Every summer for the past ten years, Taylor Young, co-founder of Mandel Young, has been putting ASU Executive MBA students through a two-day simulated legislative exercise at the Arizona State Capitol. The exercise, presented in collaboration with the W.P. Carey School of Business and Cox Communications, assigns students roles as lawmakers and other actors in the legislative process. Working with real life volunteer lobbyists, the students work to pass a mock state budget that sets funding levels for specific state agencies and programs.
Taylor created the budget game as a way to augment classroom study of how public policy affects business interests. By turning the legislative budget process into a role playing game, students directly experience the forces at play in the lawmaking process.
By some accounts, this year’s exercise was a hit. Students described the simulation as “eye opening.”
Taylor attributes the program’s continued success to the leadership of ASU Professor Gerry Keim, the support of staff from the W.P. Carey School and the Arizona Senate, and the efforts of Cox Communications’ public affairs team. He notes that the exercise is made especially impactful through the participation of numerous public and private sector government relations professionals in Arizona. Their volunteer efforts this year greatly enhanced the students’ learning experience.
For more information, please see ASU's excellent story on this year's exercise.