Winter Term 2019
2019 OBERLIN WINTER TERM
Foresight Sustainable Innovation Studio
Application Deadline: Monday, Nov 5
Application linked below.
The Foresight Sustainable Innovation Studio provides a small group of enterprising students with a multitude of capacities to become more adept change-makers and future professionals. Combining real-world, project-based work with a series of structured seminars and regular feedback, the program empowers participants with practical experience and new perspectives. This year, the student innovation team will gain experience in applied sustainability, social entrepreneurship, innovation methodology and skills, and several career development and discernment topics. The projects will include developing and launching YeoCo, an innovative, branded apparel business that will integrate progressive design and sustainability with a compelling social mission. This undertaking will inform a secondary undertaking: developing a fresh, business-focused curriculum unit for participants in Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College, the organization’s summer leadership development program for high school students. Regular professional development sessions will augment the experience, as will weekly group informational interviews with members of Foresight’s extensive network chosen based on the team's input. Students should be prepared to exercise and develop essential skills for thriving in a collaborative office setting, be dedicated to their own personal and professional development, and be ready to engage a variety of sustainability topics, and have fun.
Especially encouraged to apply:
Students with experience/interest in design disciplines, including graphic design;
Students interested in applied sustainability through the development of circular economies in the apparel industry;
Students interested in business and entrepreneurship as drivers of social and environmental change.
What You Do
The project will have two core focuses: Project Management and Professional Development.
Working closely with Foresight’s founder/Executive Director Peter Nicholson (OC ‘91), participants will complete and begin working toward implementation of a business plan for YeoCo, a sustainable apparel enterprise that will function as a social venture, with profits supporting Foresight Prep @ Oberlin College, Foresight’s leadership accelerator for national high school students passionate about creating transformative social and environmental change. YeoCo will be an Oberlin-focused t-shirt business that aims to disrupt the currently staid branded apparel available at the College Bookstore, and celebrate the College’s long history of dynamic, student and alumni-produced DIY t-shirt designs. Contributing to this project will afford students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of business and entrepreneurship as drivers of change, and of applied sustainability in the apparel industry through efforts to create more circular economies. With this growing knowledge, they will contribute to the development of a new, business-focused curriculum unit for the Foresight Prep @ Oberlin summer program.
Throughout the Term, Foresight will support participants in their pursuit of meaningful and fulfilling careers as social and environmental change-makers:
Identify your strengths;
Gain perspective on what makes a valuable employee;
Practice critical technical and interpersonal skills to work successfully in any office environment;
Learn to network with integrity, including techniques for informational interviews;
Interact with professionals from Foresight's Chicago network of peer institutions;
Hone your resume and LinkedIn profile.
The project will require students be fully committed in order to be successful. They should expect to be present in the office, and for their time to be occupied by internship activities, 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. A portion of each day will likely be spent in group sessions. Participants will be expected to stay healthy, stay in Chicago (including weekends), participate fully, and communicate any issues that arise, in order to ensure the best group experience and outcomes for all. Students should have their own learning goals, and hold themselves accountable for achieving them to the fullest extent possible. Those who choose/are chosen to participate will be asked to sign a mutual commitment form.
Sophomores and juniors are preferred, but others will be considered. Prior knowledge of, or experience with, social innovation, systems analysis, business, social entrepreneurship, or sustainability issues is not required, just a sincere interest. Participants will be expected to be fully engaged and collaborative in order to accomplish an ambitious program in a short timeframe, as well as to ensure an inspiring and fulfilling experience. Students with experience/interest in design disciplines, including graphic design, are especially encouraged to apply.
Participants are required to secure their own lodging. Foresight will assist with referrals to places that have hosted students in the past. These range from host families, to a local housing and dining Co-op to a residential hotel. (The co-op is very reasonable and their price includes food. They do, however, have an application and interview process they require all potential residents to complete). The Oberlin Career Center is also happy to provide contact lists for alumni who have indicated willingness to host Winter Term students. Accepted students concerned about housing should contact Foresight ASAP, so that this does not become a deterrent to their participation.
Students will be responsible for their own travel to and from Chicago. Foresight is happy to provide assistance with identifying cost-effective options. Many past Oberlin interns have used Megabus, Amtrak, or Shuttlehome for transport between Chicago and Cleveland/Oberlin.
Applications Due: Monday, Nov. 5
Applicant Interviews: Wednesday Nov. 7-Friday, Nov. 9
Decisions Made (including potential wait list): Monday, Nov. 12
Mutual Commitment Form Deadline: Friday, Nov. 16
Oberlin College Winter Term Registration Deadline: Friday, Dec. 7
Winter Term Begins: Thursday, Jan. 3
Winter Term Ends: Tuesday, Jan 29, with final group deliverable
Student Reports Due to Faculty Sponsors: Wednesday, Feb. 6
Students will be supervised by Foresight Design Initiative staff, including Peter Nicholson (OC '91), who has 20 years of experience as a sustainability-oriented designer, educator and innovator, and Foresight Prep Program Director Tim Jones-Yelvington, who has worked for eight years in the fields of Youth Development, Philanthropy and Community Organizing.
Read more about the Foresight staff here.
Contact Tim Jones-Yelvington: