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Design thinking course: The essentials (online)

Learn how to apply creative and relevant solutions using design thinking techniques. This design thinking course introduces the essentials of design thinking approaches to enhance your innovation and strategy toolkit.

About this course

Forward thinking practitioners and workplaces utilise innovative ways of designing and applying solutions through human centred strategy, policy, plans and initiatives. This design thinking course will equip you with the skills and confidence to turn good ideas into sustainable and improved outcomes with users/customers at the heart of your thinking and implementation. 

You will learn foundational design thinking skills from expert practitioners to introduce new ways of working across your teams and organisations, generate more creative and relevant solutions, and make better strategic decisions. You will be able to apply design thinking methodology to real world challenges and gain an invaluable understanding of delivering better outcomes and/or services in co-creation with your communities, customers and stakeholders.

Course structure 

In this design thinking course you will be introduced to ideas to inspire new ways of human-centred working and tools to kick-start innovative improvement solutions. Each session will include:

  1. an introduction to key elements of the 5-stage design thinking process.
  2. case studies and/or live examples.
  3. tools for you to take away and apply in practice.

Participants will be set a live challenge relevant to their work in the period between module 2 and 3.

This design thinking course will cover the following content:

Module 1: Define

  • Introduction to design thinking.
  • Example case study.
  • Tool: Mindmap.

Module 2: Empathy

  • Capturing insights.
  • Example discussion guide.
  • Tool: Deep listening and questioning.

Module 3: Ideation

  • Understanding opportunity spaces.
  • Example case study.
  • Tool: Live brainstorming.

Module 4: Prototype

  • Test and learn.
  • Example blueprint.
  • Tool: Harvesting for prototypes.

Module 5: Engagement

  • The value of co-creation.
  • Case study conclusions.
  • Tool: Mapping what next.


Learning outcomes

At the completion of this design thinking course you will have developed:

  • Foundational understanding of the design thinking process.
  • Skills in human-centred design and co-creation models.
  • An ability to utilise the right tools at the right time.
  • Working knowledge of design thinking examples and case studies.
  • An appreciation of the value of innovation.
  • Confidence to apply design thinking in practice.


Delivery style

This design thinking course online will be facilitated through an interactive live video link. Registered participants will be able to connect to the video link using Zoom (available free) and a reliable internet connection is required. Video connection details will be made available to each participant prior to the course via Canvas, the UTS Learning Management System (LMS). Course materials, presentations and/or readings will also be made available to participants within Canvas LMS.


In-house training solutions

This design thinking course online can also be customised and/or delivered in-house. Find out more.

Who is this course for?

This design thinking course is designed for professionals seeking a foundational understanding of design thinking in practice. This course is also suitable to professionals who seek skills in innovation, strategy, policy and business improvement initiatives, as well as those who seek community and social outcomes. This course is also suitable for new or existing project teams who are looking to challenge their design thinking skills as they work on live challenges together.



11 August




6 hrs

Meeting the experts

Sophi Bruce

Sophi Bruce
Senior Specialist Leadership Programs, IPPG

Leadership Program Specialist: Sophi Bruce specialises in approaches to leadership, transition and social impact projects using a portfolio of techniques for reflective learning, collaborative working and thinking differently. From the design and delivery of bespoke learning programs to ongoing project delivery, Sophi’s focus on positive tangible outcomes is supported by professional aptitude and a passion for facilitating personal, organisational and social progress. At IPPG, Sophi has strategic responsibility for a suite of programs and subjects at University Technology Sydney committed to building leadership capacity across the local government sector on a national level. With extensive facilitation and project management experience, Sophi manages a range of consultancy projects for clients of the Institute in areas such as leadership, organisational change, community and place, collaboration, evaluation and capacity building. Sophi is an authorized assessor of the Leadership Development Framework and has an executive certificate in Positive Psychology coaching.  She has curated for the International Association for Public Participation and contributes to Adaptive Leadership Australia’s leadership programs and The School of Life classes.

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Gauri Bhalla

Gauri Bhalla
Founder of Curious Collective

Gauri is an educator, entrepreneur and social innovation driver. She is the founder of Curious Collective, a design thinker, lean start up practitioner and ‘learn by doing’ methodologies. Her passion is to explore and challenge business models, to extract shared value. With the Collective, she designs and delivers capability and execution programs for organisations such as the Department of Education, the Experimentation program for CBA, the Innovation lab for MGSM, and a flagship leadership program for Stockland. She worked in global organisations then found her vocation in education and has worked for Universities such as Cambridge, Stanford and UTS.

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Book a session

Tue 11 Aug 2020 -
Thu 20 Aug 2020
Expert: Sophi Bruce, Gauri Bhalla
  • Online via a live video link
  • Online
  • 3 sessions, 6 hours total
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