Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Sparking change, at scale

The Evans Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) is a policy lab that brings together researchers, practitioners, and the public to co-design actionable solutions to complex societal problems so that our public systems serve all individuals equitably and justly. 

We apply insights from science and human-centered design methodology to policy and management challenges, helping organizations adapt to the needs of the communities they serve and embrace change. 

In alignment with our new mission statement, purpose, and values, we are emphasizing work with partners that have a clear and articulated commitment to equity, both in how they work and in the projects they propose for collaboration with EPIC. 

EPIC demonstrates the Evans School’s purpose – to inspire public policy and democratize public service. By centering the expertise of those impacted by proposed programs and policy ideas, we can translate the momentum of innovation into a democratic system worthy of trust.  

Our Approach

The EPIC approach recognizes that policy implementation happens within complex systems. Dialogue and human-centered design help to reduce the complexity and enable changes that keep the needs and perspectives of people at the forefront.

We work with a three-phase iterative approach to human-centered design processes that focuses on action and inquiry. Intentional engagement of key stakeholders through dialogue and design helps to reduce complexity and allows for collective sense-making which enables a change process that keeps the needs and perspectives of stakeholders centered.

Explore the Current Space: Understanding ‘what is’

Explore quantitative and generate qualitative information about current implementation

    • What currently exists to shape the experiences of those affected?
    • What might be opportunities to address some of these challenges?

Generate & Refine Ideas: Explore what ‘might be’

Host creative exploration of potential ideas to improve current conditions

    • What might address the underlying causes of the limitations in the current system? 
    • How might we use creative and generative exercises to think outside of traditional approaches? 

Prototype & Assess: Systematically investigate new elements

Develop low-cost and rapid techniques for testing the ideas

    • What are short, simple trials of the potential ideas as prototypes? 
    • How can promising approaches be magnified and tried at a larger scale, adjusting based on what is learned? 

The Design Process

By leveraging the collective wisdom of our community and centering the expertise of those most impacted by proposed programs and policy ideas, EPIC creates a platform for innovating our public systems, together.


What We Offer

EPIC collaborates with partners who are advancing social equity and intent on delivering better outcomes for communities. Depending on your organization’s needs, we can work together in several ways:

Project Leadership

EPIC brings stakeholders together to co-design solutions to sticky public problems with approaches and ideas as unique as the problems themselves. 

Research & Analysis

Leveraging the expertise of our faculty and graduate students, EPIC provides rigorous research into your policy or management challenge and generates recommendations to guide your organization forward.  

Content Creation

EPIC creates the materials – from videos, newsletters, case studies, and more – to support your organization through the implementation process by bringing proposed solutions to life. 

Open-Source Tools

EPIC provides policy and program design, implementation, evaluation rubrics and tools, community trainings and courses, research resources, and a public learning library for those doing the important work of driving social change.  

Facilitation & Convenings

From small-group facilitation to stakeholder convenings, EPIC brings together diverse groups of people to advance constructive dialogue by creating space for a reciprocal exchange of ideas to co-create change, at scale. 

Meet the EPIC Team

Keala Aronowitz

Director of Innovation & Engagement

Jessika Gill

Design Intern

Cali Jahn

Project Assistant

Jodi Sandfort

Dean and Professor
Jodi Sandfort Portrait

Scott W. Allard

Associate Dean for Research & Engagement;
Daniel J. Evans Endowed Professor of Social Policy