Yes, we hear you. We hear everyday people saying:

“Oh, design thinking! I’ve already been using its techniques for a while!”

Then we hear the crumble.

The good side of anything that is a game-changer is that it spreads everywhere and suddenly something that no-one knew existed, becomes mainstream. The bad side of spreading knowledge fast is that it can become superficial and then the value of that knowledge may get lost.

I hear complaints from my fellow designers about people who have just found out about design thinking, and that think they are design thinkers without really knowing what they’re doing. 

And I agree. There are a lot of people out there that learned design thinking superficially and might not be great designers. On the other hand, they understand the language of design and, because of that, can help to accelerate innovation and contribute by working with teams. They can, even maybe, foster knowledge and help others learn more about design thinking – is that bad?

I don’t think so. Classical designers often complain that nowadays everyone thinks of themselves as designers, but I tend to think that this is something to be celebrated.  I believe that now design is seen as a strategic method and, to me, that’s a win.

Design has become so important in our society, that everyone feels the need to learn about it. ‘To design’ is to create a condition for the future, to create better products, services, business and to innovate through people. Design is about ‘what’ and ‘how’, it is about the process of becoming more innovative, creative and collaborative, and it is also about getting to the end result in a speedy way.

Design became a sort of new societal language, not only in business but also in government and the third sector. And as a new language, it needs for people to learn it and spread it so that they can understand each other and collaborate.

I always wonder if professional writers were pissed off when ordinary people started to write. They must have thought: “Oh, but this is not for everybody, this could be dangerous!”. So I ask: What if we hadn’t made written language accessible for all? What would the possibility of human evolution be in case we didn’t?

On the other hand, the world always has and will still need professional writers to write the news, novels, scripts, policies. The depth of knowledge between a professional and an ordinary writer is enormous. Both professional and amateur writers possess the knowledge of the language they are writing, so they both can understand each other and sometimes even collaborate, but that doesn’t mean they know the same when it comes to writing.

The field of design thinking can feel a lot like that, too.

That is why five years ago, my business partner and I felt the need to create the Design Thinking Specialisation course, first launched in Brazil in 2013. We wanted to go deeper into design thinking to empower people with the kind of knowledge and practice that would turn them into specialists who would become innovative and creative leaders.

This observation of what our clients needed was the start of the educational arm of Echos. We understood that in educating our clients on the true meaning and practice of design and innovation, they would design better services and genuinely understand their customer experience.

During that experimental phase to bring the course to life, we learned that innovation – really – only happens through people.

By training and developing our clients’ design and innovation skills, our innovation projects started to be implemented more, and our impact as a company became greater. 

Nowadays, we have been operating in Australia for two years, and when we look back, the feeling we have now here is similar. We feel the need to bring depth to design thinking so that we can elevate the conversation, and the projects can become better. That is why we’re so excited to announce that we are launching the Design Thinking Specialisation course in Australia. This is the perfect course for business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and classical designers who are wanting to become innovation leaders by promoting change in their businesses.

Depth and superficiality are equally important in life as one enables speciality and knowledge while the other shows scale. With the Design Thinking Specialisation, we want to train the best design thinkers and innovation leaders Australia has ever seen.

So stay bold, stay fresh and if you want to become a specialist, join us this March!

For more information on the course, click here.

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How Can We Help?

For training and Innovation Journeys in your company: check out our in-house course offering

For upcoming courses in your region: visit our website.

If you have a special project and would like to use Echos’ consultancy services: send us an email.

Juliana Proserpio

Juliana is the co-founder of Echos, an Innovation Lab, that is the mother company to the School of Design Thinking – a school that puts innovation in practice – and Echos Innovation Projects – a consultancy for service, business and systemic design. Over the last seven years, Juliana has worked to develop an innovation ecosystem in Australia and Brazil to foster the design of desirable futures and design thinking.

She has more than 10.000 hours working closely with clients on facilitation design, leading a diverse range of projects in industries such as healthcare, finance, education, retail, technology and consumer goods.

Juliana speaks on the power of design to create desirable futures. She spoke at events such as the Global Innovation Summit in San Jose, California, TEDxMaua in Sao Paulo, Brazil, What Design Can Do and the Sydney Design Festival. Juliana has been a judge at the first William Drenttel Award for Excellence in Design since 2015.

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