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User-centered research. Human-centered design.

Policy Innovation Lab is a new initiative that connects students with actual, current state-level policy challenges, and connects state-level policy makers with solutions to those challenges.

Led by Professor Chris Goranson, this unique experiential course provides students with an in-depth, hands-on opportunity to improve public policy outside the traditional structures of government, and to take on an issue that interests them.

We take advantage of recent lessons learned in applied innovation in government entities around the world, and apply methods common in industry such as agile, design thinking, and open source to deliver policy solutions and recommendations that can have a far-reaching impact.

Recent projects include:

Animation of MDMA presentation

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

MDMA (aka 'ecstasy') is recently being used as a 'breakthrough' medication for PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This story makes the case for use of the drug in Pittsburgh clinics.

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The Importance of Cultural Repatriation

Since the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act became law, museums are often among its critics. But cultural repatriation can improve relations between institutions and tribes.

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old document showing native american artifacts
Animation of Mental Health in Mexico research

Improving Mental Health of Mexican Youth

A breakdown of the prevalence of mental disorders among adolescents in Mexico, and a call to action for greater investment in mental health resources to prevent negative outcomes including suicide.

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