SOLVING
PUBLIC PROBLEMS

How to take advantage of technology, data and the collective wisdom in our communities to design powerful solutions to contemporary problems.

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The primacy of technology in our daily lives combined with the urgent need to design and implement solutions to public problems require a new curriculum of public entrepreneurship.
“Solving Public Problems” is a first of its kind course on problem-solving methods.

By combining the teaching of quantitative and qualitative methods with participatory and equitable approaches that include the communities we aim to help in the problem-solving process, this course will give you the tools to realize as well design innovative and measurable solutions to contemporary problems and become a more powerful agent of change.

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COURSE FORMAT

First-of-its-kind course on public problem solving

Combines quantitative and qualitative methods

Emphasizes people-centered and data-driven ways of working

100% free online course

Flexible and self-paced

Lectures, interviews, readings, and self-assessments

Approximately 12 hours to complete

Optional GovLab Certificate upon completion

Explore the course syllabus to learn more!

Learning Objectives

  1. Give you methods and tools — new ways of working — to become a catalyst for change.
  2. Introduce you to the latest tools and technologies for designing and implementing mission-driven projects
  3. Ensure that you know how to use big data, collective intelligence and behavioral insights to solve problems more efficiently and effectively.
  4. Help you learn to combine subject matter expertise and problem solving skills to address real world problems.
  5. Introduce you to leading social and public innovators who are passionate about real world change.

Course Topics

What are Public Problems

Innovative Problem Solving Pathways

Defining a Public Problem

Defining Problems with Data

Defining Problems with Human-Centered Design

Fast Field Scanning

Expanding your Solution Toolkit

Developing Solutions with Open Innovation

Writing the Letter

Powerful Partnerships

Experiments for Change

Writig the Killer Memo

Persuasive Pitches

Learn from leading changemakers

Each session features interviews with problem solvers from government agencies, non-profits, schools, and community organizations, all working to change the world.

Reuben Abraham

IDFC Insitute, India
BIO

Rudi Borrmann

Former Undersecretary of Public Innovation, Argentina
BIO

Casey Box

Executive Director, Land is Life
BIO

Xavier Briggs

NYU/former White House
BIO

Richard Buery

Achievement First
BIO

Ali Clare

Re:Coded
BIO

Elizabeth Gerber

Design for America
BIO

Carl Gombrich

London Interdisciplinary School
BIO

Cyrus Habib

Lt. Governor, Washington
BIO

Jeremy Howard

Masks4All
BIO

Tom Kalil

Schmidt Futures/former White House
BIO

Maurice Mitchell

Movement for Black Lives
BIO

Sheila Oliver

Lt. Governor, New Jersey
BIO

Jennifer Pahlka

Founder, Code for America
BIO

Sarah Pearson

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
BIO

Chris Sarra

Director-General, Queensland Dept. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
BIO

Sonal Shah

Founding Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation
BIO

Connie Yowell

LRNG, United States
BIO

Achim Steiner

Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
BIO

Audrey Tang

Digital Minister, Taiwan
BIO

About the GovLab

The GovLab's mission is to improve people's lives by changing the way we govern using new technology. Our goal is to strengthen the ability of public institutions and people to work more effectively and legitimately to make better decisions. The Clinics complement GovLab's work by catalyzing additional projects with public institutions and equipping a new generation of public entrepreneurs with the skillset and mindset to tackle important challenges. These project-based training programs blend substance with skills and ethics with innovation into a new curriculum to solve public problems.