Design Thinking researchers meet for Community Building Workshop

From September 8 to 10, 2020, researchers from Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) and Stanford University met virtually for the 25th Community Building Workshop of the joint Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program (HPDTRP), which was held in memory of HPI researcher Matthias Wenzel. For the second time, the workshop was held in an entirely virtual format, this time organized by the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam.


Graphic Recording Research Meeting

Over three days, each of the currently 16 funded project teams had the opportunity to present and discuss the results of their work with the interdisciplinary research community and a number of guests. Moreover, they had the chance to work on specific problems and questions in virtual interactive sessions.

The program directors Professor Christoph Meinel and Professor Larry Leifer opened the workshop at the end of the HPDTRP program year 2019/2020 and announced an even closer cooperation between the two institutions in the future. 

The HPI D-School research team, Selina Mayer and Martin Schwemmle, presented the first results of their "Design Thinking Impact" project. The two conducted interviews with representatives of various organizations and found out that the application of Design Thinking in organizations has a great impact on individuals. Therefore, transformation first takes place on the individual level, related to the dimensions "Achievement", "Belonging", "Happiness", "Purpose" and "Transcendence". Martin and Selina will continue their research project in the program year 2020/2021.


Design Thinking Impact by Selina Mayer and Martin Schwemmle

In addition to the presentations of the research teams from Stanford and HPI, external speakers also gave inspiring keynote speeches. In his keynote on the first day of the workshop, Dr. Arndt Pechstein talked about "Hybrid Thinking" - a new method for mastering complex challenges that combines established approaches such as Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Systems Thinking, Biomimicry, Neuroscience and Circular Economy to develop reliable solutions in volatile times.

On the second day, HPI researcher Julia von Thienen’s team hosted a neurodesign symposium, where new research findings from Stanford University and HPI were presented. Irene Sophia Plank, PhD Fellow at the Einstein Center for Neurosciences, reflected in the symposium keynote her insights into the "neuroscience of empathy".

Concluding statements by Prof. Christoph Meinel on the third day of the workshop complimented the work of the researchers and gave an outlook on the 13th program year with its 15 funded projects.

All in all, the 25th Community Building Workshop was successful in many respects: The scientists communicated research results, supported each other with valuable feedback, promoted collaboration between the two institutes and strengthened the community through informal exchange.

Graphic Recordings: Esther Blodau