ENVR E-154: Sustainable Product Design and the Innovation Ecosystem


  • Professor: Ramon Sanchez
  • Term: Fall
  • Days: M
  • Time: 8:10-10:10PM, or on demand 
  • School: Harvard Extension School
  • Course ID: 14518
This course is for anyone who would like to learn how to design and launch a new product with the smallest environmental footprint. Students acquire many tools and skills in the course: how to do market intelligence (technological benchmarking and reverse engineering), how to incorporate real sustainability into new products (and identify green washing), how to use structured tools to enhance creativity and innovation to conceive and develop new products, how to design and implement a new product introduction process, how to do and implement the design of experiments to select the most robust features for products, how to write and submit a patent application to decrease legal costs, how to protect copyrights and trademarks, how to fund intellectual property by using funds from business incubators and accelerators, how to select the right materials and processes to minimize the product's environmental impacts (using green chemistry principles, sustainable sourcing of components, and sustainable certification for raw materials to promote conservation), how to reduce energy use by new products, how to build and test prototypes in an inexpensive way, and how to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging and transportation. Students also learn the basic components of an innovation ecosystem and how high technology hubs such as Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York work.
Prerequisite: Basic math at a high school level.