Creating Value

What You Need to Know About Creating Value

Creating Value is a component of the entrepreneurial mindset. It is the third of what we call the 3C’s (Curiosity, Connections, Creating Value).

The increasing complexity of the challenges facing our world tells us that engineers must be outstanding problem solvers, designers, and value creators in a variety of settings.

Teaching your students the importance of creating value helps redirect their mindset and motivation so their engineering solutions become more impactful. 

But what is value? 

Value can be economic. It can also be social, societal, personal - and likely is a blend of some or all of these elements. Engineers with an eye toward value creation understand stakeholder needs, learn from failure, and habitually work to provide benefits while understanding the consequences of their actions.

Community-Created Resources

Solutions, designs, and systems need to solve real problems and provide benefits to a variety of stakeholders. Use this starter pack of resources shared by faculty:

Creating Value

Creating Value

What do we mean?

What if every engineering graduate focused first on creating value? Engineering solutions would inherently become more impactful to their beneficiaries.
Beyond Problem Solving

Solution Success

Going beyond problem solving

A high percentage of products and services introduced to the marketplace fail to find success. Apply these case studies to improve approaches and outcomes!

Eliminate Bias

Who are we creating value for?

Challenge students to share their personal experiences of exposure to a biased design, discuss its impact, then work to create value for negatively affected people.

Capstone Value

Design begins with a need

Give students the opportunity to define their own projects and directly apply entrepreneurial mindset concepts - especially "creating value."
A Matrix Approach

Matrix Approach

To defining value

Use this prompt and rubric to identify and discuss social, economic, and environmental values in relation to a proposed solution to a problem.


For creating value

When can you tell your students what value creation means? A value-creation scorecard can help guide your approach. [Card contains a video presentation.]
Renewable energy source

More Resources

The Engineering Unleashed community provides many tested resources that help you teach creating value in your classroom!

Creating Value: Unexpected Opportunities

Value creation often comes from seeing unexpected opportunities in everyday life. One such example started with a bowl of salad and a question, "Can human heart muscle grow on spinach leaves?"

The answer is yes! 

Dr. Glenn Gaudette, Professor of Engineering at Boston College, had an aha moment at lunch when looking at a spinach leaf. His desire to create value for society led to a major medical and scientific breakthrough merging biological kingdoms to grow human heart cells to fight heart disease.

How can faculty create value in the classroom?

Creating value goes beyond problem solving. Engineering education often focuses on quantitative skills. However, solutions to many of the most challenging problems require higher level design, entrepreneurial mindset, and value creation skills. 

Help establish value creation as a habitual part of a graduate’s mindset and as an instinctual driver by designing exercises so that students: 

  • Become empathetic ethnographers, or observers of unmet needs
  • Habitually reframe problems as opportunities
  • Ask questions that reveal authentic demand
  • Develop archetype users of engineering solutions
  • Offer solutions to problems, testing novel ideas with others to obtain formative feedback
  • Create value from underutilized resources
  • Extend existing solutions to new situations

More Mindset Learning



The first "C"

For engineers to succeed in a world with rapidly changing needs and tools, they need a sense of curiosity. Faculty who instill a spirit of curiosity equip students to create extraordinary results.


The second "C"

Interdisciplinary connection-making is essential to the advancement of knowledge. Help students build a mindset that connects context, systems, data, and even experiences!
The Framework

The Framework

A downloadable guide

Help students understand the importance of opportunity and impact in the context of design with this adoptable, adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning.
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