Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner


GTI Design Teams go to Silicon Valley

At the start of the new year ten HPI students set off for Silicon Valley in California to join students from around the globe for the Darkhorse Prototyping events, of Stanford University and the SUGAR Network, as part of the Global Team-Based Innovation (GTI) course at HPI.
The student teams met with their global partners from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Stanford University to create innovative solutions for problems from their corporate liaisons Audi, FutureWei and HUK-Coburg.

In the Darkhorse phase it's all about challenging assumptions and increasing the level of disagreement. The goal is to reframe the challenge by leaving out one of the assumptions by the corporate liaison. For team FutureWei, for example, this meant that for their wearable fitness tracker design challenge, the students erase the assumption that a fitness tracker has to be worn on the body. The best outcome of a Darkhorse prototype is the realization that the assumption that the team did away with was never necessary in the first place. Even if this does not pan out, though, the teams gain valuable new insights into their challenge by looking at it from a new perspective.

Apart from that, the Darkhorse Prototype event was also one of the few chances for the global teams to work together in the same place, at the same time. One of the challenges for the participants of GTI is to work across distance and in some cases even time zones. The time they spent working on the Darkhorse Prototype will pay off in the future as students learn more about their teammates' working styles and develop a deeper trust among each other.

After one week of heavy prototyping, the participants left Silicon Valley again with fresh ideas and a foundation for better teamwork. They will continue to work on their projects, culminating with a final prototype and an accommodating presentation at the beginning of June.

Further information about the course is available at the course website and through our Facebook group. Also, connect with the SUGAR network: Website, Twitter, Facebook.

The GTI teams and 3 members of the HPI teaching team.