Joint problem formulation and solution through iterative practice: design thinking


Design thinking (DT) is a challenge-driven innovation method developed at Stanford University using basic principles and tools from the design field to solve practical problems. Visualized as a ‘double diamond’, the design thinking process is shifting from specific to general and then back again,repeated twice. The double diamond goes through five stages: empathize (with the users), define (the problem), ideate (possible solutions), prototype, and test (selected solutions) (Figure 4.1). Although design thinking was not a pre-assigned method for the Stockholm node, it was one of the preferred methods used repeatedly to plan and develop the joint work among the local partners. It was used successfully for initiating the work of applying for funding for the Stockholm node and for designing parts of theformation and application process. When the funding was received, the first steps of design thinking were used to help co-formulate a work plan. The events below account for these instances and show how DT becomes an efficient methodology for co-creation among actors from different sectors, facilitating a common understanding and way forward, addressing shared needs.

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