Allred Center Launching Innovation Camp

For centuries entrepreneurs and inventors have strived, metaphorically, to build better mouse traps. The same challenge inspires today’s young innovators who seek to change and improve things–how can a skateboard be morphed into something cool, new, different and marketable? What about a backpack, or any other product?

High school students who enroll in a new day camp this summer will address similar questions as they compete in groups to develop the most creative ideas for innovating existing products.

In collaboration with its Edward C. Allred Center and La Sierra’s international award-winning Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, the Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University will conduct an Innovation Day Camp, July 23 – 26. The camp will involve daily activities that will challenge participants to think outside the box, to work effectively in teams, and to unleash their creative energies for exciting and relevant product innovation. Participants will also learn team building, leadership, and effective presentation skills.

The goal of the camp is to teach “design thinking,” a method commonly used by designers, engineers, and business leaders to define and solve problems by merging creativity and intuition with information analysis and rational thought processes, according to John Thomas, dean of La Sierra’s business school. “We want to change the concept from an ordinary business camp—how to start your own business—to one that unleashes the creative energies of all attendees,” he said.

Camp participants will work in teams of seven or eight students, with two teams each assigned to innovate an existing product and present it to participating companies. Faculty and staff from the School of Business, together with local business executives, will lead group instruction and feedback sessions. Student leaders from La Sierra’s SIFE team will serve as team consultants and mentors.

Activities will include instruction in ideation and creativity, focused brainstorming, design thinking, and team field trips to the participating companies’ facilities to learn about product manufacturing and marketing processes. At the end of the camp, pairs of teams will competitively present their product innovation ideas to executives from the participating companies who may select one or both ideas to develop for the marketplace.

The cost to attend the Innovation Day Camp is $50 per participant. The camp will be held at the Zapara School of Business on the La Sierra University campus from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and will include lunch. Admission is limited to no more than 50 students. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside.

Registration is open through July 20, 2012. Innovation Camp application forms are available online by clicking here. For more information call 951-785-2064.


By Darla Martin Tucker.  Republished from original article at

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Categories: SB News, School of Business

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