As a second year "dual degree-er", my Haas experience is slightly different than the norm - focusing on core MPH classes in addition to select MBA electives. In response to some of the global discussions around chronic disease - showcased by the latest UN Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) - a team of three MBA/MPH-ers Jenny Chang, Rachel Sherman, and myself have entered the NCD Challenge, a global innovation competition sponsored by Novartis and IBM.
The competition requests a game-changing intervention, technology, or solution for either the developed or developing world. Since our team has had substantial experience in Latin America, Asia, and Africa - we are working together with MD, nutrition, business, engineering, and i-School students at Berkeley, UCSF, and Stanford - we are trying to come up with a packaged intervention to deliver maximum impact in the developing world.
In the process of diverging and converging on various needs and solutions - we've put to use much of our design thinking skills learned in "Problem Finding, Problem Solving" in our core coursework. These problem framing approaches and solution identification/observation/testing have been critical.
Next month we will go to Mexico to do a field study and concept test some of our potential solutions in the context of our "customers." We look forward to seeing where our research will lead us and (hopefully) winning the NCD Challenge!