With the world in crisis, what's an intellectual to do?

In 1919, Romain Rolland wrote the Declaration of the Independence of the Mind as a call to intellectuals to rise above division, censorship and nationalism of their day. Nahlah Ayed speaks to Canadian and international thinkers to consider the role of the intellectual today, and to rewrite the declaration for our own post-truth moment.

How the English Civil War's fight for equity and common good changed the world

Perhaps no question is more important than this one: what is the common good? What can we agree on that benefits us all? IDEAS looks to the English Civil Wars from the 17th century when great questions of the common good were rediscovered, argued, and fought over changing England — and the world — forever.

Why your empathy can't 'scale up' to save the world

The rules for behaving well in a society arguably depend on the size of that society. The structures, institutions and even the logic behind human co-operation change along the axes of space, population, and time. From camping trips to climate change conferences, IDEAS examines why scale matters so much to conversations about the common good.

Why don't we live together? Alternative housing in a hot real estate market

Many people are priced out of Canada's urban housing markets. Others are disenchanted with the four walls of the single family home. From a San Francisco commune network, to co-living communities in Berlin, advocates say there are benefits to sharing domestic space.

'Fear ageism, not aging': How an ageist society is failing its elders

IDEAS producer Mary Lynk explores what is the purpose of a long life? Traditional cultures often place older people at the top of social hierarchy, but in modern Western societies there's been a profound loss of meaning and vital social roles for older adults. What happened? And what role can we reimagine for older people now?

How the Black Lives Matter movement redefines 'common good'

The Haitian Revolution of 1791 gave birth to ideas about Black liberation and the common good that went on to inform freedom struggles throughout the Black Atlantic. IDEAS traces that lineage and how it connects to today's Black Lives Matter movement.

Political scientist 'doom-meister' shares prescription for a better world

Climate activist Greta Thunberg once declared that she doesn’t want hope, unless it translates into action. Political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon shares his ideas on how hope can galvanize concrete change.

Why George Monbiot is fighting to build a 'politics of belonging' to better our world

Left-wing and right-wing governments around the world have fallen into the same trap, a failure of leadership to inspire a cohesive vision of society that ordinary citizens can share. What is to be done? Author George Monbiot suggests a new way of conceptualizing the common good, and forging a politics of belonging.

We are all migrants: author Sonia Shah on our ancient instinct to move and survive

“Migrant” evokes images of desperate people surging at closed borders. But they are us. Science writer Sonia Shah argues that a deep human instinct has been politicized as disruptive and troubling. In fact, migration is our ancient survival response to crisis.

Are we really 'all in this together'? Challenging the limits of community

When we challenge humanity to "work together as a species," are we making an unreasonable demand? Nahlah Ayed and Canadian poet M. NourbeSe Philip discuss the meaning and limits of concepts like ‘community’ and ‘the common good.’ They respond to recorded provocations on the topic from various thinkers.

How Star Trek shows that hedonism can work for everyone

When you think of a hedonist, you might think of a wine-guzzling sex addict, or a chocolate-binging glutton. As part of our series searching for common good, IDEAS tracks the true story of hedonism from Ancient Greece to Star Trek’s 24th century.

Our 'futurecestors' deserve a voice in today's decisions, says author

In calling on us to be good ancestors, public philosopher Roman Krznaric is trying to give the discussion about the future a language, an address and a face: introducing us to all the people already working to formalize the practice of thinking long-term for the common good, benefiting both present and future generations.