The world is on the cusp of profound change, triggered by the global financial crisis and climate change.
At the same time the internet provides limitless opportunities for civic engagement for new forms of engagement.
This is not a moment for despair. Participation, openness, collaboration, innovation, sustainability and social capital are the new buzz words.
In the lead essay Cheryl Kernot argues that there is a need for swift and decisive action to nurture social entrepreneurs who have the agility and imagination to respond to these challenges.
New forms of participation learn from the past, and range from cyber-activism and micro-loans to a fundamental rethink of the nature of democracy in an information-rich world.
An outstanding collection of writers conjure new models to shape the future and make business as usual a thing of the past.