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Value Creation Initiative

WPI is pioneering the introduction of value creation as a core part of a higher education curriculum. The university’s distinctive project-based learning model provides an ideal foundation for developing these skills. Students who understand value creation and how that impacts customer value creation and can put it into practice are going to be in demand in the immediate job market and throughout their long-term careers.

Mission Statement:

WPI is dedicated to developing the world’s best value creators who can make a significant, positive impact on the world.

What Is Value Creation?

Value creation is the process for developing solutions and innovations that people want and that is better than all the alternatives.  Students learn value creation principles as they would any other discipline—with repeated practice that leads to improvement. As students learn the practice of value creation learning and creating concepts, their success becomes more rapid, efficient, and effective.

WPI’s educational approach is ideal for learning and practicing in a value creation framework. Project-based work offers a distinct setting for real-world problem solving that meets a customer's needs. The many diverse talents of team members expand the potential impact, and the inherent teamwork highlights the power of feedback that’s given and received—a proven and continual component of value creation.

Why Is Value Creation Important to Students?

VCI WPI_Foisie_090518-7533.jpg

Teamwork is essential to value creation. alt
Teamwork is essential to value creation.

WPI students want to make a meaningful impact with their work—value creation makes that possible. Students who master this practice use it across their work and personal lives. It applies to basic researchers, commercial professionals, educators, government officials, and entrepreneurs.

Value creation is

  • The primary job and responsibility of all professionals, in all positions, and in all professions
  • A core lifetime skill that becomes more valuable with experience
  • The ability that distinguishes the most impressive professionals


What Students Learn

Value creation is a process that takes practice and repetition to perfect. As students learn how to adapt these methodologies into their academics, professional work, and personal lives, they change the way they think about approaching and solving problems.

This discipline teaches students and professionals how to leverage innovation and creativity and match it with a solution that benefits society. The process teaches students these skills and more:

  • Create solutions that people care about
  • Identify important opportunities; not ones that are just interesting
  • Give compelling presentations
  • Form productive teams
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Implement the value-creators mantra: iterate, iterate, iterate
  • Form R&D proposals, business presentations, and venture pitches


VCI Programs for WPI Students and Professionals

WPI’s project-based learning educational model is an ideal method for teaching and learning the proven methodology of value creation. Project-based work allows students to fine-tune their focus, or value creation proposition while working with others to give and receive continual and constructive feedback.

At WPI, opportunities for value creation are found in areas including:

  • Undergraduate team projects
  • Graduate thesis research
  • Executive workshops
  • Programs for faculty researchers
  • Value creation in core university subjects

Why Value Creation Matters

Curtis Carlson, Len Polizzotto, and Glenn Gaudette believe value creation is a skill students must have. Learn more about the synergy between value creation methodology and WPI’s project-based approach.

Value Creation Workshops

In VCI-focused workshops, students learn value creation is the next step after theory and practice. Find out how workshops funded by KEEN and the Kern Foundation help them learn to amplify their project work into innovation with a direct purpose.

One Student Researcher's Value Creation Journey

Jordan J. says value creation principles have changed the way he looks at his biomedical research. He now sees how his work can make a specific, and needed, impact in the world.

Using Value Creation to Elevate Research

Alex believes value creation principles are the perfect balance for WPI's project work. The teamwork in the value creation process and in projects improves the results of each. Alex says the new perspective offers a lifelong benefit.  

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