• Jake Johnson

From The Director: An Invitation To Inspire

July 16th, 2018

Developing the innovation thinking skills that are required in today’s organizations is the goal of the undergraduate design and innovation class being offered by Dr. Joy Benson, Professor of Management in the College of Business and Economics this fall at UWRF. The course is a hands-on, learn-by-doing, collaborative class. The learning experience engages students in developing an innovative solution to an issue, opportunity, or emerging trend. The learning process requires students to:

  • Explore the strategic opportunity associated the issue, opportunity, or emerging trend.

  • Identify the experiences that end users have [or may have] related to the opportunity.

  • Develop an initial solution prototype and get feedback on its design from potential end users.

  • Refine the original solution, create a second prototype, and get feedback. Repeat if needed.

  • Draft a preliminary implementation strategy.

In the past, student groups have identified an issue for which they created a new product, service, business model, or life experience. To enrich their learning, Dr. Benson would like to invite regional organizations to submit issues, challenges, opportunities, or trends related to their industry. There will be 4-6 groups in the class and Dr. Benson would work with each group to identify a topic of most interest to them. Depending on the level of engagement desired from the supporting organization, students may interact with you on the process phases noted above. Your organization would be invited to listen to the innovative solution and would have an opportunity to explore with the students any future interest.

As the Director of the Center for Innovation and Business Development, I support Dr. Benson’s desire to bring organizations into the learning experience. We both believe that strengthening the academic/learning relationship would help students clearly understand the relevance of innovation/design thinking in organizations. If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, submit your idea here:


If you have any questions, email Dr. Benson at joy.benson@uwrf.edu. To allow for effective class planning, we request that you indicate your interest by July 31st.


Danielle Campeau

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