Information about our virtual Design Thinking programs in the winter semester 2020/21

As in the summer semester 2020, our Design Thinking programs in the winter semester 2020/21 will take place in a predominantly virtual format due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


[Translate to Englisch:] Virtuelle Design Thinking-Programme


By designing and conducting our programs during the summer semester, our program team and coaches have gained many new insights into how to collaborate in a virtual learning environment. These insights will now be incorporated into the next iteration of our Design Thinking programs in the winter semester. Prof. Uli Weinberg and Dr. Claudia Nicolai, for example, share our first experiences with creative teamwork in virtual space in the HPI podcast "Neuland".

Of course, we also work together with an exciting portfolio of partner organizations from corporations, medium-sized companies, NGOs and public institutions in the virtual space. Last semester organizations such as IEEE, Roche Pharma, H&M beyond and the city of Potsdam had prepared design challenges for our students.


Dates Design Thinking Basic Track

The semester starts with a Welcome Day on October 30, 2020. We will give you a digital on-boarding so that all participants can familiarize themselves with our digital working environment.

We will maintain our two weekly Basic Track program dates, Tuesdays and Fridays. On these two days we will meet in our virtual work environment.


Dates Design Thinking Advanced Track

The semester starts with the "Pre-Launch" day on October 26, 2020.

As usual, we will meet on two weekly dates, Mondays and Thursdays, in the virtual work environment.


Our toolset

For video communication we use the software Zoom. We have licenses that allow us to hold large plenary rounds as well as to work together in so-called breakout rooms in smaller teams.

As a replacement for the physical information room, we will use the Miro platform, which allows very simple and intuitive collaboration with sticky notes, photos, text and graphics in real time, just like on a whiteboard.

As a learning platform and for knowledge sharing, we use HPI's own openHPI platform, which has been in use for years and is currently also used by the WHO for Corona training as a learning environment. We will send all students a link to the special learning environment for the Basic and Advanced Track programs.

We use the Slack instant messaging service for announcements and for communication between the program team and the participants as well as between teams.



From virtual to hybrid learning environment

If the Corona regulations of the state of Brandenburg allow it, the premises of the HPI D-School can also be used for teamwork, provided that the official hygiene regulations are observed.

In the winter semester we will also create hybrid learning environments for the first time, in which one part of the team can participate on site at the HPI D-School and another part by joining the teamwork via the virtual space. For this purpose we provide special team spaces with the necessary technical equipment in our workshop rooms. With these hybrid learning environments we want to combine and merge virtual and physical learning environments. Participants of our programs can register for the use of the rooms via a room booking tool.

If you would like to learn more about our concept for hybrid learning environments, you can watch the presentation by Prof. Uli Weinberg and Dr. Martin Schwemmle (see video above).

For more information about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the academic programs of the HPI School of Design Thinking, you can also visit our FAQ page.

We look forward to working with you in the upcoming winter semester!