Creativity and Innovation (1) – Pure Creativity

Lecturer: Associate Professor Arthur Gogatz

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Role Plays, Multimedia

This is a highly challenging course which will set the tone for the entire program. The objective of this first course is to help participants identify and grab the full, natural creativity they had as children. The theories of creativity are relatively simple but the application of those theories are not. This course will start the process and it will throw a lot of things at the people who take it. Gradually, over the course of the program, participants will, each at their own pace, have the opportunity to adopt the creative attitude. We are at the beginning of a new information and communications renaissance, in which bold, innovative thinking is and will be more important than ever before. Creativity is something we all need, yet something which few of us are able to reacquire once we lose it.

Ninety percent of children are highly creative, but only two percent of adults are. Social and educational institutions put enormous pressure on us to adopt the established way of looking at things and that causes people to lock up their creativity as they wade through adolescence. Some people are able to keep the creative attitudes they had as children into their adult lives and then expand and develop them. Most people cannot. Most people lose their creativity at a fairly young age, bump into it occasionally after that and never really do much with it.

The good news is that you can regain the full creativity you had as child if you really want to. Creativity is not a gift or a talent, it’s an attitude which can be attained by anyone. This means creativity can be developed, nurtured, coached and taught. Creativity means seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what no one has thought. To do that we need to free ourselves from the restrictive patterns which prevent seeing other perspectives. It means eliminating boundaries and previously held perceptions and limitations about how things look, function or should be. It means breaking through the psychological barriers that inhibit us from considering things and people from multi perspectives.

People today need to be able to think out of the box, simply because the world has become less predictable than in the past. Out of the box thinking gets people to change speeds to see the big picture before focusing on the details. It teaches people to assume less, allowing them to see ideas and solutions that they would ordinarily overlook.

The box represents close-minded thinking. It’s what keeps us from recognizing and then seeing other perspectives and points of view. It’s what keeps us closed in upon ourselves, keeps us focused on our own problems and lives. When we’re too focused on ourselves we don’t respond to outside stimuli and ideas. “The box” is where we live, who we associate with and what we do. The box is our security blanket. It’s our habits, our customs, and our routines. It’s whatever doesn’t challenge us. The box represents our comfort zones. This first course will get its participants out of the boxes.

Entrepreneurship (1) – Ideas With Competitive Advantages

Lecturer: To be announced

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Case Studies

The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of the world of the entrepreneur and what it takes to conceive, launch and run a successful new business. Students will look at themselves to see if they have entrepreneurial personalities, and look at successful start-up cases. This course takes a pragmatic, real-life look at the entrepreneurial process of conceiving and implementing a new venture. Students will gain experience identifying and screening business ideas, and understanding the early stage development of business opportunities.

A competitive advantage is something that a business has which distinguishes it from the competition in the minds of the consumers. Most businesses do not have one. Most businesses that will start this year in the world also will fail. A competitive advantage is crucial to the success of a new business venture. This course concentrates on getting participants to conceive an idea for a new business which has a competitive advantage.

Because the success of a new venture depends to a large degree on getting the marketing right, (a new business only has a certain amount of time to attract enough customers) this initial course will focus on the marketing aspects of new ventures.  The course also looks at the parallels between starting a regular business and starting an e-business and the current environment analyzed. The course has the following contents: 

  • The entrepreneurial environment
  • Characteristics of entrepreneurs, the psychology of the entrepreneur
  • Idea generation and brainstorming
  • The start-up phase
  • Different business structures, choosing the right one (legal structures)
  • New venture financing
  • The business plan
  • Angel investors and venture capitalists
  • Marketing strategies and the marketing plan

Decision Making and Problem Solving

Lecturer: To be announced

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Multimedia

The objective of this course is to make participants aware of what is involved in the decision making process, and to examine the decisions that they make on a daily basis and how those decisions can change their lives. The course will also try to make students aware of the role which each person plays in determining and shaping their own lives through their decisions in terms of intuition and responsibility.

Decision-making in the major areas of life, notably in career and in inter-personal relationships will be studied as well as classic decision-making theory. Decisions are something which we do constantly. These decisions shape our lives and the decisions we don’t take are as important as the decisions we do take. Connections here will be made to creativity and innovation and to design theory. The concepts of positive and negative space will be explored.

Problem solving further relates to creativity and innovation and takes the theories studies in the first course to the practical level. Students will be encouraged to look at some of the problems they face and will face. The course will have the following contents:

  • Definitions – An analysis of the decisions we make on a daily basis.
  • Life changing decisions – Can we manage them or are we managed by them
  • Classic decision making theory
  • Decision streams
  • What influences our decisions
  • The relationship between decision-making and responsibility
  • Existentialism
  • Behavioral traps in decision-making, what are they and how they function
  • The role of intuition
  • Assumptions and their role in our decisions
  • Decision making and ethics. A study of ethical problems
  • Decision-making in marketing, decision-making in consumerism
  • Decision making in our personal lives. Scenario planning
  • The theory of core desires
  • The relationship between decision-making and motivation

Principles of Design

Lecturer: To Be Announced

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Role Plays, Multimedia

This course will function as a workshop course. It is a time to put into practice the theories of previous courses and to experiment and take some risks. The course will teach participants design theory and will involve students working on individual projects on a range of themes. For this, the medium of photography will be used since it is the art medium which offers the greatest flexibility for a group on the go.

The course will take students through past art movements to study the connections between them and to get participants to understand the world and challenges of art and design today.

“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.” Paul Rand, American graphic designer.

The design field has an ability to bring about effective transformation in multi-dimensional issues and is always at the forefront of change and innovation. Design thinking gets people to look at things they ordinarily overlook or avoid thinking about and this has the ability to create and drive innovative solutions for a host of current problems. The course has the following contents:

  • 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional design
  • Art movements from Impressionism through to current day
  • Simplicity. The essence of being able to reduce things to their core essentials, (abstractionism)
  • Data elimination and data retention
  • Positive and negative space
  • Photography: Photojournalism and studio photography, differences and styles
  • Movement in photography. Anticipation
  • Framing and dynamic composition
  • Cameras: formats and uses. Single and twin lens reflex, lenses
  • Lighting. F-stops, shutter speeds. selective focus, depth of field
  • Photography as a creative media, and in relation to other media
  • Self-portraits, selfies

Social Psychology

Lecturer: To be announced

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Role Plays, Multimedia, Coaching

Social psychology is considered to be the influences that people have upon the beliefs and behavior of others. It is an important course in this program because creativity and innovation is about people. Creating is not about coming up with ideas and images in a vacuum, basement or attic. Creativity is about recognizing and understanding the different point of views of people. Entrepreneurship is about creating a firm of people who provide and sell products and services that other people want. This program and this course is all about people.

Social psychology studies the influences of others on our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Because we spend a great deal of time interacting with others every day in a multitude of ways, social psychology helps us understand those interactions.

The course looks at where our assumptions and behavioral patterns come from. It asks participants to examine the groups we belong to, and the social structures that influence our lives and our decision making. The course is about how we became who we are and how much influence we have to change our images and our lives. The course seeks to help participants understand the people in their lives, to stimulate interest in the world around us and to help us to connect to more people. The course has the following contents:

  • Social influences on conformity. Peer pressure
  • Prejudices and stereotypes, assumptions about others
  • Obedience and rebellion
  • Cooperation and competition
  • Pursuit of self esteem
  • Group influences on performance
  • Cognition, Judging, leaning, perceiving, remembering, and understanding that lead us to an awareness of the world around us
  • Existential philosophy
  • Reference groups
  • Hierarchy and power
  • Organizational behavior
  • Attraction, sex roles and partner selection
  • The influences of culture, religion, environment

Creativity and Innovation (2) – Applied Creativity

Lecturer: Associate Professor Arthur Gogatz 

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Coaching, Role Play, Multimedia

This is a follow up course to the first course of the program. Applied creativity seeks to reinforce and expand the theories and knowledge which was introduced in that initial course. Each student will take a reading as to where they are creatively speaking. This is a time for some to catch up, for others to forge breakthroughs and for others to push forward with confidence and take creativity to a higher level. The second objective of the course will be for participants to apply their creative talents to a series of problems and issues. The course will therefore be a workshop type course, and individuals will work both alone and in teams on mini projects.

The content of the course will be updated after the initial course in creativity and also as the program participants mature in their levels. Therefore whatever we envision going in will probably need to be changed according to the progress of the group and the individuals. This is the time for participants to take some risks and to push themselves to new heights creatively speaking. The course will build upon the projects in Principles of Design, and certain students may want to develop their photography, others may want to concentrate on writing or others may want to pursue more completely their work on social issues. The course has the following contents (that will be revised based on progress and needs): 

  • Letting go of security
  • Revised assumption making
  • Applications of reversal method thinking
  • Emotional risks
  • Why not applications
  • Dealing with change
  • Looking at issues inside out
  • No pride, no dignity
  • Making connections

Emerging Technologies and Social Media

Lecturer: To be announced

Course Methodology: Lectures, Discussions, Exercises, Role Plays, Multimedia

This course is an exciting one because we can never be too “up on new things” and that includes new technologies. New technologies are shaking up older industries and creating new ways of looking at markets. The entire new technology product cycle is accelerating, making it more and more crucial to learn which new technologies will be coming to the market in the next few years. The course will focus on which industries are facing obsolescence and which are being reinvented. The course will look at the role of social media in how products and firms communicate to their markets and examine how social media is influencing our daily communications.

Students will learn how new technologies have been created and how they have evolved overtime. Students will learn about forecasting customer trends and how to improve current technologies. This class examines the relationship between society and communication technologies known as “social media,” including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. These technologies are often regarded with fear or awe; the purpose of this class is to break down the mythologies of social media and develop methods of analysis and critical understanding. To do this, we will draw from a broad range of social theory including science and technology studies (STS), communication theory, linguistics, cultural studies, and media anthropology to critically evaluate the impact of social media on relationships, activism, branding, politics, news media, and identity. The course has the following contents (subject to change as new technologies arise): 

  • Which industries are facing obsolescence
  • Which Industries are being totally reinvented
  • Social media as a communications media: history and current use
  • How we communicate. Communications in the 21st century
  • Technology in the global marketplace
  • Customer relationship management, (CRM)
  • Artificial intelligence
  • 3D printing
  • Robotics, the next generation that is loving rapidly to market acceptance
  • Wearable mobile devices
  • Healthcare: new technologies driving new growth

Entrepreneurship (2) – Marketing and Launch

Lecturer: Associate Professor Dr. Reuben Mondejar

Course Methodology: Discussion, lecture, coaching, case study, exercises

The final course in the program will be a follow up course in Entrepreneurship. It will also be a synthesis course. This is an important course because it will focus on what the individual participants have accomplished and what they will take with them afterwards. The course will be taught by a team of program professors led by Associate Professor Reuben Mondejar.

In terms of entrepreneurship, the course will focus on the key areas of marketing and on the launch phase. By this stage of the World Innovation Team program, each participant will have developed an idea for a new business. This course then picks up on that work and helps the participants to develop their ideas by concentrating on certain key areas.

Marketing is one of the key elements in entrepreneurship and it is one of the areas that causes many new businesses to fail. In this course participants will learn the key theories of international and service marketing and apply them to their personal start-ups. Students will see how other Team Members apply the concepts of marketing to their new businesses. The course will thus become a “case study in real time”. The course is a synthesis course and will see to connect the dots of all the courses in the program. It has the following contents: 

  • Sales resistance
  • Target marketing
  • Service marketing
  • Media sources
  • Image as it pertains to marketing
  • Advertising psychology
  • Why people buy
  • Customer loyalty
  • Social media
  • The launch phase and follow up
  • Coping with slow and fast growth
  • The western business model