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Registrationshow details + $375.00 (USD)  

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  • October 19, 2021 - October 22, 2021
    9:00 am - 11:00 am


Do you need a client-focused way of reimagining services and programs?

Design thinking provides a collaborative approach for deeply understanding 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. Through this user focus, it 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.

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 Users
      – Launch a Learning Experiment

For each cycle, you’ll practice it with other participants. After the class, we provide you with a comprehensive set of practical templates for facilitating design thinking with groups.



This is a four-part intensive, with each session held 9:00 – 11:00 AM (Pacific Time, see in other time zones):

    • Session #1: Tues 10/19
    • Session #2: Wed 10/20
    • Session #3: Thurs 10/21
    • Session #4: Fri 10/22


Goals for Training

You’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 colleagues
    3. 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


Registration Information

To ensure an interactive experience, we have limited registration to no more than 20 participants.

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 learning experience. We ask that you engage for each session, using both audio and video.


Rod Githens, PhD – Rod has led innovation processes for the last 15 years as an internal and external facilitator.  He began using design thinking in 2015 and successfully led the creation of a new set of academic programs using design thinking as a core methodology.  Eventually, he became Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Innovation, facilitating these processes throughout his school at University of the Pacific.  Currently, he teaches innovation and organization change as the Alexandra Greene Ottesen Endowed Chair.  Rod has also owned a consulting business since 2011, Githens and Associates. With a team of colleagues, he helps organizations serve their customers at levels they didn’t realize were possible through innovation, design, and strategy.

Shelby Pierce – Shelby helps groups and organizations that traditionally met in-person to create meaningful and productive online experiences. Prior to becoming a full-time facilitator, she had 10 years of experience in the financial services and healthcare sectors. Shelby has a rich background in community organizing and serves on the executive committee for several nonprofit boards. Since the start of the pandemic, she has worked with over 40 different groups around the world, ranging from local community initiatives and nonprofits to nationwide groups including healthcare, government, education, and international development.




Requires internet connected computer.  Headsets are preferred. Call in number will be available for those without headsets.