COMMLD 570C: Cross-Sector Collaboration for Social Change

Course Description

Social change requires organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to collaborate well. However, organizational leaders face many challenges in doing so. Cross-sector collaboration is a complex communicative process that underlies every aspect of societal change, at multiple levels and across many kinds of difference.  In this course, students will employ concepts from several fields to analyze and practice real-world instances of cross-sector collaboration, and develop the communication skills essential for interorganizational interactions that foster social change.

The centerpiece of the course is a 5-week simulation of collaborative decision-making conducted during class sessions. In the simulation, each student has a role in a (mock) multi-sector task force– situated in a fictional mountain town– that negotiates the creation of a wildfire mitigation safety plan. Through the simulation, students will apply knowledge gained from course readings, and develop skills in assessing other stakeholders’ needs and motives, building alliances, communicating constructively through disagreements, and negotiating multilateral agreements for the collective good.