Student Projects (KAIST, Fall'21)
Reimagining Living and Working in the Post-Covid-19 Era
During the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous preventive measures (or community lockdown) are being implemented that have changed peoples’ daily habits and lifestyles. While many old customs are being upended, different new norms are being formed around the world due to social and cultural diversities. These changing lifestyles create many other customers’ demands that cannot be satisfied by available products or services in present markets. This creates significant disruptions to existing companies and opens significant opportunities for creative innovators. In the iPodia class this semester, we encourage students to leverage their diverse cultural backgrounds and interdisciplinary knowledge to collaboratively identify impactful innovation targets (i.e., a specific Covid-induced problem) and propose an innovative solution (i.e., a new product or service).
Under the iPodia programme with USC, students have to consider cultural diversity and turn content (knowledge) into contextual understandings. In the cohort of Fall 2021, we have eighteen student teams (no less than 100 students) from more than ten well-recognized universities (e.g., KAIST, Peking Uni., USC, NTU, UFRGS, etc.). Thus, during Oct-Dec 2021, students did their best to achieve synergy by concatenating their diversified team members' backgrounds and applying a vast knowledge of business, technology, and innovation for practical case studies. In brief, the students attempt to address emerging issues due to the changes in living and working styles triggered by the covid-19 pandemic.
The highly diversified teams spent three months investigating new solutions for a wide spectrum of domains, such as education, catering services, retailing, to name but a few. The student teams proposed novel plans to address new challenges in the unprecedented time of `new normal'. Remarkably, several groups leverage mobile apps and immersive environments to offer alternative services or experiences and re-connect people from separate places due to reduced physical meetings and visiting. In general, the students' plans primarily can be categorized into two major groups:
Smart gadgets: Smart collars for pets, Intelligent masks, and Eye masks.
New services: Work-from-home equipment trials before purchasing, Recycling of wastes from food delivery and face masks, and Mental well-being.
The below slider shows the spotlights of the eighteen innovative projects.