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Youngstown State University Student Priorities

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Strategic Priority #1:Pop-up Workshop

Team Member: Jessica Flynn

Youngstown State University isn’t yet known for being an innovative school, but we are working hard at getting our name known. One way we can bring Innovation and Entrepreneurship to our campus would be creating pop-up workshops dedicated to design thinking process. At first, we want to make a 90 minute workshop held in a student organization. We will introduce a warm-up to start off our time together. This warm-up should bring the people in each group together to bond and to get into the team working mode. This would take about 10 minutes to complete. Then we would move to the brainstorm stage. This stage should be free for each teammate to generate a lot of ideas. This stage would take about 15 minutes. Once we get halfway through the brainstorming stage, then we will add constraints to the stage to make the groups create even more ideas about the objective. Next, the groups would move into working on their prototype. During the first half of the 25 minutes, each team will work on taking their best idea and mapping it out. During the second half, each team would begin to build their prototype to soon be able to test. This brings us to the testing stage. This part would take about 25 minutes to complete. This stage is where one group will pitch their idea to other another group and gain feedback. The very last stage is to debrief. This is where we will have each teammate reflect on their experience and take in everything they just learned.

Our team isn’t willing to put boundaries on our workshops. At first, we are thinking about just introducing the pop-up workshops to student organizations willing to host a design thinking workshop. Once our pop-up workshops get established within the student organizations, we would like to open it up to anyone and everyone that goes to Youngstown State University. Eventually, we are hoping to work through the SBDC that we have on campus to open it up to businesses that are in the area, along with the public to build better relations with the community. This will increase the awareness of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as design thinking in the whole Youngstown area.

Strategic Priority # 2:Re-designing Design Think

Team Member: Chris Eichler

Accelerated Design Think
Many universities around the world have a multitude of classes that have a major focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. With that being said, Youngstown State University is taking necessary steps to increase these programs to expose students to different ways of thinking. Last year, YSU added a Design Think class as part of the Williamson College of Business. The class has two major focal points, Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) and Design Thinking (d thinking).Being a fairly new program, changes and updates to the class are necessary in order for the class and thinking mind-set to evolve at YSU.
The Design Think class is currently offered once a week for 50 minutes. By designing a new time schedule for the class, we believe that we can enhance the learning opportunities by increasing the amount of time teams can critically think together during the class. The class could be changed from one semester hour to three hours and be offered over one to two weekends during the semester. The restructured class has potential to expose students to performing concepts learned in the class to local businesses through our Small Business Development Center located in the Williamson College of Business Administration.

This class can also help students pursue more opportunities in the innovation and entrepreneurship field by offering it as part of the curriculum in receiving a Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) certificate offered through the business school at YSU. This could help aid prospective students in preparing them to think outside the box.

Strategic Priority # 3:Remodeling the Launch Lab/ Innovation Center

Team Member: Joseph Scott
Establishing an innovation center on campus for the use by students will benefit the university as well as the surrounding community. At present, there are multiple resources in the community dedicated to assisting innovation and entrepreneurship, but only at certain points in the process. There is not a single resource responsible for cradle-to-grave support of new ideas.

Communities and businesses each place great emphasis on innovation and the need for future generations to be creative problem solvers; however, the means by which to achieve this mind-set is not readily available to students. We aim to fill this gap via introduction of an innovation center on campus, and the goals of this center include bridging the gaps between the currently available resources, such as the SBDC and YBI.

The first step will be to create a designated area which focuses on ideation and the design thinking process. This would be available to all students free-of-charge. Establishing this area and its functionality would be achieved within the first year of implementation. The second step will involve building the relationships among the other resources, such as those mentioned previously. This will be a more lengthy process, but should be accomplished by the end of the second year. The third year after implementation would see the strategic coordination of those resources with the innovation center, creating a flow from the ideation stage to the assistance the other resources can provide.

Strategic Priority # 4:Design Thinking Classroom/Lab

Team Member: Andrew Klapac
One of our biggest and hardest to achieve goals is to create a design thinking room/space on campus. This room would go in the Williamson College of Business Administration on the second floor where a quiet lab is now. I picked that room to be the new design thinking classroom for many reasons. First off, no one really ever uses the quiet lounge room. Students typically go in there as a last option when they can’t find anywhere else to go. Secondly, that room is the perfect size to be a design thinking classroom. The third reason is because the whole wall of that class that separates the class from the outside hallway are glass windows. Having glass windows will allow students who pass by the room to see in at all of the cool design thinking tools. They will be able to see all of the whiteboards. They will be able to see all of the prototyping materials, They will be able to see all of the cool technology and how mobile everything is in the room. Having students be able to see in will be a simple form of advertising to spark the interest in the mind of students about the opportunities that lie with design thinking.

Our ultimate goal is create a culture on campus that promotes design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship more than we do right now. Creating this design thinking room will really help prove to students at my school that the movement we are trying to facilitate is a big deal, which will cause them to want to join the movement. In order to get the chain of command at our school to approve of this idea, we will have to prove to them the need that exists for design thinking, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.

This design thinking room that we want to create will be the perfect area for students to think creatively, which is extremely important in the design thinking course. We will have two whole walls of whiteboards as well as two rolling whiteboards in that room. A roll around cart with all of the prototyping materials, tons of post it notes, and a lot of sharpies. In addition to this, we think it would be beneficial to have a smartboard and projector to be able to do some design thinking activities as well.