2016 Ash Innovations Applications Open

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School has kicked off the application process for its prestigious Innovations in American Government Award.  For the second straight year, the Ash Center is also funding a second innovation award, the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government, to better highlight the work of public engagement and participation programs, policies, and initiatives from around the country.

The Innovations in American Government Awards are heralded as the premier public-sector honor in the nation and are given to programs that serve as examples of creative and effective government at its best. The Ash Center will once again be awarding two $100,000 top prizes, for the Innovations in American Government Award and the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government. All units of government—federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial—within the United States and their partners are eligible to apply.
Applicants for both awards will be judged on the standard Innovations in American Government Awards criteria of novelty, effectiveness, significance, and transferability. Programs seeking the Roy and Lila Ash award will also be judged on their impact on public engagement and participation. Specifically, the Ash Center seeks to recognize government-led innovations that demonstrate enhanced public engagement and participation.  Find out more here.  Application deadline is April 15, 2016.

Your Body Chemistry and Professional Status – New Research from HKS MLD Professor Jennifer Lerner

Power and professional status are often associated with myriad environmental factors including education and upbringing, but a new research study provides compelling fresh evidence linking professional status attainment with the interaction of two biological hormones.

“Testosterone, Cortisol and Attained Status” is co-authored by five leading academics in the field of bio-behavioral science, including Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Professor Jennifer Lerner.

The paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  

Complete story here:  http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/articles/body-chemistry-and-professional-status

Join us for the MLD Shopping and Welcome Event on August 28th!

The HKS Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences Faculty (The MLD Area) invite all HKS degree program students to join us for our Shopping and Welcome Event on Monday, August 28th from 5:00 – 6:15pm in the Allison Dining Room, (Taubman Building 5th floor).

The purpose of this event is to provide students with a centralized opportunity to hear about courses in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences, to meet the faculty, as well as to hear about the numerous related co-currcular activities in the MLD space. Examples of the latter include the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG), Social Innovation and Social Change (SICI) Studio, and the Kennedy School Negotiation Project (KSNP). Faculty in attendance will provide detailed overviews of our course offerings, and will introduce the MLD Certificate program. Plus… there’ll be cupcakes!

Should you have questions, please contact  MLD Area Administrator, Greg Dorchak at greg_dorchak@hks.harvard.edu  We hope you will join us on August 28th!

Please note: This event is not meant to be a substitute for the regularly scheduled MLD course shopping sessions taking place during the day on 8/28 and 8/29 at which you will hear in much greater detail about the fall and January courses.

The New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program launches

The New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program is an innovative, “next-generation” incubator for highly effective social change. It draws upon the insights and expertise of the world’s top social enterprise practitioners, and the research and teaching strengths of Harvard University to home in on what works—and leave out what doesn’t—to train students to launch and figure out plans to scale-up new social ventures, propose new innovations for existing programs and organizations, and, ultimately, create far-reaching solutions for the world’s most pressing social problems.

The incubator will include HKS course work, intensive co-curricular workshops, and a strong experiential component.

Full details on the program here.

2015-16 ACADEMIC YEAR: PILOT PROGRAM BEGINS

The pilot cohort will be comprised of up to ten exceptional second year and mid-career Harvard Kennedy School students with an established commitment and desire to change the world through social enterprise. The core objective of the program is to arm students with the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in and strengthen the field of social enterprise.

In addition to HKS curricular studies, participants will:

  • Attend regular co-curricular sessions focused on mastery topics throughout the school year;
  • Interface with a cadre of international social entrepreneurs, major foundations, and sector leaders;
  • On a needs-basis, be eligible for an award of up to $5,000 during the academic year; and
  • Be eligible for a post-graduate job placement with a major institution, city, or social enterprise stakeholder or post-graduate funding of a start-up based on satisfactory completion of the program requirements and a competitive awards process.

The Fellows Program and Incubator has an exceptional capacity to give students the skills, experiences, peer networks, and operating knowledge needed to effectively tackle society’s most complex issues and lead social change in new and existing ventures across the nonprofit, government, and business sectors.

Innovation Field Lab Engages with Massachusetts Cities and Towns

Jorrit de Jong, lecturer in public policy, listens to a student group work through an issue. photo credit: Bryant Renaud
Jorrit de Jong, lecturer in public policy, listens to a student group work through an issue.
photo credit: Bryant Renaud

Cities and towns across America face myriad challenges — from crime and criminal justice policy to educational and transportation infrastructure — but perhaps none as visible and visceral as so-called “problem properties.” Boarded up houses and fenced up vacant lots represent urban blight, deflating property values and spawning a number of health and security concerns.  Even small to mid-size cities are experiencing this reality as the economy struggles to recover from the Great Recession.

The problem of poorly-maintained properties is exacerbated by city governments encumbered by bureaucratic silos, which are simultaneously struggling with decreasing public revenues.  But the Massachusetts towns of Chelsea, Fitchburg and Lawrence are re-engaged in the challenge with support from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) student teams deployed through the Innovation Field Lab spring module. Co-taught by Jorrit de Jong, lecturer in public policy, and Joe Curtatone, Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the mayor of Somerville, the seven week module offers students the opportunity to do real work on real problems in real settings and to learn firsthand about the practice of public sector innovation.

Click here for the complete story.

Harvard Kennedy School – Beyond the Classroom

You should expect to get your hands dirty if you take a management, leadership, and decisions science (MLD) course at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Learning-by-doing is a key pedagogical component of the majority of MLD area courses at HKS. Running a range from personal case analyses, “live” case and negotiation simulations, simulated-client projects, to fieldwork for real clients and organizations, MLD students learn by experiencing for themselves real world lessons in management, leadership, teamwork, and decision making.

On the scaffold of classroom curriculum, and with the guidance of faculty and support from their peer teams, students work to address challenges in complex areas like negotiation, government innovation, operations management, social organizing, philanthropy, and municipal budgeting. The learning students achieve by engaging the curriculum and working in real and challenging contexts is often transformative for them, but the simultaneous positive impact students make has become a major part of the mission of the Kennedy School. Read More