ESP Biography

BRYAN KLICKSTEIN, Lesley University Graduate-Class of 2013

Major: Business

College/Employer: Lesley University Graduate

Year of Graduation: 2013

Picture of Bryan Klickstein

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am a 37 recent graduate of Lesley University. Before returning to school I spent a number of years working in both corporate and political communications. I am finished my undergraduate degree and am currently applying to graduate school for a Masters in Public Policy I am teaching this course based on cumulative knowledge from both my academic and professional work.

I very much enjoyed teaching at Splash 2012 and Spark 2013 and I cannot wait to teach again. I hope that being part of these MIT educational programs will provide my students with some useful information as well make me a better teacher.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

Z7598: Politics, Policy and the Paradox of United States Government in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
A policy is generally defined as a settled course to reach rational outcome. The framers of the US Constitution envisioned a government “for the people”, so that a logical definition of governmental policy would be: to achieve rational outcomes designed for and in furtherance of, the needs of the people. However, since there is no single objective standard by which what is “rational” outcomes and “needs” can be measured, government policy in the US is determined through the subjective lens of electoral politics. In other words, a zero sum electoral system (one winner and one loser) coupled with political polarization (the need to affiliate oneself with a clear “side” in order to win elections) holds significant influence over policies enacted by government. What is rational and or necessary is not always conducive to what wins elections. If this seems paradoxical, it is. Politics and policy are often at odds across a broad spectrum of issues from labor and poverty policy all the way to environmental and foreign policy. This course will examine specific examples from both the past and present in order to explore in detail the influence that US politics have on US policy.

H6994: Innovation for Social Change in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Despite all the advances that modern technology has given us, making impactful social change is still, in a word, difficult. All the smartphones and tablets in the world cannot do what real people can do. Making changes in the environment or the political system or even your school are challenging but definitely not impossible. This course will provide an overview of some of the practical steps that help pave the way on the road to social change. First, we will examine how to best choose and design ideas so they will have staying power. Then we will explore turning ideas into actual change efforts. Finally we will learn how to measure and quantify impact for the change we hope to create. The truth is that social change is not limited to large corporations, major non-profits, politicians or powerful universities. Often, in fact, change begins with a singular person and a singular good idea. Innovation has no age requirement. Many successful change efforts have come from people your age or even younger. Many of you are likely trying to figure out what to “do next” and this course can be a fun part of that process.

H6260: Thinking Fast&Slow: Introduction to Cognitive Thought in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
If I asked you to solve the problem 2+2 you would instantly be able to tell me the answer is 4. If I made an obscene gesture in traffic you would not have to ask the passenger next to you in your car: What does that mean? You would just know. It wouldn’t require much if any difficulty. But what if I asked you to multiply 37 by 456? The answer is 16872 but I bet (unless you are a math wizard) that it didn’t come to you nearly as quickly as 2+2. In the same vein if I asked you to look at my face and determine if I were sad or just really tired it wouldn’t be nearly as easy as discerning the aforementioned obscene gesture. Why is this? Well I turns out there is a reason for all this. Our brains are split into two systems. System 1 operates quickly, automatically, and with no effort. It allows you to instantly discern that 2+2 is 4. System 2 is informed by System 1 but it focuses on more effortful mental activities—the ones that are not automatic like the second math problem above. Thus your brain is always thinking fast and slows at the same time and the two systems in sense divide the labor in your mind for the best overall performance. How well do they work together? What causes ease or strain on the systems? How much control do we have over the process? These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed in this course.

H6305: Political Metaphor in Action: The Nation as Family in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
This course will introduce the Nation as Family Metaphor and the 2 distinct parent models (Strict Father and Nurturant Parent) that come with it. Why do Conservatives and Progressives believe what they believe and do what they do? Much of it is derived from this metaphor!