How can we successfully build thriving communities on other worlds?

We’re kick-starting creative conversations around off-world community-building, by getting people to imagine what they would put in a hypothetical space-community starter-kit: a “Community in a Box.”

Building sustainable off-word communities will require every ounce of our collective knowledge, expertise, creativity, and imagination. We’re setting out to stimulate conversations around what we know, and how we can creatively use it, to inform and guide the development of successful interplanetary communities around shared social norms, values, and expectations. To do this, we’re asking participants from many different backgrounds to think and write for a public audience about what they would put in a “Community in a Box”—a hypothetical, and even metaphorical, starter-kit for space explorers. We’ll even be asking them to think about the nature of the “box” itself, and how this in turn affects its long-term value.

Community in a Box on 


Developing thought-provoking ideas: Creating and curating a growing, widely-read, public collection of online thought-pieces stimulated by the prompt “what would you put in an Interplanetary Community in a Box, and why?”

Bringing people together: Hosting an “un-conference” that brings together thinkers, practitioners, and experts from all fields, to collectively explore the question “How can we successfully build thriving communities on other worlds?”

Changing perspectives: Stimulating serendipitous insights into the challenges and opportunities around building thriving off-world communities.



Andrew Maynard School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Lance Gharavi Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Margaretha Bently School of Public Affairs
Timiebi Jeanty-Agabana School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Community in a box

Classroom Research

It’s unlikely that space explorers will take a physical box full of community-building resources with them to other worlds, but the idea is a powerful way of stimulating creative ideas about how to develop thriving off-world communities.