PPS260.01 – LEADERSHIP, POLICY, AND CHANGE
This is a course about leadership for public life. It is about learning to facilitate robust discussions with your peers about complex, seemingly intractable policy problems. This spring our topic is the cultural politics of climate change.
What some people call the “long emergency,” climate change presents us with an unparalleled set of interdependent challenges. We can track a daily litany of sobering stories in the daily news, and we can read scores of excellent books and articles by experts that warn of climate catastrophe and exhort us to take decisive action. Yet our political institutions, for the most part, seem paralyzed. As we learn more about the issue, the enormity of it can feel overwhelming.
If climate change is the most important environmental challenge we face, what can we do individually and collectively to make a difference? How should we realistically assess our prospects for adaptation and mitigation? Even when it is difficult to believe that our own actions matter, is it possible to channel our concerns into effective political action and policy change?
In this course you will develop skills such as:
- developing a rich understanding of policy topics by exploring multiple viewpoints
- cutting through complexity without dumbing it down
- understanding leadership challenges and opportunities
- engaging your peers in conversations that generate new ideas
Working in groups, you will learn to: 1) follow news stories and then dive beneath the headlines to explore systemic complexities and contexts; 2) strategize about how to bring your ideas to larger audiences for discussion and debate, and 3) reflect on what you learn throughout the process. Your active engagement in the weekly assignments and discussions will provide valuable opportunities for you to discover your own potential for exercising leadership for public life.
[Areas of Knowledge: SS; Inquiries/Competencies: EI]