Joint Certificate Program Opens Doors for Young Intrapreneurs2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to announce the successful completion of a certificate program in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation realized through AUA Open Education. The program was jointly developed by the AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE) and Northumbria University within the scope of the Creative Spark: Get Ready to Innovate Armenia project.
“We know that meaningful innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines where the needs and wants of people are brought to life through appropriate technologies deployed in user-focused ways and underpinned by solid commercial or social principles. Design methods are especially helpful in enabling multidisciplinary teams to understand complex, networked and dynamic situations and rapidly visualize and explore many alternative opportunities for addressing them — I call this idea-typing; road testing fragile ideas early on in order to develop a greater understanding of the ‘problem’ and come up with the most suitable ‘solutions’. This program has used this approach to great effect delivering meaningful innovation opportunities to our partners whilst coaching our participants in these designerly approaches,” notes Associate Professor of Design-led Innovation at Northumbria University Dr. Mark Bailey.
Dr. Bailey reveals that working with the Multidisciplinary Design Innovation cohort in Armenia has been a gratifying experience for him. “The participants have shown a real hunger for learning and a great willingness to share their discipline-specific knowledge with their teammates and develop a real entrepreneurial spirit. In just ten short weeks, I witnessed individuals grow in their creative confidence and in their abilities to bring out the best in themselves and in one another, and I saw how they took what they were learning in the course back into their workplaces to stimulate innovation there. I’m extremely grateful to our collaborators at the American University of Armenia, our project partners in Service Titan and the RA Prime Minister’s Strategy Team and, of course, the British Council, that funded this program,” concludes Dr. Bailey.
One of the graduates of the program, Laura Maroyan, shared her impressions: “This course provided valuable insights that will help me to create feasible, user-centered and innovative solutions to design problems as I venture into my upcoming projects. I am excited to apply what I have learned. The information was presented in a step-by-step approach to tackle each discovery and design phase slightly differently positioning myself as a partner to the clients in the process. Our instructors for the course are well-versed in the topic and credible. Throughout the program, they shared with us great personal experiences that helped us apply the knowledge we gained into real-life scenarios. Now I’m convinced that design thinking is indeed the best way to reach better solutions faster.”
Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme is a British Council funded five-year initiative to support international university and institutional partnerships to develop enterprise skills and creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia, South Caucasus and Ukraine through UK support.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.