Experiencing Design Thinking

Monday, August 31, 2020

Dr. Susanne Wosch, 31 August to 4 September 2020



Design Thinking is a (human-centered) approach for creative problem solving. It stands for a methodology, a working process, a mindset and even for the organizational transformation it entails. At the core are key elements like usercentricity, co-creation and iterative working styles. In our course setup, this is reflected in highly diverse teams, a continuous immersion into the user’s perspective and the relentless pursuit of the best solution. This requires a holistic and unbiased way of thinking as well as the capability to change perspectives and make sense of the combination of observation and information. This course provides participants with an experience- and application-oriented introduction to the Design Thinking methodology. Subsequently we will create business models of our generated solutions. The focus is on four key aspects:

  1. User Centricity: We will put the users and their needs in the center of our considerations along the entire process.
  2. Open ideation approach: We will create a broad spectrum of ideas to solve the problem applying distinctive ideation methods and prioritization criteria.
  3. Rapid prototyping and testing: We will turn the selected ideas into tangible prototypes and will experience user feedback on prototypes by testing.
  4. Transfer to business model: In addition, we will develop different business models for selected solutions and test if they are acceptable for users and feasible for the market.

During this course the group is divided into four teams. The participants will experience the methodology via learning by doing - after short introduction of the respective step of the methodology.

Teaching Objectives

Overall goal: Participants gain conceptual and practical knowledge about Design Thinking including Business Modelling. After successfully completing this course, the participants will have acquired the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge / Understanding

  1. understand key elements of the Design Thinking methodology and its application;
  2. learn about an agile and dynamic process for solving problems


  1. understand users and derive appropriate solutions for their dedicated needs;
  2. apply various tools and methods for user understanding as well as ideation;
  3. translate problem solutions into business models for value creation


  1. explore the value of mindset shift in business life;
  2. have experiences in practical application to develop new user-centric solutions
  3. learn about prototyping and testing as immanent part of the process


  • Group work (70%)
  • Individual presentation (30%)