Some examples of innovative teaching at The New School are listed below. If you would like to add a course to this list, please email
This course describes the strategic marketing process in nonprofit and public organizations, from planning through execution and evaluation. Students learn how to research and analyze a market, conduct a marketing audit, develop a positioning strategy, formulate a budget, determine the various elements of the marketing mix, create an implementation plan, and assess the results.
Offered by The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement.
Has the world truly become culturally “flat” in the context of the international marketplace? While some businesspeople endorse this view, international businesses cannot successfully operate without understanding cultures and politics (witness Wal-Mart’s failure to break into the German market). With the aid of case studies, discussions, guest speakers, and group projects, students gain insight into the fundamentals of global business. Examining international business from regional perspectives (NAFTA, Mercosur, European Union, CIS, India, China, and emerging markets), the class examines how culture and politics influence international business and trade. The course is premised on the idea that international business functions effectively only with an understanding of cultural, economic, and political factors.
Offered by School of Undergraduate Studies at The New School for Public Engagement.
This course examines how activists can use new and established media technologies to advocate for social change at the community, national and global levels.
New information and communication technologies are transforming the most remote and disenfranchised communities in the world’s poorest countries. This course examines the use of new communication technologies in developing countries. How do these tools enable ordinary people in developing countries to give voice to their own stories? Can new media equalize participation and access to information for people heretofore bypassed by the benefits of globalization? Mobile phones, Internet kiosks, and satellite uplinks are being adopted and adapted by resourceful and creative users throughout the developing world. Through analytic studies, samples of new media, and direct engagement with some of the users themselves, the class explores how this connectivity, both technological and human, is transforming life in developing countries. From eyewitness reporting in societies as closed as Myanmar to community action in countries undergoing political upheaval such as Kenya to public health activities in Indonesia to joint problem solving by farmers, scientists, and policymakers half a world apart, new channels of communication and cross-cultural awareness are opening up within and beyond borders.
Offered by the School of Undergraduate Studies at The New School for Public Engagement.
This course provides a practical as well as a conceptual base for understanding the issues of nonprofit governance and its relationship to achieving the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic plan. Students evaluate the role and functions of a volunteer board and consider the relationship of the board and CEO and its pivotal role in the leadership of nonprofit organizations. Strategies for strengthening the relationship between volunteers and staff are examined, as is its positive impact on leadership and the organization. Techniques for recruiting and developing a high-performance board are studied, as well as systems to measure a nonprofit organization’s success. Through lectures, class discussions, exploration of models of governance, case analysis, and presentations by professionals in the field, students garner a reality-based understanding of the issues of nonprofit governance.
This course studies a specific set of actors and practices in international development, the ways in which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seek development impact, and the contemporary economic and political context of such NGO practice. Specifically, the course focuses on these core questions: What is development? Why should we care for it? What are NGOs? Who belongs to them, what do they do, and for whom?
This course prepares students to think strategically about advocacy methods, leverage points, and resources for change. Students focus on the nature of power in its various forms (electoral power, issue framing, financial, citizen mobilization, public opinion) and explore how power and resources can be acquired, evaluated, mobilized, and deployed in the service of promoting a policy agenda. Students develop an understanding of the leverage points for achieving social change, using case studies to become familiar with legislative processes, the budget cycle, the electoral arena, the regulatory system, public interest law, labor relations, procurement, and the various paths to influencing public opinion and decision makers. By the end of the course students develop a sophisticated and comprehensive strategy for conducting a campaign for issue advocacy or political change.
This course has two primary goals. First, students will gain an understanding of the theory behind participatory community development, popular education and critical pedagogy. Students will read about and collectively discuss questions of powerlessness, marginalization, poverty, and inequality and how grassroots participatory processes have inspired community driven approaches to addressing these enduring problems. Students will also engage with academic critiques of participatory models in order to learn how to critically evaluate participatory processes. Second, through partnerships with local organizations and communities students will experiment with key participatory strategies and models. Offered by The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement.
The course reviews the literature and processes involved with slum formation and their persistence in cities in developing countries. It makes use of studies, guest lecturers, and film to gain an understanding of the dimension and circumstances that characterize these locations in cities across the globe and the policies and factors that both contribute to their existence and improve their circumstances. Particular attention will be paid to the efforts of community based organizations and their associated networks in dealing with the host of problems posed by living in slums. Emphasis will also be given to the underlying economics of slums and the policies and the collective actions which are taken by those living there. It will be run in a seminar format with students preparing papers and discussing both case studies, and historical and theoretical analyses of slums.
In this interdisciplinary course, students work together in teams to develop business plans with the goal of launching each team project as an actual social venture.
Organized philanthropy has a complex history in the U.S. and is an important, growing component of the nonprofit sector. The term philanthropy is used in this course to refer specifically to the broad national and international private “giving” sectors. The course provides students with an overview of the field of philanthropy in the United States – and to a more limited extent in other countries. There are currently more than 78,00 grant makers in the United States and they are a growing and wealthy subsector of the nonprofit sector. Students become familiar with the most current, reliable research in how foundations, giving circles, trusts, donor-advised funds, philanthropic collaborations and other “giving” entities operate. One particular theme that has received enormous public and political attention has been diversity in the sector and philanthropies support of (and lack of support of) social justice in the United States. There is a specific course focus on how private philanthropy defines, practices and promotes social justice. Look for related courses within the Social Policy area of specialization.
This course will examine these differing views of sustainable development both in theory and through the examination of specific development projects. Economists approach environmental questions through three differing theoretical schools: environmental economics, ecological economics, and political economics. These schools use differing techniques to value the environment, offer different understandings of what would be good environmental and economic outcomes, and advocate different policies to achieve sustainability. Underlying these differences are political economic questions of distribution of power and resources both within specific countries and globally. This course will explore the range of views, with an emphasis on understanding the assumptions underlying their disagreements, and on the policy implications of these views. Topics will include the "green development" policies of the World Bank, the controversial issue of water privatization, carbon trading as a response to global warming, the effects of neo-liberal policies on the environment, and cases of specific commodities such as gold and cotton which illuminate the problems and complexities of sustainable development.
In recent decades urban economies have been profoundly and irreversibly transformed. Existing political and economic arrangements have been superseded by new institutional configurations, political-economic organization, and centers of growth. As cities and the mechanisms of urban governance adjust to these new realities, the focus of urban planners and policy-makers has moved from traditional functions of resource allocation and management towards aggressive place- making and promotion initiatives and increasingly entrepreneurial economic development strategies. This course examines these challenges and controversies, allowing students to critically evaluate the role of urban planning and policy in shaping the development of urban economies.
This course examines sustainable urban food systems, from farm to fork. Students explore the concept of community food security, disparities in access to food, and the social, political, economic, and environmental dimensions of food production, distribution, and marketing. Through field trips to urban farms, farmers markets, and food production facilities, together with guest lectures, students meet food producers, processors and distributors, as well as policy makers, and activists.
This hands-on design studio is based on partnerships with external organizations and focuses on services that affect the well-being and quality of life of urbanites and urban communities. The real-life projects for which the students design may include youth services, food services, education services, and prevention and reintegration services for persons at risk of entering prison or coming out of prison. Students also explore new service opportunities through specific service-design methods and tools such as direct field research and co-design practices. This course is an excellent opportunity to build a portfolio and gain practical experience in the emerging field of service design.
Offered by Parsons The New School for Design.
This course will examine the different challenges faced by cities from both developing and developed countries in providing safe and reliable access to water and sanitation services, in a context of increasing demand and shrinking available resources. The combination of urban population growth, lack of infrastructure, scarcity of natural resources, impact of climate change on resources and sea rise level, and increasing competition in usage from agriculture and alternative energy production contribute to transform existing issues into one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Situations are different in northern and southern cities but studying both cases will increase the global understanding of political, social, economical, technical and environmental aspects, and widen the range of the possible solutions to be implemented. In all, governance pays a key role. What is the current state of implementation of the Millennium Development Goals with respect to access to water and sanitation services? What is at stake in the privatization debate? What can we expect from technical innovations (desalination, water reuse, conservation...)? This course will provide an understanding of global water challenges, a basic knowledge of technical and economical aspects of systems of development and operation, a comprehension of water policies implemented at both local and international levels, and present through a series of case studies a range of experiences and solutions. A visit of water treatment installations in the NY metropolitan area will be organized. Guest speakers from public entities, NGOs or private enterprises will present their experiences and enrich the point of views and debates.
Offered by The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement.