female student with crate of oranges

Credit: University of California

In UC Berkeley’s Eat.Think.Design course, students not only learn about food and nutrition problems, they devise solutions to benefit society.

It’s a winning combination, teaching graduate students how to systematically design innovative interventions and programs in public health. This spring, 60 students applied for 25 spots. For the past four years, 40 percent of students indicated that Eat.Think.Design — along with its predecessor, Designing Innovative Public Health Solutions — was the “best course” they took at UC Berkeley, with the other 40 percent stating it was in the “top 10 percent” and the rest saying it was in the “top 25 percent.”

This spring’s class includes three students who have started their own companies and several who have worked for big companies such as IBM, Deloitte and Eli Lilly. Most have about five years experience working for government agencies or large nonprofits.

“To keep the attention of such students, we need to give them actual problems to focus on,” said Jaspal Sandhu, a UC Berkeley lecturer in design and innovation and one of the course’s three instructors.

Read more at UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies