Frontiers of Democracy 2022: A Festival of Cases


Draft agenda, subject to change

June 24, 2022 at 145 Harrison Ave., Boston MA (Tufts School of Medicine), room 114, or online

*Marshall Ganz is Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at the Kennedy School of Government. Personal website.

Structure for Case Study Discussions

Group assignments are here.

  1. Introduce yourselves (your name, something brief about your work and interests)
  2. Gain a common understanding of the story in the case. What happened and why? What do we not know about the story? What is the broader context?
  3. If the written case focuses on an individual (to any significant extent), ask about groups that are also relevant to the case. Which groups are involved? What do we know–and what could we guess–about their processes and dynamics?
  4. Brainstorm possible decisions. Expand your list beyond the options that are explicitly discussed in the case. Consider decisions that could be made by people other than the individuals who are highlighted in the case itself. Try to make your group’s list of options relatively long, even if some ideas are not really very promising.
  5. Consider the pros and the cons of each option on your brainstormed list, without trying to choose one decision yet. Make sure you identify pros and cons for each.
  6. Discuss what you would do and why. If you do not have a consensus, discuss how you would make a decision. Remember that no decision means no action, which is also an outcome.
  7. Debrief the discussion, asking what general themes it raised and how it connects to other situations you know about.

Structure for Small Group Discussions at 1:15 PM

  1. Introduce yourselves–where do you live and/or work? What are you interested in?
  2. What did you take from Marshall, and how does it relate to these cases?
  3. What challenges to effective civic engagement do you struggle with?
  4. Do you have ideas, resources, connections (etc.) that might help your colleagues with these struggles?
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