Corporate Sponsored Creativity

Photo by wallyg

Graduate students in a corporate-sponsored engineering class at Stanford have created a design for an eco-friendly disposable laptop. The design has yet to be embraced by any laptop manufacturers, but all of the ideas are openly available through sponsor Autodesk’s website.

Corporate-sponsored classes are not new. They’ve been a part of Stanford for 45 years, in fact. They allow students to work on solutions for real problems companies are facing with the opportunity to experiment and fail—a luxury the real world doesn’t provide, says a Stanford spokesperson.

The fascination with bright young things, a.k.a. Millennials, is rising. This coincides with the urgency to innovate. It makes me wonder. Will corporate sponsorship of elite college courses such as the one at Stanford become a growing trend?

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