An introduction to Design Thinking
Among the several myths of innovation (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261415756_The_5_Myths_of_Innovation) the most persistent one is that the sudden flash of insight defines the process of innovation.

We often imagine that great ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. But studying the stories of great innovators (https://www.thehenryford.org/explore/stories-of-innovation/) we will find out that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities.

This process is similar to the ones used by designers for problem solving and creative actions.  Therefore, methods from across the field of design can be – and have long been - used to unlock the creative potential of people, to rethink current methods and models of operation and create innovative products.

Designers David M. Kelley, Tim Brown and Roger Martin have been promoting the use of it on large scale, urging all companies to use design thinking to innovate and urging all business people to “become designers”.

The specific methodology of adapting designer attitudes was called “Design Thinking” and it is defined as “a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designers toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”  (Tim Brown)
A number of organisations have been started to create learning experiences that help people unlock their creative potential using design thinking. The Resources section of the WebQuest will lead you to several resources where you can get immersed into the challenge of adapting design thinking, this quest will only touch the surface of design thinking, introduce you to the Design Thinking Process, based on the Stanford d.school (https://dschool.stanford.edu/) model. 
Embracing a bias towards action, design thinking can be experimented in any field of life.

So just pick someone from your environment (maybe from your group) and start designing something (literally anything: a purse, a toy, an excursion, etc) that would be useful for that person (they will be your customer/ your beneficiary/ your user).

Jump in and play!

Design thinking informs human-centered innovation and begins with developing an understanding of customers’ or users’ unmet or unarticulated needs” - Linda Naiman, Founder of Creativity at Work (https://www.creativityatwork.com/).
1. Wonder and question!
Mindfulness is an important component of the design thinking process. List everything you might know about the person you are designing for. Try to be aware of your bias towards that person and try to think of ways of gaining a fuller understanding. What else would you like to know about her/him?
2. Empathize.
The key characteristics of design thinking is that it is human-centred and begins with understanding the audience/ customer. Find out who really is your beneficiary and what is truly important for them.  For this purpose, you can use observation, interview and immersion. Both empathic observation and immersion (i.e. entering the world of your user) can take a long time, but both these ways of empathising are important in a complex design thinking process. Now, in this challenge, the quickest way to gain empathy is an “empathy interview.” You can ask your beneficiary to tell you about the last experience they received a gift/ an invitation to an excursion. Ask them about their experience, what they liked or disliked about it. Try to collect all their stories, feelings and emotions related to similar past experiences. “Why?” is a question you have to ask very often in an empathising interview.
3. Define.
Based on your findings, define the needs of your user. Try to “dig deep”, go beyond the apparent need and find deeper goals and wishes.
4. Ideate.
Brainstorm and come up with several creative, even radical solutions to the needs of your “customer”. Do not limit yourself at this stage, go for quantity! This is a time for generating, not for evaluating ideas. 
5. Prototype.
At this stage you should be visual: draw sketches, drafts, build a representation of your ideas from any prototyping material that you can find around you. At this stage you should be ready to receive any feedback and even to drop your idea and come up with a new one. Our first ideas are usually our worst, so be ready to return to this stage after testing your prototype.
6. Test.
Share the prototyped idea with your user for feedback. Ask: “What worked?” “What didn’t?” Encourage honest feedback. Remember that testing is just another opportunity to learn more about your user’s needs and feelings. At this stage, not your idea is at the centre (so do not try to explain and defend it), but the users: listen to them carefully.
7. Cycle back and forth between prototyping and testing as many times as needed, until you get really close to a solution that works for your partner.
8. Reflect and generate a new solution.
Reflection is an ongoing process, so make sure you include time for reflection at all stages.
9. Evaluate.
At this stage, everyone from the group displays their prototypes on a table. Everyone should display at least one (the most successful) prototype. This is an important learning phase. Everyone should tell which prototype they really like, which one arouse their curiosity. In your evaluation discussion, draw out the core values of design thinking:
· Feedback from users is fundamental to good design.
· Prototyping is not just a way to validate ideas but a way to think and learn.
· Design thinking is not only thinking but DOING.
· To gain “fluency” in design thinking, we have to go through the cycle several times
Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
After the completion of this WebQuest, learners will be able to:

(will have...)
(will be able to...)
(will be able to...)
· Fundamental knowledge on design thinking · Identify needs
· Research, gather and organize information
· Work in a team to complete an assignment
· Generate ideas
· Construct prototype
· Give constructive feedback
· Practice Active listening
· Visually represent ideas
· Reflect on an ongoing process
· Demonstrate empathy
· Practice mindfulness
· Cooperate with others
· Be flexible about a solution
· Connect to people and release frustration

Design thinking is not a linear path. It’s a big mass of looping back to different places in the process.” - David Kelley, Founder of IDEO