Design & Policy for Humanitarian Impact

94-831

Units: 12

Description: In this combined lecture and lab course, students will gain a sense of the history, current state, and future of social innovation with an emphasis on design-centric methods, and the current role public policy, new economies, and design have in shaping and defining conditions for change. This systems thinking approach, when applied to challenges at a societal scale, recognizes the relationship between local, regional national, and international concerns. And, the need to inform through verifiable research and evidence the role that crafters of public policy and design can have in promoting social change.

Learning Outcomes: During the course students will (1) look at the role of design and proven practices, frameworks, and methodologies that identify "root cause" humanitarian problems; (2) understand the roles, skills, techniques, and evaluation methods that serve crafters of public policy, and; (3) experiment with the ways that designers and policy makers in a variety of contexts can advance social innovation. In the second half of the course, students will build on earlier work and intensify their use of design frameworks and proven methodologies to conceptualize a solution to a specific social problem with implications on policy creation and/or change, through completion of a project. While some participants may aspire to directly implement practical solutions to social problems in the "real world", the course content is applicable to a wide variety of contexts in the public, private, and social sectors.