ARQUS Alliance
Design Thinking

Learn to use digital technologies in innovative ways

Join the Sommer School in Padua and learn how to use the Design Thinking methodology to explore innovative solutions to different topics.

Participants at a UiB Arqus seminar
The design thinking methodology can provide value for academic staff and others who wish to apply a new approach to problem-solving.
Eivind Senneset

Main content

The University of Padua hosts the “Rovigo Summer School Design Thinking: How might we use digital technologies in innovative ways at the university” from 8-9 September 2022.

For who: academic personnel, university staff and PhD students of the 9 Arqus partner universities. Since this will be a hands-on experience, there will be a maximum of 20 persons accepted.

Where: seat of the incubator at the University of Padua Campus in Rovigo (40 mins from Padua).

Registration: submit your registration here before 15 June 2022. You will be notified if your registration has been accepted after the closing of the registration.

Mobility Funding: If you are selected for the Summer School, local funding may be available at your university under specific conditions (and additional documents may also be required). Please check with your local Arqus officers.

Contacts: Summer School programme and logistics: anna.debiasi@unipd.it

The Summer School has been structured by the experts of the Start Cube Incubator of Padua with the idea of offering a hands-on approach to Design thinking. It will open with a presentation by the University of Bergen on improving problem definition through combined design thinking and systems mapping approaches. Following the presentation, the participants will work on applying the design thinking methodology to a specific topic. The topic that will be used for the design thinking process is “How might we use digital technologies in innovative ways at the university”.

About the Design Thinking Methodology

Design thinking is a mindset and approach to learning, collaboration, and a problem-solving technique that brings together different areas of expertise and leverage concepts and tool sets to explore and reframe complex challenges, in order to generate innovative solutions. It offers a different approach to problem-solving which can be complementary to the traditional research methods in that design thinking:

  • Enhances empathy skills as a mindset where being open, avoiding being judgmental and being comfortable around people with different backgrounds and opinions becomes crucial.
  • Carries the potential for improving innovation outcomes by mitigating an established set of cognitive flaws: people often project their own worldview onto others, limit the options considered, and ignore disconfirming data.
  • Requires functional teams; the method is geared towards reinforcing the significance of managing communication and emotion among team members.
  • Encourages participants to see constraints as opportunities. As such, design thinking can create resilience in the face of failure and uncertainty.
  • Fosters the ability to imagine without boundaries and constraints thus nurturing creative confidence.

The design thinking process is not just useful in the start-up context but has also other practical uses such as for professors that are interested in applying this methodology to their lessons and for staff members who might wish to use a new approach to problem-solving in their work.