In January 2019 a second group of Bulgarian teachers went to Stanford University to be trained under the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program. Among them were Associate Professor Kamen Spasov, Dean of the Mathematics and Informatics Faculty at Sofia University “Saint Kliment Ohridski”, and Victoria Stancheva, assistant at the Marketing Department at the University of Economics – Varna. They spent a few days at the center of the Silicone Valley where they exchanged experience with colleagues and participated in an intensive course in design thinking and developing specific creativity and organizational skills.
And this is what Victoria Stancheva shared after her return:
‘The program was quite intensive and well-structured at the same time. After each stage and session, we had time to give feedback, summarize what we learned and discuss how we can apply the knowledge at our universities. Interestingly, after going through the stages of design thinking, we had the chance to conduct a training session on the same topic for our students. Our group was comprised of teachers from various contingents and scientific fields (medicine, mathematics, business, military studies, music etc.) and all of us could clearly see the possibilities for applying (in our own work) the instruments and models shown. The environment and facilities at Stanford are centered on the convenience of students and are conducive to innovations. In my work, I shall apply design thinking tools in a start-up competition for high school and university students.’