GCC 5023: Leading Across Sectors to Address Grand Challenges

3 CreditsHonorsCivic Life and Ethics

\"The critical challenges society faces, such as water scarcity, access to education, and the rising cost of healthcare, increasingly require the business, government and nonprofit sectors to work together to create lasting solutions.\" -- Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas, \"Why the World Needs Cross-Sector Leaders,\" Harvard Business Review, February 13, 2013 Numerous universities, including the University of Minnesota; business leaders; non-profit organizations and policy makers have increasingly emphasized the value and necessity of multisector leadership to address complex and critical challenges. Such collaborative initiatives take place in broader social contexts; have key individual and organizational inputs; and can take many forms, from community task forces to organized collective impact initiatives to social enterprise organizations that blend private-sector incentives with public-service goals. Because they involve a conscious focus on we versus me, and operate largely apart from well-established processes or mission statements, they force us to examine civic life through a new lens and to (re)consider ethical questions related to it. This course explores multisector leadership from a variety of perspectives and provides an opportunity for students to work together to apply what they are learning individually and in teams through in-class exercises, peer coaching, and a final team grant proposal project. After an introductory session where students analyze and present answers related to specific case studies, we begin with an overview of relevant shared leadership theories and practice fields --- including collective, participatory and integrative leadership and an overview of relevant ethical questions and themes. We then consider relevant individual inputs into multisector leadership, including through having students assess their own leadership strengths, what they bring to the collaborative table, and contract with assigned interdisciplinary teams for peer coaching throughout the semester. The lens of the course moves to the collaboration itself after this focus on the individual, looking at techniques and qualities of successful teams, including those composed of diverse individuals or organizations. Finally, we move to considering different contexts, forms and specific examples of multisector leadership before concluding with presentations to an external panel of each student team?s grant proposal for a particular multisectoral initiative of their choosing that they believe will enable transformative action to tackle a significant societal issue and achieve lasting change. Throughout the course, we consider the ethical questions that arise from focusing on multisector leadership. These questions relate, for example, to the role of trust and truth-telling in individual efforts to lead and collaborate; how and when it is appropriate to engage with others to address challenges that extend beyond the communities to which we belong; who defines priority problems to be addressed, and why; the role and potential of business to contribute to broader efforts to achieve public good; how equity and justice relate to collective leadership; and whether and how society is better off from the joining of organizational efforts across sectors.

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A Average (3.857)Most Common: A (71%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

14 students
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  • 3.93



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