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Saturday 05/07/11 10AM-12PM


NYU Wagner at the Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012

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World Café: Downtown NYC, Policy Issues

Workshop Session 1

Cover Image:

Courtesy WNET

World Café is an innovative “group-sourcing” practice, enabling successive small groups to focus on aspects of a particular problem or issue. A topic is broken into sub-questions, each addressed at one table in the “café”; after a set period of small-group conversation, participants move to a different table, where each moderator summarizes the previous conversation and opens a new discussion. Through multiple rounds, each component part of an issue is thoroughly aired—and each participant has an opportunity to address different questions.

In the morning sessions, NYU Wagner and IDEO will collaborate to highlight policy challenges and elicit solutions that can help create a better downtown New York. Using, the organizers will solicit and aggregate citizen views to identify downtown residents’ issues and concerns, which will then be addressed in World Café-format discussions. Following the Festival, OpenIDEO will select one or more of the most prominent issues for its “Challenges” program, in which citizens and experts from around the globe weigh in with suggested solutions.

Table Hosts, World Café: Downtown NYC Policy Issues

Kate Ascher, author of the acclaimed The Works: Anatomy of a City, is Vice President at Vornado Realty Trust, a REIT with 58 million square feet of building space. She was previously executive vice president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

Gretchen Dykstra is currently working with Fiscal Management Associates on community projects; she was the founding president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, and has held numerous positions for the City of New York, including Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Bloomberg Administration.

Zhan Guo is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning & Transportation Policy at NYU Wagner School of Public Service. He has particular expertise in transportation and land use, public transit, and pedestrian behavior.

Louise Harpman is a partner at Specht Harpman Architects; she has previously worked as a project manager for the City of New York in its Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Architectural Design, Urban Design, and Sustainability at NYU’s Gallatin School.

Albert Lee is currently a Portfolio Lead at IDEO in New York and is also a cofounder at Popplet, a collaborative app for both the iPad and the web. Prior to IDEO, he was Associate Director of Business Development at WPP. Previously, he worked at 2×4, as a designer, an art director and prior to his departure, as the managing director of the Beijing office. He has also worked as an architect in the offices of Frank Gehry and Michael Rotondi.

Ellen Schall is Dean of the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, where she is also Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy and Management. She was previously Commissioner of the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, where her transformative work earned the DJJ a prestigious Innovations Award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation.

Categories: Workshop
Participating Organizations: New Museum

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