Lean LaunchPad methodology at the Link Campus University StartUp School

Link Campus University, partner of the AHEH alliance, presents new initiatives to support students, entrepreneursand startuppers

The evolution of the labour market is running fast and workers need to be involved in continuous learning to improve their professional skills and face off new challenges.

While technical skills required by a market increasingly influenced by digitalisation and automation are no longer enough, the emphasis is increasingly placed on the so-called “soft skills”, which really make the difference in the new labour market. The World Economic Forum has listed the 10 most requested skills from the labour market in 2020:

  • Complex Problem solving;
  • Critical Thinking;
  • Creativity;
  • People management;
  • Coordinating with others;
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Judgment and decision-making;
  • Service orientation;
  • Negotiation;
  • Cognitive flexibility.

These skills, together with a technical base and a set of necessary “hard skills”, will allow individual workers to face the most important sectors of work such as Technology and Computational Thinking, Caregiving, Social Intelligence and New Media Literacy.

According to the World Economic Forum, the most in-demand jobs in 2020
will be Data Analysts, Medical technicians, physical therapist and workplace ergonomics experts, sales and marketing specialists, custody services representatives, Management Analysts, Software developers and computer programmers, veterinarians, product designers and creatives, teachers and trainers, accounts and auditors.

Furthermore, soft skills need to be related to a so-called “Business culture”, especially for everyone interested in promoting their own business or developing a personal attitude to entrepreneurship.

The increased attention on soft skills shouldn’t be considered just as a scenario of the future: just think about the importance of “people management” skill in the business history of Facebook, the role of creativity skill for Airbnb founders (previously working as graphic designers) or the importance of storytelling to promote services and products in many businesses.

Several evidences show how many of these skills are not the prerogative of the STEM field but, indeed, can be sought precisely in faculties apparently more distant: philosophy, training, communication, so the Humanities.

For these reasons, the labour market is interested in students and employees with different backgrounds: from philosophy to economics, from education to management.  In accordance with this approach, schools and universities who want support business culture and entrepreneurship need to promote soft skills, such as:

  1. responsibility and ability to solve problems;
  2. ability to work in a group, communicate and motivate;
  3. flexibility and ability to think “different”;
  4. flexibility and desire to learn;
  5. sense of time, goals and the sense of enterprise.

As partner of the AHEH alliance, Link Campus University involves student in a learning process characterised by “Learning by Doing” methodology, teacher-student interaction and multidisciplinary approach to complex issues.

All students are encouraged to solve complex problems and analyse challenges of the working market with a series of tools and sharing knowledge deriving from different disciplines from the economic field to the communication and legal ones.

Besides traditional lectures, different interactive tools are used, such as:

  • “Strategic Conversation”, focused on specific problems;
  • Laboratories, aimed at preparing students to understand the innate complexity of the practical problems of the world of work;
  • Moments of “Immersion Mix” during which students, together with teachers, deal with issues that require multiple knowledge even outside the specific cognitive boundaries of the study program;
  • “Learning Global Journeys”, in Italy and abroad, in order to better explain the reality of the subjects (public institutions, enterprises, etc.) that is an employment opportunities for graduates.

Furthermore, Link Campus in now starting new initiatives to support students interested to be entrepreneurs, break the market with their own business ideas and found a start-up: the opening of a new “StartUp School”, the activation of an “incubator” and the start of partnership with several strong entrepreneurial organizations.

Through a modular and highly participatory path, the “StartUp School” aims to create the business culture within the campus in order to promote the foundation and management of a start-up.

The program aims to provide students technical tools and necessary know-how to understand the contexts, to turn their ideas into business, reinforcing their skills and integrating them with a wider perspective of knowledge, skills and attitude. The “Startup School” will introduce in Italy the “Lean LaunchPad” methodology that combines 3 elements:- School concept, flipped;- Experimental learning;- Team-based learning. In accordance with Lean LaunchPad methodology, students meet potential clients in order to interview them and validate (or invalidate) their hypotheses following the Business Model Canvas.Students listen the class recordings and during lectures present the key points they have selected from the interviews and their researches. These arguments are the basis of the following discussion a session where to criticize and brainstorm with professors and students.

Each class starts working in several team of 4 students, with the aim of developing a business idea on innovative services supported by professors and mentors (part of the support is related to the Business Model Canvas).

In conclusion, the teaching model proposed by Link Campus University aims to overcome the traditional division between technical tools, human know-how and communication skills.

The future labour market requires the ability to look out of the box and the contamination of different knowledge may be the key factor for students and startupper’s success. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.