Cook County, which includes Chicago and surrounding suburbs, joined a growing number of localities across the United States that have adopted measures to cut consumption of sugary drinks for health reasons. As of August 2, 2017, a tax of $0.01 per ounce was imposed on all sweetened beverages creating considerable friction between municipal authorities and citizens-retailers. How could this friction be avoided without jeopardizing the effectiveness of the measure? How could stakeholders be more actively engaged in the policy making process, better educated and more receptive?
This course will explore how technology and the design process could facilitate a smoother and more effective policymaking process at the municipal level. Students will focus on a group of stakeholders and explore through research and perpetual prototyping how the group’s interests could be best leveraged in Cook County’s complex policymaking process. By the end of the course, each interdisciplinary team of students will have conceptualized, designed and created a service/product (i.e. platform or application) that if deployed, it would help improve the formulation, implementation and evaluation of Cook County’s beverage policy.