Creating the Campus of the Future with CISCO and Griffith University

by | Jan 25, 2017

It’s no longer up for debate. We know our educational institutions at all levels are failing to equip students with the skills, knowledge and connections required for them to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

At university level, rapid digital transformation in recent years has allowed students to access lectures and learning materials at anytime from anywhere.

Changing education needs and technologies

With the popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), online lectures and the increasing availability of Wi-Fi in cafes and other communal spaces; universities are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a place of learning. Students are also spending more and more time away from the university campus, frustrated with both teaching practices and physical facilities that fail to meet millennial expectations as far as connectivity, speed, engagement and relevance.

Traditional models of education are being disrupted globally. New, innovative approaches to learning that meet the needs of the millennial generation and generations to come are a necessary investment for universities if physical campuses are to survive.

CISCOs technological expertise and passion for driving innovation in the education sector made the company the perfect industry partner to tackle the challenge of re-imagining the Griffith Gold Coast campus.

How can we ensure that the physical campus continues to flourish into the future?

The Campus of the Future Challenge was a one day event that brought together a diverse spectrum of current undergraduates, Griffith executives and teaching staff as well as relevant industry representatives together to generate innovative ideas that help make physical campuses relevant in the digital age.

With over 50 students from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, industry representatives and faculty in attendance, the room was abundant with talent.

“There is magic in the collision of ideas from diverse minds.”

This is currency in the innovation world and something that leading innovation companies like The Strategy Group, IDEO and Strategyzer have a deep respect for. Challenge days like the Cisco Campus of the Future Challenge demonstrate the true value of diversity.

Capturing evidence that there are genuine problems to solve

We took participants out to interview students, staff and community members. They took photos and videos of their observations of campus life. The aim was to challenge existing assumptions and create a bank of evidence that can be used in the problem definition stages.

Deep analysis of the evidence

The teams were encouraged to clearly communicate the essence of the problem and capture the full story before diving into solution-mode.

Strategic approaches to idea creation

We used a specific approach to brainstorming called ‘How Might We’. The model asks participants to imagine as varied solutions to the problem as possible before coming together to share ideas. This way we get as many ideas as possible and avoid a consensus forming too quickly.

Our teams were facilitated to filter their leading ideas using the Desirable, Feasible, Viable model. This requires participants to examine their solution ideas and ask three key questions – 1) is it desirable (to the customer)?; 2) Is it feasible (Can it be built)?; 3) Is it viable (commercially, or, are sufficient returns on investment likely)?

In order to fuel creative flow we used methods including time constraints, role play pitches, improv, and digital mediums to represent the participants ideas in an impactful manner.

A great outcome with revolutionary ideas

The six competing teams in The Campus of the Future Challenge developed game-changing ideas that could revolutionise the campus and disrupt traditional ways of teaching and learning. The teams generated some genuinely creative ideas and highlighted what’s possible when industry, academics and students collaborate to create a better future.
 

At The Strategy Group we are proponents of bringing diverse groups of people together to work on and solve exceptionally difficult problems. Using rapid ideation techniques, we turn challenges into opportunities for innovative solutions that deliver tangible results.

About Michelle Tabart

Senior Associate, The Strategy Group

Michelle is passionate about using digital technologies to improve business processes and engender collaboration in the workplace.

Through her experience on technology programs, Michelle has become an advocate for resolving complex business problems by using innovation techniques and strategies. Michelle previously worked at a global technology consulting firm in management consulting and project management, primarily working on large scale technology implementation programs for Australian tier one and two banking, insurance and superannuation organisations.

Michelle hosts a podcast about startups in which she interviews Australian entrepreneurs, and runs a candle-making business. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce Liberal Studies from the University of Sydney.

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Senior Associate, The Strategy Group

Michelle is passionate about using digital technologies to improve business processes and engender collaboration in the workplace.

Through her experience on technology programs, Michelle has become an advocate for resolving complex business problems by using innovation techniques and strategies. Michelle previously worked at a global technology consulting firm in management consulting and project management, primarily working on large scale technology implementation programs for Australian tier one and two banking, insurance and superannuation organisations.

Michelle hosts a podcast about startups in which she interviews Australian entrepreneurs, and runs a candle-making business. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce Liberal Studies from the University of Sydney.

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