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d.school Graduate Class

BACKGROUND 

This Stanford graduate-level course is taught at the Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) and introduces students to the theory and application of the Large-Scale Transformation Process. The class combines theory, process-mindedness, specific toolsets, and hands-on practice.

This course is an advanced, project-based innovation class and is meant to equip students both from a methodology and theory perspective to launch an initiative that is designed to scale rapidly. Students are placed in multi-disciplinary teams and charged with designing sustainable interventions for large-scale, real-world challenges. 

As part of the course, students work with an industry partner on a real-world challenge for an academic quarter (i.e., 10 weeks), and each of the assignments leads them towards making tangible initiatives. Projects have ranged from planning the waste and energy future for a new town, to designing large-scale, distributed PV electrification for rural India. 

The course is offered in the spring so that students who wish to continue working on their projects can do so in the summer and beyond.

IMPACT GOALS 

The primary objective of the course is to create a cadre of young leaders who see themselves as agents of change and are armed with a process to create rapid, large-scale transformations for “wicked” problems in any domain. Graduate students taking the course have the chance to: 

1. Innovate and launch a Large-Scale Sustainable Transformation

2. Apply a process for creating integrated, large-scale interventions (i.e., “process-mindedness”)

3. Practice transdisciplinary teamwork

4. Learn a new type of leadership and gain creative confidence

5. Practice impact-mindedness

In addition, industry and external partners benefit from the insights and thinking of talented young Stanford graduates, who dedicate a full academic quarter to real-world projects.

TEACHING TEAM 

The class is co-taught by a multidisciplinary group of Stanford instructors, including Banny BanerjeeAnja Nabergoj, and Baba Shiv (Stanford Graduate School of Business). Advisors for the project-based student teams have ranged from the CEO of Nike.org to the Director of the Institute of the Future.