ENGSCI 298BR - Principles of Collective Learning

How do teams, cities, and nation learn? How do they acquire the knowledge they need to improve their capacities, or enter new activities? This course will equip students with a basic understanding of both, the mechanisms that govern the creation, diffusion, and valuation of knowledge, and the tools needed to study these mechanisms. The course will be divided into three parts. The first part describes the mechanisms that contribute to the collective accumulation of knowledge (e.g. learning curves). The second part will focus on knowledge diffusion, and on the mechanisms governing it across geographies, social networks, and productive activities. The third part will focus on the consequences of knowledge accumulation, for the distribution of wealth and economic activity. These three big lessons will be complemented with lectures and discussions on the policy implications of this knowledge-based view of economies and with mathematical models describing the accumulation and recombination of knowledge. The course’s learning goals will be supported with hands on data exercises in which students will use data on international trade, employment, and patents, to reproduce classical studies. Notes: Open to Master of Design Engineering, Graduate School of Design, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Course site: https://locator.tlt.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-213732/2019/fall/22454
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