Lifelong learning

Design Thinking: a practical approach to innovation in the workplace

The world is evolving rapidly and, clearly, as a professional you want to keep up. Our Continuing Education offer provides you with the right knowledge, tools and network to deal with new challenges in your work. From short courses to full Master’s, at Utrecht University you can learn on a lifelong basis. In the spotlight today: the Design Thinking course.

Design Thinking is a method for solving difficult problems by thinking like a designer. The ‘Design Thinking doorgronden en toepassen’ (Understanding and applying Design Thinking) course is delivered by Anne van Ewijk, an experienced lecturer with a passion for innovation. Through the course, Anne demonstrates that Design Thinking is not just a method but a way of thinking. Anne: It’s a complicated process but it’s a flexible approach that focuses on involving stakeholders, so you really understand what people need. You then come up with a number of practical solutions that you test straight away before they are completely ready. By looking and listening carefully you discover what works and what doesn’t. It’s a process that encourages creativity and collaboration. The most powerful aspect of Design Thinking is that it enables you to gather relevant information quickly, while at the same time generating support. This method doesn’t produce recommendations, it produces real solutions or, if they don’t exist, in any event important insights that can take you forward. If you don’t think that empathy, creativity and interaction are really your thing, the Design Thinking course will give you the techniques and exercises that you need to develop these qualities and apply them directly in your day-to-day work. 

Practical example: "Design Thinking starts a movement"

Sarah is a professional who took Anne’s course. I used the method when informing asylum seekers and status holders about paid work in the Netherlands. I used the steps to explain the problem, come up with different solutions and produce a prototype from these solutions. The method seemed to help stakeholders feel more involved, it allowed colleagues to use their creativity and it enabled me to try out a solution in a pragmatic way. It definitely gets the ball rolling!

Free sample Design Thinking Lecture during the Sharing Days

Want to learn more about this method, which can help you tackle difficult issues in the workplace and use your creativity in the process? Why not attend the sample lecture during the Sharing Days on Thursday 6 June at 17:00? Click here for more information.