Tom Manning : Courses and Seminars
Innovative Solutions for Business, Law, and Social Issues
Many business, legal, and social problems cry out for the kind of imagination typically found in the fields of art, design, and invention. Yet, very few of us take time to cultivate the analytic and creative skills that give rise to truly innovative solutions. In this seminar, we will apply “design thinking,” originally developed by the founders of IDEO (the design firm behind Steve Jobs and Apple), and a variety of related techniques, to important business, legal, and social problems. We will look at how successful innovators obtain breakthroughs, and we will then practice the techniques on simple challenges such as inventing a new product before we progress to larger, more complex challenges like designing an organization that continuously invents streams of new products. In law, we will look at why corporate clients hold creative lawyers in the highest regard, and as an exercise in design thinking, we will design a system that enables compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a company striving for growth in risky, emerging markets. We will also look at legal education and determine how design thinking can lead to more imaginative and meaningful reform. In the area of social impact, we will look at how we as a society can enable universal access to potable water, and we will also consider new approaches to building sustainable, green cities amidst the new surge in urbanization taking place in India, China, and the developing world. Grading will be determined by class participation and by performance across three papers. The first paper will examine best practices in innovation. The second paper will focus on a specific case in business or the legal profession. The third paper will address a large-scale problem such as climate change, political polarization, or North Korea – and require students to work in teams and present their work to the class at the conclusion of the seminar.
The US-China Treaty Project
The United States and China are engaged in the most important bilateral relationship of our era, yet the relationship remains random, fragile, and mistrustful. China’s rising influence threatens to change the global status quo, and the United States is understandably concerned. If these two giants learn how to collaborate, they could conceivably solve the world’s greatest problems. Alternatively, if they elect to contest each other at every turn, the result will be global instability and crisis. Unfortunately, the Shanghai Communiqué, which helped to open China forty years ago, is no longer sufficient as a guide; a new framework is needed. The world has grown less structured and more volatile, and the two nations are more competitive than ever. The risk of conflict is growing along with the volume of sensitive interactions. It is time for both nations to negotiate a new bargain that will guide and support the steady maturation of their high-potential, high-risk relationship. This seminar will advocate that the two nations develop a new, fifty-year treaty in the form of a strategic cooperation agreement. We will define the rationale and the case for action, draft major components of the proposed treaty, outline the pathway required for adoption, and transmit our end-product to foreign policy authorities in Washington and Beijing. Grading will be determined by class participation and by performance across three short papers. The first paper will examine best practices in bilateral treaty development; the second will focus on critical factors in the future United States – China relationship; and, the third will require drafting of key components for the proposed treaty.