JOHN MAEDA is an artist, computer scientist, and author. He has taught in the MIT Media Lab for twelve years and served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) from 2008 to 2013. He now works in Silicon Valley advising startups on the importance of design. He tweets @johnmaeda. In 2010, while Maeda was at RISD and while we were in the middle of the Great Recession, he wrote this proposal for Seed magazine, as part of a series seeking solutions to “interconnected and complex challenges.”