Podcast Episode 4: Fostering Creativity With Bo Hopkins

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For the past three years, Bo Hopkins has taught two of the most engaging and creative classes offered at Yale. In the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, he taught “Social Enterprise in Developing Economies,” and in Engineering and Applied Science he is co-teaching (with Joe Zinter) “Appropriate Technology for the Developing World.” Bo talks with us about these two classes and how his teaching is informed by his real-world experience with direct equity investments.

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Show Notes

0:00 Intro

2:32 Bo’s Social Enterprise class; “Social enterprise” defined

8:02 Evaluating student performance in a project-based class with service projects

8:32 Everyone talks every day.

9:32 Students write a case study to articulate the client’s problem.

10:32 About the organizations the students serve, their maturity

12:12 The case studies are shared with the hosts.

12:36 The students submitted their case studies to a competition.

17:02 Stock tips via fax

23:59 Every once in a while, Bo gets a random note from a former student.

24:22 Effective teachers do a lot of good things at once.

25:29 Every class is an adventure.

25:32 Doug swore he would never be a teacher.

26:56 Teaching means learning yourself and changing.

27:32 A course on appropriate technology for the developing world

27:55 “My degree in engineering came from the back of a matchbook.”

32:45 This year’s topic: Ebola.

33:30 Mixing and matching teams

36:26 A focus in his course on the user experience.

39:40 A student project to understand vaccine demand

40:40 You might create a new whizbang…

41:25 The students continue their projects beyond the course.

41:50 What the students learned about the vaccine cold chain

42:55 Structuring learning around agents and making the students agents

44:50 Bo isn’t about lecturing. The students want to solve problems.

45:20 Yale students can analyze, but they don’t always get opportunities to create.

46:20 Creativity as a skill

48:55 Bo’s teaching mistakes and challenges

50:55 Empathy and objectivity

51:20 One Yale professor lecturing on Jeremy Bentham

52:19 One of Edward’s hobby horses: Dual-System teaching (inspired by Kahneman)

54:05 One of Doug’s hobby horses: Bad ideas can lead to good ones.

54:30 Bo’s formula for “how do you learn”? Design thinking.