Dear Students,

This January, the Bryant University Class of 2021 will have the opportunity to learn an extremely valuable skill set in IDEA: Innovation and Design Experience for All. IDEA is one of Bryant’s most defining programs, allowing students to experience the Design Thinking process in an intensive three-day course. The IDEA 2018 program will kick off at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 22 and run through Wednesday, January 24.

Students of all disciplines will use the Design Thinking process to solve complex problems and come up with solutions to “real world” problems. Students will develop close relationships with faculty, staff, alumni, and upperclassmen, who will serve as mentors as they guide them through the process. First-year students will learn about the different projects at one of the mandatory orientation sessions during the fall semester, where they’ll have an opportunity to identify the projects on which they would prefer to work. For example, students might work on the question: How might the New England Patriots’ Hall of Fame at Patriot Place enhance the fan experience when they visit? Others might focus on how might an indoor trampoline park increase attendance and work to combat childhood obesity?

This approach to innovation truly sits at the intersection of business and the liberal arts. The soft skills the students will develop (communication, empathy, teamwork…) are increasingly sought after by recruiters. As a result, Design Thinking has become a “buzzword” in recent years. While large companies are increasingly valuing breakthrough innovation to remain competitive, keep in mind, the applications of Design Thinking are not limited to business environments. For instance, social enterprises are using Design Thinking methodologies to solve the world’s most pressing social problems; educators are teaching Design Thinking to their students in school, and the medical industry is using Design Thinking to revitalize dated medical practices.

Students can look forward to three days of intense hands-on learning about innovation! More information will be provided at any of the upcoming orientation sessions. GO BULLDOGS!

We can’t wait to see you all there,

Nina Luiggi and Jenna McAnespie

IDEA 2018 Student Leaders

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