Transdisciplinary Design

Thesis Project : Enacting Policy

Posted by on November 21, 2015


Thesis Project by Christopher Patten

Enacting Policy is a platform for translating complex policy issues into experiences, characters, and consequences that allow us to acknowledge how policy affects us as human beings. The goal is to be able to acknowledge and explain other viewpoints.

Participants engage in a storytelling workshop that reveals a personal story about how policy affects us. Each participant learns they have contributed to this story in some way or another. This workshop is moderated by a series of cue cards that are tailored for each character. The cards are designed so that each one relies on props or vocal cues to unveil part of the story, and in turn an effect of the policy.

Interconnecting the stories of participants and creating consequences for their characters leave people with no choice but to relate to the story. As one participant put it, “I think it is especially helpful to have to put yourself into a position and argue for something that you might not entirely agree with.”

In the end Enacting Policy showcases the nuances of an issue. Because of this, the platform has value to groups that may share a viewpoint but need to better understand others. This project is currently being considered by the State Department as an online platform that helps sensitize locally hired staff at embassies overseas to policy issues.