April 23: Using Behavioral Science to Improve Federal Program Performance

ISP and BEPP members enjoyed a lunchtime chat with Maya Shankar, a White House Senior Policy Advisor, and Nathaniel Higgins and Will Tucker from White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST). 

Spring quarter book-lending program

ISP lent Harris students a variety of books to read over spring break. These books included A Problem From Hell by Samantha Power, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor by Sudhir Alladi, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindedness by Michelle Alexander, and The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando de Soto.

March 4: "A Cross-Country Examination of Poverty with Susan Mayer"

ISP members and Harris students held a workshop to discuss various of dimensions of poverty, facilitated by Professor Susan Mayer, former dean of the Harris School. Students discussed various issues, from housing to education, in small groups. This event was a collaboration with Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (BEPP).


February 5: Tim Cawley Luncheon

ISP invited Tim Cawley, the Chief Administrative Officer at Chicago Public Schools, to join Harris students for a lunch and conversation about privatization and education.


January 7: "Innovating in the Law & Policy in the Developing World"

Professor Anup Malani and Professor Tom Ginsburg came over and discussed their innovative international work. Prof. Malani shared his experience on health economics and his work with IIC. And Prof. Ginsburg talked about his works in constitutional reform. The event was moderated by Harris Lecturer, Frank Schell.



November 19-- Lunch & Learn with Ginger Ostro.

Ms.Ostro is the Chief Financial Officer for the Chicago Public Schools. She spoke on the evolution of public budgeting practices, advancing systemic change in public educaiton, and how CPS strives to maintain financial transparency and fiscal health at the critical time in its history. 


November 12 -- Lunch & Learn with Andre Richter and William Schneider

The guest speakers are doctoral students at he Center for Human Potential and Public Policy (CHPPP). They joined Harris students in an inspiring talk on their research topics such as early childhood investment, parenting practices and child development. Mr. Richter and Mr. Schneider also answered questions about their career paths and gave suggestions to students who had plans for pursuing Doctoral degrees after Harris. 


October 11-- ISP Book Club event

ISP host a Harris book club event and talked about The Mystery of Capital by Hernando De Soto. The work of Hernando De Soto has been called " the most promising anti-poverty initiative in the world" by former President Bill Clinton and " a great contribution to ending economic stagnation" by former President George Bush. Around 15 students joined our event and shared the their thoughts on capitalism, social wealth and poverty after reading the book. 


April 24--Lunch & Learn with Ruth Coffman on Cook County Crime Policy 

ISP invited Harris Alumna Ruth Coffman, the Director of Research at Cook County Sheriff's Office, to discuss crime policy with roughly 15 students. Ms. Coffman shared the motivation for her work; how her training in direct service and policy interact and have been an asset in her career; and the landscape of local level crime policy. 


April 16--Breakfast with Harris Alumna Dr. Jennifer Brooks

Dr. Jennifer Brooks, a leader in Child & Family Policy at the federal level, joined Harris students in a stimulating conversation on opportunites and challenges in current movements around connecting research, policy, and practice. In addition to a wealth of human services expertise, Dr. Brooks is a strong advocate for data-based decision making. 


February 24--Lunch & Learn with Matt Bruce '06 on Chicago Workforce Development

Harris alum Matt Bruce '06 shared his work on the topic of "Collaborative Philanthropy and Innovation in Chicago Workforce Development" with 15 students over lunch and engaging conversation. Mr. Bruce, Executive Director at Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, presented the challenges facing the region regarding employment for underprepared workers, strategies around working with employers and other stakeholders, and potential for innovation in the field of workforce development. 


January 23 --Think Tank Event On Crime Policy: Safety vs. Civil Liberties

ISP hosted a talk on New York's "Stop and Frisk" policy. Approximately 15 students attended the conversation and debated whether such a policy crossed legal and moral boundaries, and what sort of policy should be introduced in Chicago to combat the city's high crime rate.


January 14 – Lunch & Learn Highlighting the Work of Ingenuity
ISP and EPSA co-hosted a lunch 'n' learn event titled "From Design to Implementation: Reinstating Arts Education in Public School". Mary Ellen Messner, the Director of Strategic Initiatives from Ingenuity and Merissa Stewart from Chicago Arts Educator Forum presented the Chicago Public Schools' district-wide Arts Education Plan and discussed the dynamics, potential, and potential pitfalls of implementation to roughly 30 students.


November 21 – ISP Think Tank Launch Event
Just weeks before Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize marijuana, Innovators in Social Policy co-hosted our first think tank event with Latin America(n) Matters discussing the implications of drug legalization in Latin America. Over 50 students attended the event, discussing issues such as how states might incentivize people to report earnings from the drug trade post-legalization.  The event was an excellent change for participants to extend learning beyond the classroom. Students are excited for the next one, which will be held mid-January.


ISP Thakar Event

October 22 - Lunch 'n Learn with Dr. Thakar
Dhara Thakar, Assistant Professor with the Erikson Institute, presented on the impact of traumatic stress in young children. She led the audience through the spectrum of stress levels; drawing the distinction between traumatic stress and normal, developmentally appropriate levels of stress. Dr. Thakar followed with explanation of the mechanics of the effects of traumatic stress on brain architecture, and ultimately cognitive development. She concluded with implications for public policy interventions and highlighted specific interventions as opportunities for intervention. Approximately 40 students attended; representing the Harris School of Public Policy, Pritzker School of Medicine and School of Social Service Administration. 


ISP Art Institute Event

October 11 - Art Institute Event
Innovators in Social Policy organized its first activity outside of Hyde Park and invited 15 students to a specially-curated tour at the Art Institute that touched upon the relationship between family structure and the economy of different cultures. In the one-hour tour, the group examined pieces from African, American and Asian cultures, stimulating reflection about the role that women, children and men played in different societies throughout time.