Sense LA

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.

Created by Berggruen Fellow Gabriel Kahan, this program aims to change the way government and society communicates with each other by helping people understand their place within their community, how communities can build a stronger voice, and how governments can become more inclusive and flexible.

Sense LA accomplishes this through gatherings called creative assemblies, drawing on individual experience to facilitate explorations of local issues and their interdependencies. This methodology enables individuals to identify and address problems of mutual interest, and visualize them in ways that facilitate new understandings of the intertwined relationship between individual and collective. The program’s methodology, called PREPARE, was created by artist and researcher Kahan and mechanical engineering professor Alexander Slocum at MIT.

The Sense LA program illustrates the Berggruen Institute’s commitment to creating dialogue and innovative approaches in governance.