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Break the mould: design thinking

Too often corporate managers are trained in one way of problem solving, taught at business schools and passed down the corporate hierarchy. If creativity and design thinking was encouraged to youth, it would carry through to corporates and jobs.

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In business, there has historically been one way of thinking, one established way of doing things. Innovative businesses, such as eBay, are utilising the design thinking process, enabling employees to come up with creative solutions to problems.

A similar technique could be used with young people - giving them simple problems to come up with creative solutions individually or in teams, using design thinking techniques such as direct observation, prototyping and brainstorming.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

Design thinking processes could embedded into school teachings, with time allocated in relevant subjects to problem solving in these creative ways - generating as many solutions as possible and sharing them amongst each other to elaborate and develop them and land on the optimal solution.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

The design thinking process is already utilised across geographies, so extending this to youth could carry across cultures/countries relatively simply. This can be enhanced through programs such as partner schools, exchanges, billets and potentially even an online design thinking challenge that encourages participants from across regions.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Any critique on the idea would be helpful, as well as any suggestions on how to scale, how to enforce and how to be the most impactful.

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Photo of Jeff Nagata

This is a great idea. I've been fascinated about the potential of design-thinking to impact education and creating a student-centered classroom that cultivates creative confidence.

I recently visited a Studio H, a organization that brings a design/build curriculum to schools. It was a great example of how the design process can be applied in a school setting to allow the creative potential of students to shine, and at the same time develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. I posted my observations here:

Another great example of the potential of design-thinking in classrooms is showcased in this article:

Designers taught a curriculum in 3 high schools using the Collective Action Toolkit, which is a free toolkit specifically created so that groups can use the design process to solve problems!