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Video: Students Lead the Design and Innovation Global Network Week at Yale SOM

The hands-on learning course was the first designed by Global Network students.

Each year, Yale SOM students get the chance to choose from among a variety of Global Network Weeks around the world, deciding which of the mini-courses fits their career goals and interests. Hannah Grill ’17 and Alex Bigler ’17 asked a different question: what if Yale SOM’s student-run Design and Innovation Club, which has been creating increasingly ambitious programming for fellow students at Yale, could expand its impact by creating its own Global Network Week?

“It’s been a strategic goal for the Design and Innovation Club for the last couple of years and the challenge was actually to pitch it, design it, and implement it,” Bigler said.

The two saw an opportunity to use the Global Network to amplify the club’s work educating fellow students about design thinking and systematic approaches to innovation, and to enrich that work by allowing their counterparts at other schools, from a variety of cultures, to contribute their own ideas and approaches to problem solving. They approached staff and faculty at Yale SOM, who helped them to create a plan for the week and offer it to students at other Global Network schools.

More than 160 students applied for the 30 spaces in the module. For a week this past spring, students learned from Yale faculty at Yale and went on company visits to places like Johnson and Johnson and What If Innovation. The sessions also included talks on storytelling, creativity, and a visit to the Yale University Art Gallery to study the history of design.

“It’s been really excited to think about all of the things Hannah and I have learned, to put it together, and to see which pieces would be most salient and useful for a Global Network Week,” Bigler said. “It feels like we’ve created a microcosm of what we’ve worked on for the last two years.”