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Investing in Future Innovation Leaders!

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Mandy Waryasz
Mandy Waryasz

UX Designer

Mar 7, 2023

Events

TOPICS

Innovation
Education
Outreach

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At the start of 2023, Loft was given the opportunity to host 20 high school students from the New England Innovation Academy (NEIA). NEIA is a first of its kind 6-12 school that uses human-centered design to teach empathy as a foundation for innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

We leveraged Loft’s Launchpad innovation accelerator framework for this workshop, which gave the NEIA students a unique platform to showcase their creative thinking and perspectives.

The Launchpad DNA, Adapted

Our Launchpad framework emphasizes the core elements of a rapid innovation process while still giving the students ample opportunity to flex their creative thinking.

When organizing a Launchpad workshop for our clients, Loft strives to build a core group of collaborators who have diverse perspectives. If diversity is missing during ideation, the process becomes less effective. To simulate this, our team assumed different stakeholder roles to advocate for differing, sometimes competing objectives. It was up to the students to ask questions and uncover the whole picture.

To start things off, team members were broken up into smaller groups, given specific design briefs, and then sent into a kickoff meeting. The goal was to provide the students with an opportunity to understand their client’s motivations and constraints, and involve them in the design process; which is an essential part of the Launchpad framework. Participants aren’t on the outside peering in. We leverage their expertise, perspectives, and creativity to effectively capture the landscape of challenges and opportunities ahead. This process allows the design challenge to evolve organically, giving first-hand experience of how much of the design brief objectives evolved during the project kickoff. To encourage collaboration across disciplines, teams were given the ability to get advice from a subject matter expert on the Loft team. This turned out to be a great way to give the students an opportunity to interact with different experts, enriching their perspective on the brief.

A Fresh Perspective

After only a few hours, a few hundred sticky notes, and a bit of artisan pizza, the student teams presented their final design concepts. The Loft team was blown away! The range of ideas and collective passion for design was impressive, to say the least. Teams tackled the design briefs with amazing variance, and the cross-functional Loft team members, from UX to engineering, ended up contributing to the outcomes in unexpected ways. The collective excitement at the end of the workshop was a testament to the Launchpad framework, reinforcing the power of collaboration and creativity. We are confident this next generation of designers will keep pushing the boundaries of human ingenuity.

As they climbed back on the bus, many of the students were excited about their ideas, even thinking about how to bring them to market. We only asked that in return they let us work for them someday.

Connect with us to learn more about how our LaunchPad process can help your team explore next-level opportunities.

Mandy Waryasz
Mandy Waryasz

UX Designer

Mar 7, 2023

Events

TOPICS

Innovation
Education
Outreach

SHARE

Mandy Waryasz
Mandy Waryasz

UX Designer

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Innovation

Education

Outreach