- Research Program Mentor
Sustainability, Climate, Entrepreneurship, Social psychology, Systems theory, Donut economics
How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life
We are living in a time of deep divisions. Americans are sorting themselves along racial, religious, and cultural lines, leading to a level of polarization that the country hasn’t seen since the Civil War. But how, exactly, can this be done? You will learn about what institutions are important for maintaining a democratic society and how “social infrastructure” is helping to solve some of our most pressing societal challenges. You will also learn about network effects, heuristics and biases, and principles of community and belonging. You will research and write a paper on this topic, connecting concepts of social psychology and sociology of physical and digital spaces to propose a theory of how we can preserve democracy amidst the rise of individualism.