W ith my colleague Scott Hutcheson, I’ve been working with Stanford and the National Collegiate Inventors and Educators Alliance (NCIIA) on the NSF-funded Epicenter project, specifically the Pathways to Innovation component. Tom Byers from Sanford and others authored an article for Summer 2013 issue of The Bridge, a publication of the National Academy of Engineering, that outlined this project.
Our role in this project is in working with the university teams by providing them training and technical assistance on Strategic Doing. The first cohort of 12 university teams is currently using Strategic Doing to create and guide their work to transform the undergrad engineering experience on their campuses to include a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.
We will continue collaborating with Stanford and NCIIA as we move on to the next cohorts next year. This next group will include 24 universities. Within each university, we confront complex systems that we need to transform. Before the fact, we have only hypotheses to guide us. Launching pathfinder projects, the same approach as “rapid prototyping” is the best way to generate the evidence we need to design the new systems we want.
Get a brief introduction to complex systems (5 minutes) http://t.co/GwJYxrsezT
— edmorrison (@edmorrison) September 4, 2014
My impetus to engage with this project is part of our broader work of regional economic transformation focused on innovation and entrepreneurship as the drivers of regional economic growth. Universities serve as vital hubs for that transformation. Innovative undergraduate engineering programs can play a transformative role in strengthening these regional innovation ecosystems.