Innovation happens when convergent thinkers, who march straight ahead towards their goal, combine forces with divergent thinkers—those who professionally wander, who are comfortable being uncomfortable, and who look for what is real.”

—John Maeda, Chief Technology Officer of Everbridge

Through convergent thinking, we narrow down possibilities in the search of a solution to a set problem. On the other hand, through divergent thinking, we logically generate alternatives that branch off from a common starting point. Both operations are necessary for creative thought. 

Innovation Day is a biannual celebration of the creative ideas that are being developed using divergent and convergent thinking—and applied to solve meaningful challenges—across Illinois Institute of Technology’s campus.

On Innovation Day, students present their work to the Illinois Tech and Chicago communities and compete for cash prizes, which are intended to encourage students to implement their ideas. 

Teams are assessed based on an established set of criteria, which have been selected because they underlie an effective divergent/convergent thinking process and a commitment to creating positive value in the world:

  • Problem/solution fit and uniqueness
  • Evidence of market and tech validation
  • Quantification of market and social impact
  • Description of the implementation plan
  • Overall ability to communicate ideas
Students present their solution at Innovation Day

Ideas in Motion

Illinois Tech students in the Industry and Community Labs track showcased solutions that they designed in partnership with a Bronzeville-based business, Shawn Michelle’s Ice Cream.

Learn More