Class YearExperiential LearningFirst YearGlobal Impact & Public ServiceJuniorSeniorSophomore

PAH 420 | Innovation and the Human Condition: Learning How to Improve Life in the Community and Beyond

This course will equip students with the skills to use the humanities intellectual and analytical traditions to identify and pursue strategic responses to opportunities for innovation in the human condition. Over the course of the semester, students will draw on a range of humanities-based ways of seeing and doing to: 1) identify opportunities for improving the human condition at the community level and beyond; 2) analyze the cultural, political, and economic conditions that influence such opportunities; 3) design technological, industrial, and socio-cultural innovations that are directly responsive to these opportunities; and 4) develop strategic storylines that effectively convey the merits of these innovations to relevant stakeholders.

We will begin by forming small teams of student innovators. Each team will engage, experience, and internalize the course content through a series of activities and tasks that include: 1) identifying a community-based issue or opportunity that warrants an intervention; 2) analyzing the issue or opportunity through secondary research; 3) formulating an innovative strategy that is data-driven and based in the principles and concepts central to the humanities intellectual and analytical traditions; 4) refining and enhancing said innovative strategy through primary research; and 4) developing and delivering a multi-faceted presentation (visual, oral, written) of the strategy to a panel of experts.