Vision

We want to explore and help shape the Future of Cities and the Future of Education.

Cities

The University of Chicago is extending it's focus on urban environments. Working under the banner of UChicago Urban, a wide range of initiatives, research networks, and centers are advancing our understanding of our home city and cities around the world. 

Within this rich landscape, CivX accelerates research and serves as a "solution generator." We bridge what we call the Research & Prototyping phase. We get graduate students out of their offices and into the field to capture new and rapidly emerging problems in communities. Our prototyping-based process enables them to engage questions in new ways and bring that knowledge back to their--and their faculty's--research programs.

In the future, we look forward to sharing exceptionally effective ideas from CivX teams across a network of other community organizations or having them become part of a larger evaluation study by our colleagues at Urban Labs.

Education

The social sciences are rapidly changing. They are being transformed by a changing world and advancing tools. New measurement tools have given our researchers access to new and more varied data sets, both of which have enabled the exploration of novel questions. Due to the increasingly urbanized structure of society, most of the emerging social scientific questions are centered on urban systems. As we train graduate students to engage this future world, their research will be increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative.

The Division of Social Sciences already has many resources in place to lead in this transition and is investing in more. The 75 year old MAPSS program trains M.A. students to address interdisciplinary questions in the most intense academic year of their lives. And this year, the Division is starting a new Computational Social Science program to train top students in the latest computational approaches to social scientific questions across disciplines.

In addition to degree-granting programs, the division is investing in training experiences that enhance the value of our students' degrees. CivX provides a condensed experiential learning opportunity to our students. It gives them experience working on teams, being accountable to a community or organization, and collaborating under constraints. Regardless of the field or vocation our students choose, they will need this kind of collaborative experience to maximize the impact of their education.

We think of this as a full-stack education with CivX as a catalyst.