In 2013, I’m teaching two electives on the MBA at Said Business School.

First up is the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship‘s new MBA elective in Design for Innovation and Change, running once a week in April-June (ie Trinity term). There’s a cap of 35 students for this class as it’s very hands on – in fact Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre, says it’s the only hands-on elective in the MBA. I taught a couple of classes on this elective last year. But this year I’m running and teaching the whole thing with a range of guest lectures from leading practitioners, complementing the main focus which is enabling students to explore the value of design approaches and methods using my Social Design Methods Menu, and using these with entrepreneurs gathered by our partners the Emerge Venture Lab. Students taking the class will have opportunities to use design approaches and methods to help their partner venture over the several weeks of the elective. This elective is not exclusively focussed on social enterprise, but rather helps students understand a range of contexts in which design can contribute to enterprises – which might include designing for social impacts.

Then, for the exec MBAs during the summer, I’l be teaching my usual Designing Better Futures elective (summarised in this blog), probably during the first week of July. This has some overlaps with the Trinity term elective but some differences too. Like the Design for Innovation and Change elective, Designing Better Futures considers design for social enterprise but looks at design for any kind of organization or community goals. Last year this class was taken by 29 EMBAs and 26 students on the full-time MBA, a mix that worked really well. This year we will again collaborate with MA Service Design Innovation students from London College of Communication and work on a real world project. So this elective is also hands-on, but has more of a focus on thinking through how to bring design approaches to organizations and what this means for managers.

Here’s how they are different and similar:

Design for Innovation and Change

  • Full-time MBA
  • Trinity term elective (weekly on Tuesdays at 1330-1645 during April-June 2013)
  • Cap of 35 students
  • Partners: Emerge Venture Labs, who’ll link us to enterprises (technology, education and social ventures) who’ll become the projects MBA students will work on in small teams trying out various design methods
  • Mentor-designers we’ll work with: (to be confirmed) designers linked with the UK Design Council
  • Topics: design thinking, design methods, design-ethnography, designing for services
  • Focus: designing for ventures
  • Studio visits in London

Designing Better Futures

  • Exec MBA + full-time MBA
  • Summer elective (dates to be confirmed, but likely to be the first week of July)
  • Cap of 50 students
  • Designers we’ll work with: MA Service Design Innovation students from London College of Communication
  • Topics: design thinking, managing as designing, evaluating design, organizing for design-led innovation, designing for services
  • Focus: designing for organizations, ventures and communities
  • Studio visits in London
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