[Translate to Englisch:] Bewerbung Design Thinking Basic Track

Application for the Design Thinking Basic Track

Applications for the Design Thinking  Basic Track program in the summer semester 2022 are now open. Interested students and recent graduates from all disciplines can apply online until January 31st, 2022.

To apply for the Basic Track, please register on our online application platform and upload all necessary documents including your CV, your confirmation of enrollment and your personal T-Profile. Your application needs to be completed and submitted by January 31st, 2022.

Sign up for our application reminder and we will inform you via email once the application period for the summer semester 2022 starts. Applications will close on January 31st, 2022.


The application process


How to apply for the Basic Track
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Download our infosheet: How to apply for the Basic Track

After the application period for the summer semester 2022 comes to and end, we will thoroughly screen all applications together with our coaching team. In the beginning of February 2022, we will then inform you about the status of your application.

Applicants who pass the first selection round will receive an invitation to one of our virtual  D-Camp workshops. The D-Camp workshops will take place between 21-24 February 2022 - Save the date!

Important dates for applicants of the summer semester 2022:

31 January 2022: Application deadline

Beginning of February 2022: First round of selection (HPI D-School internal)

Virtual D-Camps:

D-Camp I: 21-22 February 2022 from 9:30 am -1:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp II: 21-22 February 2022 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm (CET)

D-Camp III: 23-24 February 2022, from 9:30 am -1:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp IV: 23-24 February 2022, 1:00 - 5:00 pm (CET)

Beginning of February 2022: Announcement of the final admission decision

26 April 2022: Start of the summer semester


Participants share their experiences


If you would like to hear more insights from our participants, watch our YouTube playlist!


Design Thinking in the hybrid space

Since March 2020, we have developed entirely new virtual programs for our Basic Track and Advanced Track students as well as for the GDTW and Wayfinder. The COVID-19 pandemic is also impacting our programs in the summer semester of 2022. This disruption has propelled our program design and how our participants, coaches, and partners collaborate in a new form: Design Thinking in a hybrid space, combining the virtual format with on-site work in the Design Thinking spaces at HPI D-School.

The virtual program takes place two days per week. It consists of live inputs from our program & coaching team and collaborative teamwork in the digital space, supported by interactive live coaching sessions. We use various digital tools, such as the virtual whiteboard "Miro" and our online learning platform "openHPI".

Our program team also creates an open culture of experimentation in the virtual space, promoting creative self-confidence (concept of psychological safety).

Physical presence in Potsdam is generally not necessary for participation in the Basic Track in the summer semester 2022. The format we offer can be conducted from any location. Please note that participants need to be willing to actively participate during daytime hours on the CEST time zone program days.

However, all participants will have access to the physical Design Thinking spaces, all of which will be equipped with appropriate technology to work in a hybrid setting (part of the team on-site, part of the team remote/distributed). This results in an innovative hybrid format that defines the next step towards "new work". We want to allow all participants in our program to experience this new innovative form of collaboration.

Weekly structure of the Basic Track:

Weekly Structure Basic Track
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The mandatory program days are Tuesday and Friday, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm (including lunch break) plus eight hours of self-directed team work, which teams can flexibly arrange together with their coaches.

Please also check our FAQ.


General information about the Basic Track-Programm

All students in the Basic Track contribute a participation fee of 750 Euros, which helps the organization to offset the expenses of the program. For current HPI students, PhD candidates, and employees of HPI, the participation in the Basic Track program is free of charge.

The Design Thinking Basic Track is an official certificate study program of the University of Potsdam.

Unfortunately, participation in the Basic Track program is not acknowledged as official educational leave by the state of Brandenburg.

Key data about the Basic Track program:

  • Students can participate in either the summer or the winter semester
  • The program follows the structure of the academic year
  • All students begin with the Basic Track program
  • Interested students may continue with the optional Advanced Track to further consolidate and enrich their knowledge and skills
  • Participation in the Advanced Track is possible either directly after completion of the Basic Track or up to three semesters later
  • Both Basic Track and Advanced Track require two full days of attendance per week
  • Students work in small, multidisciplinary, international teams
  • Students work closely with, and take advantage of mentorship from our large team of experienced coaches
  • Projects are carried out in cooperation with partner organizations from business, politics and society
  • After completing the program, graduates receive a HPI D-School certificate of attendance
  • Students and alumni enjoy the benefits of the international HPI D-School network

You can find answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.

What kind of applicants are we looking for?

We are looking for creative thinkers, so-called “T-shaped people.” These are people who are prepared to see the world and its inhabitants from new and different perspectives. Selected applicants get the unique opportunity to enter into an intensive exchange with engaged people from different cultures, universities, and areas of specialization. Through the open, motivated and experimentally creative collaboration of five to six students per team, students develop innovative solutions for real problems from business and society along with our organizational partners. We accept a maximum of 80 students in the Basic Track each semester.



(Employed) professionals

HPI students


Elisabeth Höpner

HPI School of Design Thinking
Assistant to Dr. Claudia Nicolai & Program Coordinator

Tel.: +49 -331-5509-507

E-Mail an HPI D-School Office

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