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Innovations 2010 Teaching Dynamic Skills for Renewable Energy and Healthcare Careers Jeffrey Strauss Northwestern University BCICS NSF I/UCRCTIM AGENDA The Proposal (1) 2. The Context and Problem 3. The Tools 4. The Exercise 5. The Proposal (2); The Resources

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teaching dynamic skills for renewable energy and healthcare careers

Innovations 2010

Teaching Dynamic Skills for Renewable Energy and HealthcareCareers

Jeffrey Strauss

Northwestern University BCICS NSF I/UCRCTIM

  • The Proposal (1)
  • 2. The Context and Problem
  • 3. The Tools
  • 4. The Exercise
  • 5. The Proposal (2); The Resources
  • 6. The Wrap-Up, Invitation and Where from Here
planned fipse proposal project 1
  • TARGETED DOMAINS: Health, Renewable Energy - augment, complement curricula
  • High national priority, job potential but also significant challenge to traditional career planning, teaching and curricula
  • High complexity, volatility and uncertainty along multiple dimensions (many competing stakeholders; evolving technologies with disparate characteristics; significant political, economic, demographic, cultural, regulatory and industry structure factors; international competition and global developments also impact along with constraining change-resistant legacy systems and mindsets)
  • A moving target for education
  • May be extreme example of issues increasingly facing course and curricula planners
  • Available materials are inadequate; enhanced coordination, alignment within and across schools and with industry is needed
  • Hard to measure progress and impact (new metrics needed)
planned fipse proposal project 2
  • Representatives from Intel (Digital Health), IBM (Global University Relations and Innovation, also National Research Council Workforce Committee and Women in Science), Rockwell Automation, 2 start-ups
  • NU faculty from engineering (materials science, chemistry, Argonne, Northwestern Solar Energy Research), management (heath industry, organization behavior, technology management), Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, political science, education, global heath
  • National Network for Health Career Programs in Two-Year Schools, Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, Devry, Inc
  • Global Advanced Technology Innovation (GATIC) industry-academic consortium


The following 9 slides are extracted from Shift Happens posted to slide share.net by Jeff Brenman adapted from a presentation by Karl Fisch



More science than engineering-driven

  • Globalization
  • Technologies
  • Markets
  • Finance
  • Competition
  • Operations
  • Standards
  • Risks


  • Emergence
  • Technologies
  • Markets
  • Competition
  • Legacy
  • Org structure
  • Processes
  • Procedures
  • Disciplines
  • Infrastructure
  • Assumptions

Org / ecosystem transformation

Varying Meaning and

Impact; Changing Stakeholders and Futures; Disruptive innovation

  • Local, Regional, Global
  • Social and
  • Environmental Pressures


Traditional corporate functions and academic disciplines

Apply industry-derived tools

New skills


the historical s t a co evolution process




  • Rapid Change
  • New Competencies
  • Co-evolution
  • New Value Basis
  • Service
  • Extended Enterprises
  • New Players
  • Globalization















Commerce &








Early History








Resulting conditions and challenge

  • VUCA
  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous
  • Wicked problems of change & innovation


wicked problems

Distinguishing characteristics:

No unique “correct” view of the problem or single solution. Solutions not right or wrong but better or worse or “good enough”

Solutions inform problem definition; problems and solutions must be assessed simultaneously or iteratively

Most problems are interwoven with other problems; a solution to one may reveal, exacerbate or create another

Many possible starting (intervention) points

No clear “stopping” point where problem is solved – but decisions must be made

Resistant to change

Multiple competing stakeholders

Data often uncertain or misleading; prior experience and “rules of thumb” may not apply

Mistakes can be disastrous, but most wicked problems are urgent



As the University of Michigan Millennium Project noted in 2008,

  • “Entirely new paradigms for [engineering] education are needed:
  • Among drivers cited:
  • “To respond to the incredible pace of intellectual change (e.g., from reductionism to complexity, from analysis to synthesis, from disciplinary to multidisciplinary, from local to global.”
  • “To provide engineering students with the ability to adapt to new technologies (e.g., from the microscopic level of info-bio-nano to the macroscopic level of megacities and global systems).
  • “To accommodate a far more holistic approach to addressing social needs and priorities, linking social, economic, environmental, legal, and political considerations with technological design and innovation.”

Needed skills and teaching / learning challenges

  • Tolerate ambiguity and adjust to continual change
  • Quickly assess underlying drivers and roots
  • Deep sensitivity to critical contexts
  • Bridge, benefit from, and integrate disparate disciplines and perspectives; recognize new and evolving interrelationships and assess implications
  • Recognize and assess full range of stakeholders – current and potential
  • Recognize and evaluate legacies and personal, organizational and national
  • biases
  • Identify and challenge assumptions
  • Specify critical tasks and requirements
  • Operate and innovate under VUCA / wicked conditions

How can we teach this and what does it mean for curricula planning?

Can they be taught with current text books, cases, pedagogy and by currently trained instructors?

In which teaching contexts and at what levels can these best be taught?

What are long term but also interim measures/indicators that they are being conveyed?

How can we ensure alignment with dynamic and uncertain industry needs?

turning to the target domains of renewable energy and health care a future job ad
Turning to the target domains of renewable energy and health care:A Future Job Ad

“Automotive Hybrid and Fuel-Cell-Vehicle Research Engineer

Major auto manufacturer seeks renaissance engineer with the ability to innovate and solve complex development problems for hybrid-electric, battery-electric, and fuel-cell-electric (hydrogen) vehicles. Must be able to leverage the commonality in electrical and hydrogen environments and coordinate the interfaces between various technological subsystems.

Advanced degree in electrical engineering required. Experience in high-volume electronics manufacturing with some knowledge of electrochemistry and fuel-cell systems desired. Candidate should have some ability to work with high-voltage electric motors, lithium-ion batteries, regenerative braking systems, and wireless communication, plus proficiency with computer-aided design and modeling toolsets. “


Jobs of Tomorrow: Classifieds Our Students Should Get Prepared to Read

Amy Zuckerman



Necessary steps for successful PV installation (from Career Road Map for the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Industry Heat Spring Learning Institute Cambridge, MA 2009)

“1. Articulate the benefits and sell the technology to a potential customer

2. Scope the proposed project: conduct a site evaluation and preliminary design

3. Understand the financing and act on behalf of the building owner to build a compelling financial proposal

4. Provide financing or incentives

5. Manufacture and distribute solar PV equipment and components

6. Understand and manage the installation process

7. Install the PV equipment and components

8. Pull permits and complete all electrical wiring, including a connection to the grid

9. Provide ongoing service and technical support “

But what if the available technologies and their trade-offs are undetermined or fundamentally shift? What if organic PV with very different properties and manufacturing methods becomes viable and preferred? What if government subsidies or other incentives allowing cost competitiveness of solar change? What if alternative energy sources become more viable?

complexity healthcare stakeholders how many can you name how are they interrelated

Physicians (general and specialists)

  • Patients and families, caregivers
  • Pharmacies
  • Insurance companies
  • Managed Care companies (HMO’s, PPO’s
  • Drug companies
  • Hospitals; long-term care facilities (public and private)
  • Clinics, including retail clinics
  • Government regulators
  • Government funding (Medicare, Medicaid, VA)
  • Laboratories
  • Medical device developers (from a growing number of sectors)
  • Technology developers' and investors
  • Medical schools and training programs
  • Society; others?
Complexity: Healthcare Stakeholders – how many can you name? How are they interrelated?
so what can we do
So what can we do?
  • To prepare for such a complex, dynamic and uncertain future either as a student or as a course/curricula planner requires (in addition to current curricula):
  • envisaging possibilities and assessing their implications
  • This, in turn, requires:
  • understanding, even embracing the complexity
  • systematically identifying and evaluating key underlying drivers and conditions, how they interrelate and could play out and
  • recognizing and challenging what you don’t know and what you are assuming
  • developing mechanisms to monitor evolving conditions
  • ….. And then translating insights into robust strategy (and skills responsive to change AND
  • ensuring reasonable short -term decisions that align (dynamically) with evolving industry recognized needs!
  • Luckily, there are tools (if not apps) for that.


Scenario planning to expose assumptions, suggest possible futures, build and challenge the robustness of strategies under varying possible conditions;

Corporate product/technology roadmappingto lay out tasks, potential obstacles and resources requirements over time to reach a goal. Multi-scenario task mapping highlights variations across scenarios to ensure strategic robustness and agility in highly complex and volatile contexts.


Underlying requirements, cascading impact, critical points/root cause (UCCP) analysis applied to observed conditions and strategic options to assess key underlying issues, downstream effects and trade-offs;

Mind mapping to encourage identification of new options and potential threats, highlight evolving interrelationships and capture and assess disparate views

Domain mapping to consolidate multiple domain-defining decision factors, define intermediate and ultimate goals, stimulate broadened assessment of required and available competitive priorities


An Integrated Analytic/Planning Process


Contextual issues






Stakeholder analysis


UCCP Analysis


Domain Mapping

Scenario Planning


Scenario variations

Multi-scenario Task Mapping




Destruction of cultivated land

Many farms chose to cultivate marginal fields increasing effect of winds

Dust Bowl

Consecutive years of very dry weather

Mass migrations

Dust loading in atmosphere reduces rainfall exacerbating conditions

Plants, crops die increasing spread of bare soil





Economic, social strain on other regions

String winds erode soil



Central Scenario


Scenario B



Scenario planning

UCCP Analysis


Multi-scenario task mapping

Domain mapping


Scenario Analysis

Scenario Analysis:

  • Shows what life might be like in a changed operating environment (not forecasting)
  • Facilitates identifying and challenging assumptions and shows how they are important
  • Demonstrates how factors are related and the complex impact of changes where one change leads to another
  • Reveals comparative strengths and weaknesses of competitors under different conditions and identifies possible new threats and opportunities
  • Tests the viability of strategic options.

Scenarios help answer:

    • What could happen?
    • What would happen if it did (cascading
    • impact)?
    • How would we notice it beginning?
    • What would we do differently?
    • What can we make happen? What can we
    • avoid?
    • What options do we have?
    • What action should we take?
1930 s us dust bowl uccp example
1930’s (US) Dust Bowl UCCP Example

Many farms chose to cultivate marginal fields increasing effect of winds

Destruction of cultivated land

Dust Bowl

Consecutive years of very dry weather

Mass migrations

Dust loading in atmosphere reduces rainfall exacerbating conditions

Plants, crops die increasing spread of bare soil

Strong winds erode soil

Economic, social strain on other regions



uccp hydrogen auto fuel example
UCCP Hydrogen auto fuel example

Hydrogen fuel requires

Hydrogen source (usually water catalysis) - requires

Storage, equipment and distribution (in cars and stations) - requires

Car redesign - assumes

Distribution stations - requires

Transformation of current gas stations or new stations - assumes

Consumer demand (but chicken and egg)

global warming issues us corporate perspective
Global Warming Issues (US corporate perspective)
  • Risks
    • Regulatory risk
      • US (federal, state, local)
      • Global
    • Product and technology risk
      • Costs of converting
      • Technology commercialization
      • Emergence of new technology; reliability
    • Litigation risk
    • Organizational risk
      • Transformation, new skills, timing of investment
      • Pressure on suppliers; sources of new approaches
    • Reputation risk
    • Risks to customers
    • Physical risk (draughts, floods, etc. – damage, insurance)
    • Financial risk – who will pay, how much for developing world
  • Other uncertainties
    • Causes of warming
    • Timing, unevenness of impact
    • Competitor actions
    • Unforeseen, cascading impacts
  • C. Opportunities
  • Complex drivers
  • Other?
time to exercise
Time to Exercise
  • Implications of a healthcare scenario for skills, education and curricula
  • Assessing factors impacting success of an alternative energy product/service

Healthcare Scenario Assessment Exercise from What have We Learned about Healthcare in the Last Decade? (byJim Carol (futurist)(http://www.jimcarroll.com/blog/2009/04/healthcare-2020html.html

What would the following mean for education and curricula (and skills)?

  • Focus has shifted to preventative care to the extent patients are treated for the conditions we know they are likely to develop, rather than principally for those that they already have.
  • Focus on “customer service” as job #2 (#1 remains efficient and effective delivery of care) reshapes healthcare delivery and the philosophical underpinning of the system, so that “customer focused, friendly, fast, subject to expectation metrics makes it more consistent with other industries.”
  • “When Silicon Valley got involved in a big way, everything changed” launching “new products, new business models, scientific discovery tools, bio-informatics platforms that provided the foundation for diagnostic medicine, and many other incredible items.”
  • “Bio-connected devices — home health care medical monitoring, diagnosis and treatment devices [lead to] a renaissance” in the modality of care.  “A good proportion of both critical and non-critical care patients [will] receive …at home… [causing a] transition[] to a virtual community oriented caregiving strategy which has resulted in cost reductions and a refocus of critical health care spending” away from inpatient services.
  • Medical packaging transitions from a “passive protector of the product, to becoming an active component of the overall effectiveness of the particular medication” — prescription bottles will have internet enabled RFID tags with bio-sensors, providing specific information to patient’s provider and general information to pharmaceutical clinical trials about patient’s current condition and the efficacy and interactions of the drug.
  • Knowledge and innovation will be so dynamic and fast-changing that “the average doctor and nurse [must] refresh their entire knowledge base every 18 months.” 
energy analysis exercise assignment
Energy analysis exercise assignment

“Map” critical factors, and how they may change, affecting success of a renewable energy product/service. How do they interrelate? Highlight uncertainties. How might this impact assumptions in current curricula?

Consider: different renewable as well as traditional energy technologies, economic, regulatory and other potential drivers and constraints.

simplified roadmapping process

Defined Tasks and Sequence


1 2 3 4 5

  • Resources required
  • in place
  • process to acquire
  • Obstacles to overcome
  • strategies and associated
  • requirements

Roles and responsibilities

Related to each task

Drivers - Context - Change

Simplified Roadmapping Process

Where you are

Where you want to be

industry capability and technology roadmap



New Technologies


Customer Drivers


Technology Push


Industry Capability and Technology Roadmap

Build an Action Plan and Investment Strategy

Summary and Action Plan


Define the TechnologyInfrastructure and Envision Technology Advances

Capability/Technology Roadmap


Risk Roadmap

Identify R&DChallenges and Research Objectives


Understand Customer Markets and Stakeholders’ Needs

Map to Investments

Definitionand Scope(Know-why)

Map to Elements

Action Summary

Technology/Capability Roadmap

Industry Architecture

Industry Direction


© 2010 The Albright Strategy Group, LLC

corporate capability technology roadmap
Corporate Capability/Technology Roadmap

© 2010 The Albright Strategy Group, LLC

industry roadmapping
Industry Roadmapping
  • An industry-wide, Futures Oriented, Strategic
  • and Tactical Consensus Process:
      • Defines major categories and goals
          • Baseline of “best” current thinking and practice
          • Help set industry directions and standards
          • Identify critical gaps
          • Stimulate new concepts
      • Time-based milestones
      • Enough detail to enable implementation actions
      • Foster industry collaboration
      • Inform and coalesce suppliers and customers
      • Influence national policies
some healthcare roadmaps with limits
Some Healthcare Roadmaps (with limits)

© 2010 The Albright Strategy Group, LLC

energy roadmaps
Energy Roadmaps
  • There are many energy industry roadmaps including a growing number directly related to renewable energy. These can be found at the state, regional, international (Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia) and national US level. A lot stem directly or indirectly from the US Dept. of Energy are regularly updated and include:
  • Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) supported roadmaps in
  • renewable energy targeted maps:
  • US Photovoltaic Industry Roadmap (2002)
  • National Algal Biofuel Technology Roadmap
  • US Small Wind Turbine Industry Roadmap
planned fipse proposal project 3
  • Develop broadly inter-disciplinary, learning/development academic-industry community
  • Enhance alignment with industry through assessment of industry roadmaps and collaboration on evolution of related curricula/skills dynamic mapping
  • Evolve self-driven, instructor modifiable model course modules/materials; Approaches will be demonstrated in selected school test sites; Small awards will stimulate others to develop materials
  • Conduct electronically accessible faculty and administrator/curricula planner/career counselor training conferences and discussion forums
  • Adapt introduce and apply industry-derived tools
  • Define and apply evidence-based and real-time metrics
planned fipse proposal project 4
  • Industry-academic discussion forums:
  • Foundation for Innovation and Change in Health (FICH) – over 40 participants from a dozen disciplines
  • FICH focuses on needs, contexts, facts and issues of next generation innovation in the changing worlds of health service, in both developed and developing nations. Healthcare exemplifies the class of “wicked innovation problems” requiring decision-making under very complex, uncertain and ambiguous conditions. The Forum stimulates discussion among participants from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, including academia and industry, which might not normally be involved or focused on the medical domain but could have important insights. A key initiative of the Forum is exploration/adaptation of industry innovation roadmapping.
  • Foundation for Innovation in New Energy(FINE – in formation)
  • FINE focuses on needs, contexts, facts and issues of next generation innovation in the changing worlds of renewable energy including attention to the interplay with critical issues in water and health management.



Industry - University Health Innovation Roadmapping

Noon - 4:00pm (lunch provided) Kellogg (2001 N. Sheridan, Evanston, IL))

Industry Roadmapping, carried out on a regular basis in a growing number of sectors, establishes a baseline of “best” current thinking and practice. It helps build consensus on industry directions and standards, highlights critical gaps and potential paths to address them, establishes future milestones, and stimulates collaboration across key industry stakeholders and suppliers. Resulting roadmaps influence local, national and even global policies.

Although some specialized healthcare roadmaps have evolved, healthcare is different from other industries. This can be recognized in the level of complexity and uncertainty along multiple dimensions - from regulatory, safety, political, financial (including pay models and who makes related decision), social, technology change (including impacting technologies from other industries such as IT and nanoscience) and more. These conditions challenge traditional approaches to defining a field and engaging the desired range of stakeholders and advancing to practical solutions. Thus there are multiple silos of effort to address healthcare issues with insufficient productive cross-communication and key gaps and useful insights may be missed.

Building on what could be NU’s “neutral” position and multi-disciplinary expertise, as well as CTIM’s relevant global experience and contacts, we will select target focus/gap areas that can benefit from the addition of non-traditional perspectives. Participation from faculty and students in social sciences, management, engineering, and medicine along with industry and community representation will be invited.

Speakers at Roadmapping Tools Introduction Session:

Dr. Richard Albrightbrings more than 25 years of experience in technology planning, strategy development, systems engineering and product development, with particular emphasis on corporate and industry roadmapping with industry and government clients including medical technology, pharma, and diagnostic companies and programs. He was Director, Technology Strategy and Assessment at Bell Labs. 

Celeste Fralickis Director of Biomedical Engineering in the Digital Health Group at Intel Corporation. She was a key developer of Intel’s initial biotechnology strategies, product qualification and product life cycle programs and was active in refining the firm’s risk management strategies. Previously, Celeste was with Medtronic Corporation, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, and Texas Instruments. Her response will include discussion of product and modeling initiatives responding to evolving industry conditions

Ravi Nemana is Special Advisor for Health Care at the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), a four-campus, University of California program that applies fundamental advances in science and technology to societal-scale problems such as water, energy, education, and health care. With 18 years of health care and technology experience, he architected the nationally recognized UC Davis Telemedicine Program. Ravi guides policy makers and nonprofit organizations regarding emerging health technologies and service innovation.


NU simulations (individual or sequence with increasing complexity)

  • In test use by 25 US and international schools and a number of companies, they vary in industry, region, issue focus but all:
  • push students to recognize and consider subtle, complex, underlying issues,
  • trade-offs and interdependent factors
  • require students to:
      • view situations from multiple stakeholder perspectives
      • assess critical company, country factors/drivers and constraints as well as external developments (competitor actions, technology developments, changes in markets, conflicting corporate demands, regional developments)
      • develop specific recommendations with uneven information and anticipating changes; develop and analyze scenarios
      • respond to “updates” that may challenge assumptions and require adjustments in planning
  • are modular and flexible for use in different courses
  • were developed in partnership with industry and apply industry tools
the invitation

The Invitation


Jeffrey Strauss