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Creating things that matter

Harvard students learn and apply idea translation skills in David Edward's engineering course

Every year, Wyss Institute Core Faculty member and Harvard Professor David Edwards, Ph.D., gives Harvard students the opportunity to generate, develop and realize breakthrough ideas for social and cultural change. His class, “How to Create Things & Have Them Matter”, aims to teach students idea translation skills, guiding them from seeding ideas to working out comprehensive idea proposals, which they pitch at the end of the semester.

This year, the class spent a weekend in Rockport, Maine preparing for their final pitch presentations. Within a collaborative environment, participants gained hands-on experience in the process of creating together as they built works of wood.

Credit: Raphael Edwards

The final class presentations, supported by the Wyss Institute, were centered around a creative experience in human wellness. The class’ wood designs were used in an improvisation with the audience, during which the audience created their own drinks, combining spices, herbs and fruit with recognized health and wellness benefits with sustained-release ice preparations. The individual student ideas ranged from a microbiome smoothie to a music mindfulness notification app, and novel farmer insurance in India.

Learn more about the class: ENG-SCI 20 – How To Create Things and Have Them Matter

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