Design Thinking

                  Course Overview


Today innovation is everyone's business. Whether you are a manager in a global corporation, an entrepreneur starting up, in a government role, or a teacher in an elementary school, everyone is expected to get lean -- to do better with less. And that is why we all need design thinking. At every level in every kind of organization, design thinking provides the tools you need to become an innovative thinker and uncover creative opportunities that are there -- you're just not seeing them yet.

Welcome to the course -- we're excited you're here! You’re in for a fun and fast experience learning about design thinking -- a creative and systematic approach to solving challenging problems.

In this course, we provide an overview of design thinking and work with a model containing four key questions to help you understand design thinking as a problem solving approach. You'll hear stories of design thinking in action, learn more about design thinking tools, consider your own mindset, and think about quick and simple ways to test the innovative solutions design thinking helps to generate.

Course Format

This course will consist of a series of video lectures, discussion opportunities, and a final (peer-reviewed) assignment. It is divided into five modules as follows:

  1. What Is Design Thinking?

  2. Preparing Your Mind for Innovation

  3. Idea Generation

  4. Experimentation

  5. Final Assignment


To successfully complete the course, you must complete and pass the final assignment.

Recommended Readings

The video lectures are designed to be self-contained; therefore, we recommended but do not require the following readings. The recommended readings have been selected to enhance the course experience; however, not all of the intellectual property owners of these materials make them freely available on the internet. While we strive to find sources of additional materials which are freely available, sometimes the best additional materials we would like to alert students to are only available from their respective copyright owners for compensation. Rather than not alert the students to these materials, we have decided to list them and let students make their own decision on whether they would like to invest the money to view these materials.

Liedtka, J. & Ogilvie, T. (2011). Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers. New York, NY: Columbia Business School Publishing.

Liedtka, J., King, A., & Bennett, K. (2013). Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works. New York, NY: Columbia Business School Publishing.

  • Hardcover and PDF versions available for purchase from Columbia University Press

  • Hardcover and Kindle versions available for purchase from Amazon (quickest international delivery)

Lecture Slides

View/download the Module 1 Slides: Module 1 Slides.pdf


View/download the Module 2 Slides: Module 2 Slides.pdf


View/download the Module 3 Slides: Module 3 Slides.pdf


View/download the Module 4 Slides: Module 4 Slides.pdf