School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

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  • Burke Robinson

    Burke Robinson

    Lecturer, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences - Administration/Finance

    BioBurke Robinson teaches a graduate course each spring, The Art and Science of Decision Making, in the Sustainability Science and Practice Program, School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences, as well as an undergraduate course each summer, Introduction to Decision Making, in the Management Science & Engineering Department. These pragmatic courses present common-sense rules and decision-making tools to achieve clarity of action for important decisions -- from personal choices to organizational decisions about business strategies and public policies. Art and science combine in the essential focus, discipline, and passion needed to make high-quality decisions, and thereby increase the probability of desired outcomes.

    Lectures cover effective normative approaches and efficient management processes for analyzing complex decisions, as well as implementing them in the face of an uncertain future world. Topics include practical ways to: interact collaboratively with stakeholders, craft an inspirational vision, frame the relevant decisions, create viable alternatives, assess unbiased probabilistic information, clarify tangible and intangible preferences, develop appropriate risk/reward and portfolio models, evaluate strategies and policies across a realistic range of scenarios, analyze key sensitivities, appraise the value of gathering additional information, and build widespread buy-in and commitment to action plans.

    In an experiential learning environment, students in these courses develop their skills using state-of-the art methods and techniques for critically analyzing some of the actual decisions being made in a variety of private and public, business, nonprofit, and government organizations. Classes include case studies of real decisions, group exercises, interactive demonstrations, and "war stories" drawn from more than 40 years of decision consulting experience. Professional management consultants and skilled practitioners of decision analysis provide guest lectures and discussions.

    Dr. Robinson is also an avid Stanford sports fan and the official Faculty Athletics Fellow for the Men's Gymnastics, Tennis, and Swimming & Diving teams. Unofficially, he assists with recruiting and supports Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Water Polo, and Cross-Country/Track & Field teams. As a Decision Coach, he advises and mentors students and others as they pursue undergraduate and graduate programs, internship and career jobs, entrepreneurial ventures, and professional sports opportunities.

    For more information and CV, please see his personal website