Photo of blue sky and Belfer Building at Harvard Kennedy School

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Open House – September 21, 2020, 5:30pm

Please join the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s annual Open House on Monday, September 21 at 5:30pm to hear about exciting student engagement opportunities. Learn about student fellowships and field lab courses where you can gain hands-on experience with city governments as well as research assistant roles where students carry out important work with Initiative projects, city leaders, or investigative researchers.

This event is open to only Harvard students (registration required). Register here.

MLD-601: Operations Management with Mark Fagan

Operations are at the heart of public service delivery. Considering essential service providers currently in the spotlight like the U.S. Postal Service, state-level providers of unemployment insurance, and international agencies soon to be charged with distributing a COVID-19 vaccine to populations across the globes, we see that optimal operations management can be critical to people’s lives.  What, then, does it take for leaders of organizations like these to optimize for both effectiveness and efficiency, delivering for the public, and satisfying those to whom they are accountable?  MLD-601: Operations Management taught by versatile Lecturer in Public Policy Mark Fagan explores how operations management is critical to value creation in the public sector. Featuring experiential learning through consulting projects with local government agencies and non-profit organizations, Fagan’s course helps students tackle real operations management issues. Past clients have included the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, and Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.  At the end of this rigorous but fun course students will be able to:

  1. See opportunities to improve operations.
  2. Diagnose the problems and barriers to creating value.
  3. Design effective and efficient solutions.
  4. Apply concepts to solve client issues.

Mark Fagan is a gifted instructor in the online format, having taught online for many years in the Harvard Extension School, and successfully pivoting his courses online in Spring of 2020.
Harvard students can learn more about MLD-601 and Mark Fagan’s teaching style by viewing the course preview video.
In addition to Operations Management, Fagan also teaches:

Learn more about the work of Fagan and his students in these courses by exploring the Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government,
Listen to Fagan discuss how policymakers can navigate the robot car revolution on this HKS PolicyCast podcast.

Read how students in last spring’s Supply Chain Management course went to work to help when the COVID-19 struck.

Harvard Kennedy School course helps COVID-19 front lines

For questions about any of Mark Fagan’s courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

MLD-234: Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines with Claude Bruderlein

The challenges confronting public policy professionals in this exceptional period call for the ability to engage effectively across professional cultures, political inclinations, and ideologies. Those on the frontlines of global negotiation must establish a dialogue to address global problems like the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, migration pressure, and protracted armed conflicts that affect millions of people every day. MLD-234 Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines with Claude Bruderlein will introduce students to negotiation practices in crisis situations where the level of distrust and, at times, hostility between the parties require specific tools and methods to establish and maintain a minimum of a dialogue, particularly for the purpose of protecting the most vulnerable populations and ensuring the provision of food, water, shelter, and other essential items. MLD-234 is taught in close collaboration with the Centre of Competence and Humanitarian Negotiation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, enabling students to engage virtually with frontline humanitarian negotiators from the UN and other international agencies operating in crises around the globe. Taking advantage of the digital platform on which the course will be given in the fall 2020, this course offers a unique safe space to review and discuss current challenges and dilemmas with stakeholders of ongoing negotiation processes and examine practical tools and methods to overcome these challenges. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own critical thinking about these issues and to test their negotiation skills in simulations and other practical exercises.

Watch and learn more about the course and meet Prof. Bruderlein

MLD-234 is offered at Harvard Kennedy School in the Fall of 2020; it is also offered by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health as GHP-243. Enrollment is only by permission of the instructor. Interested students should submit an online application here.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis in August. Successful applicants will be interviewed to join the class. If you have any questions about the course or the application please e-mail Maura James (maura_james@hks.harvard.edu).

For questions about other MLD negotiation courses or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

 

MLD-355: Public Narrative with Marshall Ganz — A Leadership Practice Translating Values into Action

According to MLD’s  Marshall Ganz, the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society, “To lead is to accept responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty.” But where should a student aspiring to lead for the the greater good begin?  For Ganz, the process of leadership starts with the “self” and builds outward into a constituency, creating “us,” a group that’s ready “now” to meet the challenges on the path to shared goals.  In MLD-355: Public Narrative Ganz and his highly collaborative teaching team introduce students to the discursive process through which individuals, communities, and nations learn to make choices, construct identity, and inspire action. The goal is teaching students to link their our own callings to that of a community that shares a call to action, translating deeply held personal values into effective action. Ganz continues, “Because it engages the ‘head’ and the ‘heart,’ Marshall Ganz's Public Narrative Leadership Pedagogy: Head, Heart, Handsnarrative can instruct and inspire – teaching us not only why we should act, but moving us to act.” Based on a pedagogy of guided reflective practice, students work in groups to learn to tell their own public narrative. Developing their own personal practice of public narrative builds students’ leadership capacity, and is especially critical when they are called to respond in moments of challenge like facing loss, lacking power, confronting inequality and difference, and enacting meaningful change.

Over the years Ganz and his course graduates have introduced public narrative training widely across the globe including in  the Obama presidential campaign (2007-8), Sierra Club, Episcopal Church, United We Dream Movement, the Ahel Organizing Initiative, (Jordan), Serbia on the Move (Belgrade), Avina (Bogata), National Health Service (UK), Peking University (Beijing), Tatua (Kenya), Community Organizing Japan (Tokyo) and elsewhere, proving the relevance of narrative practice across disciplines, professions, and cultures.

Students seeking to extend their narrative practice and learning often follow up MLD-355 in the spring by enrolling in Ganz’s other course MLD-377: Organizing: People, Power, Change, in which put into practice what they’ve learned in organizations, movements, and campaigns of their own.

Beyond HKS, Ganz and graduates of his teaching have established the Leading Change Network, a global community of organizers, educators and researcher aiming ” To meet the challenges to democracy by developing the leadership to organize communities which build power and realize the values of equality, solidarity, and dignity.”

To learn more, view a complete (~75 minute) mini-workshop with Marshall Ganz introducing public narrative pedagogy on the YouTube channel of The Resistance School which was founded in March of 2017 by graduate students of HKS and other Harvard schools. Lesson 1 of the 15 short videos is below; the full set is here.

Well before COVID-19 moved all HKS teaching online, Ganz and his team with HKS Executive Education were pioneering the teaching of leadership and organizing online. With over 7 years experience developing his online public narrative Exec Ed course Ganz and his team have created an exceptionally strong model of experiential, interpersonal, and interdependent learning, which his degree students will enjoy for the first time this Fall.  For a sample of, and in-depth introduction to their pedagogy, view here a (~60 min) video of an online interactive session led by Ganz for Harvard Kennedy School faculty on his approach to online teaching.

MLD-355 and MLD-377 will be offered at the Harvard Kennedy School in Fall of 2020, and Spring of 2021, respectively. For questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator. You may also contact Heather Adelman, Senior Project Coordinator for Marshall Ganz (heather_adelman@hks.harvard.edu).

MLD-412 MBTA student site visit

FAB in MLD: Finance, Accounting, and Budgeting are Central to Organizational Success

Budgeting, accounting, and financial management are central to the successful operation of government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations.  MLD offers a sequence of three courses for students seeking to boost their understanding how “FAB” concepts and techniques can be powerful management tools.

 

MLD-401M: Financial Analysis of Public and Nonprofit Organizations taught by Brian Iammartino is an introductory, general-audience course intended for students with no background in accounting or financial analysis. By the end of the course, students will be able to: 1) Understand commonly-used accounting and financial analysis terminology, concepts, tools and processes; 2) Evaluate financial statements in order to ask probing questions, identify risks and/or opportunities, and think critically about financial performance; and 3) Recommend and justify courses of action based on analyses of accounting and other financial data. Specific topics covered include an overview of the financial reporting landscape and governance; accounting principles and concepts; a detailed review of the major financial statements; and the analysis of major financial topics such as organizational liquidity, solvency, operations, funding, and benchmarking.  Main focus will be on features of public and nonprofit accounting, but many of the topics covered are applicable to all types of organizations. Harvard students can view a course preview video with Iammartino. Students completing MLD-401M will be well prepared to take the the following course.

 

MLD-411M: Introduction to Budgeting and Financial Management taught by Linda Bilmes is a rigorous introductory course aims to demystify FAB topics for a general audience of students, even those lacking any related background. Bilmes will, step-by-step, help students understand the entire budgeting process, including budget formulation and execution, variance analysis, budget strategies such as activity-based costing, revenue forecasting, and capital budgeting. Accounting topics include an overview of the financial reporting and governance landscape, accounting principles and concepts, and a detailed review of the major financial statements.Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy The course will build on these budgeting and accounting principles to progress to financial management techniques such as the Balanced Scorecard, financial benchmarking, and the analysis of organizational liquidity, solvency, operations and funding. Harvard students can view Linda Bilmes’s video introduction to this course.

 

Students successfully completing MLD-411M may apply Linda Bilmes’s spring course MLD-412: The Greater Boston Applied Field Lab, an advanced, field-based, experiential learning course in which students work on challenging urban management and financial projects. Of MLD-412 , Mid-Career MPA (’20) and current program fellow Will Eden says, “No course at the Kennedy School I’ve taken has been as thoughtfully composed, incorporated as much feedback, or offered such a valuable hands-on learning experience.” Real world course projects in the past year included a detailed estimate on the financial viability of plans for building a performing arts center in Gloucester, MA; an analysis for the town of Hingham, MA about funding federally mandated stormwater runoff infrastructure; rethinking energy supply and demand options related to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority‘s (MBTA) the South Boston Power Station; and, for the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort), an assessment of threats/opportunities for the Boston seafood cluster in the global supply chain.  Past projects have included a number of meaningful collaborations with the City of Somerville, MA, documented on video here. For more details, read the AY20 Report on the Applied Field Lab.

 

MLD-401M and MLD-411M will be offered at the Harvard Kennedy School in Fall of 2020. MLD-412 will be offered in the spring semester 2021. For questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator. You may also contact Greater Boston Advanced Field Lab Program Director Susan Krusell (susan_krusell@hks.harvard.edu)

MLD-304: The Science of Behavior Change with Todd Rogers

Leverage insights about human decision making to develop interventions that improve societal well-being.

This is the primary learning goal of MLD-304 The Science of Behavior Change taught by Professor Todd Rogers.
The fast growing research field dubbed “behavioral economics” or “behavioral science” examines the mechanisms of, and influences on, human judgment and decision making, especially in the areas where our choices differ from the rational and the optimal.  Insights from this research has provided a new set of tools that complement standard economics and policy levers for influencing behavior (namely, incentives and information) and allowed us to improve implementation of interventions promoting the public good.  These new tools and ideas have relevance across fields ranging from healthcare, education, criminal justice, social welfare, electoral politics, personal finance, and beyond.
In addition to learning more about the science of how humans make judgments and decisions, students in MLD-304 will also be taught how to improve the quality of their own judgments and decisions by identifying areas of thinking prone to errors and cognitive biases. Some of these errors are particularly important for real world problems.  This course will also increase students’ familiarity with randomized experiments, enabling them to be smarter consumers of claims that interventions cause certain outcomes.

Watch Professor Rogers describe an example from his work on voter mobilization:

Read an example of Todd Rogers’s work implementing a simple and effective set of behavioral scientific interventions to tackle the problem of student absenteeism in urban school districts.

Join other students at HKS and across Harvard interested in behavioral science in the Behavioral Insights Group which brings together an outstanding group of decision research scholars, behavioral economists, and other behavioral scientists. BIG’s staff are always happy to talk with students. Please feel free to reach out to Program Manager, Maja Niksic (maja_niksic@hks.harvard.edu) or join BIG’s global mailing list, the mailing list for Harvard students, follow BIG on Twitter, or check out BIG’s LinkedIn Network where behavioral science-specific jobs are posted.

MLD-304 will be offered at Harvard Kennedy School in Fall of 2020. If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.