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From Insights to Innovation: A Design Thinking Approach (Chicago or San Francisco)

Medill’s priority is always the health and safety of our students so we may make adjustments to planned travel based on guidance from Northwestern’s Office of Global Safety and Security.
(Elective Course)

Design Thinking is an intensive, immersive course offered at Medill's Chicago or Northwestern University's San Francisco campuses. We live in an age of information and choice overload, and the media landscape is getting more chaotic and competitive by the minute. To cut through the noise and connect with customers in meaningful ways, successful marketers need to know whom we seek to serve, what's important to those customers and how we might provide unique value.  

Design thinking — an approach practiced by leading companies such as Apple, Walt Disney and Airbnb, that prioritizes empathy with customers, intentional problem framing and a discipline of prototyping and testing — will help you navigate the complex, constantly changing media landscape to identify strategic business opportunities and work quickly toward developing innovative solutions. 

In this class, you will acquire the design tools and mindsets to help you identify latent customer needs, surface valuable insights, develop fresh ideas and continuously test and iterate on those ideas. You'll have an opportunity to flex both your business and creative muscles and put the tools you learn immediately into practice by tackling a real-world innovation challenge for a company. Along the way, you'll apply strategic systems and business frameworks to help evaluate ideas and work strategically. Additionally, you'll meet and hear from top practitioners who are using design to solve problems across a range of sectors including healthcare, tech, finance and food. 

Finally, you will receive time and coaching to create action plans for real work projects so you can successfully implement design thinking principles and execute innovation back at your own organization.