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What will air travel be like 10 years from now? Leaders at The Hangar, Delta’s Global Innovation Center, thought who better to ask than some of the most creative minds around – students at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Nicole Jones briefs students on project detailsThe airline kicked off its first partnership with the university last week in Savannah, Ga., with a Q&A session between students and a panel of Delta employees who represent corporate teams across the airline.

“At Delta, we think a lot about the future and how we can continue to innovate to meet the needs of our customers and come up with solutions that drive our business forward,” Nicole Jones, Delta’s Global Innovation Leader at The Hangar, told students. ”We’re a global company and serve a global audience, so we’re glad you represent that and look forward to working with you to co-create our future.”

Delta employees answer SCAD student questionsThe kickoff meeting was the start of a two-month course where the students will focus on researching, creating and solving for a wide range of topics related to the future of air travel. The 15 participating students, who come from a variety of backgrounds and majors, have the opportunity to analyze any part of Delta’s operations or customer experience to come up with their data-based predictions.  In late May, they will deliver their designed vision of air travel in 2027 through simulated service concepts and experience prototypes.

When the Delta team opened up the floor for questions during the session, student hands shot up right away. Marco, a SCAD student, asked the group what changes they thought would be coming to commercial aviation. Another student, Abigail asked about the airline’s key brand attributes.

Delta employees and SCAD students participating on the project“There’s something magical about exploring new destinations and going on a journey,” said Nick, one of the students in the group, “so I’m looking forward to helping continue improving that process.”

Delta’s partnership with SCAD is part of the university’s Collaborative Learning Center program, where the school partners students with industry to research and solve challenging problems facing companies.

“Through the Collaborative Learning Center, we’re able to connect some of our most talented students with companies to give the students unique professional experience while delivering creative solutions to companies,” said Josh Lind, SCAD’s Director of the Collaborative Learning Center.

SCAD students participating in the program are selected through a competitive recruiting process, ensuring companies get the best students the university has to offer, Lind said. The participating students also went through an interviewing process, where the leading professors narrowed the group from 50 students to 15.

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