Solving Tomorrow's Challenges Today: Innovative Transatlantic Solutions for the Future Workplace

By Shanna Saubert posted 12-06-2021 03:45 PM


Solving Tomorrow's Challenges Today: Innovative Transatlantic Solutions for the Future Workplace

By Rana Latif, MJ, and Okke Schlüter, PhD

The future workplace is going to look quite different than it does today—with more focus on disruption, digitalization, globalization, collaboration, and transformation of industries. All these changes are going to require a very special skill set for graduates who will be future industry leaders.

In a recent report by the World Economic Forum, collaboration, internationalization, communication, and problem-solving were among the top 10 skills projected to influence hiring in 2025.

UNESCO has designated 2021 the International Year of Creative Economy, recognizing that the creative industries stimulate innovation and diversification, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity. This designation also recognizes that now more than ever, we need creative thinking, innovation, and problem-solving to imagine ourselves out of today’s challenges.

We have created an international, collaborative environment for students to become proficient in these skills so they are ready for the marketplace of tomorrow. This requires a tailored, methodological yet innovative approach to today’s learning environment. A good model to share is the Global Campus Studio.

Global Campus Studio Framework

After three years of iterations, a new collaborative model of teaching was developed collaboratively by The Creative School at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and Stuttgart Media University in Stuttgart, Germany.

Global Campus Studio, our global classroom model, is founded on these specific pillars:

  • Creating a unique approach to learning and teaching that is focused on problem-solving, real-time collaboration, and involvement of modern frameworks such as design thinking and design agility.
  • Developing future-forward curricula that is highly relevant to what’s happening in the industry today, but also, future-proofing through trend-spotting, analysis, and knowledge creation.
  • Exploring new digital communication and collaboration tools and incorporating them into current teaching and learning.
  • Adopting a non-traditional approach to academia, including hiring influential instructors with high-impact industry experience.
  • Selecting the right partners with similar values and aptitude for agility and adaptation to new approaches.

Making The Model Work

Stuttgart Media University was presented with an authentic challenge from publisher Wiley & Sons, creating an opportunity to apply a transformative methodological framework based on design thinking, or more precisely, design agility, a widely used approach in the publishing industry.

Students collaborated over three months, receiving hands-on training during the creative process and within international teams, and learning digitization and globalization of work processes, as well as navigating intercultural differences.

The Global Campus Studio model is beneficial for all involved. First, it provides industries in need of innovative methods with proficient student talent. Next, industry partners benefit from results and solutions, methodological inspiration, and direct contact with the students. Finally, students are motivated by solving authentic industry challenges, working directly with C-Suite executives, and the opportunity to potentially implement their innovative solutions.

By implementing this model, universities become future labs, contributing to the rethinking of the important connection between industry and society.

How Global Campus Studio Works Today

With an online studio setting, using contemporary collaboration tools and technologies, student projects engage in disciplines ranging from television to film, performance, fashion, documentary, experiential entertainment, and beyond.

Learning objectives for this unique course include the development of creative practices, an understanding of global collaboration and online co-creation, and working successfully in diverse, remote teams. 

  1. Every semester, the university offers Global Campus Studio as a credited module. International academic partners then choose one of their own modules to run concurrently.
  2. Together, the faculty members at both institutions choose a creative project, or brief, for students to collaborate on.
  3. Students develop new concepts as innovative prototypes within a virtual studio environment, helped along by instruction and motivation.

To find out more about Global Campus Studio, visit The Creative School’s website.

*This blog is based on a poster presented at the NAFSA 2021 Annual Conference & Expo. View the poster here.