- Global Trends
- Developing the Partnership Mindset
- Public Policy and the Delivery of Public Goods
- Futures Methodologies and Scenario-based Planning
- Washington DC Study Mission
- Technology Trends: The Policy, Business and Social Impacts
- Complexity and the Art of Public Policy
- Leadership and Teamwork
- Sustainability and Metrics: Measuring Success in the 21st Century
- Capstone - Policy Task Force (individual and group modules)
The world of the 21st century is less and less the world our forebears knew. Power is flowing away from traditional governors, but not necessarily toward any well-structured institutions that can reliably set rules for the changing global order. Hurricanes, typhoons, floods and droughts provide regular and deadly reminders of shifting climate patterns that exacerbate looming resource shortages in food and water. Social unrest is rising as inequality soars. No one is sure where the jobs of the future will come from. Technology is upending the nature of human interaction and quite possibly the nature of human beings. This course explores these perplexing and interacting phenomena. It introduces students to what is known about these major global trends, enables students to identify reliable sources of information, and empowers them to track the trends that may affect their work and their lives.
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Government, business and civil society actors differ in how they organise to pursue common goals, mobilise and deploy resources, make decisions, act and are held to account for their actions. Blending these distinct organisational systems to underpin effective collaboration presents considerable challenges - failing to do being the main explanation for shortfalls in partnership outcomes, and vice versa. Diversity in the interaction of these actors across countries, regions and cultures deepens complexities and the challenge of success, especially for international collaborative initiatives. Evolution of the norms informing these actors, furthermore, present exciting opportunities, especially where innovation drives the erosion of differences. By disrupting norms, however, such evolution can also dilute coherence, create confusion, and reduce effectiveness unless understood and carefully handled.
Concepts, cases and experiential learning will be used during this course to help students develop and combine the conceptual insights, tools and personal capabilities to better understand, communicate and practice the art of collaboration.
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This course addresses the challenges faced by public sector leaders as they seek to deliver public goods in politically charged environments. Offered in partnership with the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD) at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), it uses case studies (mostly drawn from Asia) on how public policy can make the private sector be a constructive force for economic growth and development. A driving principle of this module is that policy reform is not like engineering or other technical fields that have discrete skills and clear, optimal solutions. Instead, successful reformers must be nimble and weigh a broad range of factors that influence policy outcomes. They must have a solid grasp of country-specific economic, financial, political and cultural realities. Most importantly, they must have a sense of how to set priorities, sequence actions and build coalitions which will sustain and nurture a creative tension between citizens, policy-makers and service providers. This module provides participants with an analytical framework to build these abilities and operate effectively under adverse conditions.
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This unique segment was developed in collaboration with Brookings Executive Education, a partnership between the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis, which is dedicated to developing those that work with government and in government. Students will embark on a deep investigation of the functioning of the political system of the world’s most powerful country through compelling engagement with analysts and practitioners engaged in policy and cross-sector partnership. The focus of this study mission evolves year by year, reflecting the latest thinking and happenings as they occur. Students will travel to Washington, D.C., USA for up to two weeks to complete this module.
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Today’s leaders and organisations operate in the midst of volatility, uncertainty and change, arguably more than ever before in human history. Survival and success depend in part upon the ability to gauge the future, yet many wonder if gauging the future increasingly a fool’s errand. How might today’s leaders approach this conundrum? This course will provide some approaches to thinking clearly, robustly and creatively about the future, focusing in particular on scenario planning, a widely-used methodology that over the years has demonstrated its utility across business, government and civic sectors. Thinking with scenarios helps us learn about the future by understanding the nature and impact of driving forces, uncovering our own biases (individual and cultural) and creating stories as heuristic scaffolds. We will learn to construct and use scenarios, and in the process discover their power and practicality as a tool to facilitate long-term planning, decision-making and action in unpredictable contexts.
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New technologies bring us closer together, collapsing the tyrannies of distance, time and cost: people are able to collaborate remotely, instantaneously and for free; policy-making is more responsive and timely, responding as it can to events as they happen; and, as ‘the next billion’ are brought on-line, financial and social inclusion make the alleviation of poverty and disease ever more feasible. At least that has been the promise.
But at the same time that this promise does exist, social and economic gaps also continue to exist and are often increasing. In countries where technology gains are the most prevalent, social mobility is often decreasing. Moreover, new technologies tend to challenge a society’s ability to reap the benefits they offer because of their disruptive impact; policy makers all too often are challenged by the speed of change, struggling to keep up with the changes being wrought, let alone being able to create forward-looking frameworks that would enable a society and economy to benefit and grow.
Many of the technologies emerging in areas such as education (MOOCs), health (surveillance and remote diagnostics), payments (cryptocurrencies and authentication), and trade (cloud computing) promise to revolutionise the sectors by eliminating scarcity or constraints on access. But they also threaten to challenge the very structure of those sectors before their potential can be realised. Achieving progress will require policy makers, business leaders and civil society advocates to be able to communicate constructively – to speak the same language. This module looks at the trends in emerging new technologies, their impacts upon the different stakeholders, and the areas requiring a new approach and new collaborations.
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Policymaking and analysis would be easier if cause and effect could always be clearly linked and understood. Small changes would have small effects; large changes would have large effects; what worked in the past would work in the future, and so on. However, social, economic, ecological systems are much more complex than this. Sometimes a small event can cause system-wide changes, and at other times a huge effort seems to make little difference or even ends up shifting the problem in the wrong direction. To understand these problems, we need to move beyond the linear models that underlie much formal policy analysis and design. We need to understand the implications of strategic behaviour, non-linear feedbacks, and heterogeneous actors on policies, as well as the impact of policies at multiple scales and across a wide range of stakeholders. This course will explore these new insights, with discussions on salient policy and management implications of complex adaptive system theories; emphasis on sense making, learning, thinking about futures and co-evolution of social norms as substitutes for the more traditional approaches of command, control, prediction and planning.
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Developing leadership skills, rather than learning facts about them, requires a level of personal engagement, risk-taking, and group interaction that is unusual in many university courses. This course uses a mixture of interactive methods including simulations, psychological assessments, 360º evaluations, peer-feedback, and may include an overnight experiential training programme. This skills-based course is aimed at providing students with a number of concepts and competencies that may be useful as they work with their new colleagues in this programme and as they consider decisions about their direction after graduation. It is also designed to help students lead and manage groups in challenging environments.
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In this module, we continue the focus on addressing the world’s major challenges and various approaches to managing them. We look at how sustainability can be defined in actionable terms, looking at concepts of financial, social, and natural capital. We then investigate the leading experiments in measuring sustainability performance and partnership performance, building on previous discussions of accountability. A plethora of standards, metrics, and reporting requirements are emerging that purport to enable appropriate measurement and accountability.
Throughout the module, we focus on a set of questions that policymakers and practitioners are currently grappling with around the world.
- Can the Sustainable Development Goals and/or concepts such as natural and social capital and/or Planetary Boundaries provide effective markers against which to evaluate organisational and system behaviour and outcomes?
- Do we have the data needed to know whether we are crossing planetary boundaries or achieving the SDGs and other global goals?
- Do the various metrics and evaluation systems give us useful information? To whom is it useful, and what effect do these metrics have on actual behaviour?
- Under what conditions do reporting requirements and investment indices shape organisations’ behaviour, and in what directions?
- What do we know about the impact of cross-sector collaboration, as opposed to other approaches to large-scale problem-solving and systems change?
In this course, students will work together to analyse in depth and develop solutions for one or more selected real-world issues. They will present their findings and recommendations at the end of 18 months. Students will begin preparing for this module at the start of the programme. This policy task force may be designed in part by the students themselves, with senior faculty members as supervisors. The topics of investigation will change each year to reflect the interests of each cohort and the changing nature of the global agenda.
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Last updated on 07 Dec 2015 .