Slide Hand with checkbox written on it, held in air on JMU quad with American flag in along the border

Hacking* for Democracy

Hacking for Democracy is an education initiative that applies design thinking to tackle the complex world of political representation. To do this, transdisciplinary student teams communicate with a variety of stakeholders, gather and analyze a variety of data, prototype and deliver solutions, and refine their personal strengths through collaboration and problem-solving.

*Hack – to improvise effectively; to take things apart and repurpose them to solve problems or create new products

Fall 2020 Class

Topics in American Policy

The course will examine and address complex issues and challenges for the 2020 elections, including how the presidential nominating process and Electoral College structure the game, and the impact and role of political parties, superPACs, interest groups and the media, with a special focus on the increasing role of social media. We will also examine the role and impact of campaign strategy, tactics and operations, polling, campaign finance, presidential debates, and the importance of who turns out and why.

Teams of students will develop and implement solutions around the following:

  • Educating people about the importance of voting for democratic self-governance
  • Ensuring ballot access and voting rights, especially for traditionally marginalized and underserved communities
  • Mobilizing “Get Out The Vote” initiatives at James Madison University and in surrounding communities for full participation in the #2020Elections.

The course will draw on expertise from a variety of disciplines, including political science, computer science, media arts and design, technical communication, marketing and psychology. Theoretical and empirical scholarship will be required and made available in modules on Canvas. Readings and discussions will also draw on contemporary news and analysis, as well as a range of data sources used by political scientists.

Fall 2020

Hacking for Democracy
MW 9:45-11:00am
Lakeview Hall 1165

Interested in this class?
Contact us and we’ll connect you with the instructor.

Become a
Client Partner

  • Does your organization face local or global challenges in healthcare, education or security?
  • Are you aware of a technology that could transform your industry but you don’t have time to explore it?
  • Does your organization have long–range design problems that you don’t have the resources to solve yourself?
  • What if you could hire graduates who are ready to start working on your top needs from Day One?

Learn how to become a client partner

Share this Post