We believe that respect, meaningful collaboration, and equal exchange are key to solving problems together. Mutual discovery and cross-cultural understanding are the first steps towards tackling big world problems and are the core of what we do.
We break up all Innovation Labs into three modules meant to incorporate our CORE values of creativity, openness, resolve, and empathy.
We spend the first portion of all Labs exploring challenges faced by local entrepreneurs. Students must immerse themselves in another culture to gain greater understanding of challenges facing entrepreneurs and the communities in which they operate. To do that, students will first get REAL - through Reflective Empathetic Active Listening. Here we use empathy to explore and research a design challenge.
The second module of Labs programming focuses on discovering opportunities in the field. Students are immersed in rural homestays and very different ways of life. They live among and interview local residents to better understand their wants and needs. In the Discovery phase, we synthesize findings to reveal opportunity for solutions that best meet the needs of the people and place they are intended for.
The final portion of our Labs programming focuses on launching a solution. Once students gain understanding by getting REAL, then they can formulate how best to address an entrepreneurial challenge and develop a prototype solution by doing their BEST — Brainstorming, Envisioning, Sharing, and Testing their proposals. Students prototype and share solutions with each other for feedback before pitching their idea to their peers, instructors, and local mentors.