N Square is an initiative designed to stimulate innovation in the fields of nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation and safety and security. The organization is funded by five of the largest peace and security funders in the United States: The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Through a long term design collaboration that started since the inception of the initiative, a number of elements were designed, including an identity, website, facilitation tools and many publications.
Futurist Jamais Cascio and N Square collaborated to create five plausible scenarios for reaching the internationally-agreed goal of eliminating nuclear weapons by the year 2045. To match the journalistic mindset in which this thought experiment was conceived, a print publication—evocative of news magazines—was designed to present the scenarios.
The idea behind the name was based, in part, by thinking of a “Public Square”—traditionally a place where people gather to share ideas. The NSquare website was designed with much the same spirit in mind, with an allusion to a square-shaped space where a multitude of elements come together. A satellite website was designed later that featured a timeline of key events in the history of nuclear disarmament.
In 2016, NSquare founder Erika Gregory took the stage at TEDx Women to set forth the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons by 2045. The slides below were designed to punctuate her talk. It can be viewed here.
NSquare commissioned a research project to analyze the types of innovation that have taken place in the field. A document was created to help present and synthesize the information and patterns that were found.