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Problem Solving and Decision Making for Public Policy and Social Change

Course Id
LAW 7508
(Formerly Law 333) Stanford graduates will play important roles in solving many of today's and tomorrow's major societal problems¿such as improving...
(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 organization's behavior, ranging from incentives and penalties to "nudges;" human-centered design; and novel financing mechanisms such as impact investments and pay-for-success programs. The course will culminate in a field project that integrates many of the tools and ways of thinking developed in this course: developing a policy to address an actual problem facing the University. Students who have encountered some of these topics in other courses are likely to gain new perspectives and encounter new challenges in applying them to solving social problems. 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. -- Not using laptops or using mobile devices in class). Individual paper 30% and Team project 40%. Enrollment: Limited to 32 students, with priority given to students in Law School, the MPP program, and the IPS program in that order. Students other than law students must seek the consent of the instructor.
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Closed for enrollment
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