Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fourth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Education for innovation: engineering, management and design multidisciplinary teams of students tackling complex societal problems through Design Thinking
Guido Charosky, Lotta Hassi, Luciana Leveratto, Kyriaki Papageorgiou, Juan Ramos, Ramon Bragos

Last modified: 09-05-2018


Innovation education involves a different approach both for professors and students. It requires understanding people, technology and business to develop truly innovative solutions that can succeed in the market.

The aim of this paper is to analyze the benefits, learning outcomes and self-learning perception about innovation from students participating in an innovative learning experience co-developed by an Electrical Engineering School, a Business School and a Design Institute.

Challenge Based Innovation (CBI) is a program created by CERN to host educational projects where multidisciplinary teams of students tackle innovation challenges. The objective is to design solutions to social problems through Design Thinking.

It was observed that engineering students, after this learning experience increase their understanding of user’s needs and the relevance of focusing on them when approaching innovation challenges. Also, they improve their ability to ideate break-through solutions thanks to a better understanding of the relationship between people, business and technology due to their in-depth interaction with management and design students. Furthermore, their self-confidence is significantly increased along with their entrepreneurial skills.

The level of engineering student’s understating of innovation as a whole is higher with this approach compared to standard design-build projects performed at the Engineering Schools.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Innovation, Challenge Based Education, Multidisciplinary projects

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