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!

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

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Mad About Modi


Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.


Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.