Modules and Activities

The Italia Innovation Program is a really exciting program for students who want to learn design thinking and to work with some fantastic Italian companies.
It’s a real opportunity to spend 4 weeks in a beautiful place, with students from all over the world, and also to learn from some amazing faculty that come in to coach and teach the students how to do design and come up with innovative solutions for amazing Italian companies.
— Bill Burnett - Executive Director of the Stanford Design Program

First Week (19-23 June): Business Context and Company Presentations

The first week is dedicated to the company presentations and team formation. Over the week, the c-level managers of the partner companies meet the whole group of participants to discuss their incumbent challenges. Towards the end of first week the group is divided in temporary teams that work on different challenges to test the team dynamics.

Second Week (26-30 June): Design Thinking Methodology

At the beginning of the second week,  participants are divided in multidisciplinary project teams that work on a specific challenge. Over the week, participants explore how to use the sprint methodology and design thinking as processes to better understand and reframe the corporate challenges, generate ideas and evaluate innovative solutions, using problem-based learning and radical collaboration.

Third Week (3-7 July): Idea-Market Fit

The third week is dedicated to the project work and the teams engage with mentors and companies to refine their approach to the challenge. This week is highly interactive and experiential, with several activities on the field (product/service prototype and testing, customer insights, feedback implementation) as well as inside the companies for the interaction with the c-level management and the relevant stakeholders. 

Fourth Week (10-14 July): Make Innovation Happen

In the last week participants focus on the projects finalization. Special mentors help the participants implement visual thinking and language skills to give a final shape to the project and effectively communicate the results to the companies and make sure the ideas get through in the corporate environment.

Final Day (17th July): Pitch your ideas

The teams pitch their solutions to the top management of the challenger companies.

What I think is the innovation piece in this particular program is taking this innovative companies that have maybe, out of their success, stopped innovating at the pace that they used to, and bring fresh new look at it and then innovate in that sense. So sometimes it’s bringing technology into it is the innovation, and sometimes it’s just looking at the market or the solution or the product itself in a very new way, with kind of fresh eyes.
— Liat Aaronson - Chairwoman at Zell Entrepreneurship Program and Investment Partner at Marker LLC