In the fall of 2013, my alma mater contracted me to give a workshop on Design Thinking as part of their new Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The workshop participants ranged from Freshmen interested in design to over half the professors in the Math department. All were relatively new to the concepts of design thinking, and none were familiar with product creation processes.

Most of the lecture section of the workshop focused on the Design Thinking process, with examples from the creation of At The Door at Eventbrite. I walked everyone through the process of Discovery, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation, and Evolution, and contrasted the process to the scientific methods students are more familiar with. I put special emphasis on the need for empathy throughout the process, as too often our logical brains try to jump ahead.

Insisting that Design Thinking can be applied beyond the development of products, I gave the participants a challenge in the latter part of the workshop to attempt to solve an issue on campus using Design Thinking. We broke into small groups and selected the students' many frustrations at the complicated food allotment system as the challenge (two places on opposite sides of campus to eat, but each with different hours and rules), then set about interviewing other students to get their feedback. Eventually each team found their way through the Design process (though many struggled not to jump to conclusions too quickly), and were intrigued to find that each group had found different solutions.

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