Our Process


Agile Design in a Traditional Research University

Be driven by purpose:

start with Jesuit values and a fierce commitment to equity.

Work at the edge:

prioritize projects that break rules and push the educational model.

Develop new capacities:

invest in the architecture to support innovative models

Invest in building blocks:

take small game-changing risks that build to ambitious change.

Design for transformation:

balance 'fast change' with emergent 'systems change'

With this approach, we have overcome many of the traditional challenges and obstacles to change in universities and led to a string of successful proofs-of-concept and building blocks for the future.  This all positions us well to be leaders in the next 10-20 year investment cycle.

How We Work:

Convening and Supporting Creative Gatherings

The Red House is designed to connect the many silos that frequently occur on college campuses. By connecting faculty, staff, and students from across campus, we strive to form new relationships, collaborations, and eventually ideas. When the Red House convenes people, we offer a structured space for them to meet in moments of shared creativity. By asking people to work together with new partners on problems that we as a university share, we aim to build a memorable and lasting moment of collision directed at understanding and unraveling the most complex questions facing our community.

Designing and Piloting New Ideas

Creating and testing new ideas is something that happens every day, all across Georgetown. But, designing and piloting new ideas that also work to make the university more accessible and affordable takes time and cross campus collaboration. When the Red House comes up with new ideas and tests them across campus, we follow a values driven design process that prioritizes listening, sense making, adaptability, rapid and radical experimentation, intentionality, and accountability. These core values mirror our design process and emergently shape any new project or idea that comes from the Red House.

Supporting Campus Wide Innovation

While convening people and designing new ideas within the Red House is an important part of our work, we simultaneously work to support our campus partners working in their own spheres on campus. This takes two primary forms, consultation and financial support. Through consultation, we work collaboratively with different units on campus to help them with internal design questions and new initiatives. Through financial support, we create the opportunity on campus for smaller units and individuals to act on ideas they think would better prepare students for the complexities of navigating 21st-century life

The Future(s) Advisory Committee and UNXD Courses

The Red House uses its own course designation and implementation process for the new, innovative, and interdisciplinary courses it administers.  Whereas new courses are generally approved by a school or department, innovative interdisciplinary courses piloted by the Red House are reviewed and approved to pilot by a single Future(s) Advisory Committee. This governance group includes representatives from every department and the members of the group review and approve every UNXD course, some of which eventually become part of the curriculum. To ensure that their perspectives are incorporated in the curricular design process, the Red House also partners with the registrar, advising deans, people from the financial aid office, and those responsible for accreditation. 

Founded in 2016, University Cross-Disciplinary (UNXD) is the course listing used by the Red House to pilot new and innovative interdisciplinary courses. 

Committee Members

Dr. Jason Brennan

Chair of FAC; McDonough School of Business

Dr. Peter Pfeiffer

Georgetown College

Dr. Jeanine Turner

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


School of Health

Dr. Amy Leonard

Georgetown College

Dr. Mark Rom

McCourt School of Public

Dr. George Shambaugh

School of Foreign Service

Dr. Rochelle Trachtenberg

Faculty Senate