Decision Theater

The Decision Theater at The McCain Institute is a powerful tool for helping subject-matter experts and policymakers prototype better decisions to complex problems. By creating interactive, collaborative models in an immersive, visually stimulating environment, the Decision Theater brings clarity to understanding 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 scene, the Decision Theater provides state-of-the-art expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modeling and simulation. The Decision Theater also addresses cross-disciplinary local, national and international issues by drawing on Arizona State University’s diverse academic and research capabilities.

The McCain Institute Decision Theater addresses the following broad focus areas: security and defense, human rights and democracy, public health, sustainability, economic prosperity, education, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Its purpose is to present a set of realistic policy options to decisionmakers for consideration and debate, and prototype expected outcomes of each policy decision.

Part of the Arizona State University Decision Theater Network and located one block from the White House, this unique facility provides an open-source environment where the use of technology is embraced in the decision making process.

The Decision Theater is an interactive and collaborative platform offering a range of capabilities, including:

  • Custom model creation to present alternative analysis and enabling informed decision making
  • Analytical platform for a detailed understanding of an issue and decision impacts
  • Awareness-raising system through data visualization
  • Situation-room capacity to track and analyze ongoing events in real time
  • Training simulations to investigate scenarios and response alternatives

Our goal is for The McCain Institute Decision Theater to become the preeminent hub in Washington for enabling policymakers and subject-matter experts to make use of data and technology for addressing complex policy issues.

The McCain Institute often engages in collaborative projects with other organizations. For more information on the Decision Theater and its uses, please contact Director of Special Projects, Erik Brattberg: