About the course

This course is part of the Unleash Your Potential programme, which will enable you to explore sustainability, global citizenship, innovation and enterprise.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • A historic overview of how ideas become innovations
  • Insights into the habits of successful innovators
  • Approaches and methods for understanding and categorising complex problems
  • Techniques for structuring and solving problems
  • Understanding ‘accidental’ invention and engineering your own luck
  • Recognising different forms of innovation
  • Idea-generation and evaluation techniques
  • Using the Lean Startup method to test your ideas out
  • How to network, influence, and pitch your ideas effectively

What you’ll learn

 In the ever-changing and highly competitive world we live in, the ability to think creatively has never been more important.

Get an introduction to innovation and enterprise, and gain the confidence to generate ideas so that you can make a difference, with this online course from the University of Bristol.

You’ll learn ways to develop ideas, gain creative confidence, and turn ideas into action.

You’ll improve your problem solving capabilities, and discover problem structuring tools to tackle complex issues.

Finally, you’ll learn how to develop networks, articulate ideas, and pitch successfully.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Develop your personal resource profile and innovation style to better focus your ideas
  • Explore historic, current, and future innovations that inspire you
  • Develop a toolkit of problem-solving and idea-generating techniques
  • Investigate engineering your own luck so that you have more and better ‘accidental’ ideas
  • Identify ways to start-up an idea with a minimum of effort and expense
  • Improve your pitching and influencing skills
  • Collaborate through online networking


This course is aimed at anyone interested in innovation and enterprise in the modern world, but may be of particular interest to students who are looking to develop their transferable skills for the workplace and general day-to-day life.

About the instructors

Dave Jarman

Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol's Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Co-Director of the MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. RSA and EEUK Fellow.

Neil Carhart

Neil is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol's Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) where he focuses on the application of Systems Thinking & Systems Engineering to Quantum Technology.

Sean Shiels

I'm interested in the development and application of systems thinking to help drive innovation and improve individual, organisational and societal resilience and sustainability.

Ian Thomas

I teach finance and accounting at the University and my interest is in how people make financial decisions. 

Starting date: 5 February , 2018

Duration: 4 weeks, 3 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Dave Jarman, Neil Carhart, Sean Shiels, Ian Thomas

Institution: The University of Bristol