On a mission to inculcate innovation in the caribbean

Design Thinking & Innovation programs

With a grand vision to inculcate Design Thinking at the Caribbean, Think Design conducted Product Development and Innovation workshops with Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, University of West Indies. Workshops are conducted in “Learning by Doing” methodology, where the Executive MBA students are familiarized with the concept of Design, Design Thinking and taken through rigorous activities that involve selecting project topics, divergent and convergent thinking, learning to design themselves and finally, prototyping using various conventional and unconventional techniques. Fundamentally, students are coached towards exercising empathy, creativity and rationality through rigorous drills.

Collaborative thinking

Workshop methodology focuses on working in groups, with people from varied backgrounds and domain expertise. Groups choose several topics/ problem areas of interest and collaboratively choose the most impactful project.

In the initial stages, participants are encouraged to build upon each other’s ideas, instead of engaging in criticism or seeking reasoning.

User Empathy

Topics/ Problem areas are chosen by exercising various techniques of empathy. Participants practice “Story telling” method where they roleplay and visualize user stories and scenarios. Opportunities thus identified, come from empathy rather than gut feel.

Divergent thinking

By visualizing several scenarios, participants immerse themselves in the life of their users and thus are equipped to identify several opportunities. Participants thus practice divergent thinking.

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Convergent Thinking

By rigorously evaluating opportunities and impression of solutions through “User, Business, Technology” framework, participants get to converge ideas into few specific action items.

Creativity

Several alternatives are worked around possible solutions, each of them with clear premise on Business and Technology. Various guided sessions on technology help participants understand implication of each function and feature envisioned.

Rationality

Participants make several presentations to entire group and other members and thought leaders within the community. By exercising best practices in decision making, participants get a rational and open minded perspective to evaluate concepts and Design.

Prototyping

Projects finally culminate in prototypes. In the process, participants are exposed to various prototyping methods and their practical relevance.

The Impact

Think Design has so far conducted three such workshops and currently, this course has come to become part of the curriculum at the institution.

Some of the topics chosen at the workshop were taken ahead by the students as their entrepreneureal venture. Further, Arthur Lok Jack’s incubation centre, Bizbooster has shortlisted few projects for incubation.

The Future

Taking this initiative ahead, the Institution and Think Design had conducted Design Thinking workshop with Industry as well, in the region. One such workshop recently involved one of the largest business conglomerates from the Caribbean region.

With readiness to learn and apply Design Thinking among business practitioners, and the will to practice it in their respective organizations, companies and individuals in the region hold a great promise for themselves and the society in the future!