Over the past 10 years, faculty and staff at University of California, Berkeley have implemented the "Teaming with Diversity" curriculum in project-based classes with the goal of preparing students to work together to solve problems that matter. Our hope is that by unpacking the elements of building great teams, we might foster self-awareness amongst individuals, as well as grow their competency in working across boundaries. The teaming curricula we deliver integrates academic research and industry best practices, and is implemented using methods and exercises from the design field. This creates an engaging atmosphere through which learning opportunities can emerge.
Additionally, we believe learning to work across disciplines is critical for engaging with what Horst Rittel termed wicked problems. Wicked problems have no boundaries, are ever-changing, and involve many stakeholders. Solving wicked problems requires individuals to work together, to leverage disparate sources of information, and unlock new insights from the problem context. This process can only happen if we learn how to first relate to those we are working with, and then learn to connect our backgrounds and skillsets to create innovative change.
Numerous “wicked” problems within both local and global communities are ripe for innovation and action. Institutions of higher education have an imperative to provide students and future employees the skills and tools needed to create the impact they seek to make. By facilitating opportunities to learn to team, it is our hope that students will benefit by becoming more adept at framing challenges and designing solutions, which may also lead to exponential impact upon graduation.