Design Thinking

Design Thinking: An Innovation Tool for Turbulent Times (2-Part Class)

Do you need a client-focused way of reimagining services and programs? Design thinking provides a collaborative approach for deep understanding of service recipients’ needs. Organizations can use design thinking as a human-centered approach to transforming programs and services.

Design thinking arose to provide human-centered solutions through a deep focus on user needs and empathy.  It also provides a powerful method for transforming service delivery. As organizations grapple with post-pandemic needs, they face new challenges in delivering essential services. Design thinking offers a structure for purposeful designing for the user. You can use it to help stakeholders imagine services from the perspective of the person who experiences the services. 

In this hands-on course, we’ll give you foundational knowledge and skills to facilitate basic design thinking processes.  We use a modified version of the Designing for Growth model. You’ll use and experience key tools in the five-cycle process:

1.What Challenge? – Scope the Problem or Opportunity
2. What Is? – Research the Space – Empathize with Users
3. What If? – Brainstorm Solutions – Develop Concepts for Consideration
4. What Wows? – Test Assumptions – Prototype Rapidly
5. What Works? – Co-Create with Clients – Launch a Learning Experiment
For each cycle, you’ll practice it with other participants. After the class, we provide you with practical templates for facilitating design thinking online.


This is a two-part class, divided into two fast-paced sessions.  See specific event for dates and times.
Goals for SessionYou’ll gain hands-on experience using design thinking to address an actual organizational challenge. By the conclusion of the session, you should:

1. Understand the fundamentals of design thinking and human-centered design

2. Complete an actual empathy-focused design process with a team of colleagues3. Identify opportunities for using this process after the training


During this fast-paced session, you’ll learn:

1. Why? Design Thinking

2. What? Guided Practice in Tackling a Real-life Design Challenge in a Team Using the five-cycle design thinking process.

3. How? To Continue Using It

Comments from Past Participants

“I really enjoyed actually doing this full process with real people. It was fun and a great reminder to focus on the user to create empathy. Rod delivered this information in a way I had not heard before and we actually did it! This makes me excited to do design thinking in the future.” —Participant from an In-House Version 

“I learned to listen to the needs of service recipients and provide the resources they actually need. I loved empathy-building and how we practiced it with real interviews.” —Participant from an In-House Version

Technology Requirements

We will use Zoom and a variety of online tools. Restrictive organizational firewalls may be a problem. Before the session, we’ll send a list of tools that you’ll need to access. 
To encourage active learning, we’ve planned a dynamic session. We ask that you engage for the full session, using both audio and video.

Prerequisite: None
Course fee:  $110



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