According to research sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), over the last 200 years, human beings in virtually every corner of the globe have become ever more likely to live longer, healthier, wealthier, and more personally satisfying lives. But global progress in improving human well-being has been neither linear nor universal. For instance, measured at living on just $5.50 a day per person, nearly 3.5 billion people still live in extreme poverty. Moreover, humankind now faces several unprecedented existential threats to human life itself such as global warming and the persistence or spread of drug-resistant infectious diseases including ones once thought to be nearly eradicated.
In this course, students are introduced to multiple and competing concepts and empirical theories on each of two interrelated questions regarding global leadership and problem-solving:
- What particular approaches, if any, (for example, “collaborative governance” or “boundary-spanning leadership”) might predictably and reliably increase the odds that the next century-long chapter in the annals of global human well-being—the chapter to be written between now and the decade that will begin in 2120—will be a tale of greater wealth, health, and happiness for all or most people worldwide?
- Under what conditions, if any, can diverse institutions—families and social networks; neighborhood and community groups; nonprofit or social sector organizations; for-profit firms; and local, national, and transnational government institutions—act, either independently or in tandem with each other, to maintain or improve human well-being?
Each student quasi-independently researches and writes a capstone research paper describing, analyzing, and assessing an existing policy or program pertaining to one of the following three challenges:
- Elder care with a focus on China
- Education with a focus on Africa
- Economic development with a focus on Latin America
The prerequisites for this course are LEAD 101, LEAD 304, LEAD 305, and LEAD 310.
*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.