Complex systems theory, political science, sustainability science, and participatory research all offer valuable tools and insights for decision makers – but are too often siloed or locked away in academia.

Dr Nazia M. Habib started the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD) to meet the urgent need to embed complex system thinking, creative design, political economics and related disciplines, into policy and strategy development in a way that is fast, accessible and usable by decision makers in the public and private sectors.

The Cambridge Policy Boot Camp is the flagship tool of the centre to support decision makers in identifying new policies and strategies.

Technology overview

The CPBC is an agile approach designed to quickly identify and document potential solutions for a complex policy problem. The aim is to integrate multiple perspectives, from multiple stakeholders that can provide practical direction for complex decisions and promote resilient solutions within the given context and resources.

The CPBC is delivered through the following activities:

  1. Building partnerships with decision makers to co-design problem specification.
  2. Researching, mapping and documenting the relevant system, stakeholders within the system and problems and opportunities.
  3. Stakeholder workshop using 3 unique system based activities designed to harness the collective experience and expertise of all participants. The goal is to identify and evaluate ‘leverage points’ that can be effectively employed to drive system change.
  4. Technical analysis of workshop outcomes to identify how ‘good ideas’ can be implemented through the right institutions.


The Cambridge Policy Boot Camp:

  1. Uncovers and identifies new assets and resources that can be used to deliver a policy or strategy.
  2. Is faster and a more inclusive methodology that speeds up and shortcuts the conventional policy ideation process from years to months, making it faster and cheaper to deliver policy and strategy innovation.
  3. Allows a more effective deployment of stakeholders’ expertise by facilitating collaboration between all the parties.
  4. Draws together relevant research in academic, policy making and industry to give participants an ‘up to date’ overview of what they need to know about their problem.

Recent Applications

The Cambridge Policy Boot Camp has been used:

  • To reform international financial architecture to meet the urgent need for investment in small island developing states, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. This has involved collaboration and participation from over 5000 citizens, experts and policy makers in over 30 countries.
  • To partner with the EAT and Rockefeller Foundations, supporting five countries to identify leverage points to transform their health and food systems.
  • To partner with the Khalili Foundation to collate and document best practices for cross cultural deliberative spaces as a core process for driving transformative change.


The Centre for Resilience and Development welcomes opportunities to partner with organisations to deliver the Cambridge Policy Boot Camp.

The CPBC package can be delivered as a is a flexible 4-month work programme. We can be engaged through Cambridge Enterprise


Dr Nazia Mintz Habib, FRSA, Founder and Director at the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD))

Dr Nazia Mintz Habib holds appointments at the Department of Engineering and Department of Land Economy. Dr Habib has dedicated her scholarship to develop twenty-first century action-research methodologies that will harness the power of collective intelligence, smart technologies, and open innovation to help improve the decision-making process. Leaders of more than 57 countries have benefited from her research methods in improving their abilities to manage uncertainty.


The phrase Cambridge Policy Boot Camp has been Trade Marked by the University of Cambridge.