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As companies seek more innovative employees, MBAs who have learned techniques for cutting-edge creative thinking might have an edge...


...in the new economy, writes Jeffrey Gangemi in a Business Week article on innovation and creativity development in business schools.
An excerpt:
B-school students in Professor Jim Patell's "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability" course at Stanford University head to places like Burma to examine farming and irrigation methods in rural areas.
Business students are put in teams with engineers, designers, education students, computer scientists, even literature students, to confront a major problem in the developing world. Then they design and build working prototypes to attempt to correct it. The course's first offering resulted in the creation of a company called Cosmos Ignite Innovations that produces low-cost lighting systems for developing countries.
Patell says the most important component of the course is learning that it's O.K. to fail. "If you don't get something the first nine times, then you're encouraged to get it on the tenth, because this is school," he says. "We're not expected to solve these problems."
Read the full Business Week story here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Vanderbeeken, who is in charge of the successful experience design blog at Experientia titledPutting People First, is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications. He worked in Belgium (his home country), USA, Denmark and Italy for both profit and non-profit, studied at Columbia University, and is now a senior partner in Experientia, an experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy.

Prior to Experientia, he was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF, Copenhagen, Denmark), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (New York, USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Antwerp, Belgium).