Created in 2018 at the inception of the flagship course, The Manifesto is the guiding document for the program. It serves as a point of reference to return to when the going gets tough – and it gets tough all the time. It re-centers our focus on what is important and achievable. Each student and instructor is expected to abide by the guiding principles of The Manifesto at all times.
LIVES, NOT GRADES
This is about practical, real world experience and meaningful impact. Keep the focus on what’s important.
EMPATHY, NOT SYMPATHY
This is crucial to human-centered design. It’s not about pity, it’s about true understanding. Knowing without living or doing is not knowing. You can’t learn how to swim from a book. Immerse yourself in the ocean of your problem.
IDEAS ARE EASY, EXECUTION IS HARD
Execution is worth millions while ideas are cheap. We’re looking for prototypes not power points and we expect them at every turn along with real-world validation of every insight, user need and solution.
FAILURE IS MANDATORY
It’s how we learn. Fail fast, iterate, and improve. Pivot don’t quit. Course correction is a natural part of innovation. Success does not mean never failing – it’s about getting back up, learning, and building on mistakes.
PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF DONE
Don’t waste valuable time being a perfectionist. Build an MVP. Start small & achievable. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use what others have already created so you can build fast. Get quick wins. Learn from mistakes and improve later.
SOLUTIONS NEED STORIES
Stories are the currency of life. They make data meaningful, ideas personal, relationships powerful, and innovations persuasive and memorable. A solution wrapped in an emotional charge is unstoppable.
FOLLOW THE NORTH STAR
Define your North Star (your long-term goal) then break it down into small achievable steps that provide actionable insight. Regularly check if you are moving towards or away from your goal.