Corin Ism

Portrait of Corin Ism

I’m Corin Ism. I work as a governance futurist and a writer. My objective is to make governance innovation accessible and understandable to the public and its institutions.

Since few know what governance is or what a futurist does, let’s start by defining both.

Governance is the architecture of power, the way we engineer our protocols for making and enforcing decisions. From surveillance and predictive algorithms to social norms and physical force, all methods to influence are parts of our governing toolkit. As for futurists, it’s a group of people mainly consisting of generalists and technologists. We apply so-called foresight practices to track patterns and understand how different emerging innovations, demographic patterns, and social movements are likely to impact society and its various elements.

Put together, this means I spend my time reading policy briefs, new patents, manifestos, legislation, state budgets and more and less obscure books, summarising complexity into digestible texts and presentations. My focus lies on how power is shifting and how worlds – virtual, physical, and mixed – can be augmented, overhauled, or built from scratch. I create tailored overviews and share insights with organisations, be it the World Bank, municipalities, or social justice organisations.

To learn more about my background, you can read about a selection of previous work here. Today I run the Future of Governance Agency (FOGA), where we prioritise clients through a framework emphasising marginal utility. Through FOGA, I have been involved in research projects, like the first governance study in Mars simulations, in which I was the principal investigator. It was a study that began in 2019 at a short-term simulation in the Himalayas, where I applied Elinor Ostrom’s design principles for governing commons as an alternative to following a default military-inspired chain of command.

During the past few years, I have focused on synthesising my work in world-building, governance tools and eutopias into a series of publications and projects that will be released continuously, starting in 2024.


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Cover of Slow Internet

Slow Internet

A Roadmap to Reclaim the Lost Promise of the Internet

by Corin Ism & Markus Amalthea Magnuson. May 2024.

This brief book - designed to be readable even for people who’ve had their attention span shattered by doomscrolling and hellsites - presents the concept of Slow Internet. Merging the slow movement with the untapped promise of the early Internet, the authors - governance futurist Corin Ism and altruistic hacker Markus Amalthea Magnuson - articulate three design principles, plenty of concrete examples, a vibe and a vision, adding up to an exit path from the Stressed Internet of today.

Synthesising ideas from discourses surrounding surveillance capitalism, privacy advocacy, platform cooperativism and AI alignment, Slow Internet suggests a relationship with technology where intentionality is front and centre. One where the user should be allowed to leverage technological muscles for their own objectives - rather than becoming the exploit of someone else’s interests.

Including suggestions like analogue dating apps, interfaces optimised for well-being, finite scrolls, and websites with opening hours, the Slow Internet manifesto is chock-full of inspiration and ideation, perfect for the fatigued netizen looking for a healthier relationship with the technology of tomorrow and today. A palm tree badge is also proposed as a means to quickly signal an unwillingness to participate in draining demands to boost relevance on socials, and an enthusiastic willingness to establish more pleasant norms.

Slow Internet marries a deep analysis of incentive and market design with actionable steps that developers of enterprises, code and interfaces can make use of to build virtual futures characterised by joy, calm and leisure. This is the spark for those ready to take the step that follows upon critiquing what is: suggesting and building what could be instead.

Read more about Slow Internet and get copies of the book at the HTML-only website, or buy it at

Several copies of The Next Aesthetic

The Next Aesthetic

Works by Corin Ism

This book and short film comprise the collected visual work I have created in the last 14 years. Murals with short story titles build up a world that explores post-scarcity economics and the movements that can bring us towards it. To be released in the autumn of 2024.

Several black notebooks on a gold background

Titles to be released

During the years I spent writing without interruptions, in order to complete one commissioned book, the content within it grew into several publications. Simultaneously, what started as merely mimicking how I saw other writers and public intellectuals work – where one launch and book tour was followed by a return to solitary life to compose the follow-up – became something I wanted to augment, instead filling a multi-year pipeline with finished works before releasing anything. This longer plan and outlook appealed for several reasons.

For one, because public life is so difficult, and I’m not sure I’ll do particularly well in the spotlight. Whether it’s praise or criticism, I realised I needed to externalise what I assess is my mind’s value without either messing with my equilibrium. Second, to delve into the big topics of de- and reconstructing societies means tangenting a multitude of topics. Although some of the finished works do indeed cut cross-disciplinarily, I saw the point in developing arguments to their full conclusion. This path also led me to complete form neutrality. I abandoned the typical book length for many of the projects and decided to choose the format that would make the points in the way I found was strongest. Sometimes, I found that this meant delving into short films and comic strips, other times the correct format was an academic essay. Third, and most importantly, I saw that our era is so full of changes and rearticulations of power dynamics that we have to start making concrete suggestions for how we want to reorganise societies at their core. That’s not something to cover in one book, but in many, and once there’s a vision of what you would want to see implemented, well, then you have to make a multi-step plan for how to pitch it. That’s what this pipeline of releases adds up to: bite-size pieces of a bigger picture of grand suggestion.

I want to take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to publishers, editors and collaborators who witnessed me go through this and who kept, sometimes, even upping their support as I let go of the rails of convention. I’ve spent my life following ideas that excite me and make me hopeful about where our species can go. That’s what’s visible in the works that are coming now, but I wouldn’t have ventured to go this bold without such stellar support.

If you’ve been on this website or heard me speak before, you might know the titles of some of these books that are slotted for later publication. If so, those titles, for now, will be our little secret. Here, I’ll only share links to what is out, or will be in an imminent future. As always, you can follow the continuous releases at


I’m available for bookings of several core talks, as well as tailored versions building on the books presented above, and my other work in governance futurism. For more information, get in contact below or visit FOGA’s website. Some examples of previous talks are:

  • Crash Course on the 21st Century Tools for Control
  • Three Futures of Democracy
    Surveillance States, the New East India Company, and a Prospect of Automated Self-Sufficiency
  • LiberationTech and the Ephemeral Roadmap to Autonomy
  • How to Rule Mars?
    Intimate and immersive experience performed together with musician Maria Niwa and VR artists