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SGSI 2019: Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience


If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing world, you’ll need to use both analytical and creative thinking. You’ll need to work with others outside your discipline in identifying and tackling complex problems. This hands-on workshop helps you explore applications of design thinking to your own life and work, while developing skills that designers use to achieve the goals above.

Monday, Sept. 9, 9 AM – 7 PM; Tuesday, Sept. 10, 8:30 AM – 5 PM; Wednesday, Sept. 11, 8:30 AM – 3 PM; Thursday, Sept. 12 – Friday, Sept. 13, 8:30 AM – 5 PM

(Light breakfast and lunch will be served daily. Dinner will be served on Monday.)


  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program,
  • Colleagues from the and beyond

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students in any discipline who are interested in design thinking as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration and have not previously taken a quarter-long course. This is not a product or service design class. Space is limited to 32.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Learn design thinking as a methodology for framing and tackling problems in a creative and human-centered way
  • Explore the dynamics involved in working in interdisciplinary teams
  • Explore connections between design thinking and your discipline
  • Learn through iterative cycles of inspiration, action, and reflection


This week-long immersive workshop will take students on an experiential exploration of design thinking, a methodology for human-centered and creative problem solving that will prepare them to lead innovation in teams at Stanford and in their careers.

Practicing design thinking is a means to develop skills and mindsets that are essential in a rapidly changing world: identifying and framing wicked problems and human needs, combining analytical and creative thinking, and adopting an experimental approach to bringing ideas to life. Students will develop these skills and mindsets as they work in teams to take on a challenge that interests them.

This workshop is designed for graduate students of all disciplines who have not previously taken a quarter-long course and want to explore design thinking as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration. The experience will help students consider applications of design thinking to their own work, and they will leave better prepared to take advantage of quarter-long courses.

Overall, the experience will be a springboard for the students’ exploration of how creative individuals and interdisciplinary teams can drive a culture of innovation in diverse contexts, both inside and outside of academia.

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

“This is absolutely one of the best courses I have ever taken.” -SGSI 2018 Participant

“This program was fast passed and covered a lot of material for the amount of time available. This helped the design thinking tool introductions given the focus on rapid brainstorming, learning, prototyping and experimenting.” -SGSI 2018 Participant

“These very intense 5 days will likely prove to be a seminal event in my life.” -SGSI 2017 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • No work is required outside of class.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: