Innovation Happens Here
A sense of innovation permeates the school. It’s an outlook we prize, encourage and reward. We have an entire center devoted to policy, leadership, innovation and service. We offer a yearlong class on innovation in government. There’s even an interdisciplinary student group focused solely on social innovation.
Sanford is one of the first in the country to offer a course for policy students on human centered design. Duke students learn in partnership with Durham city and county government personnel.
We also offer a yearlong course, Behavioral Economics for Municipal Policy. The course is a collaboration between Sanford and Professor Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight.
Tony Brown has been a Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy since 1993. His courses for undergraduates include Social Entrepreneurship in Action, Moral Courage & Leadership, and Enterprising Leadership & Civic Engagement
Often, students and policy practitioners will be in the classroom at the same time. For example, 70 North Carolina mayors, city managers and other officials joined students for a weekend intensive. The group explored how behavioral science can it be used to spur innovation. Watch:
Since 2013, Sanford has been home to a powerful student-run group dreamed up by two MPP students: Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI). Students team up to offer consulting to nonprofits. The program is special because the teams are interdisciplinary; students from Sanford School, Fuqua School of Business, and the Pratt School of Engineering join together to tackle problems.
For example, one team helped helped a nonprofit set up a system to collect data and measure their impact. Watch:
Browse more stories of innovation here: