Roundtable: Preparing the Engaged Practitioner: Strengthening Graduate Competencies to Enhance the Sustainability of Metropolitan Ecosystems
(Planning and Public Participation and Inclusion)

Friday, July 20, 2018: 9:15 AM-10:45 AM
Building 3, Room 210 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roundtable Moderators:  Angela Evans, University of Texas, Austin
Speakers:  Patricia A. Wilson1, Mariana Morante Aguirre2,3, Jenny Knowles Morrison1 and Leon G. Staines1, (1)University of Texas, Austin(2)Mexican Supreme Court(3)FM4 Paso Libre

Increasingly complex global policy challenges driving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) require the evolution of traditional policy and planning curriculums to produce a new breed of entrepreneurial policy catalysts.  These catalysts must be able to facilitate four inter-related, participatory processes, including: 1) entrepreneurial explorations of complex ecosystems surrounding urban problems, 2) knowledge of human-centric design, 3) the ability to engage beneficiaries in end-user testing of proposed solutions, and 4) the building of inter-sectoral partnerships which can expand traditional policy networks to engage unexpected partners, advocates, and funders.  

This roundtable brings together a dean, faculty, and social scientist practitioners to consider core competencies needed in these overlapping spheres, to meet sustainable development outcomes, as well as enhance urban sustainability.  Nowhere is the challenge greater than in the mega-cities of the global South, where extreme poverty, dysfunctional bureaucracies, poor regulation, food security, migration, and exponential growth of informal settlements, to name but a few challenges, require expanding the bounds of traditional planning and policy formulation strategies to experiment with more participatory, cross-sectoral, and collaborative engagements.

This roundtable, composed of one dean driving curricular reform in the U.S.; two practitioner-social scientists (and graduates of U.S. public affairs schools); and two educators piloting an experimental classroom pedagogy, will consider the complex dilemmas inherent at the crossroads of planning and policymaking, academia and practice, and research and action.  The rountable will conclude by juxtaposing emergent insights against current policy education models, concluding with collective recommendations for future action.