The organisers “believe in people-driven innovation, enabling [their] students to understand innovation from the point of view of everyday people. Accepting this fact, 180°academy turns the traditional approach to innovation [which is technology-driven] around.”
The academy combines “theory with practice in a cross-disciplinary programme allowing students to understand the innovation process as a whole” and covers “topics as diverse as ethnography, competitive analysis, ideation, prototyping, branding, business plans and patenting, to name a few.”
The objective is “to educate top talent in large and small companies worldwide to innovate holistically – internally within their organisation’s different departments and externally by meeting the needs and aspirations of the people they are innovating for.”
The 180º Academy offers three part-time programmes which are designed for working individuals: the flagship nine-module Master Practitioner Programme, the three-module Executive Programme for executives, and a smaller six-module Insight Programme for mid-sized and small companies.
The acting dean is Anne Kirah, former senior design anthropologist at Microsoft (see my recent interview with her). Other professors are Richard Pascale (associate fellow, Oxford University) and Lars Thøger Christensen (professor, Department of Marketing, University of Southern Denmark). The faculty also includes the following visiting professors, consultants and associate professors: Teng-Kee Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Kirsten Becker (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Uday Dandavate (SonicRim, USA), Simona Maschi (Milan Polytechnic and former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea), Heather Martin (also former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea) and Pia Betton (Framework Identity, Berlin).