Skip to content Skip to navigation

Design Your Future: Design Innovation for Global Teams

Monday, April 3, 2017 to Friday, June 9, 2017
Go to Course

Registration opens February 27th.


In these times of rapid change, successful design innovation is distributed, global, and highly collaborative. This course provides you the mindset, solutions, and tools—along with cases and stories drawn from around the world—to build a team that can work across cultures to solve problems. We will focus on the ways that leading design innovators pull together partners, customers, and their own team members across the entire development process, from vision formation through the test and validation of new business opportunities. The course also notably draws on the time-tested methods and rich case history of “ME310: Product-Based Engineering Design, Innovation, and Development,” which has been offered at Stanford for more than fifty years. In ME310, students work across globally distributed teams, using a proven set of principles and tools, to help them move beyond traditional design thinking in order to deliver full-functioning, award-winning products and services.

For part of the course, you will work in small groups to solve problems that major international organizations have posed to the ME310 course in previous years. In the development of solutions, you’ll learn techniques in global teamwork, creativity, and design. Through the combination of short videos, readings, demonstrations, field work, and open forums with faculty, plus personal feedback, you will gain fast practice in understanding design innovation in a globally distributed environment. 


  • Course sizes are limited.
    You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 45 participants.
  • Frequent interaction with the instructor.
    You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.
  • Study with a vibrant peer group.
    Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.
  • Direct feedback from the instructor.
    Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.
  • Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
    Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.
  • This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.
    To learn more about the program, visit our About Us page. For more information on the online format, please visit the FAQ page.

This is the second in a sequence of three courses on design innovation. In the Fall, students explored designing future solutions within a business context; in the Spring, students will design solutions in the context of global teams; and in the Summer, students will focus on design innovation in the context of personal leadership and growth. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.

Tamara Carleton, CEO and Founder, Innovation Leadership Board

Tamara Carleton helps organizations to create vision-led, radical innovations. She works closely with the Foresight and Innovation program at Stanford, where she explores how the world’s most innovative companies create technology visions and take action. She received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford.

Larry Leifer, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford

Larry Leifer is the founding director of the Center for Design Research at Stanford. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1976, and he has taught the Stanford design innovation course ME310 for over 20 years. He received a PhD in biomedical engineering from Stanford.

William Cockayne, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering–Design, Stanford

William Cockayne has led teams in incubation, research, product development, and manufacturing as an executive and an entrepreneur. He has shipped over twenty successful products at companies large (Eastman Kodak, Daimler, Apple) and small (Scout Electromedia, Handstand, Nota Reader). At Stanford, he teaches the award-winning “ME410: Foresight and Technological Innovation,” a mainstay of innovation teaching and research on campus. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks


Design Your Future

View All Courses

Access learning material from upcoming, self-study, and completed courses...