James Patell : 2010 Plenary Session


Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability"


Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability is a project course in which graduate students apply design, engineering and business skills to create comprehensive solutions for challenges faced by the world's poor. Student teams collaboratively design product prototypes, implementation plans, and user experiences for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. Now in its seventh year, the course has partnered with organizations in ten countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Projects have ranged from irrigation systems to solar-rechargeable lights to incubators for low birth-weight infants. In this session, Erica Estrada and Jim Patell will describe the course structure, and explore one project in depth.


Jim Patell is the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management at the Graduate School of Business; he is a Business School Professor with an Engineer's training. Jim has taught a wide variety of courses at the GSB, from Accounting to Computer Modeling to Operations to Quality Management. Jim is a director of the Product Realization Network at Stanford, and he was one of the seven founding core faculty of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (the d-School), where he co-teaches Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability with Professor David Beach. Jim has served as an associate dean for academic affairs in the GSB, where he redesigned and revitalized the Public Management Program, which focuses on government, nonprofit organizations, and public service. He has received the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Miriam Aaron Roland Award for Volunteer Service at Stanford University, and the Robert T. Davis Faculty Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Graduate School of Business.


Erica Estrada is currently the Director of the Social Entrepreneurship Lab at the Stanford d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design). In her role at the d.school, Erica co-teaches the Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability course as well as provides opportunities for teams coming out of the Extreme Affordability course to continue their projects and get their devices manufactured and into the hands of real customers. Previously Erica co-founded D.light Design, a social enterprise that designs, manufactures and distributes affordable light and power products to people living off-grid. As a product designer and the VP of Customer Research at D.light, she traveled throughout India, Myanmar and Cambodia testing light prototypes and doing human factors research. D.light now has 4 offices worldwide, and has recently achieved a '1 million people impacted' milestone. A mechanical engineer by training (Stanford BS '05 & MS '07), Erica is most passionate about gaining empathy for people living in the developing world in order to most effectively design a product that has the potential to change their life.