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For Partners

Duke Design Climate partners include Co-designers, advisors, and sponsors. See below to learn more about how to partner with Design Climate.

Industry Co-designer Benefits

 Industry Co-designers identify a climate related problem and provide industry specific subject matter expertise in the climate challenge area. Industry Co-Designers benefit by gaining entrepreneurial and environmental market insights, and can be part of the founding team for the startup idea. Click the Get Involved button to learn more.

Faculty Co-designer Benefits

 Faculty Co-designers are researching topics that could be applied to solve the world’s greatest climate challenges. Faculty and researchers benefit by having a Design Climate team identify commercial applications for their research.

Advisor Benefits

Advisors help students understand key topics related to their project area. By being an advisor, you can stay close to the student group and learn about their Design Climate journey. If you see current projects that relate to your area of expertise, reach out to support a team. 

Sponsor Benefits

Sponsors can drive innovative climate solutions by providing financial backing to the Duke Design Climate program. Your support enables collaboration with interdisciplinary students, offering fresh perspectives and enhancing sustainability initiatives. Join us in fostering environmental stewardship and mentoring future leaders while expanding your professional network.

The Industry Co-Designer Role

As the Co-Designer, you will identify a climate challenge prompt – a climate-oriented problem that challenges your industry – and work with a group of Design Climate students over one academic year (Aug. – Apr.) to teach students about your industry. Please show and tell students how your industry works, explain the significance of the climate challenge, and provide resources to students, like warm introductions to relevant stakeholders, to support their project. We see Co-Designers as both subject matter experts and as potential founding members for the Design Climate startups.  

The ideal Co-Designer is responsive to student emails, a good industry connector, and can balance the goal of letting students explore while using your experience to provide realistic grounding to their ideas.  


We encourage Co-Designers to have weekly/bi-weekly recurring meetings (~2 hours/month) with their student teams to stay connected to the Design Climate class progress. Co-Designers do not need to be located near Duke University as many students meet virtually with their Co-Designers.

Your Design Climate Team

Student Team: each project team is comprised of 4-5 graduate or high-level undergraduate students mostly studying engineering or environmental science. One student will be your point of contact.  


Design Climate Co-Instructors: each project team will have one Design Climate Co-Instructor functioning as the team’s mentor.  


Access to Duke resources: each project team will work with at least one Duke Faculty mentor who will function as a technical advisor. Students will also tap into Duke design studio spaces and educators who can support them with prototyping activities. 

Desired Outcomes

We will know this class was successful when:  

1. Students use critical thinking and design thinking principles to create value in their future roles 

2. Co-Designers will gain new insights about solutions related to a climate challenge market. Co-Designers could be partners with the student group to create exciting climate tech startups.  

Intellectual Property Considerations  

As a Co-Designer for a Design Climate team, you will be a mentor to a student team. While this engagement will be more advisory in nature, it is possible that a Co-Designer might have inventive contribution to a project. Any inventorship determination will be in accordance with US patent law and determined by the appropriate patent counsel. 

Past Co-designers

Matthew Arsenualt

Assistant Director at the Duke University Office of Sustainability

Project: Sea Change Intellect: Socially Conscious, Nature-Based Coastal Carbon Offsets

Kerry Green

Design Manager at Pratt Industries

Project: In:Packt: Sustainable Packaging Online Marketplace

Will Clark

Supply Chain Manager at Cyprus Creek Renewables

Project: Amun Solar: Environmentally responsible solar site decommissioning