Do you want to become more employable by demonstrating you have experience applying 21st century skills?
Are you an entrepreneur – or an entrepreneur in the making- who wants to develop a business idea?
Join our Design Thinking Sprints this term and gain experience of applying Design Thinking to a real project.
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is an approach to innovation that is sought after by employers and invaluable for entrepreneurs. It transforms the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future, based on empathy, collaboration and experimentation. Design Thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and transferable as an approach within many contexts, disciplines and organisations.
Whether you are just looking for a new way to enhance your creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication skills or are interested in becoming a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur, this series of Wednesday afternoon workshops are not to be missed!
You will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying it to real world problems. Below is an overview of the three sprint sessions including links to sign up through Target Connect. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend all three sessions, each can be attended as a standalone session too. The first session takes place next Wednesday, 25th of April, please sign up through Target Connect.
1: The Process
Session 1. Design Thinking Sprint – The Design Thinking process / Shaping a useful challenge
Wednesday the 25th of April at 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Bowland North SR 07
In the first session we will go through a quick design cycle to get you familiarised with Design Thinking and shape a challenge to focus on in rest of the sessions. Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea or if you are uncertain about joining future sessions. This session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.
Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation
Time: Wednesday the 2nd of May at 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Bowland North SR 07
In the second session we will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:
Inspiration looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space, and
Ideation, looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.
Different customer profiles when selling to a company
When people look at business-to-business operations they often map the companies they serve as customer profiles. However as explained within a recent Strategyzer blog post, it is actually the different groups of people within the company that should be mapped. Categories may include for example, decision makers, economic buyers, recommenders, saboteurs and end users, and each will have a different set of jobs, pains and gains.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on the 25 of May 2018. Before then you will need to make sure you have made any relevant changes within your business to ensure compliance. As Enterprise Nation state in their blog post, ‘no business, big or small, can afford to ignore it.’
The blog article also gives six fundamentals for achieving GDPR success. Take a read of the article to help you start getting to grips with what may be required. The Enterprise Team will also hopefully be running a workshop on the topic early next term.
Awards to help start and grow your social enterprise
UnLtd offer support for enterprises with a social or environmental aim at the core of what they do. They have two types of awards available at present, for which expression’s of interest close on the 27th March 2018. Although this deadline is soon, award cycles run three times throughout the year, so good to keep in mind for future too!
Art, Film, LICA Alumni Event, 12-2pm, Bowland North SR 6
Interested in freelancing in the Arts after graduation? Join this panel event for LICA students – come and listen to Lancaster University graduates of Art, Design and LICA subjects talk about their jobs and the routes they took to get their dream job. Find out more about working in the arts, media, freelance work and portfolio working.
UnLtd – Thrive accelerator information session for social enterprises, 12-2pm, Learning Zone Pod 4
Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aimed at supporting ambitious social ventures to scale. For their first cohort, Thrive are looking for ventures with the aim of improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.
Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in to potential applicants, so if you would be interested in finding out please come along.
Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange Sessions
Gerasimos Balis, the Enterprise Team’s Design Facilitator recently collaborated with Bijan Aryana to deliver some commercial awareness workshops as part of Bijan’s Design and Business module for MA Design Management students. The sessions were successful and appeared to add great value to the student’s projects. Below is a bit more information on what was covered in the sessions and some of the feedback received.
Commercial Awareness for Designers
The first 3 hour session involved:
An introduction to Business models and tools to evaluate them
Reflection on the impact of design expertise on business
The second 3 hour session involved:
Design process models and roles designers play in a ventrue
Examples of best practice from design agencies
Workshop on articulating their own design process
Great feedback was received for both sessions from student’s who took part:
‘I like the activities which were really engaging, fun and new to me’
‘I like the interactive exercises and tools provided’
‘I like the groupwork elements because it helps our ideas flow and we get some really interesting inputs and ideas’
‘Good content, helped a lot towards our project and ensured we followed a plan to effectively accomplish the activities’
‘Loved the activities, really helpful’
‘The activity further strengthened the understanding of the design process and its adaptability’
These sessions are all part of the Enterprise Team’s wider aims to contribute to enhancing student’s commercial awareness by equipping them with some useful tools within the curriculum. This is a scheme we have named CAKE (Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange). To find out more, please visit the dedicated CAKE webpage.
Digital Lancaster are hosting a free networking event on Thursday 29th of March at The Borough on Dalton Square, to talk all-things digital and help bring like-minded people together. Digital Lancaster are part of Digital Lancashire, a not-for-profit community interest company aiming to accelerate the growth of the digital economy within Lancashire. This is a great opportunity for any budding digital entrepreneurs in the city!
How do you learn? I learn through doing; a-ha..! Knowledge applied through reflection of a real life experience.
Learning to master ‘Creative Confidence’; sharing learning at Stanford d.School’s University Innovation Fellows Teaching and Learning Studio July 1997
Those ‘A-ha!’ learning moments come for me, more often than not, when I’m doing or trying something out; experimenting for myself or more crucially doing it with others.
I spoke to a university graduate and a current postgraduate student recently and they expressed a similar view. They described learning as not knowledge being poured in but in the application of new knowledge; both expressed a desire for more opportunities for active learning in the classroom, for discussion and collaboration across disciplines to share ideas and perspectives. ‘I want to know what I can do with this knowledge; my knowledge out in the world.’
We see that magical ‘aha’ moment a lot when students bring a problem or an idea to work through together in the Ideas Labs we run weekly in the Learning Zone during term time.
Working on your own idea is a motivated process of being willing to challenge your dearest held assumptions, experimenting to apply knowledge you have or new knowledge you have found, joining the dots to make sense of what’s needed to move forward and validate an idea as an opportunity. It’s about the search for desirability, feasibility and viability of a solution users want, need and will pay for; even just paying with their time; whether it’s a project, a social enterprise or a business venture of some kind.
The Teaching and Learning Studio at Stanford University is a place where educators from all disciplines experiment with new ways of engaging students using design thinking and experiential learning to solve wicked problems. The studio supports educators to develop strategies that help students develop skills and mindsets for the 21st century and I was very fortunate to be an awardee of the EEUK Richard Beresford bursary, a personal development fund for educators, which part funded a trip to the studio for the learning trip of a lifetime.
Fresh from d.School inspiration, I’m grateful for a whole new network of international colleagues to exchange ideas on shaping learning using human centred design that puts the student at the centre of the experience. So forward thinking are they at Stanford d.School, that it’s an annual thing for educators to pitch their major and minor courses to students on d.School’s ’Pitch Night’…
I want to learn to facilitate more of those ‘A-ha!’ learning moments for students who come to the Enterprise Team’s Ideas Labs sessions. It’s about creating the environment for students to ‘try on’ mindsets and behaviours; practice being curious, resourceful, imaginative, questioning norms and assumptions, observing, ideating, making connections and big leaps to confidently create new solutions; seeing failure along the way as as the stepping stone to the next experiment…and that’s a tough one for us all to ‘try on’ in our practice.
It’s about the quest to develop all students as creative problem solvers; ‘innovators’ in every discipline. This skill, rooted in creativity is needed in every shape and size of organisation to remain competitive and for employees, leaders and entrepreneurs to continue to find ways to create new value.
So what is Design Thinking and how does it relate to designing learning and facilitating learning experiences and how an it be used as a pedagogical tool?
Design thinking is a mindset. It is optimistic, collaborative, human centred and creative and it’s experimental. It’s the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and the design process empowers people to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education and in students heading out into a challenged global environment.
Design thinking is a team sport and through small design challenges we and our learners can learn the attitudes and mindsets to collaborate and create, experimenting by framing a learning through design challenge, unpacking assumptions about the challenge or problem, exploring the problem space with users, defining a point of view about the challenge.
Through optimistic and energised ideation a design team can learn to ‘turn off’ the evaluator mindset and generate ideas through divergent thinking; brainstorming, building on one another’s ideas, generating lots of ideas to create great ideas, and learning that sometimes seemingly wild ideas are the spark to something better; out of the box possibilities; solutions to wicked problems. Ideas are selected for development through voting and the design team builds to learn through improv and role play to imagine possibilities before building simple, fail fast mockups and prototypes to share with users for feedback. What works, what doesn’t..? Return to prototype… return to test… iterate…until ‘Ahah! We did it! Our solution has cracked the problem; what a feeling… ‘like something inside me changed.’
The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators contains the process and methods of design. Developed by the global design company Ideo, (Founded by David Kelley who also founded Stanford’s d.School). The toolkit offers new ways to be intentional and collaborative when designing educational experiences, and empowers educators to create impactful student centred learning solutions, but also to integrate design thinking into problem based learning as a creative problem solving process. The process empowers students to get creative, starting by solving simple human centred challenges to prepare them for tackling seemingly insoluble challenges.
‘Educators from across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from feedback systems to daily schedules. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale – the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. Design Thinking is one of them.’ Ideo.com
What was woefully missing in my education, and my daughter’s after me, were those serendipidous ‘A-ha’ moments in learning, and it’s this creative, human agency, I now believe that is at the heart of our work as educators. We have a short window of opportunity to intentionally develop learners as creative problem solvers, innovators and value creators beyond their discipline; skills for living and for lifelong learning.
‘Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.’
Submit a 90-second video pitch to win up to £1,000 to make your idea happen!
Do you have a bright idea which you think will capture the imagination and support of your peers? Then this may be just the opportunity for you…
As you will have probably heard by now, we are busy planning for the re-launch of the Lancaster University Enterprise Awards this December. The Bright Sparks, People’s Choice award is looking for individuals or teams of students, recent alumni (past 3 years) or staff with an idea for a new venture. The proposal may be for an idea that is still as concept stage, or it may already have been registered as a formal trading entity, as long as it is still in the survival stage and has not yet achieved financial sustainability.
The Bright Sparks Award is unique from the other award categories – as not only are we asking for video pitch nominations, but also because the actual winner of the award will be determined on the night of the awards through an audience poll! The winner will receive access to support and up to £1,000 funding from The Enterprise Team through Santander Funding to help make the idea happen.
Think you’ve got a great idea which fits the bill?
To nominate an idea, send a link to your 90 second video-pitch to email@example.com. It is expected that your video pitch will cover the following:
A brief statement of opportunity (pain points for users)
A description of the solution you put forward
Is the solution desirable? (Consider competitors and alternative solutions)
Is the solution viable? (How will it be financially sustainable)
Is the solution feasible? (Do you have the skills and resources necessary, and if not what skills/resources would you need and how would you acquire them?)
How would the award help you kick-start your idea?
Deadline for submissions: Sunday the 19th of November.
Entrants will be judged and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team based on the following criteria: desirability, feasibility and viability of idea ; creativity and presentation. The shortlisted videos will be presented on the night of the awards event. Finalists will be invited to attend the awards event where a winner will be judged by the audience. To be eligible, nominations need to be submitted by Lancaster University students or staff, as well as alumni who have graduated up to three years ago. To claim the prize teams need to be able to engage with the offering of the enterprise team to develop their project, which would mean being able to attend regular meetings in Lancaster.