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Civic Mobility

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Landecker Democracy Fellow Erica Dorn is a social systems choreographer. She’s led an extensive career in local economic development, systems-level change facilitation, social impact investing, and business and leadership education. As a doctoral researcher in Transition Design at Carnegie Mellon University, her research co-designs alternative futures in which citizenship is abolished in exchange for the free movement of the human and more-than-human. 

We live in an era of hyper-mobility, marked by the mass movement of people virtually, trans-locally and globally. Yet our modern democratic systems are designed around fixity and separation, materializing systems that do not include and adapt to the increasing numbers of people on the move.

The Civic Mobility project brings together people on the move to tell their stories of place, mobility, and civic participation and to co-design pathways towards democracies that are adaptive and inclusive of people on the move.

Erica’s project called Civic Mobility posits a future where citizenship is abolished and backcasts to look at existing interventions that move us closer towards realizing living democracies. Curated dialogues with people on the move including refugees, migrants, immigrants, housing insecure, and neo-nomads surface the complexity of the human relationship to place. Interspersed workshops create spaces for people on the move to share methods of mobile civic participation and to envision and co-design inroads into more adaptive living democracies.

Living democracies are shaped by radical inclusivity and adaptivity to displaced, dysplaced, and distance-enabled.

Democractic spaces must be mobile. Now we must design culture and policy for a world where people and places are entangled through complex enmeshing networks. But this reality of place and human mobility are not fully materialized in our democractic processes, instead we have increasing calls for isolationism and bordering. 

To counter this, the Civic Mobility project brings together people on the move to tell their stories of place, mobility, and civic participation. People on the move then work together to co-design pathways towards democracies that are adaptive to and radically inclusive of people on the move.

Learn More
  • Visit the official website of the project entitled Suburb Civic Futures under this link
  • Listen to the Design in Transition Podcast which Erica co-created. Its second season will include an episode discussing her action project on civic mobility, as well as interviews a wide ray of professionals and academics, including Landecker Fellows Christiana Bukalo and Iason Apostolopoulos. (Listen on Spotify)