Global Innovation Race2023-05-26T10:09:42-07:00
Digital Media Academy - Silicon Valley - Logo

Digital Media Academy & Stanford Educators Present:

The Global Innovation Race

Ages 13-18 | July 02-14, 2023 in Silicon Valley

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from Stanford Educators, travel to Silicon Valley, and take part in an exciting Innovation Challenge.

Innovate for Impact: Join the Race to Tackle Global Challenges & Design the Future with AI and Human-Centered Design Thinking.

Ignite your creativity and innovation skills with this immersive experience at the heart of Silicon Valley, where you’ll learn from Stanford Educators and unlock the power of AI to design solutions that will shape the future.

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Solve issues facing our global community, meet leading innovators and entrepreneurs, and build lasting friendships and memories for a lifetime!

Over the course of 13 days (12 nights), youth aged 13-18 from all over the world will descend on Silicon Valley for this year’s DMA Global Innovation Race. It’s a race against time to solve one problem…

How can we use AI to solve a pressing societal issue in a human-centered and sustainable way?

Phase 1: Design Thinking

You will learn the fundamental skills of human-centered design, the right mindsets to understand human needs, the ability to switch between divergent and convergent thinking during the creative process, and the power of iteration to frame problems and develop solutions.

You’ll also experience “building to think” – a fundamental principle that allows you to bring your ideas to life and refine them in real time.

Phase 2: Social Thinking

You will enhance their personal and academic growth while developing an international network of lifelong friends and fellow innovators. You’ll learn how to collaborate while building trust and safety in groups. This process involves creating a comfortable context for interaction, reducing awkwardness and fostering openness.

By making space for vulnerability and transparency, you will learn responsiveness, and how to ensure that everyone around you feels heard and valued.

Phase 3: Entrepreneurial Thinking

In an ever-shifting world, it’s crucial to know how to create compelling, sustainable value in any field you choose. The key is to think like an entrepreneur. By understanding potential markets, developing a strong value proposition, and creating a path to financial sustainability, you will be well on your way to success.

You will also learn important sales and marketing skills, so you’ll be able to effectively communicate the value of your ideas to others.

At the end of the race, you will have created a concept and prototype for a new way to use AI and will showcase your newfound skills in the FutureTech Showcase.

You will leave with an innovation portfolio and return home inspired by your peers and mentors, with stories and ideas that will propel you into any career you choose!

Designed & Led by Stanford Educators…

Glenn Fajardo

Stanford Educator | Former Director of Co-Design Practice @ TechSoup

Glenn Fajardo, connects to create, exploring how we can be creative together when we are far apart and in different cultural contexts. He has been part of the Stanford teaching community since 2014 and was the Stanford’s Distributed Learning Teaching Fellow in 2020.

For 14 years, Glenn has been a practitioner of virtual collaboration, working with people and organizations across six continents engaged in social impact work. Glenn is the co-author (with Kursat Ozenc) of Rituals for Virtual Meetings: Creative Ways to Engage People and Strengthen Relationships.

Glenn was formerly the Director of the Co-Design Practice of the TechSoup Global Network at TechSoup, a nonprofit social enterprise founded on the belief that technology can be a powerful enabler for greater social change. Formally trained in nuclear engineering sciences and public policy, Glenn also plays electric bass and likes to cook in other people’s kitchens.


Prashant Loyalka

Associate Professor of Education and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University

Andre Nudelman

Chairman @ DMA | Entrepreneur in residence at the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Chris Bennett

Affiliate, Stanford Graduate School of Education | Game Designer

Guest Speaker John Mitchell

John Mitchell

The Mary and Gordon Crary Family Professor, professor of computer science, and by courtesy professor of electrical engineering and professor of education | Former Stanford Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and chair of the Computer Science Department

Activities & Experiences

*The specific schedule and destinations may change 

One of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions, Stanford University is a globally renowned education destination known for catalyzing discovery, accelerating solutions, sustaining life on Earth, and preparing citizens for 21st-century life and work. Stanford University alumni are entrepreneurs that have gone on to develop some of the most influential digital media companies in the world from Netflix to Google.

Be inspired by visits to leading technology companies in Silicon Valley such as Google, Tesla , Meta (Facebook), Apple, OpenAI, and more. 

Learn how technology is used around the world at the Computer History Museum and the Intel Museum. Learn about the beginnings of the computer chip, and its layers of complex circuitry. Get inspired by the museum’s interactive displays and understand how Intel was established. These museums will give you a broad understanding of how technology, innovation, and new discoveries are shaping business in today’s world.


Student Tuition: $6,900 USD + airfare

Tuition covers all day-to-day expenses including two meals, accommodation, entertainment, excursions, equipment rental, trips, and all ground transportation during the program, including trains, buses, and taxis.

Registration Deadline May 31st

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will students be staying?2023-04-25T16:12:53-07:00

All students will be staying at Los Gatos Lodge. Central to Silicon Valley in the beautiful foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains and easy access to all program locations and attractions.

Amenities also include a swimming pool, bocce ball court, and fitness room. All adults will have their own room. Students will share a room with 1-2 other students in agreed groups. Accommodation costs are included in the program fees.

Are meals included?2023-04-25T16:14:09-07:00

Breakfast and Dinner are included in the program fees as well. A continental breakfast will be served daily at the hotel. Dinners will be catered and/or arranged by the program team. You can expect to eat well! Students will be free at lunch to grab anything local of their choice.

What is NOT included in the Tuition?2023-04-25T16:55:40-07:00

Tuition does not include international or internal airfare, baggage fees, visa and entry/exit fees, laundry, communication home, health care, travel insurance, COVID-19 tests, gifts, snacks, or other personal expenses.

Who is responsible for arranging the flights and travel plans?2023-04-25T16:56:43-07:00

Participants are fully responsible for arranging suitable travel. You will communicate your arrival day/time/location to our programs team who will arrange airport pick-up service as part of our welcome package.

What airport should we travel to?2023-04-25T16:57:12-07:00

You will travel to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) where you will be greeted by our Welcome team and taken to the hotel.

Do you have a sample itinerary?2023-04-25T17:01:04-07:00

Jul 02 | Travel Day
Depart your nearest international airport and fly to San Jose International Airport (SJC / KSJC) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO).‍ You will be greeted by The Innovation Race Welcome Team.

Jul 03 | Welcome Banquet and Competition Kickoff
Find your feet and enjoy an optional city tour on the first morning. The afternoon will be a series of welcome events with keynote speakers and an official Innovation Race kick-off banquet in the evening.

Jul 04-05 | Phase 1: Innovate / Stanford University Tour
Dive into the design thinking process with your team and begin to design your innovative solutions. Define your target audience and understand key consumer needs, barriers, attitudes, and aspirations to unlock new solutions and uncover emergent opportunities. With new insights, you will being to craft your design briefs to help clarify and focus your work. Students will participate in a guided campus tour of Stanford University and have the opportunity to meet world-class professors, researchers, and alumni.

Jul 06-07 | Phase 2: Collaborate/ The Computer History Museum
With a deep understanding of your consumer and a focused, well-articulated problem to solve, it’s time to start developing potential solutions. This phase is where creativity is unleashed on the intelligence — where the rubber meets the road. With the eventual goal of converging on a brilliant solution, students will use brainstorming, mind-mapping, landscape mapping, and Post-it Notes as they work through possible solutions. While not hard at work, students will visit the Computer History Museum to look back through the ages at the development of the great machines.

Jul 08-09 | A weekend of experiences in Silicon Valley
The weekend will be full of adventure with opportunities to explore local attractions and relax while making new friends. Choose your own adventures and join a visit to the Exploratorium, NASA Ames Research Center, or technology companies in Silicon Valley before spending some free time shopping or relaxing by the pool.

Jul 10-12 | Phase 3: Activate / Silicon Valley Tech Companies
The final phase of the Innovation Sprint focuses on activation, making your design solutions a reality. Students will engage in developing a prototype through rapid-sketch sessions or design sprints. Students will get fast, productive feedback from other program participants, coaches, and industry stakeholders as refine their solutions. During downtime, students will have the opportunity to visit local tech companies such as Google, Meta, Tesla, OpenAI, and more!

Jul 13 | FutureTech Showcase / Closing Ceremonies
We will finish off with a final FutureTech Showcase and closing ceremony that celebrates your hard work and achievements throughout the race.

Jul 14 | Travel Day
Say goodbye to new friends and pack your bags – it’s time to head home!

*Itinerary sample only and subject to change

Join the Global Innovation Race!

Still have questions?

Fill out the application form above and you will be contacted by one of our Experience Managers within 24 hours who
will review your application and answer all your questions regarding participation.

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