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2022/2023  BA-BFILV2201U  A Practical Guide to Fixing the World: A crash course in transformative problem solving

English Title
A Practical Guide to Fixing the World: A crash course in transformative problem solving

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, BSC
Course coordinator
  • Daniel Souleles - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
  • Johan Gersel - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
  • Morten Sørensen Thaning - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
They follow:
  • 1. Students will understand how the assumptions of decision makers and people who govern others can open up or foreclose certain sorts of solutions to the problems of human life.
  • 2. Students will understand the legacy of neoliberal thinking in governing human lives, and the impoverished nature of solutions such thinking affords.
  • 3. Students will work through a number of applied-problem solving cases and develop a portfolio of solutions.
  • 4. Students will reflect on their own biases and strategies, ultimately developing their own approach to problem solving.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Problem Solving Portfolio Assignment. Student problem solving groups will collate a portfolio of their five best team-problem-solution-presentations, and five of their best 1,000-word-reflection memos.
Examination
A Practical Guide to Fixing the World: A crash course in transformative problem solving:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Students will complete a 1,500 word essay reflecting on their approach to problem solving and how it has changed over the course of the semester.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course will center an active case lab component. What will happen is that each class meeting will be divided. One third of our time at the start of class will involve a discussion of a reading and a debrief on the success or failure of our last case lab. The remaining two-thirds of time at the end of class will be devoted to devising and presenting a solution to a given problem.

 

If you think in terms of each case that students will encounter, the flow of each node of the course looks like this:

 

  1. A given case is presented to students in a laboratory. They receive a dilemma and some amount of supporting material. In a small group they set about solving the problem. At the close of the laboratory, two groups of students present their solution and the class discusses.

 

  1. Students go home and read the case that they just attempted to solve. Students then write a reflection memo on the success and limitations of their attempted solution.

 

  1. Students come to the next class session and start with a discussion of the last case, their solution, and their reflection memo on their solution.

 

  1. Students proceed to the next case.

 

Solution presentations from the case lab (in the form of ppt presentations or presentation notes) as well as reflection memos completed in between class, make up much of the exam portfolio.

 

Students will be divided into small problem-solving groups to distribute solution presentation work. Groups will be assigned to a given problem to ensure that someone is always available to present a solution and is always writing a discussion memo and preparing for class.

Description of the teaching methods
The course will largely operate as a case lab in which students will be given structured workshop time in class to solve problems, as well as structured whole-class discussions to evaluate decision making.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be ever-present and ongoing as the course will be structured as a applied case lab. Students will receive real time, formative assessment of their solutions as they create them.
Student workload
Contact Hours 36 hours
Preparation Hours 140 hours
Examination Hours 40 hours
Further Information

Anthropology is one of the main academic disciplines in this course.

Expected literature

Note -- specific cases are subject to change over the course of the semester.

 

Pre-course

 

Read for the next class:

 

 

Week 1

 

            Discussion

 

  • Why do we want to solve problems?
  • How do we see the world?
  • What do we want to do about it?
  • Why have we chosen the education we have?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Rationality, markets, and human nature.

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Gersel, Johan and Morten Sørensen Thaning. In press. “Some Philosophical Help with “Neoliberalism”.” In In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 2

 

Discussion

 

  • Rationality, markets, and human nature.

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Where should water come from?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Randle, Sayd. in press. “Where should water come from?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 3

 

Discussion

 

  • Where should water come from?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Where should food come from?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • King, Hilary and Andrea Rising. in press. “Where should food come from?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 4

 

Discussion

 

  • Where should food come from?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Who gets to own land?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Bafford, Douglas. In press. “Who gets to own land?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 5

 

Discussion

 

  • Who gets to own land?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • How should we deal with climate change?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Tripathy, Aneil. In press. “How should we deal with climate change?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 6

 

Discussion

 

  • How should we deal with climate change?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • How should childbirth happen?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Shapiro, Amanda. In press. “How should childbirth happen?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 7

 

Discussion

 

  • How should childbirth happen?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • How should we care for the elderly?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Clotworthy, Amy. In press. “How should we care for the elderly?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 8

 

Discussion

 

  • How should we care for the elderly?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • What should a job look like?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Elliott, Hannah. In press. “What should a job look like?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 9

 

Discussion

 

  • What should a job look like?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • How should innovation work?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Scroggins, Michael. In press. “How should innovation work?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 10

 

Discussion

 

  • How should innovation work?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Who should get investment capital?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Beresford, Melissa. In press. “Who should get investment capital?” In People Before Markets: An alternative case book. Daniel Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

Week 11

 

Discussion

 

  • Who should get investment capital?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • What sort of revolution in common sense does the world need?

 

            Read for the next class:

 

  • Graeber, David. 2013. “Breaking the Spell.” In The Democracy Project. Pp. 271-303. New York: Spiegel & Grau.

 

Week 12

 

Discussion

 

  • What sort of revolution in common sense does the world need?

 

            Case Lab

 

  • Reflection and discussion on what comes next.

 

Last updated on 16-02-2022