How best can people learn to be effective change agents? This website is for information about and discussion of teaching strategic thinking and action.
Policy advocates attempt to alter the arc of history, changing the course of events on matters important to the community. Some who engage in such advocacy are paid professionals. More are individual citizens and members of organized groups. Some are agency staff who find themselves in situations where they may affect outcomes.
Successful advocates know how to be strategic: They know what to do and when to act in complex situations with uncertain outcomes. Many courses and texts explain how to analyze a policy problem or explain why things unfolded the way they did, but few teach how to alter what is likely to happen in the future. People usually acquire that ability, if they do, through a process of long experience of observing others and trying (and often failing) themselves. In our experience, however, we have found that these skills can be taught, expediting learning them more quickly and completely. Curriculum for this teaching is a work in progress. We welcome your participation by replying on these pages or on the discussion page.
So far, this website includes
- a report on a faculty curriculum development workshop conducted at The Evergreen State College in June, 2016;
- information about the strategic advocacy framework we are developing;
- cases for use in teaching;
- class assignments for the Vanderbilt Law School strategic advocacy seminar;
- the syllabus for the Evergreen graduate seminar on this topic.
-Roger Conner, Ben Shaine and Ted Whitesell, project coordinators