Courses Typically Offered in the Summer

Financing Inclusive Businesses

This course assesses the role of inclusive business (IB) as a strategy for economic growth, private-­‐sector development and poverty reduction, and the two main IB financing modalities: bank debt and private equity. Analytical frameworks are provided for understanding how IB strategies incorporate and affect the poor as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors and employees.

Social Impact and Emerging Technologies

Technology excites in its promise to help transform and improve lives. Yet we observe that this promise has not always translated into reality, particularly in the Global South.

Organized around key applications and case studies, this course examines the promises – and pitfalls – of technology for impact. It examines the ways in which entrepreneurs and practitioners harness technologies to solve key challenges, while also questioning how new technologies transform or reinforce dominant paradigms.

Writing for Publication

You are a thinker and a communicator. You have essays and articles, a book idea maybe, languishing away in a folder on your computer or in the back of your mind. It is time to let your ideas into the world: to make the leap from writing in the quiet corners of libraries, crappy apartments, classrooms and coffee shops to seeing your name in print.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

What does it mean to lead? This course is an exploration of the ideas and theories developed at Harvard University by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky over the last 30 years about the work of leaders in mobilizing groups to act to solve complex and seemingly intractable problems. We will contrast Heifetz and Linsky’s notion of leadership with the more traditional theories of leadership.

Civic Technology for Innovation

This course describes how to unleash the power of people and technology to successfully innovate in urban environments. We’ll discuss how to overcome the difficulties faced by many organizations trying to do new things, or trying to do things in a new way. These difficulties include failed, late, and over-budget initiatives, difficult to use systems, private data used without permission, and cyber security breaches that undermine public confidence. Join us and become a well-informed civic technologist poised to lead innovation.

Geographic Information Systems

Understanding geographic relationships between people, land use, and resources is fundamental to planning. Urban planners routinely use spatial analysis to inform decision-making. This course will introduce students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a tool to analyze and visualize spatial data. The course will emphasize the core functions of GIS: map making, data management, and spatial analysis. Students will learn cartographic best practices, how to find and create spatial data, spatial analysis methodology, and how to approach problem solving from a geographic perspective.

Communicating Public Policy in the Digital Era

In this class you will focus on translating policy analysis and implementation tools into actionable agents of social change. As such, one of the largest challenges is convincing a skeptical public that the benefits of a policy change or new service outweigh the status quo. In this class we will examine how government entities use digital tools to attempt to tackle this task, using the Obama White House as a case study. This class will give you an in-depth look at how digital tools allow the government to challenge traditional public policy implementation problems.

Policy and Data Studio

Open only to students in the MSPP program. Policy and Data Studio builds on the core courses, your advanced coursework, and is specifically meant to deepen your data and data analytic skills, in the content of a policy issue. Studio is a unique end event where you will use data to shed light on a policy question of your choice using the technical skills and specialized knowledge gained from the program.

Applied Policy Analysis

Open only to students in the MSPP program. This course will provide students with an opportunity to engage in policy analysis in situations that mimic the real world practice of the craft of policy analysis. In practice, policy analysis requires drawing inferences from limited information, under time pressure and data constraints. It requires asking the right questions, finding the right data, assessing the quality of the data and analyses, and communicating results effectively in writing and in person.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Social Finance Partnerships and Models

Corporate social innovation is an evolving practice of organizations of varying size and purpose to adapt to business activities with mission-driven models that produce social and environmental outcomes. The course will rigorously explore the evolution and modalities of corporate social responsibility, with particular attention to cross-sector collaboration with government and civil society, often using innovative social finance mechanisms, impact measurement, to get there.

Political Participation and Policy

Why do individuals choose to participate in politics and public life? This is an important question, since much of public policy depends on direct or indirect citizen support in the form of compliance, engagement, or collective action. Without it, even sound policies can fail to be broadly implemented. This course provides a “bottom up” view by exploring the motivations and constraints behind various kinds of civic engagement. We will cover voting, political mobilization, cooperation with the state, and the role of public opinion in both the American and international policy contexts.

Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

A practical, in-depth examination of successful marketing for cultural and nonprofit organizations. Includes thorough coverage of the tools of marketing, their applications, and results. Provides an understanding of and practical uses for positioning an organization within its marketplace; developing a marketing plan and creative strategy; managing a board of directors and developing a long-range plan; fund raising in the private sector; and ancillary income.