The MBA in Design Strategy program, and the business world it serves, relies upon digital communications.
Accordingly, the program requires its students to have access to a laptop computer and recommends certain software programs that represent the standards of business work and communications.
In addition, we've compiled a list of recommended books, films, websites, etc., to help orient people to our perspective on how new business techniques, design-led innovation, and sustainability come together.
Students are required to use a laptop computer with a minimum 13-inch screen and WiFi access. Students can choose any Windows or Macintosh laptop (the latest models of Macintosh computers also run Windows).
The college recommends the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Students may opt for the 17-inch MacBook Pro if a larger screen is desired. Educational Technology Services (ETS) offers a MacBook Pro bundle.
Alternatively, students may use a tablet device in class, such as an iPad, as long as its operating system is capable of supporting either of the software packages below (the iPad now supports the iWork software).
Realistically, students with tablets should have access to a laptop or desktop computer at home or work, or both, in order to complete assignments.
The program requires students to use standard business software (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application):
- Microsoft Office ($85, estimated CCA price); or
- Apple iWork ($71, $30 for iPad, estimated CCA price)
Optionally, students may want to have access to design applications, such as photo manipulation, HTML production, illustration/drawing, and page layout.
However, it's not necessary to purchase and use professional-level tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite.
The college has agreements with Apple, HP, and software distributors to offer discounts to CCA students:
- Journey Ed site (discounted software)
- CCA's Apple store (discounted hardware, software, and accessories)
- CCA's HP store (discounted hardware and accessories)
* Note: Many of these titles are available to CCA students, staff, and faculty at the CCA Libraries. Take advantage of the online catalog that allows searching by category such as sustainability-related resources.
Also, although these resources are derived from faculty recommendations, none represents an official endorsement by the college.
Communication, Collaboration & Leadership
- Rise of the DEO by Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland
- The Innovator's Way by Peter J. Denning and Robert P. Dunham
- Solving Tough Problems by Adam Kahane
- Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon
- Cultural Intelligence by David Thomas
- Selling to the VP of No by David Gray
- Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
- Powers to Lead by Joseph S. Nye
- Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher
- A General Theory of Love by Dr. Thomas Lewis
- The Power of a Positive No by William Ury
- The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, and Patrick M. Lencioni
Strategy & Business Design
- Making Innovation Work by Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein, and Robert Shelton
- Business Model Generation by Alexander Osteralder and Yves Pigneur
- Designing Organizations by Jay R. Galbraith
- The Design of Business by Roger Martin
- Change by Design by Tim Brown
- Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
- Sustainable Business Development by David L. Rainey
- Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
- Making Meaning by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, and Darrel Rhea
- The Future of Management by Bill Breen and Gary Hamel
Economics & Metrics
- Prophet of Innovation by Thomas McCraw
- Numbers Guide: The Essentials of Business Numeracy by Richard Stutely
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
- Financial Intelligence by Karen Berman, Joe Knight, and John Case
- Understanding the Corporate Annual Report by Lyn M. Fraser and Aileen M. Ormiston
- Interest and Inflation Free Money by Margrit Kennedy
- A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink
- The Catalyst by Jeanne Liedtka, Robert Rosen, and Robert Wiltbank
- Guide to Organizational Design by Naomi Stanford
- Free Lunch by David Kay Johnson
- Gangs of America by Ted Nace
- As The Future Catches You by Juan Enriquez
- No Logo by Naomi Klein
Sustainability & Social Innovation
- Climate Capitalism by Hunter L. Lovins and Boyd Cohen
- Beyond Growth by Herman Daly
- Beyond the Bottom Line by Joel Makower
- Beyond the Limits by Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, and Jorgen Randers
- Biomimicry by Janine Benyus
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
- Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
- Design + Environment by Helen Lewis, John Gertakis, Tim Grant, Nicola Morelli, and Andrew Sweatman
- Design Is the Problem by Nathan Shedroff
- Ecological Literacy by David Orr et al.
- Ecology Of Commerce by Paul Hawken
- Emotionally Durable Design by Jonathan Chapman
- The End of Nature by Bill Mckibben
- The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by C. K. Parhalad
- In the Bubble by John Thackara
- The Joyless Economy by Tibor Scitovsky
- Leading Change Toward Sustainability by Bob Doppelt
- The Meaning of Things by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Mid-Course Correction by Ray Anderson
- The Nature of Design by David Orr
- The Next Sustainability Wave by Bob Willard
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability by Dunphy & Griffith
- Plan B 4.0 by Lester Brown
- The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson et al.
- Squeaky Green by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry
- Strategy for Sustainability by Adam Werbach
- The Sustainability Advantage by Bob Willard and John Elkington
- Sustainable Strategic Management: Strategic Management by W. Edward Stead, Jean Garner Stead, and Mark Starik
- Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
- The Truth About Green Business by Gil Friend
- The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry
- Valuing the Earth by Herman E. Daly and Kenneth N. Townsend
- Worldchanging by Alex Steffan
- Management Helix from Natural Capitalism Solutions
- LASER Guide for Sustainable Development
Design & Customer Experience
- Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek
- Design Like You Give a Damn by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr
- Experience Design 1.1 by Nathan Shedroff
- Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler
- Experiences in Visual Thinking by Robert H. McKim
- Design Research edited by Brenda Laurel
- No Logo by Naomi Klein
- Building Strong Brands by David Aaker
- Why We Buy by Paco Underhill
- The Creative Priority by Jerry Hirshberg
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
- New Venture Creation by Jeffry A. Timmons and Stephen Spinelli
- Utopian Entrepreneur by Brenda Laurel
- 9 to 5 (directed by Colin Higgins, 1980) Amazon
- An Inconvenient Truth (directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2008) Amazon
- Deep Dive (ABC News Nightline, 1999)
- Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (directed by Alex Gibney, 2005) Amazon
- Food, Inc. (directed by Robert Kenner, 2008) Amazon
- How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (directed by David Swift, 1967) Amazon
- The Powers of Ten (directed by Charles and Ray Eames, 1968) Amazon
- *Startup.com (directed by Jehane Noujaim and Chris Hegedus, 2001) Amazon
- Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (directed by Robert Greenwald, 2005) Amazon
- Who Killed the Electric Car? (directed by Chris Paine, 2006) Amazon
- Driving Sustainable Design (BusinessWeek, Special report, July 2, 2007)
- 10 Worst Innovation Mistakes In A Recession (BusinessWeek, 2008)
- Creativity Comes to B-School (BusinessWeek, 2006)
- Design Intervention (Fast Company, 2006)
- Driving Sustainable Design (BusinessWeek, 2007)
- Innovating Through Recession (Kellog School of Management, 2008)
- CEOs Must Be Designers, Not Just Hire Them. Think Steve Jobs and iPhone. (BusinessWeek, 2008)
- P&G Changes Its Game (BusinessWeek, 2008)
- Tough Love (Fast Company, 2006)
- Tomorrow's B-School? It Might Be A D-School (BusinessWeek, 2005)
- The Power of Design (BusinessWeek, 2004)
- The MFA in the New MBA (Harvard Business Review, 2008)
- Streamlining HP (Fast Company, 2007)
- The Story of Stuff (with Annie Leonard, 2008)
DMBA In the News
Listen to the BusinessWeek podcast.
Read the Core 77 interview.
For questions about the MBA in Design Strategy program, please email us.
To be notified of public program events, sign up now.
To visit the program, including courses in session, please email us. In addition, guests visiting CCA can receive a discount on their lodgings just for being a part of the CCA community. Each of the SoMa Hotels (specifically the Good Hotel, the Carriage Inn, and the Americania Hotel) will honor a special discount rate for guests who mention "CCA" when making reservations.