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6.c 1/1: Entrepreneurship in Design Education
Over that last few decades there has been a significant rise in interest for design-led entrepreneurship and innovation. This has brought about the need to expand on the principles and methods of human-centred design by incorporating knowledge from multiple disciplines such as management, business, and entrepreneurship studies to better equip designers, engineers, and marketing practitioners who strive to create innovative, meaningful and relevant services, business models and experiences.
More often than not, ventures operate under very limited resources, and practitioners are often required to fulfil several roles. The concept of ‘multidisciplinary teams’ widely spread in this sphere – often times bears little resonance in these contexts. Designers possess valuable competencies that can have a significant impact on the venture, especially driving user- and context-centred strategy and processes for the introduction, legitimization and scaling-up stages. However, engaging with these areas of practice requires skills and capacities that overlap traditional disciplinary roles and the boundaries between design and engineering, branding and communications, cultural and behavioural insight, marketing and management strategy are blurred. As educators in design innovation, how do we explore, define and balance interdisciplinary relationships between design, engineering, management, business and entrepreneurship theories, methods, language and models of education?
The Entrepreneurship in Design Education Track seeks submissions that present methods, models, case studies, research, insights and unexpected knowledge in benefits and limitations of design entrepreneurship education.
2:00pm - 2:25pm
Design Thinking & Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Visual Case Studies of Chilean Designer/Non-Designer Founders
Australian National University, Australia
An interesting development in the entrepreneurial economy is the rise in both number and diversity of roles played by designers in the global entrepreneurship ecosystem. Be it as consultants, contractors, educators, founders or funding decision-makers, design skills seem to be increasingly attractive to entrepreneurial teams, accelerator programs and venture capital. This study asks whether the practices, cognitive processes and mindsets prevalent in a formal design education help in the formation of entrepreneurial opportunities. Using a visual case study approach, it compares the processes through which entrepreneurial opportunities were formed by 14 Chilean founders from design and non-design backgrounds, with the purpose of identifying how design thinking contributes to, or hinders, those processes. Preliminary findings suggest that successful entrepreneurs from design backgrounds extend the human-centred view to include organisations, industries and societies, use continuous observation and learning-by-doing to develop their ventures, rely on interdisciplinary collaboration and are tolerant of failure. Design thinking does not, however, seem to provide a clear understanding of the importance of value creation and resource leveraging in the formation of entrepreneurial opportunities.
2:25pm - 2:50pm
Contamination Lab of Turin (CLabTo): how to teach entrepreneurship education to all kinds of university students
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Interest in offering Entrepreneurship Education (EE) to all kinds of university students is increasing. Therefore, universities are increasing the number of entrepreneurship courses intended for students from different fields of study and with different education levels. Through a single case study of the Contamination Lab of Turin (CLabTo), we suggest how EE may be taught to all kinds of university students. We have combined design methods with EE to create a practical-oriented entrepreneurship course which allows students to work in transdisciplinary teams through a learning-by-doing approach on real-life projects. Professors from different departments have been included to create a multidisciplinary environment. We have drawn on programme assessment data, including pre- and post-surveys. Overall, we have found a positive effect of the programme on the students’ entrepreneurial skills. However, when the data was broken down according to the students’ fields of study and education levels, mixed results emerged.
2:50pm - 3:15pm
Entrepreneurial Mindset: a longitudinal study of three different teaching approaches to developing it
1Queen's University, Canada; 2Carleton University, Canada; 3Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
This paper explores the influence of teaching approaches on entrepreneurial mindset of commerce, design and engineering students across 3 universities. The research presented in this paper is an initial study within a larger project looking into building ‘entrepreneurial mindsets’ of students, and how this might be influenced by their disciplinary studies. The longitudinal survey will measure the entrepreneurial mindset of students at the start of a course and at the end. Three different approaches to teaching the courses were employed – lecture and case based, blended online and class based and fully project-based course. The entrepreneurial mindset growth was surprisingly strongest within the engineering cohort, but was closely followed by the commerce students, whereas the design students were slightly more conservative in their assessments. Future study will focus on establishing what other influencing factors beyond the teaching approaches may relate to the observed change.
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