Innovation is a common theme at Autodesk University each year. This year the company brought together presentations and displays of some wonderful examples of the company’s involvement with outreach and enablement of young people.
Autodesk Software Free to all in Education
Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk’s Chief Marketing Officer discussed our near future population and how their needs will not be diminishing. “We need to support 10 billion people on this planet with 2 times the energy production that we have now” he remarked. Autodesk is trying to help the world solve some staggering statistical possibilities like this one and many more.
The company has taken the position that the best way to solve these problems is to enable the next generation of thinkers, and one part of that solution is to put design software in every educational institution in every part of the world for free. Their intention is to remove the barriers stopping young people from exploring new ideas and new ways of solving problems that we face every day.
Autodesk software is in use by 192 million students in 82 thousand institutions around the world. Access to those design tools is giving these students the ability to explore new ideas that they didn’t think were possible before, including capturing and reusing energy in innovative ways.
That accessibility is being delivered to more than simply educational institutions. Chris noted that Autodesk has 218 million consumer product accounts, with 1500 new accounts being added every 10 minutes.
Project H Design
One presentation that was truly inspiring and absolutely enjoyable was Project H Design. Emily Pilloton, its founder wanted to help the world reconnect with the joy of building things. Project H Design provided an amazing way of bringing design to students, with realistic impacts and goals.
Emily discussed various projects including a new library challenge, where students were challenging what a library should be, and capturing modular design possibilities. Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass invited the participants to Pier 9 and use some of their tools in order to complete the student’s concept design requirements.
Her presentation went beyond that to show how Project H was reaching communities, and having a much larger impact, which inspires students to continue to solve their problems locally. She went on to say that Project H was capturing the capability of students that have been underestimated.
“Project H is more amazing than I can capture here; really exciting possibilities that are being developed” she said. Emily went on to say something that I thought was absolutely paramount:
“We are responsible to provide a pathway, not just an opportunity for these students.”
She closed out the discussion by highlighting a team of young ladies performing numerous tasks including welding. I remember how amazing it was to complete my first structural airframe class, and gain that understanding of manufacturing and fabrication processes. For every bit of education you give a person, you suddenly get substantially better solutions and results. That person sees the issues in a whole new light, and are no longer afraid to tackle them.
As Emily closed her presentation, she displayed a sign that contained an inspiring statement, a motto if you will:
“I am a 10 year old girl and I can weld. What can’t I do?”
You print that on a shirt and I’ll wear it. Men’s Large.
Image courtesy of Project H Design and Emily Pillonton