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Erik Johnston

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Assoc Professor
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3720
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Assoc Professor
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3720
Assoc Professor
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3720
Biography

Erik W. Johnston, Ph.D, is an associate professor of policy informatics in the School of Public Affairs and the director of the Center for Policy Informatics in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University.

Johnston’s research focuses on policy informatics, the study of how computational and communication technology is leveraged to specifically understand and address complex public policy and administration problems and realize innovations in governance processes and institutions. His research explores how our governance systems can evolve to address increasingly complex challenges, and to meet the rising expectations of people to be full participants in their governance systems, what changes we need to make in technology, processes, institutional capacity and social norms to realize that future. For example, stakeholders are becoming more diverse, unequal, vocal and polarized, which will require the development of effective solutions, including creative approaches to collaborative governance, participatory decision-making and the ability to identify and mitigate the causes of social and environmental conflict. Urbanization and climate change are anticipated to increase societal challenges related to human-environment interactions, particularly with respect to environmental health and natural hazards. Reducing health and infrastructure vulnerability to current and future threats requires innovative, interdisciplinary approaches integrating basic and applied natural and social science in a framework that not only provides stakeholders with new evidence to support effective decision-making, but also accelerates the identification of the next series of important questions that research must address. These interests are catalyzed through three current research focuses: open governance, participatory modeling, and smarter governance infrastructures.

A dedicated action researcher, Johnston leads the team at ASU that is studying how people come together to collaborate, using 10,000 Solutions, a university-wide challenge platform to propose answers to every problem from education to human rights. He is also the driving force behind the ASU Policy Challenge, an ideation contest for contributing policy suggestions to the White House. Johnston is the author of “Design Lessons for Smart Governance Infrastructures,” a chapter in American Governance 3.0: Rebooting the Public Square? His many publications include “The influence of collaboration on program outcomes: The Colorado Nurse-Family Partnership,” “A Computational Approach to Managing Performance Dynamics in Networked Governance Systems,” “Governance Infrastructures in 2020” and “Managing the Inclusion Process in Collaborative Governance.”

With undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Psychology as well as an M.B.A. and Masters of Science in Information Technology from the University of Denver, Johnston holds a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan with a certificate on complex systems.

 

Google Scholar

Research Interests

1. Assessing how models and simulations can aid individuals and groups when making policy choices 2. Understanding the dynamics of policy decisions for building and sustaining collaborations in civic, business, and academic contexts 3. Analyzing the influence of central-remote office arrangements and communication delay on technology supported work groups 4. Applying complex systems methodology and theory using agent based modeling as a complement to traditional quantitative and qualitative research methods

Publications
  • Hu, Q., Johnston, E., & Hemphill, L. Fostering cooperative community behavior with IT tools: the influence of a designed deliberative space on efforts to address collective challenges. The Journal of Community Informatics (2013).
  • Johnston, E., Krishnamurthy, R., Musgrave, T., & Vinze, A. How open data moves us closer to "precision governance". The IDEAS Quarterly Report - Alliance for Innovation (2013).
  • Johnston, E., Treisman, C., and Kelley, T. Participatory platforms with a public intent. International Innovation (2013).
  • Krishnamurthy, R., Bhagwatwar, A. Johnston, E.. and Desouza, K. A Glimpse into Policy Informatics: The Case of Participatory Platforms that Generate Synthetic Empathy. Communications of the Association for Information Systems (2013).
  • Lee, J., & Johnston, E.,. How to Embed Transparency into Collaborative Governance. PA Times (2013).
  • Lucio, J., Auer, J., Johnston, E. Neighborhood Diversity: Framework for Municipalities. State and Local Government Review (2013).
  • Hu, Q., & Johnston, E. A Wiki-based Course Design: Strategies and Lessons for Creating a Student-Centered Learning Environment. Journal of Public Administration Education (2012).
  • Hu, Q., & Johnston, E., Hemphill, L., Krishnamurthy, R., & Vinze, A. Simulation-based Scenario Learning for Public Administrators. Journal of Public Administration Education (2012).
  • Kelley, T. M., & Johnston, E. Discovering the appropriate role of serious games in the design of open governance platforms. Public Administration Quarterly (2012).
  • Hu., Q., Krishnamurthy, R., Johnston, E., & Desouza, K. Adding a Complex Adaptive Systems Approach to Public Administration Research. COMPACT I: Public Administration in Complexity (2012).
  • Johnston, E., & Kim, Y. Introduction to the Special Issue on Policy Informatics. The Innovation Journal (2011).
  • Johnston, E., & Musgrave, T. What Public Administrators can Learn from Dungeon Masters. The IDEAS Quarterly Report - Alliance for Innovation (2011).
  • Johnston, E., Hicks, D., Nan, N., & Auer, J. C. Managing the Inclusion Process in Collaborative Governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (2011).
  • Johnston, E., Hu, Q., & Auer, J. C. Lost in translation: overcoming barriers to integrating evidence with practice. International Journal of Critical Infrastructures (2011).
  • Kim, Y., Johnston, E., & Kang, H. S. A Computational Approach to Managing Performance Dynamics in Networked Governance Systems. Public Performance & Management Review (2011).
  • Johnston, E. & Hansen, D. Design Lessons for Smart Governance Infrastructures. in American Governance 3.0: Rebooting the Public Square? (2011).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 300Public Management and Admin
SER 580Practicum
SOS 592Research
AML 792Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 591Seminar
AML 790Reading and Conference
AML 792Research
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 300Public Management and Admin
PAF 591Seminar
AML 790Reading and Conference
AML 792Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
PAF 591Seminar
AML 790Reading and Conference
AML 792Research
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 300Public Management and Admin
PAF 591Seminar
AML 792Research
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 591Seminar
AML 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 300Public Management and Admin
PAF 591Seminar
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 591Seminar
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 591Seminar
Presentations
  • Mergel, I., Greenberg, S., Desouza, K., and Johnston, E. Panel: Institutionalizing social media in the public sector. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 3013).
  • Uebelherr, J., Hondula D., Eneboe, J., & Johnston E. Extreme Heat Relief Availability Agent Based Analysis of an ad-hoc Voluntary Cooling Center Network of Community and Public Organizations. . American Meteorological Society (Jan 2015).
  • Wald, D.M., Johnston, E., Leong, K., & Ogden, L. The Challenge of Networked Governance for Large Landscapes and Natural Resource Conservation. Pathways 2014 Conference: Integrating Human Dimensions into Fish and Wildlife Management (Oct 2014).
  • Wald, D.M., Johnston, E. & Vinze, A. The Dynamics of Shared Governance for Collaborative Wildlife Management. Pathways 2014 Conference: Integrating Human Dimensions into Fish and Wildlife Management (Oct 2014).
  • Park, C., & Johnston, E. Collaborative Public Leadership in Complex Governance Systems. Academy of Management (Aug 2014).
  • Johnston, E., Mergel, I., Derrick, C., Farrell, H., and West, D. The Digital Revolution and Open Government in the U.S.: Where do we Stand?. American Society of Public Administration (Aug 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Towards Government 2.0: Open Data and Innovation through Cross-Sector Collaboration. Academy of Management (Aug 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Crowdsourcing in Socially Contested Issue Areas- First Steps Towards an AoM Expert Network. Academy of Management (Aug 2014).
  • Wald, D.M., Johnston, E., & Vinze. A. Understanding the Influence of Power on Collaborative Decision Making for the Management of Natural Resources. North American Congress for Conservation Biology (Jul 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Keynote: Governance as a Complex System. SKIN(Simulating Knowledge and Innovation Networks) (May 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Keynote: Governance as a Complex System. 3rd SKIN(Simulating Knowledge and Innovation Networks) (May 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Plenary: Network governance, structure, function, and impact. 2014 Urban Conservation conference (Mar 2014).
  • Kelley, T., & Johnston, E. Evolving Research and Management of Participatory Platforms. The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)’s 75th Annual Conference (Mar 2014).
  • Park, C., Johnston, E., & Krishnamurthy, R. Complexity governance: Articulating the evolution of collaborative governance and open government. The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)’s 75th Annual Conference (Mar 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Plenary: Network governance, structure, function, and impact. 2014 Urban Conservation conference (Mar 2014).
  • Krishnamurthy, R., Wald, D.M., Johnston, E. & Vinze, A. A Scenario-based Evaluation: The Influence of Power & Resource Differences on Collaborative Decision Making. AAAS Conference (Feb 2014).
  • Johnston, E.,. Workshop 3: Large-scale Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration – Issues of Governance. National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) (Feb 2014).
  • Johnston, E. Plenary: State of Science in Policy. The Nature Conservancy All Science Conference (Dec 2013).
  • Kelley, T., Johnston, E., Sundaram, H., and Le, T. Contributions of Social Network Analysis to Assess an Administration of the 10,000 Solutions Challenge Platform. American Evaluation Association (Oct 2013).
  • Johnston, E. ). Workshop 2: Large-scale Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration – Issues of Governance. National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) (Oct 2013).
  • Johnston, E., and Kelley, T. A Study of the Evolving 10,000 Solutions Challenge Platform: Insights on Participation, Administration, and Design. Public Management Research Conference (Jun 2013).
  • Krishnamurthy, R., and Johnston, E. Fostering Empathy in Collaborative Decision Making to Reduce Conflict and Improve Collective Outcomes with Interactive Computer Simulations. Public Management Research Conference (Jun 2013).
  • Kelley, T., and Johnston, E.,. Mastering Challenge Platforms. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2013).
  • Krishnamurthy, R., and Johnston, E. ) Fostering Perspective-Taking in Collaborative Decision Making to reduce conflict and improve collective outcomes with computer mediated simulations. . American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2013).
  • Lee, J., and Johnston, E.,. Understanding a Crowdsourcing Platform in the Public Domain as a Generator of e-Democracy. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2013).
  • Wachhaus, A., Johnston, E. Governance Infrastructures. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2013).
  • Schugurensky, D., Johnston, E., & Kelley, T. Online participatory platforms and civic engagement: A tale of three cities. Seminar hosted by ASU Participatory Governance Initiative and Center for Policy Informatics (Mar 2013).
  • Johnston, E. Are you politically literate?. Summit on Human Dignity, The Opportunity Gap. Brophy College Preparatory (Mar 2013).
  • Johnston, E. Workshop 1: Large-scale Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration – Issues of Governance. National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) (Feb 2013).
  • Johnston, E., Kelley, T., & Desouza, K. An introduction to policy informatics. Chaired workshop session at the iConference 2013 (Feb 2013).
  • Johnston, E., & Kelley, T. Participatory platforms with a public intent. Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems (Dec 2012).
  • Krishnamurthy, R., & Johnston, E. Using a complex systems framework to teach students to ask questions. National Association of Public Administration and Affairs 2012 Annual Conference (Oct 2012).
  • Johnston, E., Kelley, T., & Treisman, C. Participatory challenge platforms: Effective integration of public expertise in organization efforts. INFORMS Annual Conference (Oct 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Crowdsourcing governance. Academy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting (Aug 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Professional development workshop: Using simulation experiments to build and test entrepreneurship theories. Academy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting (Aug 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Community MasterClass. Pillar Summit, Professional Community Management (Jul 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Policy Informatics: A Complex Systems Approach to Policy Sector Decision-Making. U.S. Government Accountability Office (May 2012).
  • Johnston, E., & Treisman, C. Participatory platforms with a public intent: Critical reflections and future practices. NSF-funded workshop hosted by ASU School of Public Affairs and Center for Policy Informatics (May 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Virtual Organizations. Virtual Organizations as Sociotechnical Systems Workshop (Apr 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Applications of Policy Informatics. Complexity and Simulation Seminar (Apr 2012).
  • Understanding the challenges inherent in the design, execution and participation in governance challenge platforms. NSF Workshop: Emerging Results, Critical Research Directions, and Grand Challenges for Understanding Virtual Organizations as Socio-Technical Systems (VOSS). NSF Workshop: Emerging Results, Critical Research Directions, and Grand Challenges for Understanding (Apr 2012).
  • Johnston, E. Understanding the challenges inherent in the design, execution and participation in governance challenge platforms. NSF Workshop: Emerging Results, Critical Research Directions, and Grand Challenges for Understanding (Apr 2012).
  • Hu, Q., Johnston, E., & Krishnamurthy, R. Computer simulated-scenarios for public administration education. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2012).
  • Johnston, E. How the Application of Complexity and Policy Informatics to Public Administration can change the Questions We Ask and the Solutions We Discover. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2012).
  • Hu, Q., Johnston, E.. Krishnamurthy, R. Computer Simulated-scenarios for Public Administration Education. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2012).
  • Kelley, T. & Johnston, E. An Exploration in the Information Field for Improved Public Service and Enhanced Citizen Participation. iConference (Feb 2012).
  • Kim, Y., Johnston, E., & Maroulis, S. Policy Informatics: Working with a Prototype Agent-Based Model on Topics in Public Policy and Management. Association for Public Policy and Analysis and Management (Nov 2011).
  • Johnston, E. Using Policy Informatics to Understand How Stakeholder Commitment can be Cultivated, Transferred, and Protected to Increase the Useful Life of Collaborations. Second Conference on Community Resiliency: Integrated Risk, Response, and Recovery Policy and Manage (Oct 2011).
  • Johnston, E. Professional Development Workshop: Using Simulation Experiments to Build and Test Entrepreneurship Theories. Academy of Management (Sep 2011).
  • Johnston, E., Desouza, K., & Hu, Q. How the application of complexity theory to Public Administration can change the questions we ask and the solutions we discover. Challenges of Making Public Administration and Complexity Theory (COMPACT) Work (Jun 2011).
  • Hu, Q., & Johnston, E. Fostering Cooperation Through Collaborative IT Tools: The Influence of Designed Deliberation Spaces on Efforts to Address Collective Challenges. Public Management Association Research Conference (Jun 2011).
  • Johnston, E., Auer, J., Hemphill, L., & Teasley, S. The Learning Participant in Virtual Organizations. NSF Workshop: Toward a Science of Virtual Organizations (May 2011).
  • Johnston, E. Technology in Government. Guest Lecture for PAF 200, Introduction to Public Affairs (Apr 2011).
  • Johnston, E., Wolfe, Z., & Ching, B. The Evolving Role of Leadership in Collaborative Governance: A Transdisciplinary perspective. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2011).
  • Johnston, E. & Auer, J. Managing Uncertainty in Collaborative Governance – a Multi-method Study Using Agent-based Models. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2011).
  • Auer, J., & Johnston, E. March) Strategies for Building a More Resilient Economy with the Help of All Workers. Urban Affairs Association Conference (Mar 2011).
  • Johnston, E. Public Administration within Complex, Adaptive Governance Systems: A Panel Discussion Concerning the Next Generation of Research, Theory and Practice. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference (Mar 2011).
  • Johnston, E., & Auer, J. Designing Resilience into Public Private Collaborations. Weekly seminar of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity. Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems (Jan 2011).
Service
  • National Science Foundation, At-Large Reviewer (2014 - Present)
  • Arizona Department of Transportation, Advisor (2014 - Present)
  • College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Reponsible for College of Public Program Innovation Challenge (2014 - Present)
  • National Science Foundation - Consortium for the Science of Socio-Technical Systems, Mentor to recent Ph.D. graduates (2014 - Present)
  • National Science Foundation, Panel Reviewer (2014 - Present)
  • International Conference on Information Systems, Reviewer (2014 - Present)
  • National Science Foundational, External Grant Reviewer (2013 - Present)
  • Center for Policy Informatics, Director (2011 - Present)
  • Center for Policy Informatics, Director (2011 - Present)
  • National Science Foundation, External Grant Reviewer (2011 - Present)
  • Watersim Steering Committee, member (2010 - Present)
  • Executive Council - College of Public Programs, Member (2009 - Present)
  • Executive Council - College of Public Programs, Member (2009 - Present)
  • ASPA Section for Complexity and Network Studies, Publications Committee (2009 - Present)
  • Executive Committee for the Section for Complexity and Network Studies, Member (2009 - Present)
  • Doctoral Committee, Memeber (2007 - Present)
  • Policy Informatics Committee, Chair (2007 - Present)
  • Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems Scientific Journal, Editoral Board (2005 - Present)
  • ASU Faculty Senate, Senator (2012 - 2015)
  • Faculty Search Committee, Chair (2012 - 2013)
  • International Journal of Complex Governance Networks, • Associate Editor (2011 - 2012)
  • The Innovation Journal, Guest Editor, Special Issue on Policy Informatics (2011 - 2011)