Student Led Community Building
As the first student-run innovation hub in New Haven, Origami Innovations empowers students and community members to imagine, design, and co-create tangible, disruptive, and purpose-driven solutions to pressing issues. Modeled after successful student-led grassroots organizations at Stanford, MIT, and Harvard, we connect Yale’s academic communities within our innovation hub in the spirit of interdisciplinary innovation and co-design through our Innovation Lead, Gravity Project, and Fellowship programs. We focus on building close ties and partnerships with community members, organizations, and universities in greater New Haven. Outside of New Haven we consistently work to bridge resources to thriving innovation communities along the east coast and in the Silicon Valley–giving our community a true sense of support and guidance and a network that provides effortless connection to colleagues/peers, co-founders, contributors, mentors, industry and venture.
  Purpose Driven Innovation
Create with purpose. We focus on the real-world value that an idea or venture creates to help our community members move their interests and passions out of academic journals and into tangible solutions–taking the next step from focusing on the ways the world “should be changed” into the ways the world “can be changed” (and empowering individuals to change it). A great deal of creating purpose-driven solutions is empathy and human-centric design. Connecting academic communities ranging from engineering and computer science, to medicine, law and business, to music, digital media, psychology, and art is part of the interdisciplinary mission that brings out not only a higher quantity of ideas, but a higher–and more inspired–quality of ideas. We hope you’ll join us in the Origami Innovations hub to get started!
  How Might We?
There is a reason that Stanford, Harvard, and leading global design firm IDEO build their innovation programs around this seemingly simple phrase. How might we questions help us reorganize our thinking–to add complexity and nuance into brainstorming, to gain deeper insights into possibilities, and to design thoughtful human-centric solutions based on empathy and perspective taking.
At Origami Innovations we embrace human-centered design thinking in all of our programs and projects–by embracing time-tested innovation processes and adding our own unique flavor into the mix. Our innovation lab is designed in collaboration with supporters at IDEO and our design methodology and programming in collaboration with supporters from Stanford Medicine X, IDEO,
and John’s Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub. We asked ourselves, “How might we inspire a new community of empowered innovators and entrepreneurs in New Haven?” Our solution is Origami Innovations 🙂

  Yes! (and even better if…)
Growth cannot occur without support from colleagues and peers. Our community is designed to be supportive in every step of the innovation process. We believe in withholding judgement on new ideas and providing a “Yes! (and even better if…)” approach towards suggestions and critiques. We teach this in an effort to move away from a “No, because” culture. There is a reason that “No, because” comes so easily to our minds. “No, because” requires less cognitive energy–you have identified a problem but you haven’t taken the cognitive leap to find a creative solution. “Yes, and even better if” allows us to design in a sandbox. In this sandbox we can take an idea to extremes, explore opposites, question assumptions, and encourage rapid fire acquisition of data from diverse perspectives. Potential problems are opportunities for brainstorming not for shutting down–by the end of an ideation session solutions often present themselves. Often ideas go through countless revisions and iteration cycles before maturing and we aim to support that process intimately. So: What’s your, “Yes! (and even better if…)?”

Everything Comes Together Here



We aim to empower all individuals in their ventures from the first fold


We believe in a community build on mutual support and empowerment from the ground up


We believe in the value of human connection between all stakeholders


Focus on meaningful disruptive solutions


Transition “should be’s” to “how might we’s?” Design within scope


At Origami Innovations all unique perspectives are welcome and valued


The best ideas are nourished, not hatched fully formed


View the impossible as an opportunity to imagine