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The Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY) has the mission to inspire and support students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative ways to address real-world problems. Launching in Fall 2017, we're building a new center of gravity to help students, faculty, and alumni collaborate more effectively across disciplines, endeavors, and ways of thinking about the world.



Tsai CITY is a transformative addition to the Yale campus landscape, dedicated to advancing the university's goal of creating an interdisciplinary learning environment that cultivates innovators, leaders, pioneers, creators, and entrepreneurs in all fields and for all sectors of society. 

We aim to draw existing university resources into closer partnership with each other; to complement curricular programs; and to provide new and effective avenues for students to develop the skills crucial to an innovative mindset: design thinking, problem-framing, creative synthesis, clear communication, and refined judgment.

The Center is anchored on a core guiding principle — inclusivity of students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines — that informs our structure and programming. We organize workshops, mentorship and fellowship programs, startup and nonprofit accelerators, leaders' and founders' labs, co-curricular projects, hackathons, and experimental collaborations, and host visiting lecturers, mentors, and accomplished alumni from a wide range of fields. We're constantly testing out new ways for students to collide and collaborate across disciplinary lines, and to get comfortable taking risks -- framing the problem, thinking in an interdisciplinary way, and trying ‘out-of-the-box’ approaches.

Tsai CITY works closely with peers and colleagues across the university such as Dwight Hall, the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID) at the School of Engineering, the Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT) at the School of Medicine, the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale (CBEY) at the Schools of Management and Forestry and Environmental Science, the Program on Entrepreneurship at the School of Management, Innovate Health Yale at the School of Public Health, the Yale Landscape Lab, and the Office of Cooperative Research. And we collaborate closely with student clubs like Design for America, the Yale Entrepreneurial Society, the Elmseed Enterprise Fund, the Social Impact Lab, Yale Net Impact, the Yale Women's Leadership Initiative, and the Yale Leadership Institute.

In short, we're trying to foster four broad outcomes for Yale and its students:

01. Interdisciplinary collaboration.

02. Inclusivity across all dimensions of diversity.

03. Skills and practices of effective action.

04. Risk-taking and resilience.


“For me, it is especially vital that young people in the world today gain comfort with taking risks.”

Joseph C. Tsai, ’86 B.A., ’90 J.D.

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The atomic unit of participation in Tsai CITY is membership. Membership is free, open to all Yale students, faculty, staff, and affiliates, and requires only an online application and attendance at a brief orientation. Members are granted 24/7 access to the Tsai CITY space, and get access to members-only updates and occasional special events.


Ready to join?

Become a Member

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“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”

Miles Davis

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