GCC 3005/5005 Innovation for the Public Good: Post-Pandemic Venture Design

Tuesdays 3:00 – 6:00 pm, Fall 2020

Instructors: Tom Fisher, Professor, College of Design and Director of the Minnesota Design Center; Megan Voorhees, Acara Director and Affiliate Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Regular Guest Instructors: Andrea Davila, Social Innovation Consultant and Tony Loyd, Founder and Host of the Social Entrepreneur podcast

Are you seeking ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in meaningful ways? In this interactive online project-based course you will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop entrepreneurial responses to current social and environmental problems while developing the tools, mindsets, and skills that can help you be a leader in addressing any complex grand challenge. Projects may focus on food insecurity, unemployment, housing, environmental impacts, equity issues and/or other issues that are emerging as central concerns at this time. 

Community members locally and globally will serve as mentors and research consultants to teams, and we will have weekly speakers who will share their entrepreneurial and innovative work to serve the common good. By the end of the class students will have a well-designed venture plan and will be well-prepared to compete for venture funding through Acara (acara.umn.edu) if you are interested in piloting your idea. 

Students are expected to use a discovery process, design thinking, ideation and input from field research in solving the challenge. A primary focus of the course is up-front work to identify the “right” problem to solve. The model should be built around the community’s culture, needs and wants, as they will need to pay for the product or service to achieve a scalable model.

Class info: https://schedulebuilder.umn.edu/explore/2020Fall/GCC/5005/

This course is part of the University’s new, innovative Grand Challenge Curriculum.

What did past students get from GCC 3005/5005?

This is a good class for you if you like international work or want to try it out, you want to help people, and you want to develop well-rounded skills.

Tyler Olsen, GCC 5005 '16

GCC 5005 is a good class for you if you are self-motivated, passionate, and want to apply school to real work in the community on a grand scale. This is a good class for you if you like a challenge.

Emily Miotke, GCC 5005 '16, Global Studies '19

This is a good class for you if you want to be challenged to think outside the box and learn differently in an academic institute.

Anonymous Student, GCC 5005 '16

This is a good class for you if you are interested in design-thinking, want to work on challenging problems, want to make an impact, and flexible and excited to learn.

Anonymous Student, GCC 5005 '16