The Policy DA fosters a holistic and comprehensive approach to problem engagement that advances learning, scholarship, and practical solutions to global societal issues.
The following principles support this holistic approach.
- A variety of spaces are important to foster effective collaboration: small, large, casual and informal or “ad hoc,” spaces to support both short term and long-term collaboration, experiential learning and independent learning.
- Spaces that are adaptable and flexible in use are crucial. BYOD--Bring your own device, plug in and improvise away.
- Spaces that provide the ability to display information and artifacts to facilitate idea generation (whiteboards, screens, etc.)
- Space must accommodate the distance component, equipped with the right technology, that is central to Virginia Tech as a global land-grant university. People must be able to connect with ease across the campuses of VT as well as with people and events around the globe.
- Spaces are needed for simulating decision making in complex settings. Examples include virtual fusion centers, decision theaters, studio spaces, lab experimental space, project spaces, and more. These spaces need the flexibility and technology to create the circumstances for a range of complex settings from local to international, security to questions to infrastructure planning, and more.
- Facilities and space should include a security component both to eliminate external eavesdropping and the facility could pilot or showcase “best practice” data/process security measures.
- The Policy DA should engage with all DAs to build opportunities for and understandings of the importance of shared space, but there must be guaranteed time for each to use the space.
- Each Destination Area should have dedicated space to promote/amplify collaboration through a policy focus.
- Spaces with hubs for collaboration and small offices all around (no faculty member gets more than one office on campus).
- The “policy space” can and should be multiple spaces: 1) spaces for faculty and advanced graduate students and postdoctoral researchers for collaborative research, grant development; 2) space for outreach, engaging the community and the world; 3) space for pedagogy, experiential learning, independent learning, collaborative teaching and incorporation of technology and innovation.
Currently, the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment provides meeting space for the Policy DA and can help facilitate space requests until specific Policy DA space and facilities are available.