WALLDORF — Today SAP announced a partnership with the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF), an organization that provides free text books and online education materials created by leading academics and practitioners of software design. The Denmark-based IDF develops much of its content as massively open online courses, known as MOOCs, a trend in education that is gaining momentum. SAP’s sponsorship of US$600,000 will enable IDF to educate more students and professionals in emerging economies, as well as the developed world.
The cost of text books and academic enrollment is rising steadily making education prohibitive. Following the mandate of the United Nations that education is a fundamental human right, IDF fills this niche and empowers people interested in improving user experience and software design. Over 300 major universities globally currently use IDF’s text books regularly in classes. Written for technology designers, engineers and computer scientists, the materials from IDF help remove barriers to education and economic empowerment in developing countries. Currently, 20 percent of IDF readers are from developing countries and the number continues to increase.
“SAP is committed to simplifying solution development with design thinking, which puts people and their problems at the center of software,” said Sam Yen, global head of Design and User Experience, SAP. “Our relationship with IDF is a meeting of the minds and a natural outgrowth of our work to create an ecosystem that supports a more organic relationship between people and software. Together, we can spread the word and democratize access to the top minds in human-computer user experience.”
As part of the sponsorship, IDF will team with the SAP University Alliances program to help its members create learning material that promotes simpler, more innovative and efficient product design. Working with more than 1,300 universities worldwide using SAP solutions in the classroom, SAP University Alliances plans to bring IDF content to these institutions. The initiative includes a bicycle tour to major metropolitan areas in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where IDF and SAP University Alliances representatives will raise awareness by delivering materials to universities and software design companies.
“IDF is the first organization in the world made by the world’s leading experts in technology design to give away free top-quality books and educational materials on such a large scale,” said Rikke Friis Dam, co-founder and editor-in-chief, IDF. “Teaming up with SAP will extend our work helping to develop IT skills globally and support sustainable economic development.”