SILICON VALLEY, Calif.¬†—¬†Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert and several of the university’s vice presidents are spending time in Silicon Valley, California this week learning more about a problem-solving method known as “Design for Delight.”

Brad Smith

Marshall alum and Intuit Chairman Brad Smith taught the process to members of Marshall’s business school faculty last month. Gilbert wanted others at Marshall to learn the same thing, thus the trip to Silicon Valley.

“We felt like it would be a great idea for our leadership to have an idea of the concept for ‘Design for Delight’ so we could help support that,” Gilbert said Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Gilbert describes Design for Delight (D4D) as a creative process where a lot creative ideas are suggested followed by a iterative process to narrow the list down to one or two ideas followed by further evaluation.

“It takes a lot of ideas and sort of evaluate them to come up with the best idea that would be a solution to a problem,” Gilbert said.

Marshall University

Jerome Gilbert

Plans are to implement the thinking process in a class that freshmen will be required to take beginning next fall, Gilbert said.

Intuit, a business software giant, began the program about a dozen years ago and it increased its sales by millions of dollars a year. Gilbert said he’s hopeful the kind of thinking can boost Marshall and help improve the state’s economy.

Smith has been spending a lot of time in recent months promoting entrepreneurship in the Mountain State. Intuit has already starting filling jobs at a new facility in Bluefield. Last week, WVU grad and former Cisco CEO John Chambers announced the creation of the new Vantage Ventures program at WVU calling it the first step in creating a new Mountain State economy driven by entrepreneurship and innovation.

Gilbert said WVU and Marshall know they must play a key role in moving the state forward and they have pledged to work together.

“Marshall and WVU are going to partner to help this state. We’re going to work with Commerce, we’re going to work with the governor’s office, we’re going to work with the businesses in this state. We want to be a support partner to help move this state forward,” Gilbert said.