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The Prada Group Presents: Shaping a Sustainable Digital Future

Friday, Oct 26 2018 at 10:00 am - Saturday, Oct 27 2018 at 1:00 pm EDT

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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 people per team);
  • abstract of the idea

Yale student teams should submit their abstracts by 11:59pm 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, and highlighting positive and negativeimpacts of digital innovation in terms of sustainability (including environmental, societal, community or historic sustainability). The submission should include:

  • A powerpoint deck (max 10 slides)
  • An optional written report (max 10 pages word document);
  • A video (max 3 minutes);
  • Any other multimedia files the team desires to include.

Yale student teams will present their Multi-Media Submissions on Friday, October 5 to a group of judges representing all 3 institutions.

Three teams from Yale and three teams from Politecnico will be selected no later than October 10 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 bescalable and sustainable. Examples might include blockchain, wearable devices, RFiD, smartphone apps, virtual/augmented reality, etc.

Judging Criteria

- Originality of the idea and innovativeness of the suggested technology;
- Feasibility of the idea and scalability of the selected technology;
- Depth of the positive and negative impacts of the idea in terms of sustainability on environment, or on society, or on ethics, or on culture,
- Communication style, clarity, quality of the multimedia materials;
- Cohesiveness and depth of the concept presented.

Application Information

Submit your abstract here.

Looking for teammates?

Have a great idea but looking for teammates to join you? Interested in gaining cross-functional perspective from students outside your area of expertise?

Find teammates here.