DESTINATION INNOVATION: Nonstop Connections at 35,000 Feet

Posted on Sep 25, 2015

10 local Milwaukee college students set to take to the sky with Innovation in Milwaukee, Southwest Airlines® and Kohl’s

MILWAUKEE – September 25, 2015
– On Tuesday, September 29th, the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative will fly 10 college students via Southwest Airlines to the Kohl’s Department Stores Digital Center in Milpitas, California, as part of Destination Innovation. En route, students will work with experienced mentors on a real-world business challenge from Southwest and Kohl’s. Before reaching their final destination, students will pitch their solutions to passengers who will vote for the best idea. Upon arrival, students will meet with representatives from Kohl’s to learn how the company strives to remain agile in the retail innovation world.

More than 110 students from 21 college and universities in Wisconsin applied to participate in Destination Innovation. The application asked students how they would innovate the customer service experience in the retail and air travel industries. The 10 students selected to take part in the program will continue developing their ideas with the assistance of five local mentors also along for the ride.

Upon their return to Milwaukee, the students will share their ideas at the “Walk the Talk” conference on October 7, 2015. Walk the Talk is a collaborative effort between Innovation in Milwaukee and Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM) to highlight the intersection of creativity and innovation.

“It’s amazing to see what can happen when organizations collaborate,” notes Innovation in Milwaukee executive director Michael Hostad. “Whether it’s a retail giant, an air travel leader or 21 colleges and universities, this is what it means to innovate in Milwaukee. We’re excited to hear the ideas the students come up with and share them with the community at Walk the Talk on October 7th.”

In a workshop setting, the students will present their solutions to improve the customer service experience in the retail and air travel industries, while conference attendees serve as focus group participants to further explore the students’ ideas. More information about Walk the Talk is available at

The students participating in Destination Innovation come from Marquette University, Alverno College, Mount Mary University, Cardinal Stritch University, Carthage College, Wisconsin Lutheran College and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.