This course will not run in 2021 and will be offered in summer 2022.

Course is closed
TBD 2022
On Campus
Course Length
3 Days
Course Fee
2.0 CEUs
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Course is closed
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Rapid innovation is disrupting incumbent players, creating new technological frontiers, and challenging traditional ways of doing business around the world and across industries. In this timely, three-day course, you’ll acquire a practical understanding of what constitutes genuine innovation—and master proven frameworks, methods, and modes of thinking that can help you create stronger, more innovative business models, products, and services. 

Course Overview


We live in an age of exponential change in which rapid innovation is disrupting and unseating incumbent products industries, creating new technological frontiers, and challenging nearly everything we think we know about business. Think Uber and the end of the medallion taxi industry. Think Airbnb in more than twice as many countries as Hilton in less than 5 percent of the time. Think Tesla. Think Oculus. But beyond using the “buzzword,” can you really define innovation?

In this course, which is centered on the concept of Design Thinking, your answer to that question will come from actually involving yourself in the activity of innovating. The course will include lectures from faculty and guests, discussions of emerging trends in human behavior and new technologies that are changing our society. Participants will engage with case studies in innovation models and methods and learning expeditions on and beyond the MIT campus. The course will go beyond traditional classroom activities to include group work and a class hands-on brainstorming through which to engage in genuine innovating – and through that, to gain an understanding beyond the buzzword. Participants will emerge as more critical thinkers, knowledgeable about what innovation is (and is not), how it happens through applied design thinking, and how to imagine opportunities for innovative products, services, and experiences.

Active class participation, a willingness to engage with others in a creative process, and a recognition that you might have a lot to learn about innovation are all prerequisites for the class.

Participants will complete this course with a firm, practical understanding of what constitutes genuine innovation and how innovators’ models, methods, and modes of thinking can be utilized to create stronger, more innovative business models, product design, customer experiences and more. With this, they will be able to approach their own teams, departments, products, and business strategies with a critical eye and develop new approaches for innovating.

Participant Takeaways

  • Learning what constitutes genuine innovation;
  • Understanding how to apply design thinking to transform their own organizations.
  • Learning the fundamentals of Design Thinking, its methods and models, how it promotes innovation, and how it is different from other methods
  • Learning the existing and emerging trends in tech, industry, and our society
  • Understanding how the business landscape is being changed by innovators, and the strategies that make it possible to succeed in this new age

Who Should Attend

To facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, approaches, and critical thought, professionals from all industries are welcome. Strategy leaders, directors of innovation and technology, product managers, engineers, marketers, R&D personnel and people from across the functional business spectrum will find the course valuable. All participants must come with a willingness and enthusiasm to engage and be ready to share their particular passions and expertise.


Laptops or tablets (preferably with presentation and/or video editing software) are required.

Program Outline

This course runs 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Wednesday. On Wednesday there is a reception 5:00 pm-7:00 pm. 

The course will consist of lectures, hands-on experiences with innovations, creative team ideation, discussions, and visits to labs and innovation incubators at MIT and in the Boston area. Participants will receive a small set of materials to read in advance of the program’s start.

Day 1:

Session One: Introductory Lecture on Design Thinking and Innovation


Session Two: Guest Lectures

Session Three: Lab Visit on MIT Campus

Day 2:

Session Four: Disruptive Emerging Technologies


Session Five: Rapid Prototyping and Innovation

Session Six: Group Workshop – Brainstorming and Ideation

Day 3:

Session Seven: Fostering Innovation through Agile Prototyping


Session Eight: Visit to Cambridge Incubator

Session Nine: Team Innovation Challenge Presentations and Debrief


The type of content you will learn in this course, whether it's a foundational understanding of the subject, the hottest trends and developments in the field, or suggested practical applications for industry.

Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools - 30%|Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends - 40%|Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world - 30%
Delivery Methods

How the course is taught, from traditional classroom lectures and riveting discussions to group projects to engaging and interactive simulations and exercises with your peers.

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format - 30%|Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning - 30%|Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations - 20%|Other: Learning expeditions - 20%

What level of expertise and familiarity the material in this course assumes you have. The greater the amount of introductory material taught in the course, the less you will need to be familiar with when you attend.

Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience - 25%|Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field - 50%|Other: Personal experience and willingness to actively engage in group works and learning expeditions - 25%