Uncle Sam Wants You…To Imagine

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Image by Aaron Domini*

Image by Aaron Domini*

Americans without health insurance, parts of New Orleans still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, deficient public schools—these are only some of the shameful, nagging social ills that Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon deem “failures of imagination” in their book, Imagination First. One thing these “persistent problems” have in common is that they’re all national issues, not merely the concerns of individuals or organizations. A natural question, then, is: what role, if any, should the federal government play in spurring citizens to find imaginative solutions to such challenges? President Obama prompted my thinking on this when he drew attention to social innovation earlier this summer. Let’s look to him as we try to find an answer. Continue reading