Future Hindsight

Future Hindsight

Future Hindsight is a weekly podcast that takes big ideas about civic life and democracy and turns them into action items for everyday citizens.


February 29, 2024 40 mins

Sam Wang is the Director of the Electoral Innovation Lab and a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. We discuss how we can better understand the current state of district maps across the US, and how they can be made more fair and representative of their constituents.


Gerrymandering is not only unfair but also anti-democratic. It favors one party over another, effectively shutting out the possibility of accurate repre...

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Jess Piper is the Executive Director of Blue Missouri and the host of the Dirt Road Democrats podcast. We discuss the reality of living in rural Missouri, the state of education, and the dearth of Democratic candidates across the state.


Rural candidates have little to no support from the state party, but Republicans enjoy the support of local churches. One-third of Missouri is rural, but there is not a single elected Democrat rep...

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February 15, 2024 36 mins

Ken Harbaugh is the host of the Burn the Boats podcast, a former United States Navy pilot, and executive producer of Against All Enemies, a documentary film that explores the critical role of military veterans in domestic violent extremist groups.


We discuss why veterans are equally sought out to work in Fortune 500 companies and to be in leadership positions of extremist groups. Most veterans make a successful transition to civi...

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Cynthia Richie Terrell is the founder and executive director of RepresentWomen. We discuss institutional reforms that can reduce the barriers for women to run, win, and govern.


There are approximately 520,000 elected office holders in the U.S., but incumbency is the biggest barrier to electing more women. Term limits make more seats open to competition. In addition, ranked choice voting eliminates vote splitting if there is more ...

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February 1, 2024 53 mins

Anat Shenker-Osorio is the host of the Words to Win By podcast and the Principal of ASO Communications. We discuss the winning messages for 2024 and the importance for pro-democracy voters to turn out on Election Day.


2024 is yet another do-or-die election for American democracy, and thus the first and most important message to Americans is to vote. We need to marshal a sense of defiance to participate because if we don’t decide ...

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Marietje Schaake is International Policy Director at Stanford University Cyber Policy Center, International Policy Fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and also serves on the UN’s A.I. Advisory Body. We take a deep dive into how the digital revolution can still fulfill its promise of a democratic revolution. In other words: make A.I. work for democracy.


Over the past 20 years, power became mo...

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January 18, 2024 43 mins

Ryan Busse is a Democratic candidate for governor of Montana and the author of Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America. We discuss how Montana is a bulwark against anti-democratic forces and how Ryan cuts through the politi-speak on the campaign trail. 


It's important for Democrats to identify with the basic democratic freedom values of the vast majority of people, whether that’s fair taxes on homeowners...

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January 11, 2024 32 mins

Deb Otis is the Director of Research & Policy at FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that researches and advances voting reforms that make democracy more functional and representative for every American. We discuss the benefits of ranked choice voting and the likelihood that it will become more popular after the 2024 presidential election.


Ranked choice voting addresses a variety of problems in “vote one” elections, such as vote...

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January 4, 2024 37 mins

Lala Wu is the co-founder and executive director of Sister District, an organization that works to build enduring progressive power in state legislatures. We discuss how state races will continue to be important during the presidential election cycle and why the battle for redistricting will be center stage.


State legislatures are where a lot of impactful policy is made, such as abortion laws. They’re also critical because in mos...

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Over the last several years our politics has been pushed from a place of collaboration to bold faced loyalty tests. In his latest book: Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America, our guest, author and NPR Morning Edition co-host, Steve Inskeep, discusses with Waj and Danielle why dissent necessary and is as American as apple pie! 

Listen to Democracy-ish: 




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December 21, 2023 39 mins

Rich Harwood is the president and founder of The Harwood Institute, who just launched a campaign to reclaim the public square from the most divisive voices and build it into a place that can make hope real for all.


The public square is a noisy and messy place where society disagrees, argues, and also finds solutions. It’s through working out expectations, engaging in the work to be on the right path forward, and holding ourselves...

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December 14, 2023 36 mins

Juliet Hooker is the author of Black Grief/White Grievance: The Politics of Loss and the Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science at Brown University. We talk about how racism has narrowed the political imagination of both black and white citizens.


In American politics and democracy, neither side is supposed to win all the time. Losing is a fundamental part of democracy, and does not make the losers vict...

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December 7, 2023 43 mins

Shaun Donovan is the CEO & President of Enterprise Community Partners. We discuss how the deeply entrenched housing crisis has become worse in recent years and the multiple strategies to make home and community places of pride, power, and belonging.


Housing is a basic need that is fundamental to democratic participation. The lack of housing is preventing communities around the country from attracting workers and studies show slow...

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Christopher Paul Harris is Assistant Professor of Global & International Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of To Build A Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care. We discuss why addressing our society’s hard-wired prejudices must be a substantial part of our endeavors toward a truly multicultural democracy.


Central to building a Black future is reframing and recreating institutions f...

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November 21, 2023 38 mins

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Neal Rickner joins us to talk about the American Values Coalition, a growing community of Americans who are empowered to lead with truth, reject extremism and misinformation, and defend democracy. Get some pointers to dialogue across political divides and across the table.


First, have the courage to have the conversation. As much as hiding in the kitchen sounds preferable, we’re going to engage on t...

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November 16, 2023 46 mins

Thursday, November 16th, 2023


Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and co-author of Rust Belt Union Blues: Why Working-Class Voters are Turning Away from the Democratic Party. We learn how unions are true laboratories of democracy and why their demise has eroded our democratic culture.


Unions were at the heart of local communities well beyond bargaining for contracts....

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November 9, 2023 43 mins

Thursday, November 9th, 2023


Bernard E. Harcourt is Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Columbia University -- and he was also our very first guest on the podcast! Bernard's most recent book, Cooperation: A Political, Economic, and Social Theory, offers the blueprint for a society based on cooperation.


The idea of creating a space that benefits the stakeholders, rather than the s...

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November 2, 2023 37 mins

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023


Hajar Yazdiha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and the author of The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement. We discuss the role of collective memory in the myth-making of American exceptionalism. 


Collective memory is the way that we remember history and that becomes central to ...

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October 26, 2023 40 mins

Thursday, October 26th, 2023


Nick Suplina is Senior Vice President for Law & Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. He was previously an advisor for New York State’s Attorney General. We discuss how 10 years of grassroots organizing has changed the political calculus on gun safety legislation, starting with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. 


Although progress is slow, 15 Republican senators did vote for the Bipartisan Safer Co...

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Thursday, October 19th, 2023


Sam Oliker-Friedland is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsive Government and a former Department of Justice voting rights litigator at the Civil Rights Division. We discuss the promise of automation for good governance and democracy.


There is a lot of good pro-voter legislation being implemented in states from Nevada to Michigan, Pennsylvania to New York. The success of automatic vo...

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