Ideas Matter.

Joe Waters
Dec 12, 2018 · 3 min read

Capita is a startup ideas lab working at the intersection of research, public policy, social innovation, design, and the arts. We explore how the great cultural and social transformations of our day affect young children, and we foster new ideas to ensure a future in which 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.

Here are just a few ways in which our work has shaped public dialogue, clarified values, fostered intersectional innovation, and reframed the future for families.


In October, ten early childhood policy and thought leaders converged on the rural west Alabama town of Newbern in Hale County to engage with the work of Auburn University’s Rural Studio, the design-build program of Auburn’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Capita and Rural Studio aim to develop a prototype of a housing product for in-home child care providers in rural West Alabama. Built upon the success of the 20K House product line and the recent development of the Income House, the Child Care Home project will develop a prototype of a beautiful, efficient, durable, and affordable home specifically designed to meet the needs of family child care providers living and working in the rural South.


In partnership with KnowledgeWorks, we are thinking through the most pressing issues facing children and families: How should we balance the personal and collective aspects of the earliest period of life? How might our cultural understanding and norms shift to alter that balance in the future? What does the future of work mean for working families with young children? Together Capita and KnowledgeWorks are creating the first-ever futures for young children forecast exploring these issues to inform the public dialogue about the futures we want for children and their families.


We asked Wendell Berry, one of the fiercest social critics and eloquent humanists of our time, to share his thoughts on childhood, parenting, and nature.


Through our partnership with AIR Serenbe and Reach Out and Read Carolinas, we invest in critical time and space for artists creating new work for young children. In October, emerging author/illustrator Ebony Glenn was given a month in beautiful surroundings with uninterrupted concentration to write the next great children’s book. Watch this short film — part of AIR Serenbe’s critically acclaimed Filmer initiative — to find out more about Ebony’s work and creative process.


We are excited by the prospects for this bold and ideas-driven work, and are eager to continue the partnerships that make it possible. We look forward to investing in ideas that ensure a future in which children and families flourish in 2019 and beyond.

Capita Ideas

Capita is an independent, nonprofit startup ideas lab working at the intersections of research, public policy, social innovation, design, and the arts to ensure that all children and their families flourish.

Joe Waters

Written by

Joe is the Co-Founder + CEO of Capita, an ideas lab working to ensure that all young children and their families flourish, and a Senior Advisor at Openfields.

Capita Ideas

Capita is an independent, nonprofit startup ideas lab working at the intersections of research, public policy, social innovation, design, and the arts to ensure that all children and their families flourish.