Digital technology is having a huge impact on society, economy and businesses. From planning tools to practices and processes, the role of digital technology is all pervasive, reshaping the business landscape for companies, organizations, institutions and individuals. Internet, automation, artificial intelligence, genetics, biomedical technology as well as the new space race: these are all challenges but they are also new opportunities which are causing dramatic changes in the fabric of modern society, and the pace of change will be like nothing before.
It is, therefore, vital for companies and individuals to use their innovative abilities to transform themselves, turn these changes to their own advantage and – not least – reshape the marketplace.
In recent years, the level of investment in innovation has increased: new models for accelerating innovation have attracted private sector investment while the Polytechnic, Boot Camp and the accelerator network have received significant support from the public sector. This shows that there is an ever-increasing demand for innovation professionals who can successfully navigate this new landscape.
As innovation is more and more becoming a strategic process today, the new IAAD Master in Innovation Design has been specifically designed to bridge a gap in the current educational offering.
The Master’s key objective is to form professionals who can act as producers and facilitators of innovation for both start-ups and organizations – companies, institution and ONG – combining a global perspective with a deep understanding of the local context. The participants will develop the mental tools to think across boundaries and introduce innovation into traditional areas, such as business development, strategy, human resources as well as research and development.
The training approach is inspired by two key features that revolve around the Italian heritage from the Renaissance until today: interdisciplinarity and beauty. On the first aspect, interdisciplinarity is regarded as the ability to draw knowledge from several other fileds like design, technology, creativity, social skills, entrepreneurship and communication; on the second aspect, beauty and aesthetics values permeate every step of the creative process from an initial intuition to the final product/service, and therefore it can boost and generate added value.
The Master Program brings together six different themes – design, technology, creativity, social commitment, communication, and entrepreneurship – with the aim of learning from and interacting with each other, and this results in an innovative approach that is internationally regarded as the one ingredient that makes Italy stand apart.
The themes are explored through various modern approaches and subjects: Human Centered Design Thinking, practice of Service Design and Agile, platform e system design, open innovation, small signal analysis, technological foresight, generation of ideas within the organization, stakeholder analysis, storytelling based on data, lateral thinking, problem-solving.
Interdisciplinarity is a key concept that underlies the innovation of the Department. To blend various areas of knowledge – from art and humanities to technology and economy – is fundamental to the program’s teaching methodology. What’s more, the students will have the opportunity to act as trend scouts, providing support to projects carried out by other IAAD students as part of their coursework.
One of the distinctive traits of IAAD method is the constant collaboration with sector-specific companies and firms in order to realize bound projects. Both the partner companies’ business requirements and IAAD’s teaching requirements converge in these projects, creating a situation that is doubly positive: aspiring designers have the opportunity to work with companies that are leaders in their sectors and companies can monitor and invest on future talent. This system also allows simulating working conditions in a professional environment: work is conducted under specific deadlines, correcting projects during their execution phase by following client feedback, through the team and objective-oriented work.
Guido earned his Master’s Degree at the London School of Economics thanks to a scholarship from the Italian Government, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University in 1999, at the peak of the Internet hype. He founded two tech companies before turning twenty-eight, and three in total, based in Italy, Ireland, and the USA. The largest of these companies became an international e-commerce enabler with offices in four countries and a team of 50 people from 15 different nationalities. Guido lived in Silicon Valley for 4 years and closed funding rounds with investors from Italy, Switzerland and the USA. As a recognized pioneer in his field, he introduced concepts to the European market that became tech standards, including the idea of end-to-end e-commerce outsourcing. In addition to his passion for technology, Guido has been a successful athlete: he raced with the Italian National Ski Team and represented his country over two seasons at the Europa Cup.