A program to creatively harness the power of collective-intelligence through public participation, Sense LA works to build social cohesion and foster dialogue for the betterment of cities and their communities.
Sense LA, created by Berggruen Fellow Gabriel Kahan, is a new program for social cohesion and public participation. It is a work of socially engaged art that aims to create an urban collective-intelligence resource to help people from all backgrounds and abilities to have a voice in their community, understand their city, guide multi-pronged decision making, and cultivate shared perspectives. Sense LA accomplishes this by organizing gatherings called creative assemblies, drawing on individual experience to facilitate in-depth explorations of local issues and their interdependencies. The methodology utilized in these assemblies enables individuals within the community to identify and address problems of mutual interest and creatively visualize them in ways that facilitate new forms of understanding the intertwined and evolving relationship between individual and collective. The program’s methodology, called PREPARE, was created by artist and researcher Gabriel Kahan and mechanical engineering professor Alexander Slocum at MIT.
The Sense LA program has gathered interest from various stakeholders, city officials, non-profits, community organizers and neighborhood councils in Los Angeles. It illustrates Berggruen Institute’s commitment to creating opportunities for dialogue and innovative approaches in governance.