The Contest is Now Closed

Help create the future of California...

Make a difference by helping us identify the small-scale changes you see in your part of California that can have large-scale impact on our entire state by telling us about a signal for change­­ — an example of where you see a small indicator of real change in California happening now.

Add your signal for change!

Visit our California Dreams Facebook page and add your signal for change today!

Contest winners announced!

Thank you to everyone who took part in California Dreams for all your fantastic ideas. Our judges have placed their votes and we're pleased to announce the following 5 winners:

The Power of Less - Kerry Abukhalaf
Open Source School - David Preston
Breathing Deeply Again - Michael Minadeo
Positive Futures Art and Media - Kate McCallum
Festival of the Future - Mark Riva

Congratulations to Kerry, David, Michael, Kate and Mark!

The overall winner, who will receive the Roy Amara prize for participatory foresight, will be announced on May 3.

Stay tuned for details!

Judging criteria

Foresight: Does my dream imagine a future of California in the next 3-10 years?

Impact: How many people will my dream affect, or how deeply will a smaller population be affected?

Edginess: How innovative and creative is my dream?

Efficiency: How simple and cost effective is my dream?

Attainability: Can my dream be implemented within 10 years?

Positive Outcome: Will my dream help transform the future of California for the better?

Votes: How popular is my dream?

How it works

California Dreams asks you to imagine the future. Will California keep growing, start conserving, reinvent itself, or collapse? We asked people to put themselves in the future of one of these paths, and then show us what a day in their life would look like and how they would live in this new world.

Why do we care? Because California is in crisis. Because pioneers with brilliant ideas live here. Because dreaming the future can change the future.

  1. Send us your vision by January 31, 2011. The earlier you enter, the more time you have to gather votes for your dream. Enter here.
  2. Vote for your favorite dream. Do you think it's more likely that games will take over education, fast food will be taxed, or police will be privatized? Which dream do you like best? Make your voice heard - cast your vote.
  3. We'll help you build a better California. Up to 5 winners will be flown to the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California in March, to present their dreams and connect to mentors and resources. One of these dreams will also win the $3,000 Roy Amara Prize for Participatory Foresight.

Good luck, and may those who dream most vibrantly win. In the end, we all win if we plant a seed for the new California dream.

Tips for getting started

  • Go for high impact: Think of a provocative scenario that shows a big problem or solution in the future of California.
  • Don't think about today: Think at least 3 years down the road for either a problem to solve that will be widespread or a tool to use that will be mainstream. Think "artifacts from the future."
  • Ideas to get you started: Urban farming. Online games replacing school. Public health interventions. Smaller, sustainable housing. Immigrant entrepreneurs. Increasing rich-poor gap. Mass migration out of state. The possibilities are endless.
  • The challenge: Check out IFTF research on the future of California to challenge and inspire you.
  • Collaborate! You can go solo, or find partners to work with to build something amazing.
  • Where to post your dream: YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, your own blog. Tag it with IFTF and #FutureofCA.
  • Tweet it! Tell the world: "I'm changing the future of California at California Dreams. Please vote for my awesome dream here -"