From Hong Kong to Istanbul to New York, libraries are one of the defining elements of 21st-century demonstrations, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, and they can help illuminate why people risk discomfort, arrest and danger to stand together.

News flash no. 1: “balloon art” is not an oxymoron. News flash no. 2: The man who invented the Fly Guy, that ubiquitous flailing balloon figure, is crafting some eye- and wind-catching pieces of balloon art. Take a look at these colorful creations from Doron Gazit.

In a democracy, power resides with the people. Here’s some helpful advice on how you can get your share, from civics educator Eric Liu.

Will the societal shocks of 2016 lead to a bumper crop of art in 2017 and beyond? These TED Fellows aim to channel the energy of activism into creative work that can change hearts and minds.

Cities are the the 21st century’s dominant form of civilization — and they’re where humanity’s struggle for survival will take place. Robert Muggah and Ben Barber spell out the possibilities.

Travis Threlkel paints in light. His canvas: the largest buildings he can find.

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Over the course of 25 years, folk rock icons the Indigo Girls have not only released more than a dozen albums, they have also displayed a staunch dedication to countless social, political and environmental issues, melding music and activism in their own, unique way. Alison Prato talks with band member Amy Ray about how they fight for what they believe in without seeming preachy, the evolution of their music, and the state of women around the world.