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Youth Design Thinking Workshop to Jumpstart New Business Ventures

Use a Youth Design Thinking Workshop to Discover and Launch an Innovative Business in any Field of Endeavor.

Photo of Avi Solomon
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The advantage of youth lies in the ability to harness an amazing amount of energy to disrupt and reinvent the existing world.
Design thinking is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.
Young people can participate in a Design Thinking Crash Course to come up with gamechanging prototypes for every aspect of their lives and then push through to make their disruptive new products and services real. The Design Thinking Crash Course can be held locally or virtually.

Design Thinking Workshop Components:
  1. Design Methodology
  2. Empathy & Insight
  3. Point of View
  4. Ideation
  5. Visualize & Prototype
  6. Iteration & Testing
  7. Business Launch

Stanford Design Thinking Virtual Crash Course
PBS Extreme By Design - Watch & Do
Acumen Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation Course
IDEO Human-Centered Design Toolkit
IDEO Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit
Stanford Ramen Experience Design Project
Stanford d.leadership Design Thinking Workshop
How To Conduct Your Own Google Ventures Design Sprint
Personal Design Sprint II: Food Tracking

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

Help young people prove their entrepreneurial initiative, collaborative skills and professional dedication. Teams could form around promising ideas that could then be prototyped, tested, demoed and considered for early-stage startup funding.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

Help young people prove their worth (regardless of formal academic qualifications) in a real-life project that allows for quick learning from failure and rapid pivoting to promising new opportunities.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Organize a Design Thinking workshop. The Acumen Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation Course can be leveraged to test the idea by the target youth audience.

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

Organize and participate in a Design Thinking workshop. Form teams and join the upcoming Acumen Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation Course.

The idea emerged from:

  • An individual

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • I'm more throwing the idea out there to inspire potential implementers

Attachments (1)


IDEO Human Centered Design Guide

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Inspired by (37)

Lifehack Labs, NZ
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Dare to Innovate: Catalyzing Social Entrepreneurship for the Future
How to find a new job...
A game that helps read problems, answer complex problems using design-game thinking and helps gain skills necessary for employment.
Apprenticeships... not just for Carpentry anymore
Why does it matter?
MOOC as a Piece of the Puzzle
"Youth" are not all the same.  One size will not fit everyone.  A stratified approach can address the common differences.
The Potentiam Youth Development Centre
Freeformers: Young people helping business leaders get to grips with digital, whilst other young people are trained.
Jaguar Primary School Challenge:
"What Makes Millennials Tick?" The fears, factors, and motivators behind undergraduate students' behaviors and decision-making processes, and how 'ambition inflation' may lead to a false sense of overqualification
Need a Job, Invent It!
Hire Based on Solving a Challenge not Static Background Info
School in the Cloud Project
Buhg-ee! ( Need more ideas for titles)
school-to-work transition
BagoSphere: Innovative vocational training for high school graduates
IBUKA community - ( Kenya's young designers emerging )
Mobile phone apps -- as a source of employment.
Academies designed to bridge the gap from education to employment
Build it!
D-Lab: Setting free the catch 101 of youth unemployment
Voice Message Board for Young People to Find Local Work
Redesigning The Apprenticeship System To Meet The Challenge of Skill Dearth Among Youth
NY Cares- a volunteer model for paid work
finance and kickstarters
Preflight: Real-world challenges in the classroom
Kinderpreneur Launchbox
Develop a Open Community Manufacturing Platform- (World Piecework Network)
Full Circle Cafe
Regional Occupational Program Revamped
"Dream catchers" : a program helping youths define and materialize their dreams
Project FSTOP - Communication Design Externship Concept
Youth Helping Refugees


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Katuku

Have a look at this interview we did with Studio Dumbar on their Design Thinking processes.
Similar points are raised
Let me know what you think! ;)

Photo of Umrah Saleh

I think your idea really hits the nail on the head here! Sometimes, all that is needed for youth to really push through their limitations of professional exposure and engaging the skill set and creativity they already have lies within the educational context that is designed to support them. A design workshop as you've suggested could potentially expose thousands of students to realize and develop their ideas from early schematics and conceptualization to realization. The ability to create a forum where students can build confidence behind new ways of thinking and feel supported is key! Your idea cultivates collaboration, excitement and self-esteem to name a few. Maybe a healthy dose of competition could be added into the mix to get the youth's juices flowing-I would love to support you in anyway possible. As an architecture student, I have experience with organization and familiarity with design charrettes.

Photo of priyanka botny

You can also consider - I took their course in link with Ideo's case studies. They were helpful. We can conduct a lot of experiments within our reach and learn about them in detail. This will lead us to reach out billions. Good going! :)

Photo of Avi Solomon

Thanks Priyanka, I've added the link to the Resources list and you to the team:)

Photo of priyanka botny

Thanks Avi. Love to be a part of the progress.

Photo of Dave Zinsman

Hi Avi,
Very cool. If you take this further, I'm happy to help out with some prototyping. Hope to see more!

Photo of Rehmah Kasule

I really like the idea of design workshops, many times the youth do not have platform to ignite their creativity. The education systems are boxed for cramming what is taught and passing exams. Is it possible to illustrate in real life how this brain storming can take place, and after the idea generation, how do you support the youth with great ideas. That is the other challenge, youth actually have ideas but they are either too complicated and expensive to test or they can't be practically and viably translate into profitable business. By all means, I would like to collaborate on this to see how we can do such workshops with the out-of-school youth we are working with in communities.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda

Great way to kick off our Ideas phase. Do you know if there are any initiatives out there doing this? What have they learned? How could we learn from this efforts and bring this idea one step forward?

Photo of Avi Solomon

Thanks Luisa. I'll update the Resources section with a list of relevant initiatives.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great thinking, Avi. Hopefully you and others here will also discuss the best aspects of each to make some recommendations on what an eventual workshop might look like. Do you have thoughts on specifics around scaling this idea? And suggestions on who could be well placed to spearhead this initiative to achieve maximum global impact? We're excited to hear more developments on this fab thought-starter.

Photo of Alaine Newland

Avi, I love the idea of a workshop, or even a series of workshops, and it feels very scalable - what might this look like as a curriculum that teachers could utilize globally, or even an online class that young people could take in the evening? What current design thinking programs exist that you might be able to re-examine through the lens of a young person's interests/needs?

Photo of Avi Solomon

Thanks Alaine. Here's one I found: Hopefully the OI community can contribute more examples.