Impact by Design: How Design Thinking Affects International Organizations and Vice Versa

Design Thinking is on everyone’s lips. Design Thinking polarizes: some doom it, and some are just about to discover it. Some claim it will save the world, some say it’s nothing new at all. Wherever the truth may lie, Design Thinking has gained a lot of attention during the past years. Conferences and consultancies have put it forward as the answer to the requirements of a contemporary economy that constantly asks for new innovative products. Indeed, different organizations have already reached very different levels of maturity in terms of their Design Thinking experiences.

However, these experiences have not been gathered and analyzed in a comprehensive study until now. The research project „Impact by Design Thinking“ therefore aims at illuminating strategies and experiences from companies to apply Design Thinking. We work on the first systematic understanding of the various usages of Design Thinking in organizations.

We want to provide orientation and exchange with other practitioners at eye level. Our reports and case studies will be shared on a regular basis. In this way we will establish a knowledge exchange between key players in all sectors on a global scale. 

A two-part approach is being used:

1. Measurement of quantitative aspects. We are looking for correlation patterns between the size of companies, the time period since when Design Thinking has been integrated, the profit development and the employee satisfaction since then.

2. Measurement of qualitative aspects. We tell the most intriguing stories: Who's the hero in an organization that implements Design Thinking, what were the challenges, what were the low-points?

Our objective is to systematically understand and measure the impact of Design Thinking within organizations, such as companies and public institutions. We will then document our knowledge and share it by conducting co-learning workshops with members of organizations.

If you want to contribute to our project or have questions and comments, please feel free to contact us: thisisdesignthinking(at)hpi.de