IE IMPACT is a transversal academic program for all IE University students that aims to turn them into keen agents of positive change in society. Beyond enlightening students about the most complex challenges humanity faces, IE IMPACT seeks to empower them through the IE Challenge to help real-world businesses contribute positively to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Students from across IE University schools and undergraduate degrees come together in this dynamic program where they are introduced to some of the most complex issues and challenges societies face all over the world. They develop a working knowledge of the disruptive technologies that are applied to address these challenges, contemplate their implications and take an entrepreneurial approach to develop solutions. This mindset is achieved by learning to conceive, design and validate business models that can serve to make positive change happen over a long period. Finally, student teams tackle real-world problems by forming and designing proposals to help a startup advance, amplify or scale-up their impact in achieving one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Comprising courses in the Humanities, Technology and Entrepreneurship, IE IMPACT reinforces these three foundational pillars of IE University. Diversity is a significant element of the entire learning journey, all of which culminates with the IE Challenge.
The Three Pillars + IE Challenge
In the Humanities, students can choose from an array of courses that will boost awareness of complex issues and challenges facing societies across the world, and how to address them. Students will learn to observe, reflect, compare, question and analyze, and finally synthesize and communicate their conclusions—all of which are necessary to develop critical thinking. This foundation in the Humanities will expose students to diverse approaches and ideologies. They will also discover how societies have historically responded to problems, and will be provided with frameworks and insights to better tackle current and future challenges.
In Technology, students learn about disruptive technologies that are having the greatest impact on solving some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges and reshaping businesses. They discover how and when such technology can be applied, and the possibilities and limitations of this technology. Students learn about a disruptive technology mindset, exponential technologies, artificial intelligence and data science, all of which takes them out of their comfort zones and challenges them to become accustomed to working in tandem with technology. Students will understand the opportunities as well as the implications that come with the application of certain technologies, including important aspects such as ethics, bias and security.
In Entrepreneurship, students learn to step out of their comfort zones, question both themselves and existing solutions and/or systems, and work in conditions of uncertainty. Students develop entrepreneurial mindsets by conceiving, validating and developing innovative business models, which can then be applied to societal challenges that provide sustainable solutions. Students learn to think and act innovatively, and develop key teamwork skills, learning about themselves, their teammates and the value of diversity.
IE IMPACT ends with the IE Challenge. Here, students apply everything they have learned throughout the three foundational pillars of the program to solve real-world problems. The IE Challenge identifies startups that are working toward specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that are eager to collaborate with IE University students. Teams of students then attend workshops, meet and consult with startups, and receive mentoring to ideate, validate and pitch proposals that will help the startups work towards their specific sustainable goal. The top teams will be invited to pitch their proposals at IE IMPACT DAY, a final, celebratory event where a jury will select the best proposals for each of the startups participating in the program.