Demonstrating the Power of Interdisciplinary Thinking through Education

Our courses on leadership, organization, and innovation, designed explicitly for interdisciplinary interaction, include the following:


OB 348/MED 238: Leading and Managing Health Care Organizations: Innovation and Collaboration in High Stakes Settings

Leading and managing in complex, high stakes settings, like health care, where lives and livelihoods are on the line, presents distinctive challenges and constraints. This course challenges you to apply seminal and contemporary theories in organizational behavior to evaluate managerial decisions and develop evidence-based strategies for leading and managing health care teams and organizations. Topics include leading systems that promote learning; implementing change; and interdisciplinary problem-solving, decision-making, and collaboration. Group work and exercises will simulate high pressure and risk-taking under uncertainty. While the focus of this course will be on health care situations, lessons are relevant to other settings including consulting, banking, and high tech, and prior experience in the health sector is not required.

Faculty: Singer, S. (PI)

MED 285/HRP 285/SUSTAIN 345: Global Leaders and Innovators in Human and Planetary Health

Are you interested in innovative ideas and strategies for addressing urgent challenges in human and planetary health and creating sustainable societies? This 7 session lecture series features a selection of noteworthy leaders, innovators, and experts across diverse sectors/topics in health and the environment such as: health innovation and environmental sustainability, social and environmental justice and equality, social innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, foundations and venture capital, tech innovation, media and AI, biotech and ag-tech, pandemics, public health and community wellbeing, food systems and agricultural innovation, hunger and nutrition, clean water and air, nonprofits and community action, public policy innovation and systems change, and the role of academia and you. Co-convened and co-designed by faculty, fellows and students collaborating across several Stanford centers, departments, schools, the course invites the discussion of global problems, interdisciplinary perspectives, and systemic solutions for the climate crisis and human health. The course will address root causes of the climate crisis and urgent challenges of human and planetary health, including sociological constraints, political objectives, economic incentives, technological limitations, and preservation of global stability, and suggest models of leadership, innovation and sustainable social change. We will also delve into efforts to catalyze long-term sustainability across the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to enroll - registration is open to all Stanford students and fellows. May be repeated for credit.

Faculty: Bloom, G. (PI); Singer, S. (PI, SI)

MED 224/HRP 224/PUBLPOL 224: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab (SE Lab) - Human & Planetary Health

MED 131: Exploring Israel's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem for Sustaining Human & Planetary Health

HUMBIO 120B: The American Health Care System and Health Policy (not currently offered)

In this course students will learn about the structure and functioning of the U.S. health care system. The health care system in the U.S. has been challenged by high and rising costs, a failure to ensure universal access to care, and a need to ensure the quality of care provided to patients. We will explore how our health care system works, how its structure and function contributes to the challenges we are confronting, and explore changes to the healthcare system that could help address them. The course has two main parts, the first focused on health insurance and health care financing, and the second focused on health care providers like doctors and hospitals. In addition, we bring other important topics like the Affordable Care Act and health reforms. Throughout the course, we mix lectures and discussions (and even some debates) about the basic structure of the system as well as emerging issues.

Faculty: Baker, L. (PI); Singer, S. (PI)

DESIGN 261/HUMBIO 128U/SUSTAIN 128: Upstreaming Health

Reimagine systems to make everyday life healthier by design. Good health doesn't begin the minute someone walks into a doctor's office. If we want everyday life to become healthier by default, we need to shift our interventions from downstream to upstream, from healthcare to the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Upstreaming health means making a deliberate effort to create patterns of everyday life that keep people well - physically, emotionally, financially, and socially. In Upstreaming Health, we will explore systems that influence health, health equity, and sustainability, integrating concepts from public health, systems thinking, and design justice and use tools from product and policy design to answer the question: How might we upstream health for all people? Through community-engaged projects, students will prototype possibilities for upstreaming health at a population-level.

Faculty:  Bloom, G. (PI); Cheung, K. (PI); Downs, S. (PI); Singer, S. (PI)

Course Link