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Design Thinking Course

Curso de Design Thinking







Course Description

Design thinking is about believing we can make a difference, and having an intentional process in order to get to new, relevant solutions that create a positive impact. Design Thinking gives you faith in your creative abilities and a process for transforming difficult challenges into opportunities for design.

What is Design Thinking?

  • It’s Human-Centered - Design Thinking begins from deep empathy and understanding of needs and motivations of people
  • It’s Collaborative - Several great minds are always stronger when solving a challenge than just one. Design Thinking benefits greatly from the views of multiple perspectives, and others’ creativity bolstering your own.
  • It’s Optimistic - Design Thinking is the fundamental belief that we all can create change—no matter how big a problem, how little time or how small a budget. No matter what constraints exist around you, designing can be an enjoyable process.

This 2-day course provides PhD students with the tools and techniques to think differently, see new opportunities, and create innovative solutions with impact. 


PhD students at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and PhD holders working at NOVA (teachers, researchers,...) who wants to expand his or her creativity and qualitative research skills applied to personal development or new entrepreneurial ventures.


27th edition: Thursdays, December 2nd and 9th, 2021 | ONLINE


28 h / 1 ECTS (2 days)

Day 1 (Design Thinking Skills)

Participants work in teams and tackle an innovation project from end to end, going through all the steps of the Design Thinking process.

Participants will not only rely on analytical processes but also exhibit the ability to see all of the salient—and sometimes contradictory— aspects of a confounding problem and create novel solutions that go beyond and dramatically improve on existing alternatives.

The process encompasses a 3-stage approach:

Stage 1 - INSPIRE – identify problems and opportunities that motivate the search for new ideas. Includes defining the Challenge, Observe Users, Review Extreme Users and Form and Create Insights.

Stage 2 - IDEATE - Generating great ideas. Going to a more abstract phase to openly frame Opportunities, Brainstorm Ideas and Synthesize and Rank all the ideas generated

Stage 3 - IMPLEMENT - Taking ideas from a post it note to reality. The main objective is to try Experiments, Create Storyboards and prepare presentations that will shed a light and help to fine tune our future solution

Day 2 (Application – Research, Career or Project)

Participants will review and integrate the DT methodology within their own personal, research or entrepreneur goals.

a) Design Thinking Process Review and PhD Application
b) Design Thinking Mash-Up Project – Sets of Skills + Creativity and Brainstorm
c) Envision the Future - Cross Disciplinary Project and Business Model U


Course Coordinators
Guilherme Victorino
Fernando Bação

Guilherme Victorino


Use of 3 Design Thinking Technics (Brainstorm, Empathy, Parallel Universe)

Except for situations duly documented and approved by the Course Coordinator / Coordination of the NOVA Doctoral School, attendance  throughout the entire course is the minimum requirement to have access both to the course assessment and to the certificate.


Recommended readings

Designing for Growth: A manager’s design thinking toolkit, by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie.
Tim Brown, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, HarperCollins, 2009
Design Thinking, Tim Brown, Harvard Business Review, 2008