When ID faculty and staff realized summer internships would be limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, they developed a suite of innovative alternatives, including externships, fellowships, and MasterChallenges, for a total of 70 practice projects.
Externships and fellowships
Students gained direct experience in the critical areas of environment, social equity, and governance, across a range of sectors, from startups to community development.
- Rush University Medical Center: four projects focused on community health equity, the future of family medicine clinics, primary care in community, and clinical trial design.
- University of Illinois Chicago Institute for Healthcare Delivery Design: three projects focused on clinical trial recruitment and retention, clinical roadmaps, and directory as platform.
- MATTER: creating a toolkit for the healthcare startup and the larger healthcare ecosystem.
- ComEd Bronzeville Walking Tour: amplifying community stories to help residents and visitors tour the Bronzeville neighborhood.
- Sweetwater Foundation: designing a narrative for the foundation to use in their presenting work and how it informs policy.
- Socialworks: data analysis and visualization for the My State of Mind mental wellness platform.
- Narrative Science: designing a business analytics tool.
- Lendish: developing an application to improve financial wellness among young adults.
- Liv Labs: establishing a care journey for pelvic floor fitness.
Sustainability and environment
- Rare.org: creating experiences to persuade individuals to transition to a plant-based diet.
- Flip Labs: promoting water system awareness and collective action around water scarcity in Ojai, CA.
- City of Chicago: recommending an employee resource group structure to increase inclusivity and help the city become an employer of choice.
- Chicago Re-entry Project: identifying opportunities to increase the hiring of individuals impacted by the justice system.
ID alumni John Payne (MDes 1998, managing director at Verizon-owned Moment design firm) and Ryan Powell (MDes 2001, head of UX and research at Waymo) led the MasterChallenges, with ID students competing in real-world design challenges.
- Waymo/Google AI: designing a human-centered AI system focused on mobility.
- Moment: identifying and creating digital offerings to address societal changes created by the pandemic.
In addition to practice engagements, ID offered summer classes for the first time. Courses included:
- Innovation Narratives
- Innovation Methods
- Building/Understanding Context
- Introduction to Python
Image from Google Walk project, winner of Waymo/Google AI MasterChallenge. Courtesy of Mridula Dasari, Sze Wing Alpha Wong, Nanxi Yu, Minyi Zhang.