By Gemma Jiang
How can we enable graduate students to think in ways that open new possibilities, as well as to make good decisions based on diverse cross-disciplinary insights?
Here I describe how we have embedded 14 graduate students in a research team with nine faculty from four academic institutes, representing six disciplines (for simplicity only three disciplines – engineering, economics, and anthropology – are considered here). Our research addresses the circular economy. I have developed a three-step model (summarised in the figure below) to operationalize the “divergence-convergence diamond,” which is key to our teaching method.
The “divergence – convergence diamond” is widely used in design thinking. The divergent mode helps open new possibilities while the convergent mode helps evaluate what you have and make decisions.