Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with Your Grand Challenge Project Idea
Do you want to learn how to create viable solutions to address a complex social or environmental challenge? Are you interested in taking a course with other motivated students from across the university who care about being changemakers and being mentored by UMN faculty who will be supporting the students in the course? This experiential course will help you learn the skills to develop solutions that address a specific problem that you have worked on in a previous GCC course or a similar project-based class. By the end of the course, you will create a design and implementation plan for a solution that could take many forms, depending on student interest and the nature of the problem (business or nonprofit plans, policy and advocacy plans, media and awareness campaigns and activism plans are all possible). Resources (funding, training and mentors) will be available for students who wish to pursue their project beyond the classroom into implementation.
Students should enter the class with a problem statement identifying the challenge they aim to address, a target location or community, and a proposed solution or intervention that they wish to develop. Student teams working on a project are welcomed to enroll in this class together. Student solutions should address a problem that is about a broadly defined Grand Challenge; examples of applicable areas include water, immigration and refugees, energy, housing, achievement gap, public health, food and sustainable agriculture. While it is important to have a project or theme idea, the first part of the class is an examination of student ideas and possible modification of ideas.
By the end of class, students will create a plausible design and implementation plan for a solution that addresses their self-created Grand Challenge problem statement. This solution or intervention could take many forms, depending on student interest and problem statement. Business or non-profit plans, policy and advocacy plans, media and awareness, activism plans are all possible. Determining the correct path(s) is one of the learning objectives for the course.