2018 good, 2019 better

Earlier today I shared my thoughts with Capita’s friends, collaborators, and supporters on what we’ve learned in 2018 and what we look forward to in the year ahead.

Dear friend,

Another year of our pilgrimage is coming to a close. Throughout 2018 we have made new friends, met new challenges, and embraced critical learnings about our work, and the world and systems in which we live. This is a time of cultural and political crisis — a crisis in the making for decades — but signs of renewal and reform are emerging. On the threshold of a new year, we are pleased to share four of 2018’s learnings to inspire, inform, and provoke as we head into the new year.

We must prioritize dignity
The first five years of life are foundational to success in school and in the workforce, but more fundamentally they are foundational to ensuring that each and every person flourishes in childhood and beyond. The goal of all political, philanthropic, or social sector activity must be the promotion of the dignity of each person. Certainly human dignity has a critical economic dimension, but economic prosperity isn’t the sole goal of life, and it shouldn’t be the sole goal of our efforts to improve outcomes for children and families. Too often our work has been impoverished by over-reliance on economic thinking and language. Let’s re-prioritize human dignity in our thinking and in our language.

Stability might be the truly game-changing disruption
On November 26th, in collaboration with KnowledgeWorks, we convened in Silicon Valley to host a leadership conversation about the future. Participants identified stability — a necessary ingredient for a flourishing childhood — as absent for too many children. Finding innovations that promote stability and minimize disruption in the lives of children and families must become one of our highest priorities in the next year and beyond. Read more about our work with KnowledgeWorks to explore possible futures for young children and their families.

Work at the margins
In October we hosted a looktrip to Rural Studio in Newbern, Alabama. This trip was principally to explore common agendas with architects committed to improving outcomes for underserved, low-income communities of the American South, but we are deeply inspired by the serious and creative work happening off the metropolitan grid. As the educational mission of Rural Studio makes clear, that work is more holistic and educative than the superficially disruptive work happening in conventional centers of power and economic privilege. Rural Studio is forming and educating architects who will be driving positive change, disrupting systems of injustice and poverty, and working in the public interest decades from now. We should learn from their patience working and educating on the edge. Read more about the impact of “designing on the edge.”

A comprehensive children and families public policy is necessary for meeting the challenges of tomorrow
A comprehensive public policy is necessary to spur investment and collaboration between and across public sector agencies and departments. Child and family “policy” in the United States is too frequently defined as a set of programs operating in silos rather than as a coordinated public policy approach connecting singular programs together and minimizing contradictory approaches across the public sector. Read more about the necessity of building a comprehensive policy for children and families.

All of us at Capita wish you and your family a peaceful and happy 2019.

All the best,

Joe Waters
Co-Founder + CEO


Capita is an ideas lab driving positive change to ensure that all young children and their families flourish. We were founded because ideas matter for kids and for families, but there aren’t enough good ones out there, and too few of the good ones become reality. Join the community of entrepreneurial leaders and learners who believe that ideas matter, are resolutely focused on the future and on harnessing the power of creativity and innovation to drive better outcomes for children and families. Invest in our work here

Photo credit: Dr. Laura Jana.

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