Policy Design Studio: Design for Emergence in Complex Systems

Professor: Pendleton-Jullian, Nelson, and Boudreaux
Units: 1

Building on Working in Complex Systems and Understanding Human Systems, this is the third component in the design-for-agency learning sequence.

The first component aimed to provide an operational understanding of foundational concepts around complex systems, with the specific intention of not just studying them but acting within them through skill building that augments the analytical and research skills focused on in other parts of the program. The second component — Understanding Human Systems — in an exercise-intensive format, introduced concepts and methods from the different lenses of the social and behavioral sciences, while also beginning to introduce content directly related to the topic. This third component will shift into focused work on the topic, with the intention to accomplish two things: to provide for learning in an integrative, experimental, and speculative environment; and to do this within a problem framework that contributes to making tangible positive progress on the complex problem.

This studio will strive to: contribute knowledge and insight that can be disseminated; contribute to shaping and working with a network of partners; create systems of action and/or components and mechanisms aimed at shaping change. To this end the studio will bring in outsiders both for their expertise and potential influence. As work progresses, we will identify visitors and partners to speak, to work with the studio, and to review the work at the mid-term and final reviews. It is anticipated that each student will be working off of an entry point, or on a particular slice of the problem, they have identified coming off of Understanding Human Systems.