Past Success | Batman in Hong Kong

Batman, a rising junior at Yale, came to Leap Summer excited to learn business strategy in the fields of clean energy and environmental sustainability. After a two-week meetup in Chicago, he caught a flight to Hong Kong and dove into work with Blue Sky, a company that installs hardware to monitor energy consumption, and then works closely with businesses to understand that information and use it to reduce energy consumption and expenses.

A month into his work, the online Business Operations course that Batman was taking alongside his apprenticeship had students define a need at their organization and develop a plan to address that need. Batman decided for his project to help the Blue Sky office reduce its energy consumption.Through his analysis, Batman predicted certain small interventions could reduce consumption at the office by 15%.  He approached his direct report and got approval for the project.

For two weeks, he went around and turned off unnecessary lights, and raised the thermostat a few degrees. He felt like he was annoying people a bit, but at the end of the two weeks, the data showed something amazing – Blue Sky had reduced its consumption by 30% in those two weeks. A week after Batman’s experiment ended, data showed something even more amazing – even though he’d stopped his personal interventions, others had picked up the responsibility for lowering usage and consumption remained 30% below where it had been before.

When he presented his work and learnings at the Leap Summer EXPO, Batman often used “we” when speaking about Blue Sky’s mission and work, as in “we’re trying to help Hong Kong return to blue skies.” Having found a company whose values aligned so well with him, and having contributed so meaningfully to that company’s ability to live into those values, help explain why that identification was so strong.

Future Success | Spreading across campus

What began as 15 students piloting a “Leap quarter” in 2017 soon grew to become a small movement, with students coming to the d.school from all over campus to design leaping/looping quarters. At first, students designed individualized quarters. Then a group of students proposed doing a collaborative leap to work on developing a project they’d begun in a business class. Then came faculty projects that brought students into them in quarter and year-long bursts of learning and contribution. Then projects that brought alumni back to campus, working for intensive stints side-by-side with undergraduate students and faculty. Soon the language of leaping/looping was ubiquitous: “What’s your leap?” replaced “What’s your major?”