Civic participation is a public obligation. Done well, it can help resolve existing conflicts, help people reach consensus, and open up the potential for a re-energized public engaged in their communities. Done poorly, its mistakes can carry a heavy cost, reinforcing disengagement and breeding conflict.
Civic development studies how and why public life evolves, through its political systems, processes, and roles. Then teaches the application of this knowledge toward building civic engagement and participation that can generate positive social action and change.
Systemic transformation focuses on how individuals, groups and systems function, interact, and evolve–why people do what they do when they’re alone or in groups. Then teaches strategies designed to restore, improve, and sustain a group’s ability to function.
Focus of concentration
- Strategies to improve, restore, and sustain the integrity of people, organizations and systems
- The evolution of public life, the analysis of issues, and the design of processes that build social capacity
- Application of this knowledge to the theory and practice of public engagement and social action
This concentration is designed to help:
- Officials develop and solidify their skills for public engagement.
- Consultants and trainers gain new skills serving clients and partnering with publics to work on their current challenges.
- Citizens increase their capacity for raising awareness, organizing, and partnering to work on public issues, lead action, and build alliances.
- Educators develop curriculum elements for preparing students for 21st Century citizenship.
- Software designers find design and case applications for developing “Web 2.0″ social software for political and social action.