7/22/2021 Kim O'Brien

F&M Students Examine Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work

If at first you don’t succeed, try again – and again.

A cohort of 16 Franklin & Marshall students learned the value of resilience – among other traits – during an immersive summer program focused on design thinking to solve complex social issues. 

“Design thinking is fluid,” said rising senior Josh Bissett, a participant in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work at F&M (CIFOW) summer program.  

Bissett and his peers led a small campus audience through their process at a July 8 gallery and virtual exhibition. 

“Design thinking is a mindset, a philosophy that promotes human-centered design and provides a very practical toolkit for the process,” said Maya Greenshpan, Hebrew and Italian language teaching fellow and faculty leader of the CIFOW summer research program.

Students participated in an eight-week immersive program, meeting for several hours almost daily. 

The opening weeks of the program gave students the opportunity to tackle projects related to the campus community. One group, for instance, prototyped ideas to improve campus dining and pitched them to managers of Sodexho.

The second part of the program was dedicated to the “big project,” Greenshpan said.

“The students went out to the streets of Lancaster – literally out to the streets, to empathize with its residents through interviews and observations, and define the thorny issues in our community,” she said.

Students interviewed Lancaster City officials, community leaders and experts. The result was four inspiring initiatives focused on bettering the Lancaster community. 

“This is something we’ve really poured our heart and soul into and really want to see through,” said rising junior Rachel Caruso.

Browse the gallery below to learn more about each “big project.” 

  • Tiny Home Initiative: Address homelessness due to lack of affordable housing in Lancaster with a tiny home village featuring 12 separate houses, a community vegetable garden, and facilities with amenities such as a laundromat and gym. Tiny Home Initiative: Address homelessness due to lack of affordable housing in Lancaster with a tiny home village featuring 12 separate houses, a community vegetable garden, and facilities with amenities such as a laundromat and gym. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CIFOW summer presentation Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Food for Thought: A mentorship program designed around food and sustainability connects  students at neighboring McCaskey High School to F&M, providing an opportunity to learn about how food impacts social and environmental sustainability. Food for Thought: A mentorship program designed around food and sustainability connects students at neighboring McCaskey High School to F&M, providing an opportunity to learn about how food impacts social and environmental sustainability. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Food for Thought: A mentorship program designed around food and sustainability connects  students at neighboring McCaskey High School to F&M, providing an opportunity to learn about how food impacts social and environmental sustainability. Food for Thought: A mentorship program designed around food and sustainability connects students at neighboring McCaskey High School to F&M, providing an opportunity to learn about how food impacts social and environmental sustainability. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Native Plants Weekend: Engage the Lancaster community with gardening in accessible ways, including a native plant passport and distribution of collapsible planters that allow for easy construction and expansion. Native Plants Weekend: Engage the Lancaster community with gardening in accessible ways, including a native plant passport and distribution of collapsible planters that allow for easy construction and expansion. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Native Plants Weekend: Engage the Lancaster community with gardening in accessible ways, including a native plant passport and distribution of collapsible planters that allow for easy construction and expansion. Native Plants Weekend: Engage the Lancaster community with gardening in accessible ways, including a native plant passport and distribution of collapsible planters that allow for easy construction and expansion. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Red Rose Renovators: Provide an alternative method for middle-school students to learn about sustainability specifically within Lancaster through a board game that can be easily employed by teachers, tutors and other students. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • CIFOW summer presentation Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “Design thinking is fluid,” said Josh Bissett '22, a participant in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work at F&M (CIFOW) summer program. “Design thinking is fluid,” said Josh Bissett '22, a participant in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work at F&M (CIFOW) summer program. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Sixteen students worked together as participants in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work summer research program, designed to solve complex social issues through the design thinking process. Sixteen students worked together as participants in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work summer research program, designed to solve complex social issues through the design thinking process. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “The students went out to the streets of Lancaster – literally out to the streets, to empathize with its residents through interviews and observations, and define the thorny issues in our community,” said Maya Greenshpan, faculty leader of the CIFOW summer research program. “The students went out to the streets of Lancaster – literally out to the streets, to empathize with its residents through interviews and observations, and define the thorny issues in our community,” said Maya Greenshpan, faculty leader of the CIFOW summer research program. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “We have put a particular emphasis on bringing students with different disciplines together and giving them a common language, different from what they might have encountered in their majors, in the form of design thinking,” said Etienne Gagnon, associate professor of physics and co-director of the CIFOW initiative. “We have put a particular emphasis on bringing students with different disciplines together and giving them a common language, different from what they might have encountered in their majors, in the form of design thinking,” said Etienne Gagnon, associate professor of physics and co-director of the CIFOW initiative. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • "We ask students to question their assumptions," said Etienne Gagnon, co-director of the CIFOW initiative. "We ask students to question their assumptions," said Etienne Gagnon, co-director of the CIFOW initiative. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Sixteen students worked together as participants in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work summer research program, designed to solve complex social issues through the design thinking process. Sixteen students worked together as participants in the Creativity, Innovation and the Future of Work summer research program, designed to solve complex social issues through the design thinking process. Image Credit: Deb Grove

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