The iGNITE Convergence Program
at École des Ponts Business School
Created in 2007 as the world’s first Innovation, Design, Engineering and Business program, before the Stanford iGNITE program, or the Cambridge iGNITE program, iGNITE Convergence Program at École des Ponts is a 45 h, three-day, 15 hours per day, team based, design, design thinking, engineering and new product development zeitgeist. The program consists of 36 case studies, 36 exercises, and numerous group working sessions over three consecutive days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). iGNITE Convergence focuses on Design, Design Thinking Toolsets, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship output. It has been delivered to hundreds of participants around the globe including private and multinational corporations, government offices and universities. The results are real products making it into the real world. iGNITE Convergence participants walk into the program with rough ideas and emerge with the fundamentals for physical design, design thinking, engineering and business — outputs necessary to turn new product development efforts into tangible products.
The iGNITE Convergence program consists of artistic investigation, focused discussions, case studies, exercises, and team presentations to bring design, design thinking, engineering, core business + leadership output into reality broken down into 3 days with 3 specific tangible outcomes.
The highly intense iGNITE Convergence, Design, Design Thinking, Engineering program has been delivered since 2007 at international universities and with corporate clients globally. It was combined with iGNITIATE’s Strategize, Sketch & Ship model especially for École des Ponts Business School to help participants to uncover new design, product and services slated for rapid launch locally or internationally.
DAY 1 OUTPUT: Design Thinking Tools and the Artists Mentality
Participant and team progress and learning is based on each group member rotating in the role of design leader and team follower based on 12 design thinking tool case studies and exercises. In addition to aesthetic and physical product and service design advising, teams focus on the leadership skills necessary to utilize the “artists mentality” and how art and artistic thinking directly influences new product development in scientific as well as non scientific efforts. The 3-day program has a very time-intense and focused atmosphere where teams of five or six participants develop and craft new products or services for the real world utilizing artistic tool sets and design thinking models with manufacturing executives from multinational firms who also participate in the program. Graduates of The iGNITE Convergence Program often say they had no idea they could use art and design thinking methodologies to create so much in so little time and are constantly amazed at the level of professional design driven output that they can accomplish in this portion of the program.
DAY 2 OUTPUT: Innovation, Engineering and New Product Development
Product Design, Service Design, Logistics and Innovation methodologies and tools are the focus of day 2 related to the engineering and manufacturing necessary used to hone the artistic intent and design thinking focus from day 1. Engineering focused project ideas are not given by the instructors, nor are they crowdsourced, they are discussed and selected by participants in each team on the first first day. Twelve design innovation, engineering and disruptive design tool case studies and twelve exercises are completed. Participants focus on what and how a game changing new product or service can be built for maximum impact in the ecosystem for which that product or service has been created, based on, when possible, specific scientific and R&D capabilities.
DAY 3 OUTPUT: Entrepreneurial & Intrapreneurial Goals
Focused, tight, design centric, financially viable, engineering validated and beautiful products are the cornerstone to bringing innovations to light in the real world. Participants walk away from The iGNITE Convergence Program able to present and frame their ideas to partners, collaborators, manufacturers, VC’s, investors, other engineers and strategic partners, employees and collaborators. Teams have multiple runs to perfect their designs, communication styles including elevator pitches, role playing and via feedback throughout the program by instructors and other team members. This program is not meant as a feeder for TechCrunch, Y-Combinator or for investors looking to fund ideas generated by the program. The format of The iGNITE Convergence Program means that the specialized IP of each team member remains with that participant and is not used in the projects of the program or with industry experts, professors, and outside experts on hand to lend guidance. Specific direction if participants are interested is through these individuals on a one on one basis after the program.
Testimonials from past participants
iGNITE Program endorsements come from many international university, government and multinational corporate clients and individuals including:
“Great background, charisma from the team and teaching method which bakes an incredible amount of knowledge into people in just no time. This definitely is about real life. I had so much fun !”
– Japanese International Designer
“We needed this. Bold and revolutionary ideas & tools didn’t follow a cookie cutter process. I believe the iGNITE program was very necessary for some while proving to us that we can execute design thinking efforts quickly.”
– Senior Intelligence Officer CIA: United States Department of Defense
“A VERY challenging atmosphere which makes it possible to do things that I would NEVER do in normal conditions. The iGNITE program was huge and the instructors very straight to the point which enable them to cover incredible amounts in a very short time while making me really think about design, creating a sustainable the enterprise, its goals and way to success. Kept the whole program very entertaining and knew exactly how to get us to work. The instructors were very open and realistic about what was being taught, about their ideas and how to make things work in the real world.”
– Chinese MBA Graduate in Innovation
“I felt the iGNITE program delivered great value & facilitated feedback on our beliefs and encouraged collaborating with other members. The program was had a very positive attitude with a tough subject and a very tough group”
– US NAVY Pilot and Deputy Commander Joint Carrier Air Wing
“Unorthodox approach to teaching the contents of the course. Extremely interactive approach involving every participant. Very dynamic and challenging. The iGNITE program was very challenging.”
– French Experienced Executive & PhD
“I have used design thinking approaches and also planned design thinking workshops before and still I learned allot of new tools and applications. I enjoyed the iGNITE programs energy & the teams willingness to jump in with a dynamic, difficult & challenging group!”
– Commanding Officer & Captain U.S. Coast Guard
“Very lively and pro-active. The whole iGNITE program was original and kept the interest of the class. It has really made me see the other side of the wall. Extremely interactive and instructors were well mastered in subject and special style.”
– American Masters Graduate in Software Engineering
“This was bound to be a very hard group as this is 100% outside most of our comfort zones so thank you for making us try and pushing us to make it work!”
– US AIR FORCE Pilot Wing Commander – Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing
” Highly Interactive program with a goal which is to prepare us for presenting our product to investors and manufacturing partners.”
– Danish Masters Graduate in Industrial Design
“Well done with a “by nature” difficult group. Thanks for igniting our project. I think we will get our message across now.”
– Deputy Director: U.S. Coast Guard
“The program challenged us and let us practice the activities and skills we will use in the future. Well done!”
– US AIR FORCE Pilot & Commanding Officer Strike Fighter Squadron
The iGNITE Convergence Program Faculty
The iGNITE Convergence Program was created in 2007 by Pr Gregory Polletta as part of the Doctoral Program in Management – designed for PhD. students – and the Certificate in International Management – designed for elite engineering students – at École nationale des ponts et chaussées, the oldest engineering school in the world and one of France’s most prestigious institutions. The iGNITE Convergence Program is led by award-wining designer and engineer Professor Gregory N. Polletta. We will be announcing additional international speakers and industry experts one month prior to the event.
Professor Gregory N. Polletta
Designer. Catalyst. Engineer. Professor Polletta’s engineering, new product development and leadership experience has been with Bankers Trust, Avero Inc., Xerox PARC Labs, and the American Management Systems Center for Advanced Technology later culminating in the forming of iGNITIATE an innovation strategy and new product development firm working with small to mid-size firms, family run companies, and R&D labs such as Columbia University, Pfizer, MIT, US National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, Fujitsu, L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Wattens, and many others. Prof. Polletta has designed products for Magis, Roche Bobois, e-my, Philips de Pury, Cristina Grajales, Guzzini, ATC, London Design Council, Banana Republic, Dieteker, Ligne Roset, Artemide, and many others.
Professor Polletta has taught Design Innovation, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship, Industrial Design and New Product Development at École des Ponts Business School, Paris, France; University of Connecticut, Storrs; European School of Economics, Milan & Rome, Italy; Parsons School of Design, Paris; IFM MBA in Luxury Management Paris; Lucerne School of Art and Design, Lucerne Switzerland; The Royal College of Art, London and St. Martins school of Design, London. After almost 10 years with ENPC, and after more than 500 industry professionals have passed through his classes, Professor Polletta was named the most inspirational professor Ecole des Ponts International Management Program for Ph.Ds & Engineering Students in 2014. Professor Polletta holds a MS in Industrial Design from Domus Academy in Milan, a BS in Information Systems in the Management & Engineering for Manufacturing program and a minor in Emerging Technology Development from the University of Connecticut United States with a concentration in Medieval Society at Selwyn College, Cambridge University UK.
Gregory has served as a board member, board of advisor member and investor to nonprofit and for profit firms throughout Europe and the US and has been a past Designer in Residence at True Start & True Capital Venture Capital focusing on consumer products and retail. Gregory is also a member of the prestigious American Program Bureau and the international London Speakers Bureau and has been a keynote speaker and designer for such events as The World Retail Congress in Paris, The Chairman of the Global Leadership Summit in New York and many other international conferences as well as is a 2015 judge of the HULT Prize.
Join an existing session or organize an in-house training
For more information on whne and where the iGNITE program is offered, or to organize an in-house session, please send an email to the iGNITE Convergence Program Team at iGNITE-ENPC-2017@iGNITIATE.com or contact École des Ponts Business School Admissions Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or +33 1 64 15 22 12.