After months of social distancing and business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been catching glimpses of our old lives lately—dining outside at our favorite restaurants, unfurling our coziest blankets at our local beach. These hints of normalcy, however, belie the deeper economic and social impact of the disease, which experts say will last at least 12-24 months. To tackle the range of challenges we will face in our post-COVID-19 future, Stanford GSB announced a new initiative: Stanford Rebuild, a global innovation sprint to rebuild the economy, develop solutions for a better “new normal” for individuals, businesses and governments.
“Stanford Rebuild is designed to encourage and support rapid innovation and creativity at this uniquely challenging time,” said Stefanos Zenios, the faculty director of Stanford GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Operations, Information & Technology. “Periods of disruption bring to light new problems, and we’ve seen important innovations and significant new businesses created during challenging times.”
Beginning June 22nd, Stanford Rebuild is a free eight-week program, which invites students, business leaders and innovators to investigate ideas and solutions for a post-COVID-19 society. Structurally, it is based on the Stanford Embark curriculum, a step-by-step toolkit designed to help people turn an idea into a viable business.
Stanford Rebuild also breaks down goals related to COVID-19 recovery into four key categories: reimagine organizations, reinforce healthcare systems, revitalize the workplace and redesign human wellbeing. Related issues may include implementing scalable and socially-responsible testing and contact tracing, identifying new business opportunities, ensuring equitable healthcare access, and more. Participants are also welcome to submit ideas for exploration when they sign up.
Stanford Rebuild is open to anyone over the age of 13 and accessible anywhere online. Individuals or teams can sign up for free. When signing up for Stanford Rebuild, the form requests information about the problem a participant is trying to solve, the potential impact of their project, the industry or sector it’s related to, and the stage of the idea. Stanford Rebuild organizers will review and select a small number of projects for additional mentoring. The eight-week, seven-step curriculum of Stanford Rebuild culminates in an Executive Showcase Celebration in early September. Select teams with promising ideas will present to a panel of experts, who will provide feedback and insights regarding how to move forward.
Stanford Rebuild was organized by Stanford GSB’s Executive Education and the school’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, in collaboration with schools and groups across Stanford University. Learn more about Stanford Rebuild here.