The University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program is a program designed by Stanford University d.school to create change agents on campus. Under the program, international students from India to America participate in an online training based on a design thinking methodology that lasts for 6 weeks to develop solutions that will provide social benefits to the problem they identified on their campus. During the training period, teams got mentoring from professionals, academicians and graduates of d.school to develop projects. They organised negotiations with scholars and students with a holistic approach and included all stakeholders. The problem identified might be to improve the school recycling approach; to design a new venue and mentor network so that students from different disciplines can work together on common projects; or to improve accessibility in the campus. The aim is to provide added value to the campus, to produce social benefit.
Around 300 students who followed the UIF program came together in the 4-day Silicon Valley Meeting to present their projects, share their experiences and meet with entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.
For the first time in Turkey, students from 2 universities were included in the program selection process via imece. 8 students from Koç University and Boğaziçi University participated in 2017 fall term. I will share my learnings and insights from my Silicon Valley Meeting experience.