There is a long history of conversations about integrating business and arts-based learning, but they are taking on more urgency today as technology-induced change and global interconnectivity are altering how humans learn, create, and construct new knowledge in unprecedented ways. However, there is much still to be learned about how the disciplines might be integrated and in what ways they can jointly serve the development not only of university students, but of how professional practice itself is defined. Over the past three years, faculty from the Theater and Dance Performance Studies, Art Practice, and Business disciplines at UC Berkeley have collaborated to create a course, Collaborative Innovation
, that explores both collaboration and innovation at the intersection of these three fields. This paper presents a framework for a genuinely integrated interdisciplinary class that interweaves personal development and growth with problem framing and solving skills, and diverse-team participation and leadership. Quotes from student reflection papers bring alive the transformational experiences students went through in this course. The integration of socially engaged art, business, and theater/performance through collaborative teamwork tackling important and challenging social problems opens unexpected potential for student development as future contributors to society.
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