The challenges of addressing climate change and sustainability require urgency as well as innovative solutions. Not only do startups rapidly innovate, in recent years they have learned how to be extremely efficient with resources and time as they execute on problem discovery using lean startup methodologies. Participants in Earth Systems 213 will develop the skills required of a mission driven entrepreneur and apply lean startup principles ("business model canvas," "customer development," and "agile engineering”) by tackling a critical problem facing climate and sustainability as part of a team of engineers, scientists, social scientists, MBAs, and law and policy experts.
Students will take a hands-on, experiential approach to discover sponsor needs and those of other interested stakeholders, while deepening their understanding of the problem’s important context. To gain critical insight, students will engage closely with policy makers, technologists, government officials, NGOs, foundations, companies and others interested in solving these problems, all while the teams continually build iterative prototypes to test and advance their conceptions of the problem and solution hypotheses.
Solutions might be products or services or training programs delivered at scale by companies, NGOs or pieces of legislation. As student teams research, design and (to the extent possible) implement a scalable solution for impact on climate or sustainability, surrounding them is a network of problem sponsors, advisors, mentors, TAs and the teaching team brought together to accelerate the learnings of the students.
See the Problem Ideas
Application is required. Enrollment is limited. Three ways to apply:
Apply with a technology
Come with a technology. Form a team. We will help find a sponsor