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CASE STUDY – Incubator School Built with Design Thinking, Teaching Design Thinking | #4

CASE STUDY – Incubator School Built with Design Thinking, Teaching Design Thinking | #4

Students at the Incubator School build prototypes.

Students at the Incubator School build prototypes.

Listen to this episode:

There’s entrepreneurship happening at ever level of society. Kids get engaged by those projects - they’re real-world.
— Sujata Bhatt, Founder of Incubator School
Ryan Oliver leads a group discussion at Incubator School.

Ryan Oliver leads a group discussion at Incubator School.

Incubator School founder Sujata Bhatt works with a student.

Incubator School founder Sujata Bhatt works with a student.

We don’t know what challenges you’ll face... we cannot say as the adults in your life exactly what your world will be like in 4 or 5 years, let alone 10. So lets’ give you the best tools that we have, to solve problems, connect to other people and yourself.
— Ryan Oliver, Director of Entrepreneurship at Incubator School

Service design and design thinking can have groundbreaking results when applied to business. But imagine what could happen when these innovative principles are applied to education! Near Los Angeles, in Silicon Beach, there is an incredible school called Incubator School, started just a few years ago by visionary educator Sujata Bhatt.

Incubator School students doing a jazz improvisation exercise during a workshop I hosted with them.

Thoughtfully built using human-centered design and featuring a curriculum that teaches design thinking and entrepreneurship, the Incubator School provides an unparalleled experience in education. Currently serving grades 6-9, the school will soon expand to include high school as well, with the first graduating class in 2020.

I spoke with the school’s founder Sujata Bhatt and Director of Entrepreneurship Ryan Oliver. They share stories about the students’ success, and talk about their vision for the program, which is a free and open public school in Playa De Ray, California. They were recently recognized among four of the most "radically different school models" in the country at the ASU GSV Summit and recognized at SXSW as one of seven schools to watch in the US.

This Episode's Design Challenge:

The Incubator School thrives with the involvement of its community - both business partners and individual supporters. You can be part of their innovations by contributing to their new crowd funding campaign, which launched TODAY.

The campaign directly supports the student businesses as well as curriculum development and supplies. And if you are local to the LA area, you can get tickets to attend their upcoming pitch day, where students will present their business projects to a group of entrepreneurs.


Special thanks to Monica Shriver of BraveMusician.com for this episode's theme music.

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