Potsdam/Cape Town. A third innovation school will soon be joining the other two established schools — one at Hasso Plattner Institute, at the University of Potsdam, and the other at Stanford. In the first quarter of 2016, the HPI School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town (UTC) will be fully operational. The founding director, Richard Perez (46), brings with him many years of experience from the areas of project design and municipal innovation. The appointment was announced by Prof. Christoph Meinel, director of the Potsdam Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI).
Initial funding for the HPI School of Design Thinking at UCT comes from the Hasso Plattner Förderstiftung foundation. The innovation school is housed in customized premises in the Library Learning Lab on the University of Cape Town campus and at the Graduate School of Business (GSB). The school will be launched with a series of pilot courses for Master and PhD students from all scientific disciplines and for managers from industry and public administration.
"In collaboration with several partners, we are developing a model of Design Thinking education that is particularly suitable for the promotion of innovation on the continent of Africa," Meinel said. Besides students and executives, developmental experts will have the opportunity to enjoy Design Thinking. Experienced Design Thinking specialists from Potsdam will support the establishment and expansion of activities in Cape Town.
The Stanford University in Silicon Valley and the Potsdam institute, active since 1999, have already been closely linked for ten years through the commitment of founder Prof. Hasso Plattner. In the summer of 2005, the HPI benefactor donated 35 million US dollars to Stanford University to establish the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at the School of Engineering. The Potsdam software institute, with its HPI School of Design Thinking (active since the winters semester of 2007/2008), has worked intensively with its sister institute in Stanford since that time. Together, the partners teach and research in the area of user-friendly innovations.