Academic Focus: The Rotman Business Design Challenge

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Academic Focus: The Rotman Business Design Challenge

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto will host the Business Design Challenge from March 25-26, 2011. Teams of graduate students from business and designe schools in the US and Canada will work to solve a case study in the area of health and wellness. The case was developed by Doblin, a Chicago-based innovation strategy firm and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI), who will incorporate the solutions developed into delivering improved health and wellness outcomes. Learning outcomes include:

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto will host the Business Design Challenge from March 25-26, 2011.  Teams of graduate students from business and design schools in the US and Canada will work to solve a case study in the area of health and wellness.  The case was developed by Doblin, a Chicago-based innovation strategy firm and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI), who will incorporate the solutions developed into delivering improved health and wellness outcomes.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding how design thinking broadens possibilities for innovation and develops growth strategies that strengthen competitive advantage.
  • Discovering new principles and tools to define new business-building opportunities to help shape the organization’s activities.
  • Experimenting and applying the principles and tools of business design thinking to their business on an on-going, day-to-day basis.
  • Generating new and tangible business ideas, which incorporate unmet user needs and strategic growth opportunities.

The Challenge

“Much of the health care discussion today is not about treating disease, though that remains an important area for progress, but about enabling patients to proactively manage their health in order to reduce or eliminate future issues related to health and well being.  But wellness, prediction and prevention remain the holy grail of health care.  So not surprisingly, CFI has identified these issues – wellness, and prediction & prevention – as two critical platforms for innovation investment.”

“As consultants to CFI, you are being asked to help them make progress on these ambitious and ambiguous issues – issues that lend themselves well to a design approach.  But the leaders of CFI recognize that these issues are too big and broad-reaching to tackle in one fell swoop.  Instead, they want to begin to pilot some specific ideas focused on narrow segments of the population in order to experiment with and learn from in-market offerings that support long term health and wellbeing.”

“And so, your challenge is to develop a new offering targeted at a specific patient population that will enable that population to improve their prospects for a healthy future.  CFI’s objective is to begin to pilot specific initiatives in late 2011.”

A team of four graduate students from the University of Cincinnati have entered the competition.  Three of the four are undergraduates of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).  One is a masters candidate at DAAP, and three are candidates for the MS in marketing at UC’s College of Business.  All four have been trained in Systematic Inventive Thinking.

“UC students competing in the challenge are equipped with a graduate curriculum that connects research to reality in an innovative way,” says Chris Allen, associate dean for graduate programs at the College of Business. “We are committed to teaching students a new way of thinking to develop creative solutions to real-world problems.”