Global Design Thinking Weeks

The Global Design Thinking Workshop (GDTW) is an introductory Design Thinking study program designed by the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam in cooperation with GDTA member institutions.

In this program, participants experience Design Thinking not only as a process of this life-centered approach by dealing with complex innovation problems and a creative mindset in diverse teams.

We combine this life-centered approach with the perspective of technological feasibility (how can ideas be realized?) and economic viability (how can new business models look like?).

In our GDTW program we offer three different workshops with a respective focus topic, which we deepen into:

01 Strategic Design: From Human-Centered Design to Strategic Futures

02 Designing for Global Impact

03 Teamed Leadership

We combine the work on a concrete innovation project with reflections on a specific topic. Our learning approach is based on the concept of problem-based experiential learning. We implement this approach as a project-oriented course in which the participants collaborate with a partner organization (NPOs and NGOs, large companies, SMEs, young start-ups, social organizations and public institutions).

Designing for Global Impact (March 2022)

Applications for the Global Design Thinking Workshop “Designing for Global Impact” are now open: Apply via the HPI D-School online platform until 31st January 2022.

During this special Global Design Thinking Workshop, we will focus on designing human-centered innovations while incorporating system-level change: “Designing for Global Impact”. This means that you will work with a project partner in diverse and international teams on a specific design challenge. While learning about systems change and how to participate in change processes, you will also experience the process and mindset of design thinking as you design solutions to a global problem and work with our international coaching team on how this can be translated into different contexts to create impact.

In this workshop, we would like to address a key design principle of Design Thinking: how to achieve sustainable impact at the system level with innovation. When it comes to designing new and innovative solutions to complex problems like policy design and citizen participation, we face two challenges: On the one hand, it is about focusing on the needs and requirements of people in the context of their lives (human-centered perspective). Why do they (not) participate in local processes? What do they see as relevant problems? How would they like to make their voice heard? On the other hand, it is about finding opportunities for sustainable impact (systems perspective). How can we connect the different stakeholders? How do we create open discourse culture at the local level, especially in the context of local parties and activities within them?

So we are concerned with the interplay of connecting a global problem with meaningful impact at the local level. This is our approach to GDTW Designing for Global Impact, where we combine design thinking from a life-centered perspective in combination of human-centeredness and systems thinking. You will also experience in this workshop that Design Thinking can be applied to the design of social problems and innovations in the public space.

The Designing for Global Impact workshop will take place in a “hybrid” format and will last 50-60 hours of working time. This means that all team work will take place in virtual space but participants will also conduct “on-site observations”. For example, you can interview people you know or go out on the street and observe what is happening there. For the virtual team work we use the digital tools Miro, openHPI and Zoom.

What makes the GDTW program global?

The program team:

We design our GDTW program with our international network of Design Thinking Coaches and cooperate regularly with partner institutions from our global network, which also gave rise to the GDTA (Global Design Thinking Alliance). Participants have the opportunity to benefit from the experience and exchange with colleagues from other design thinking institutions in the USA, South Africa, Sweden, Malaysia, Mexico and Egypt.

The participants:

In addition to HPI students, we particularly invite international participants to apply. In this program, they form international, multidisciplinary teams that work together with a team coach and a project partner on a real-life problem.

Program structure

We run these 3 workshops regularly and we are currently offering 2 GDTWs per year. You have to apply for each GDTW workshop separately.

You are invited to participate in more than GDTW workshop. If you are interested in more than one topic/focus, you can apply for several GDTWs. There is no fixed sequential order of the GDTW workshops.

Apply now for the Global Design Thinking Workshop

Interested students of all disciplines and universities and young professionals with less than two years of work experience can apply for the Global Design Thinking Workshops. The participation fee is 200 euros.

Applications for the Global Design Thinking Workshop “Designing for Global Impact” are now open: Apply via the HPI D-School online platform until 31st January 2022.

To learn about the application process and how to become a project partner, please visit the website of the HPI D-School.