We have learned various lessons and skills throughout the course that we shall carry with us throughout our careers and personal lives. First and foremost, we have learned that businesses can truly elevate humanity by empathizing with stakeholders and establishing a greater purpose that goes beyond generating a profit for their shareholders. Additionally, we have learned that both purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand, as we discussed various corporations that do both throughout the quarter.
Second, we have learned how to manage, coordinate, and facilitate multiple tasks and group members. Throughout the quarter, each of our team members were extraordinarily organized, flexible, and diligent. We all recognized how lucky we were to have such a driven, smart, and mentally diverse group of women to work with for this project. We had someone able to cover every aspect of our business plan. Through collaboration and dedication, we were able to complete our project in both an effective and efficient manner.
Third, we each learned how to work as an effective team member in order to create both a sustainable and impactful solution. When we reflect back on the work we have done this quarter, we agreed that we could not have come up with our idea and its variables on our own. By each of us contributing our own thoughts and ideas, communicating effectively, and being willing to problem-solve, we believe that we have created a project in which we are very proud of. When we recorded our presentation, we all felt fully behind it and enthusiastic about our solution. Oftentimes, we associate a solution with one, maybe a few people, but this class made us realize that it takes the heavy lifting of many people to bring a sustainable solution to life. We have a newfound respect and understanding of teamwork and feel like this class prepared us for both our professional and personal futures.
Creating this environment which encouraged open communication, questioning, and critical thinking drove our solution design phase. This phase involved reflecting upon our stakeholder interviews and research to define aspects of the problem our solution must address. This was followed by developing several different prototypes, getting feedback on these prototypes, and prototyping our final solution. This was also a new experience for most of us because we have never really had to create multiple prototypes. It made us realize how much trial and error is involved in problem-solving, even when in a group. This process is not something that is always highlighted in an academic setting but appears to be something that constantly occurs in the real-world. This process involved approaching the problem solution from multiple perspectives. Taking on several different lenses to problem solutions involves critical thinking but also an irreplaceable need for communication. This is something that we were able to do well as a group. We all ensured that the core of every stage was cultivated in a collaborative environment. This means that we would always ensure that each step and sub-step in this process was created as a result of everyone’s ideas. We would then split the work amongst each member so that our ideas can be articulated to external stakeholders. This helped us all think through our problem and solution a bit more clearly and work well together as a group.
Overall, we have enjoyed that this class has given us the autonomy to select societal issues of our choice, and has illuminated that struggling demographics do not need us to “show up as their savior” (Jamie Van Leeuwen). Rather, they would like a seat at the table and would like us to connect with them and their concerns prior to making an uninformed decision. I feel hopeful that in light of the world’s current disarray, a heightened sense of community and innovative solutions will arise. In addition, we all agreed that we have come out of this class as significantly better problem solvers. This class gave us the opportunity and room to grow as creative thinkers and problem solvers and feel that this class had one of the biggest impacts on all of us. We are so glad to have taken this course and especially glad that we all went into it with an open mind and willingness to learn. We recognize that this content is extremely important to any degree and integral in moving our society forward. It also did a great job of using real-world examples that DU does such a great job doing across the Daniels School of Business courses, and that are so impactful at the end of the day. We don’t think any of us can forget now that pioneering business for the public good should always be at the forefront of any company.