There are many ways to solve a problem but oftentimes, our brain goes back to the same old methods time and time again (even if there is a better way of coming up with a solution). And once we’re on that treadmill, it’s hard to hop off. Design Thinking offers up a chance to view things in a different light by challenging assumptions and finding news ways to solve problems.
Instead of relying on just one person to seek out solutions, this iterative process unlocks the creative potential of every individual and encourages empathy with users, experimentation, collaboration, co-creation, rapid prototyping and testing. And it has a proven track record. There’s a reason why some of the world’s biggest brands have adopted this approach. And now, through a series of events presented by Business & Arts NL, members of the private, public and creative sectors in this province will have the opportunity to put the Design Thinking philosophy into practice.
Design Thinking: Collaboration for Innovation is a year-long project focussed on introducing new ways to foster collaboration and problem solving. The project kicks off on November 26 at the Emera Innovation Exchange at MUN’s Signal Hill Campus with a Symposium featuring keynote speaker Whitney Mortimer of IDEO San Francisco (the global leader in design thinking). Attendees will learn how the design thinking methodology works and how it can be applied to the challenges facing the provincial economy and workforce today.
The Symposium will be followed by a full-day, hands-on Design Thinking Mini-Lab on November 27 at the Rocket Room, facilitated by DesignThinkers Group Canada (one of the leading design driven innovation agencies helping organizations around the world), that will build upon the work done in the Symposium. The lab will bring together local companies and professional artists to explore how design thinking can invigorate a workforce and mobilize creativity. Overall, the project will strengthen relationships, address shared challenges and concerns, and build common understanding of the economic and social impact that can be unlocked by working collaboratively.
“We are so excited about this project because it creates such a rich opportunity to get business people and artists in the room together, and to see that creativity is such a critical skill for survival and growth,” says Amy Henderson, Executive Director of Business & Arts NL.
The Symposium and Mini-Lab will be followed by more sessions, workshops and training events throughout 2020, including “Training for Creative Facilitators,” which will train artists in facilitation skills and help them to harness their creative skills to produce marketable programs to be offered to local businesses and organizations (winter 2020); and a week-long training bootcamp co-hosted by the Gardiner Centre and facilitated by DesignThinkers Group Canada global network (February).
On March 28, Dr. Ian Sutherland, Dean of the School of Music at Memorial University, will present a workshop on creative leadership for those in the private sector, while April will feature “Innovation 2.0.” This design lab will bring businesses and artists together to design solutions as we move towards the future of art and technology and a knowledge-based workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador. And finally, from April to July, a series of internships will provide cost-shared opportunities to bring creatives into corporate environments (for one to 120 days).
Want to gain a better understanding of what Design Thinking is all about? Join us for a free screening of the documentary “Design & Thinking” on Monday, November 18 at 7pm at the Johnson GEO CENTRE (click here for more information).
To purchase Symposium tickets, please click here.
The Design Thinking Project is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation.