NYC16 | Why Attend

One-Day Innovation Challenge

You’re a leader — or want to be a leader — in your college media organization. And maybe you want to be a media entrepreneur. You know it’s all about innovation. But HOW, exactly? Take this challenge on Monday, March 14.

  1. Bring a group from your campus, or we’ll match you up with participants from other schools into teams of four.
  2. Spend the day designing a new product/service/coverage plan to take home to YOUR campus. The suggested topic for this exercise will be better serving women on your campus. (For groups combining multiple schools, that topic is mandatory. One-school groups may select other topics.)
  3. Get tips on “design thinking” — not page design, not web design, but a design mindset in learning how to reach an audience, from one of the leading educators in this field, Carrie Brown, director of the first-of-its-kind social journalism master’s program at City University of New York. Her current master’s students will help coach the innovation teams.
  4. Do rapid research, brainstorming and product design, with coaching from CUNY grad students studying social journalism using the design thinking model.
  5. Present your idea to get feedback.



9 a.m. Overview, state the “problem.”

9:30 a.m. Empathize. You will rapidly research your target audience, with tips from the speakers.

10:30 a.m. Define. Narrow down that “problem” you want to tackle.

11 a.m. Break for keynote and lunch.

12:30 p.m. Ideate. Brainstorm solutions that will serve your target audience.

1:30 p.m. Prototype. Choose one of the ideas as a group and begin to refine it as a very simple prototype.Decide what the most important features are.

2:30 p.m. Refine. Bounce your idea off another group, and use the feedback to make improvements.

3:30 p.m. Present. Make your pitch and get expert feedback.

Signing up means that you will participate in the Innovation Challenge all day. There is no additional fee for participation. If you decide you cannot participate, please email to free up your spot. Space will be limited.

Questions about the Innovation Challenge? Read below!

A special message from David Simpson, program coordinator for NYC16:

There are plenty of people and topics to be excited about at NYC16. But the one thing I want to be sure you consider in advance is the Innovation Challenge. You can get the lowdown and sign up student(s) for free here but read below for helpful Q&A:

Q: Who is this for? 
A: The students who will benefit the most are the ones who already have a grasp of student media basics. They are ready to think about new ways to engage the audience. (The suggested topic is engaging women on campus, but the intent really is learning how to use the design thinking process.)

Q: How do I know this is really that advanced and different? 
A: The day is being designed by the leading educator in this field, Carrie Brown, director of the first-of-its-kind social journalism master’s program at City University of New York. Brown spoke at NYC15. She’s funny as well as brilliant (which you know if you follow her on Twitter @brizzyc). Students responded well to her.

Q: How “hands on” is this? 
A: A tentative schedule is on the web page. You’ll see very little lecture and a lot of time for fast-paced research and brainstorming. 
That will be guided by Brown’s current grad students. In fact, she’s made this day a big part of her syllabus here.

Q: What is my students don’t want to code? 
Coders are welcome and may have great ideas, but a team with no code expertise will be fine. It’s about the ideas, not getting an app built in one day.

Q: A team? I have to find a team? 
A: If your organization has four students who want to be a team, that’s great. But fewer than four is also fine. Your one, two or three students will be partnered with other students.

Q: What if we know what we want our topic to be? 
A: As long as you supply a full team (four students or more), you can pursue any topic. Multi-school teams will pursue a topic related to serving women on campus (so they’ll all be on same page from the outset.)

Q: Can we sign up on site? 
A: Yes, if we don’t fill up. But let’s face it. A full day at NYC16 is something a student needs to plan and commit to beforehand. And it will make the presenters’ planning much easier. So please seriously consider this now and use the link on the web page to sign up. And emphasize to students that this is a serious commitment. Not showing up or wandering in late would not be cool. It’s not a drop-by event.

Q: Can an adviser participate? 
A: Sure. As always, remember you’re an adviser and allow students to take the lead.