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LAW 7508: Problem Solving and Decision Making for Public Policy and Social Change

(Formerly Law 333) Stanford graduates will play important roles in solving many of today's and tomorrow's major societal problems -- such as improving educational and health outcomes, conserving energy, and reducing global poverty -- which call for actions by nonprofit, business, and hybrid organizations as well as governments. This course teaches skills and bodies of knowledge relevant to these roles through problems and case studies drawn from nonprofit organizations, for-profit social enterprises, and governments. Topics include designing, implementing, scaling, and evaluating social strategies; systems thinking; decision making under risk; psychological biases that adversely affect people's decisions; methods for influencing individuals' and organizations' behavior, ranging from incentives and penalties to "nudges;" human-centered design; and pay-for-success programs. The concepts and tools taught in the classroom will be applied in a field project that addresses an actual policy more »
(Formerly Law 333) Stanford graduates will play important roles in solving many of today's and tomorrow's major societal problems -- such as improving educational and health outcomes, conserving energy, and reducing global poverty -- which call for actions by nonprofit, business, and hybrid organizations as well as governments. This course teaches skills and bodies of knowledge relevant to these roles through problems and case studies drawn from nonprofit organizations, for-profit social enterprises, and governments. Topics include designing, implementing, scaling, and evaluating social strategies; systems thinking; decision making under risk; psychological biases that adversely affect people's decisions; methods for influencing individuals' and organizations' behavior, ranging from incentives and penalties to "nudges;" human-centered design; and pay-for-success programs. The concepts and tools taught in the classroom will be applied in a field project that addresses an actual policy problem facing the University. The course may be of interest to students in Law and Policy Lab practicums who wish to broaden their policy analysis skills. Elements Used in Grading: Class participation 30% (coming to class having done the readings, timely submission of questionnaires and problems, participating actively in class discussions, being a responsible member of your team for the team project, and not using laptops or mobile devices in class). Individual paper 30% and Team project 40%. Enrollment: Limited to 32 students, with priority given to students who register on or before the last day of the autumn quarter in the following order: Law School, MPP program, Sustainability Science and Practice Program, IPS program. After that date, any remaining places will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students other than law students must seek the consent of the instructor. .
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
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