Social Trends

Niki poses with some of her staff. She makes accommodations for employees struggling with prior convictions or legal status.

A few years ago, Niki Okuk started a tire recycling company in Los Angeles. Run along the lines of a worker-owned cooperative, the employees are people who would ordinarily have a hard time finding any job. 

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.

A ray of hope

Why is the world so damn cynical? Rather than surrendering to corrosive, hopeless snark, we look to some unexpected sources to make the case for sincerity.

Pop culture's constant barrage of ironic detachment

In 2012, Princeton University professor Christy Wampole wrote a New York Times column that every hipster everywhere instantly hated it — but it struck a chord with people who had grown tired of pop culture dominated by self-awareness and snark.

A screenshot from "One Hour, One Life"

In "One Hour, One Life," you start as a naked newborn. The only way you can survive even the first three minutes is if another player — a stranger — adopts you. It’s a surprisingly powerful experience – but that’s what Jason Rohrer is famous for designing.

Christian Picciolini recounts his experience leaving the white supremacist hate group.

Charles Monroe-Kane talks with Christian Picciolini about his campaign to de-program white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, the most prominent face of American white supremacy today.

Art from Ingrid La Fleur's Afrofuturist mayoral campaign in Detroit. (Ingrid La Fleur)

Artist, activist, and Afrofuturist Ingrid La Fleur recommends collection of books, films and artists for those interested in understanding Afrofuturism as an aesthetic and as a movement.

An aerial shot of the Garden Homes neighborhood in Milwaukee.

Could socialism ever really take off in America? Half a century ago, socialists ruled a major American city — Milwaukee. Haleema Shah walks the streets of Wisconsin's biggest city to learn more about what socialist policy looked like on the ground.

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