The Prada Group Presents: Shaping a Sustainable Digital Future

October 26 – 27, 2018

Shaping a Sustainable Future

In partnership with the Prada Group, the Politecnico di Milano and Yale’s Center for Customer Insights are hosting a design and innovation competition exploring the impact of new digital technologies on enhancing the society and environment. Student teams from Politecnico di Milano and Yale University are invited to submit a new concept of a product, service, channel or business model that utilizes digital technology to inspire customers while enhancing sustainable societal development and/or environmental impact. Submissions should prioritize innovation while achieving positive cultural, environmental, or social impact. The concept should be valued by consumers and scalable, but not limited to the luxury or fashion sector.


Interested students from both universities are encouraged to form teams of three and submit an abstract in the form of a short PowerPoint deck (5 slides maximum).

The competition has three phases:

Phase 1 – Abstract Submission: Student teams should submit the following via a PowerPoint deck (maximum 5 slides in total):

  • project title;
  • names of team members (3 persons for team);
  • abstract of the idea.

Politecnico student teams should submit their abstracts by Friday, June 15.
Yale student teams should submit their abstracts by noon on Wednesday, September 12.

After teams have submitted an abstract, 10 teams will be selected to move to phase 2.

Phase 2 – Multi-media Presentation: The 10 selected teams will be asked to develop a multi-media presentation to bring their idea to life. This could include, for example, illustrating what steps would be required to bring the idea to life, showcasing the development of a minimum viable concept, or highlighting the positive impact of the innovation. The submission should include:

  • A written report (max 10 pages word document);
  • A video (max 3 minutes);
  • Any other multimedia fi les the team desires to include.

Yale student teams should submit their Multi-media Presentation by noon on Wednesday, October 10.
Three teams from Yale and three teams from Politecnico will be selected no later than October 17 to participate in a Hackathon at
Yale School of Management on October 26-27.

Phase 3 – Hackathon: Teams from Yale and Politecnico will be matched to work collaboratively to further develop and “globalize” a designated idea during a 15-hour “hackathon” from October 26-27 with mentorship from Yale & Politecnico faculty and the Prada Group. Each of the three teams will have the opportunity to present to leadership at the Prada Group, and have their ideas featured in a booklet at the Prada Conference in Milan on November 20.  The three teams will then be flown to Milan to attend the Prada Conference, with one winning team invited to present.

Who should apply?

The program will be open to all full-time students of Yale University and its graduate studies programs. In particular, students from Yale College, SOM, FES, Art, or Architecture schools with interest in relevant topics such as marketing, design, retail, or environmental studies are encouraged to participate.

Student Guidelines

- Students should form teams of three and submit a PowerPoint abstract (5 slides max);

- Concepts should utilize new digital technologies in pursuit of a positive societal impact to environmental or social sustainability. Societal sustainability might include, for example, sustainability of an area’s cultural heritage via historic preservation, elevation of craftsmanship or other historical practices or protection of the needs of communities served. Environmental sustainability might include, for example, protecting and preserving local materials, re-use, waste reduction, etc;

- Students may utilize any new digital technologies that could be scalable and sustainable. Examples might include blockchain, wearable devices, RFiD, smartphone apps, virtual/augmented reality, etc;

- Focus on the following major customer touchpoints as you develop  novel digital applications designed to enhance the customer experience:

  • Pre-Market: how the customer experiences the brand’s product development and production (e.g. a real or virtual factory tour);
  • In-Market, Retail: in-store (brick and mortar) retail experience;
  • In-Market, Digital: eCommerce, mobile apps, etc.

Application Information

To apply, please send your abstract to

The Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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