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Innovation Universities Are Hot--Rotman, Ziba, IDEO, Continuum, Stanford, Institute of Design.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on September 28, 2008

I just got off the phone with Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the U of Toronto, who told me that corporations are flocking to his institution to learn integrative thinking (design thinking). I’ve heard the same thing from innovation consultancies who are setting up their own “universities” to teach design thinking to corporate managers.

The latest is Ziba U that founder Sohrab Vossoughi is establishing. IDEO and Continuum have long been teaching institutions and now demand for their brand of experiential learning is soaring. Consultancies have developed a new form of teaching—workshops, not classrooms, conversations not lectures, interaction not passive listening. It’s a new form of educational IP (well, experiential learning has been around a bit but new to the business world) that B-Schools should check out. IDEO even has a new experimental lab.

Social innovation is also building informal universities to teach people the creative skills of using market forces at the bottom of the pyramid. Acumen Fund is starting Acumen U to do just that. And PopTech is offering a three day workshop of social innovation “bootcamp” to people.

This is good news. Even in the face of very deep recession and loss of revenue, companies and civic organizations. are investing in building their creativity cultures. They aren’t cutting back. Which is a great sign that coming out of the recession, there will be companies prepared to win.

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March 28, 2011 11:24 PM

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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