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During Wade’s first three years at NC State, he embarked upon two Semester at Sea programs: the first a month-long Maymester trip to Central America in Spring 2011, and the second a semester-long program in Spring 2013, which took him around the world. On a ship a hemisphere away from home and school, Wade fully realized the difference he could make in the lives of others; by combining his passions for medicine and engineering with an entrepreneurial mindset and the design thinking process.

During his 2013 voyage, which was a partnership between Semester at Sea and the Unreasonable Institute, Colburn took a course called “Sustainable Global Entrepreneurship.” Taught by George Kembel, co-founder of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner School of Design, the design-centric course focused on helping entrepreneurial students investigate how the world is adapting to solve social and environmental challenges. The course gave students the opportunity to work with companies and organizations on several challenges. Wade worked with the Nike Foundation on their Girl Effect program to reinvent the concept of girl empowerment and turn it into a movement that could influence everyday users. When asked about his future Wade responded “I don’t see how I could go any other direction other than using design thinking, whether it’s in a big company to help change their minds, or starting my own device company.” “Design thinking brings innovation where you least expect it.” To read more visit:

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