Introducing The Hive, in which Slate readers offer great new ideas for the world's trickiest problems.

The inner workings of Slate.
Feb. 16 2010 7:57 AM

Introducing The Hive

Slate is seeking your best new ideas to solve the world's trickiest problems.

We at Slatehave long known that the magazine's most exceptional asset is our millions of readers. I'm not flattering you when I say that you're an astonishingly intelligent, engaged, and clever group—and handsome, too. Whenever we ask you for ideas and feedback, you offer perceptive, and often brilliant, suggestions. So today we're launching the first in a series of projects that will, we hope, harness the collective intelligence of our readers for the good of Slate and society. We're calling this enterprise The Hive.

The Hive begins with a single, challenging problem, a problem that is difficult and important but not so abstruse that ordinary, intelligent people can't understand it. It should be a problem that, if we managed to solve it even a little bit, could genuinely improve in the lives of people around the world. We're introducing the first of these problems today, in an article by Daniel Gross, "The Efficient Life." Gross is inviting readers to come up with compelling and useful ways for Americans to use less energy in their homes and save money. Your proposals could range from technological fixes (programmable thermostats, perhaps) to policy changes (new tax incentives for purchasing energy efficient appliances) to psychological insights about behavior (ways to use peer pressure to reduce energy use) to anything else—the more unconventional and brilliant, the better. Surprise us!

Advertisement

Readers can submit their ideas here, and all of your ideas will be posted on Slate here, where other readers can comment and vote on them. We have also enlisted a panel of expert judges, and together the judges and voters will select a dozen finalists in mid-March and then a single winning idea at the end of March. The winning and finalist ideas will be publicized and presented to policymakers. (Daniel Gross will implement some of these ideas in his own life and report back on his results.)

We will also be holding a live event in Washington, D.C., to generate compelling proposals. On March 10, at the House of Sweden, we will bring our experts and Slate readers together to discuss the issue and break into groups to brainstorm good ideas.



The Hive is an experiment, so we need your help and your feedback on it. Please check it out here and send us your most compelling ideas. And please tell us how to improve it in the comments below this article or in an e-mail to TheSlateHive@gmail.com.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.