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Value Creation Initiative

Innovation for Impact (i4i)

We give you the skills to make a positive impact on the world.

WPI has pioneered the teaching of value creation as an essential ability for all professionals. Value creation is the process of creating solutions for unmet societal needs that provide more value to customers than any alternative and that satisfy all stakeholders. Value creation is how innovations are developed.

WPI’s project-based curriculum provides the basis for learning value creation. Graduates who master value creation are among the most valued employees throughout their careers.

Our Mission

The Value Creation Initiative's mission is to develop the world's best value creators and innovators.

Why It's Important

The world’s challenges will only be solved by passionate professionals with essential technical, human, and value creation skills. Value creation is the process for how to make a positive impact on the world.

What We Do

We work with undergraduate and graduate project teams, professors as part of classroom subjects, and with other WPI initiatives. Team projects are used for learning the practice of value-creation. We also work with:

·     WPI faculty on R&D and new proposals
·     Companies and startups
·     Universities, not-for-profits, and government agencies

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to: identify problems that matter, assemble and work in productive teams, give and receive feedback, convincingly present the value of your initiative, and develop action plans for moving forward. You will learn human values that amplify creative collaboration, such as respect, inclusion, and integrity. 

Why It Matters to You

Creating customer and societal value is the responsibility of all professionals. People with i4i skills are sought out by others, promoted first, and do work that matters. They enable a professional life with meaning and the satisfaction that comes from achievement.

How to Work with Us

If you want to learn more about working with us, use the contacts listed below. We welcome inquiries from people interested in improving innovative performance across society.

Meet Our Team

The Value Creation Initiative is led by Professor Glenn Gaudette with other faculty who have created world-changing innovations. Curtis Carlson was CEO of SRI International with Len Polizzotto when SRI created HDTV, Intuitive Surgical, and Siri. The team provides a unique opportunity for WPI students to learn from some of the world’s most successful innovators.

VCI Examples

The i4i value creation principles apply to virtually every project or problem. Here you will find examples of successful student projects, commercial projects, and additional material for improving your value creation skills.

The WPI Plan

In the 1960s, the university launched the WPI Plan, a project-based curriculum built on the university’s motto, Theory and Practice, and later added Impact. Emphasizing that the goal is to make a significant positive contribution to the world, VCI offers students the opportunity to

  • obtain a comprehensive education to understand the technical and scientific challenges of our world,
  • complete multiple team projects to have the skills to work collaboratively in diverse, interdisciplinary teams,
  • perform a global initiative to understand cultural differences and the world economy, and
  • graduate with a certificate of demonstrated performance in value creation to address the pressing unmet needs of society.
Value creation is needed in our global innovation economy. Professionals must have the skills to identify a working problem versus a problem that’s just interesting. Value creation is a systemic way of thinking about and practicing how to do that.
Curtis Carlson ’67
WPI trustee, and Hall of Luminaries inductee, co-founder of VCI methodologies
If you are doing a project, you want to make sure it’s a project people care about. Solving a problem that people have—that’s what leads to innovation.
Len Polizzotto ’70
co-founder of VCI methodologies
Having the ability to create value for society is a major differentiator for our graduates. Much of the technical knowledge gained at WPI will become outdated several years after graduation, while the value creation skills they develop remain.
Glenn Gaudette
William Smith Dean’s Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of WPI’s Value Creation Initiative