ideas.ted.com

Eric Liu is on a mission to make civics “as sexy as it was during the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement.” As he describes in today’s TED Talk (watch: Why ordinary people need to understand power), we are at a moment of crisis in the United States. The average person simply doesn’t know how to participate in local government, and this means that clout is disproportionately concentrated in the hands of the few who do. Liu’s solution to this imbalance? That we teach everyone the basic skills of power.

As the people of Ferguson, Missouri, stand up against police brutality, the topic of how to take back civic power is on many minds. Through Citizen University, Liu is creating a shared curriculum of power that will be available soon. In the meantime, he offers up several basic skills it will include, to help anyone interested in influencing change right now.

Skill #1: Understand the system.

“Before you…

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