The Decision Theater at The McCain Institute is a powerful tool for helping subject-matter experts and policymakers simplify and visualize complex problems, in order to produce better solutions. By creating interactive, collaborative models in an immersive, visually stimulating environment, the Decision Theater brings clarity to complex data and analysis. The goal is to display the dynamics of a problem, and the effects of various policy options, in a clear and compelling manner – thus helping experts develop and demonstrate the best approaches to addressing a given problem.

Behind the scenes, the Decision Theater uses state-of-the-art expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modeling and simulation. We often work with outside partners who bring extensive research and data to the table – or we can readily tap into Arizona State University’s diverse academic and research capabilities.

Examples of successful Decision Theater models include:

  • Assessing policy options for sustainable water usage in the Phoenix area
  • Minimizing casualties in responding to a bio-terrorist attack using
    small pox
  • Illustrating the economic impact of a new transatlantic trade and investment agreement
  • Optimizing investment options in Mexico’s energy production
  • Assessing economic options for solar power plant construction in Arizona

Part of the Arizona State University Decision Theater Network, the Decision Theater at The McCain Institute is located one block from the White House. This unique facility provides an open-source environment where the use of technology is embraced in the decisionmaking process, in contrast to many governmental environments, where the use of classified information limits participation and the use of outside technologies and expertise.

Potential uses for Decision Theater modeling span the full range of public policy areas – from national security to health science, from humanitarian relief to business investment. As we take on new projects and build effective outside partnerships, we believe the The McCain Institute Decision Theater can become the preeminent hub in Washington for convening policymakers and subject-matter experts around data-driven models of complex problems, facilitating better understanding and better policy decisions.

The McCain Institute often engages in collaborative projects with other organizations. For more information on the Decision Theater and its uses, please contact Aaron Korewa, Decision Theater Project Coordinator, at [email protected].