August 1, 2022

Blue Marble Evaluation

TEI 329: Blue Marble Evaluation

Instructor: Michael Quinn Patton, PhD

Description: Blue Marble refers to the iconic image of the Earth from space without borders or boundaries, a whole Earth perspective. Blue Marble Evaluation consists of principles and criteria for evaluating transformational initiatives aimed at a more equitable and sustainable world.

We humans are using our planet’s resources, and polluting and warming it, in ways that are unsustainable. Many people, organizations, and networks are working to ensure the future is more sustainable and equitable. Blue Marble evaluators enter the fray by helping design, implement, and evaluate transformational initiatives based on a theory of transformation. Blue Marble evaluation is utilization-focused, developmental, and principles-based in providing ongoing feedback for adaptation and enhanced systems transformation impact.

Incorporating the Blue Marble perspective means looking beyond nation-state boundaries and across sector and issue silos to connect the global and local, connect the human and ecological, and connect evaluative thinking and methods with those trying to bring about global systems transformation. Forecasts for the future of humanity run the gamut from doom-and-gloom to utopia. Evaluation as a transdisciplinary, global profession has much to offer in navigating the risks and opportunities that arise as global change initiatives and interventions are designed and undertaken to ensure a more sustainable and equitable future. This workshop will provide a framework and tools (a thoughtkit) for evaluating global systems transformation.

Recommended Text: Patton, M. (2019). Blue Marble Evaluation: Premises and Principles. Guilford Press.

Recommended Audience: This course is suitable for new and experienced evaluators who work with innovative initiatives of all kinds at any level anywhere in the world.

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