The purpose of this course is to introduce you to current global challenges in conservation and development, including changes in both sectors. This course will inspire you to rethink assumptions to address global challenges in conservation and development, and introduce you to new models and approaches that harness technological, behavioral, and financial innovation. This course will equip you with the insights, skills and approaches necessary to successfully overcome these obstacles. In addition, this course will provide participants with the tools, models, and approaches to address global grand challenges in conservation and development, to question fundamental assumptions, and to create and execute new solutions. Course participants will be trained in the processes around innovation and design to address global grand challenges. This includes content focused on constructing innovation pipelines, principals of design and engineering unique to the developing world and to conservation (Design for the Other 90%), on harnessing and developing disruptive technologies, principles of behavior and marketing, and on overcoming the challenges with setting up social ventures. The course format will facilitate the development of a global community of innovators who will help solve the current and future grand challenges our planet faces in conservation and development, and will encourage thinking about how to do so that rethinks traditional assumptions and approaches within both conservation and development. This course will leverage the incredible idealism and interest in social entrepreneurship, design, and innovation among the millennials, in the US and abroad, and is intended to appeal to those interested in the maker movement. It also seeks to engage individuals in the developing world who are closest to the problems of conservation and development, who would benefit from the approaches taught in the course, and who can leverage their own knowledge of local culture.
- Week 1 - Welcome and Course Overview
This course will focus on new approaches to development problems that harness technological and financial innovations, coupled with entrepreneurship, to improve the scale, sustainability, and efficacy of development and conservation approaches. Specifically, t...
- Week 1 - Grand Challenges of Development
Most stereotypes of the developing world paint a simple picture of a subsistence farmer with impoverished children. However, when we dig deeper into the data, we find the developing world exhibits substantial complexity that belies traditional stereotypes. In ...
- Week 2 - Grand Challenges in Conservation
We are in the middle of a period of extraordinary change on the planet, a sixth great mass extinction. Unlike the previous mass extinction events, this is the first extinction in Earth’s history that is driven by the actions of a single species. During this pe...
- Week 3 - Exponential Technology and Open Source Innovation
The democratization of science and technology has given us powerful new tools to apply to the grand challenges identified in previous modules. Technology has gained exponentially in processing power, memory capacity, sensor density and number, pixel capacity, ...
- Week 4 - Behavioral Innovation, Financial Innovation, and Design
Behavior is the cutting edge of adaptation. It can be the fastest way to meaningful change and also the biggest barrier against it. Behavioral innovations such as incentives and rewards, harnessing competition and gamification, knowledge gaps, social pressure ...
- Week 5 - Entrepreneurship
Once you have your idea or innovation, how do you translate it into an enterprise (entrepreneurship) or a startup within a company or institution (intrapreneurship)? How do you influence other companies to adopt your novel approach (extrapreneurship)? How do y...
Alex Dehgan, J.D., M.S., Ph.D
The Chanler Innovator in Residence and the Inaugural David M. Rubenstein Fellow
Innovation & Entrepreneurship