'American Futures': Introducing Our New Project

By James Fallows
Inside Marriage Special Report bug
Reinvention and resilience across the nation
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Just today, August 1st, The Atlantic is announcing a new project called "American Futures." You can read all the details in an introductory post -- which also introduces a new look for a new channel on our website -- here. Over the past few months, I have mentioned several times that my wife and I were getting ready for a new immersive-reporting project. This is what we have been working towards and have had in mind.

(You could also think of this as the Fallows family's effort to keep up with the adventurous spirit of Ta-Nehisi Coates and his family in their current immersive-reporting in France.)

This first post is just an overview. As you'll see, it lays out a collaborative effort among The Atlantic, the Marketplace public radio program, and the Esri technology company of California. Day by day in the next few days, I'll explain more about the ambitions and the practicalities of the program. Then early next week, we'll set out on the travels I'm describing. 

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Most of the chronicles my wife (Deborah Fallows) and I will do from the American Futures journeys will appear at this new, special site -- among other reasons, so they can take advantage of Esri's brand new "geo-blogging" technology. I'll make a for-the-record note here of each of them as it appears. Meanwhile I'll try to keep up a watchful beer-and-boiled-frog presence in this space. Plus more stuff about Asiana 214, which is already in the queue for later on August 1.

Cynics might say that I would do anything to escape the next debt-ceiling fight in Washington. That is true. But even apart from that, I am really looking forward to a period of exploring our own country the way we used to prowl around China or Malaysia, and to sharing what we find. 


For the record, after the jump, there is a 12-minute video of my presentation about the project at an Esri conference this month. The same video is at our new site too. I hope you find this concept interesting.

This video begins with an introduction by Jack Dangermond, the founder and CEO of Esri.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/08/american-futures-introducing-our-new-project/278262/