Design Thinking and Innovation

  • Jeanne M. Liedtka, United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration


    Design Thinking and Innovation Specialization

    Scheduled sessions, 5 weeks/course | 5-8 hours/week | purchase for $395/course

    Darden’s Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation empowers you to become a creative catalyst with a systemic approach to innovation in the workplace. Whether you work in business, health care, education or nonprofit, this hands-on training in the core principles of design thinking and leadership will help you solve your business challenges.  

    Design Thinking Part I: Insights to Inspiration

    Part I of our two-part project-based course is taught by Professor Jeanne Liedtka, an internationally recognized leader in design thinking. In this first course, you'll lay the groundwork for great ideas by asking “What Is?” You’ll strengthen your innovation mindset and learn research techniques that jumpstart your team's potential for new and inspired ideas. Come with a challenge, leave with great ideas.

    Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action

    In Part II of our project-based course taught by Professor Jeanne Liedtka, you'll ask "What if?" as a way to consider a spectrum of possibilities and use the best ideas to generate solutions to your challenge. You'll ask "What wows?" by considering the needs of your stakeholders and your organization, and focus on "What works?" by bringing your ideas face-to-face with stakeholders.

    Discovery Tools

    In this course, you’ll learn to use five human-centered design tools. You’ll instead connect with your customers on a human level, to get beyond what they say and observe what they do. You'll learn to recognize weak signals about unarticulated needs and capture overlooked ideas.  

    Creating the Innovative Workplace

    In this class, we'll show you how to build a workplace that makes innovation the norm. We'll show you how to assess and ready yourself to lead a high performance team, leverage your social networks, and manage organizational and personal changes associated with innovation and learning.  


    Design Thinking for Innovation

    Rolling sessions, 5 weeks | 1-2 hours/week | audit or purchase course

    In this overview course, we provide a four-question framework for using design thinking to become an innovative thinker and uncover creative opportunities to solve the types of challenges facing today’s organizations. We also share several stories from different organizations that used design thinking to uncover compelling solutions.


    DESIGN THINKING for the greater good: innovation in the social sector

    Rolling sessions, 4 weeks | 2-4 hours/week | audit or purchase course

    Do you work for a nonprofit or in the social sector? Are you struggling to solve the problems and meet the needs of the people you serve? Come learn more about how design thinking, a human-centered approach to problem solving, can help you truly understand an issue, generate ideas worth testing and iterate to find solutions that make a real difference. Through global stories from areas as diverse as government, health care, and education, we’ll show you the tools, techniques and mindset needed to use design thinking to uncover new and creative solutions in the social sector. The development of this course was supported by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.