city intensives

CITY Intensives are deep dives into subjects and topics. Each intensive will be led by an expert along with student leaders and mentors. Intensives will range in length from 1 day to several weeks. If you’re interested in learning more about Net-Zero, Food, Design Thinking, Social Innovation, Blockchain, Fake News, Public Art or Tactical Urbanism - check out the details below, and sign up to learn more.


Hands-On Biotech

Curious about what goes on in a lab?   Want to see what happens when you combine design and science?  During the Hands-On Biotech Intensive students will be guided in multiple laboratories to learn how to grow cells, design and fabricate nanoparticles, and perform two types of microscopy to obtain beautiful, high-resolution images that may be used for scientifically-inspired design projects.

Kickoff Session: February 5, 2018; Application Due: Fri., Jan. 26, 11:59pm.


Questions? email Alyssa L. Siefert ( 



For the food-obsessed, the secret chefs, and the ambitious eaters—step away from your studies with an extracurricular intensive (a deep-dive, 5-session workshop) you can really dig your teeth into from Tsai CITY and the Landscape Lab. Over five weeks, CITY’s 5-session food intensive will explore how to take an idea or prototype for a food product—like your crazy idea for plankton-based pasta, the recipe you’re working on for a super-high-tech energy bar, or the local-food-based meals you've been stocking your freezer with—from a big idea in your dorm kitchen to the global market.

The five sessions will walk you through the steps of transforming an idea into a product, and a product into production: addressing ethics, sourcing ingredients, manufacturing food products, defining your brand, taking goods to market, and working towards scale. Learn from industry experts about the best techniques for creating your own secret sauce, the right person to talk to for your key ingredients, and what a recipe for success looks like in the food industry. Develop your idea, your pitch, and your brand through discussion with industry experts, group critiques of what you're working on, and in-depth mentorship.

Dates: February 2-March 2; Fridays, 2-5pm: Applications due Thurs., Jan. 25, 11:59pm.


Can apply as team, or team of one. Each team must include at least one full-time Yale student.

Questions? email Emma Funk (


Design Thinking

Interested in learning a new way to test ideas and tackle problems with empathy? CITY’s Design Thinking Intensive will give students the tools to think like a designer to tackle problems of all sizes.  Through workshops and events, students from all parts of the University will collaborate, learn, and apply design thinking principles to tackle real world (and some not so real world) problems.

Questions? email Kassie Tucker (


Public Art

Calling all artists! A joint program between Tsai CITY and Dwight Hall, the Public Art intensive will help students reimagine art as a social practice while providing them the resources to create a piece of public art in the New Haven community. Through a series of workshops, students will explore public art as a form of social, economic, and political empowerment on the local level.

Questions? email Ony Obiocha (


Tactical Urbanism

How do you transform a neighbourhood? The Tactical Urbanism intensive is an 8 week incubator program for Yale students interested in exploring the social, economic, and political impact of community-led alterations of the physical environment. A joint intensive between Tsai CITY and Dwight Hall, this series will use local case studies to empower students with the techniques needed to ideate and implement grassroots interventions that benefit local neighborhoods.

Questions? email Ony Obiocha (



How do we create a “NetZero” world? From a building that produces as much energy as it consumes to a business eliminating its waste to landfill, to a country committing to carbon neutrality, the concept of "Net Zero” is increasingly being adopted across sectors and applied innovative and ambitious ways. The Yale Net-Zero Action Group will bring together a group of motivated students from across disciplines together with real-world projects for countries, campuses, companies, and communities to help accelerate the transition to a Net-Zero economy.

The Net Zero Action group will serve as a catalyst for innovative/entrepreneurial thinking and team building, as well as an opportunity to gain professional experience in stakeholder engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Questions? email Mikaela Bradbury ( or Franz Hochstrasser (


Design the Store of the Future

Retail stores are about to be "Amazoned" into oblivion leading to a loss of thousands of entry-level jobs that are not being replaced.  Does it have to be this way? Do we have to return to rampant consumerism and conspicuous consumption in order to have a robust and vital in-store shopping sector of our economy? Is it only the convenience and price of online shopping that has caused so many customers to cut back or cease their in-store visits and purchasing?

Could some of this - even ALL of this - be fixed by simply creating a better store or better experience?  Join us as we rethink and redesign what it means to “go shopping.”

Questions? email Rick Hunt (


Gender Equity

Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings. African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man.  62 million girls are denied an education all over the world. Around the world, only 22 percent of all national parliamentarians are female. We need innovative and catalytic solutions to change this.

The Gender Equity intensive will focus on how can we use innovation and entrepreneurship to create system change for gender equity. We will host guests who have used innovative tactics to tackle issues of gender equity, and engage in dialogues and action-oriented workshops.

Questions? email Cass Walker Harvey (


Fake News

Fake news - how has it become so prevalent and how can we help separate the fake from the real to improve public knowledge and political discourse? We began tackling these questions with our challenge at YHack - “Best Hack to Counter Fake News” with the Yale Poynter Fellowship. The winning team has developed a solution, a Google Chrome extension called Open Mind, that they’ll be developing and bringing to Washington, DC. What could we do to make a solution like this a reality?

In the Fake News Intensive, we’ll explore current research around fake news from leading Yale experts, the role of social media sites like Facebook, and examine tech solutions that can give people the tools they need to take charge of their media diet.  

Questions? email Brita Belli (


Hyper-Local Journalism

Are you interested in creating a new model for journalism that reveals the truth in one corner of the world? With so much local journalism lost to shrinking revenue and the decline of print, how can we reclaim the local story in a way that is meaningful and brings insight into the broader picture of culture, society, religion, politics and more?

In this intensive, we’ll look at different models of storytelling at the local level, from independent publications to digital literary magazines. We’ll examine different models of supporting hyper-local journalism and learn from leaders who are doing groundbreaking work in the new media landscape.

Questions? email Andrew McLaughlin (



Podcasting is having a renaissance--with 67 million Americans listening each month. Overall at least 112 million Americans have listened to podcasts. The medium has continued to see innovative new approaches take hold -- from looking at a variety of timely issues through a particular lens (Nancy), to exploring one topic in a variety of unexpected ways (Reply All), to exploring a forgotten criminal case in the search for new clues (Serial).

In the Podcasting Intensive, we’ll figure out what makes a podcast successful, talk to top names in podcasting and explore possibilities for creating the next great podcast.

Questions? email Andrew McLaughlin (


Social Innovation

Buzz words: Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. What do they mean? Is Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship an effective way to create change? How do we truly understand the problems we are trying to solve, and value social impact leaders with lived experience?

The Social Innovation Intensive will give students an overview and introduction to social innovation and entrepreneurship as a tool for system change - and introduce inspirational leaders, activists and entrepreneurs working to find solutions to our world’s biggest challenges.

Questions? email Cass Walker Harvey (