The Lean Educator’s Mashup
Educators carry the burden and the honor to shape the next generation of engineers, designers, workers. Lean educators do even more. They embrace the heavier and most significant challenge of developing critical thinking within this incoming generation of workforce - and brain-force. As society is rapidly changing, so both the contents and the teaching techniques we use in class have to quickly and effectively adapt to cope with these new educational needs and opportunities: what we teach and how. This talk will share the daily challenge I face as a professor in teaching engineering graduate students and industry executives at Politecnico di Milano (the top technical university in Italy). I will discuss how I integrate multiple domains, including lean product and process development, product life cycle management, circular economy, lean startup, and design thinking into a lean teaching mashup of serious games, exercises, and gemba-based action-learning so students learn practical and deep meta-skills for lean and critical thinking.