelihood of compliance? Distributing coronavirus supplies could also help, and South Korea has been held up as...Continue reading

Vocabulary is Critical in Promoting Climate Change Awareness

In promotion, vocabulary makes a difference. In the US, promotion has been our best tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the absence of widespread testing and available treatments. But the muddled message and vocabulary between politicians, scientists, and the healthcare community has led to a fractured public health effort.

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