Final Project: Future Challenges Project

Final Project: Future Challenges Project

Over the course of next 8 weeks, you will be working on a final project that will synthesize your understanding of leadership models with contemporary social issues. You will work select and analyze one significant policy challenge from the Seven Revolutions Project, undertaken by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The seven key policy challenges for current and future leaders are: Population, resource management, technology, information and knowledge, economics, security, and governance.

Begin by scanning the student resources available. Consider which of the seven topics you care most deeply about and use the suggested web resources and bibliographic material on the website to do further reading. Your task is to develop a leadership plan for addressing a manageably-sized piece of the larger issue you select.

For example, starting with resource management, you may be most concerned about food and hunger. You could then research food demand in your geographic area. Where is your food supply coming from?  How much of it is grown locally? What is the environmental cost of importing food to your area? What are the statistics regarding hunger in your town or city? Are there neighborhoods without ready access to fresh or whole foods?  What leadership is needed to address one or two of these questions and concerns?

You will submit your analysis and action plan in the form of: (an) 8-10 page paper.

The aims of this project are to help you:

  • Learn about a significant human welfare issue that interests you
  • Practice strategic thinking about long-term trends
  • Learn (or practice) basic research skills for academic and popular sources
  • Apply various leadership theories and approaches to solving a real-life problem
  • Present your findings in a coherent and compelling manner

Project timeline:

Initial proposal is due during Week 2 of the course.  Submit a 2-page paper that identifies the topic you are researching and the research questions that will guide your study. Explain what reading you will need to do and what key words will guide your search. How will you collect your data (interviews, site visit, and research through Grantham Library)? What are the leadership challenges you foresee at this early stage?

Research report is due during Week 5 of the course. Turn in an annotated bibliography of all the sources you are using for the paper, using correct APA formatting.

Final paper is due during Week 8 of the course. The paper should be outlined as follows:

  • Explanation of the key policy challenge and its local manifestation;
  • The research questions that are driving the research;
  • Your findings;
  • An evaluation of the steps taken so far by officials and community members to address this issue;
  • What leadership approach(es) you recommend using (e.g. path goal, transformational, etc.) and why;
  • A practical implementation plan (e.g. how you would coalesce a group around this issue);
  • Possible objections to your plan and how to address them.

Make sure to include the research that was conducted in week 5 to support, argue or prove your statement of facts and justification on the decisions made.

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