Innovation Management and Design Thinking


This course introduces students to Design Thinking,  a systematic approach to innovation and creative problem-solving that can be used in many disciplines.

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation and problem solving and a process of immersing yourself in a problem space, thinking creatively around pain points and opportunity areas, then iteratively prototyping totally new solutions.

Design Thinking has become a powerful approach to address complex challenges at a business, social and cultural level and also to innovate the corporate culture in startups, SME’s or big corporations.

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  • Explain the methods, processes, and key aspects of design thinking.
  • Investigate problems, develop qualitative research methods, and synthesize results as a platform to create solutions.
  • Develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of users and their needs, motivations, and behaviors.
  • Participate in and lead innovation in a collaborative setting in multidisciplinary teams ?
  • Master creative thinking and problem-solving ?
  • Learn from failure: Innovation entails taking risks and trying new things ?
  • Incorporate Design Thinking into your corporate culture and professional activities ?

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Guilherme Hidalgo Barata Martins Victorino


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese. If there are Erasmus students, classes will be taught in English


This is a hands on practical course that implies several hours of collaborative work in class and between classes. To enrol you must fully commit to come to classes and to work at least 4 hours a week between sessions and to be an active partner in your final project’s assignment.

Students are required to answer these following questions:

1. What is your motivation in working in collaborative, multidisciplinary projects?

2. What projects (of any kind and in any context) do you dream to apply Design Thinking?

3. What motivates you to participate in this course? What do you expect to be able to contribute with? 


  • 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
  • Selected articles and cases ?

Teaching method

Theory — theory and relevant Design Thinking principles and reflection about its applications and organizational skills and change requirements

Practice — focused on methods and tools for multidisciplinary work — exploring your collaborative and empathy capabilities

Evaluation method

  • 15% - Research Plan. Each team will outline its research approach to the design problem they want to address.
  • 15% Insight Summary. After each team conducts their observations and synthesizes their findings, they will write up the key insights and opportunity areas.
  • 30% Final Report. Each team will summarize the problem space, how the team approached the research, what the findings were, what opportunity areas resulted in the riches ideas, and the subsequent prototypes.
  • 15% Class Participation
  • 25% Final Exam

Subject matter

  1. Introduction to Strategic Innovation
  2. Design Thinking as the Next Competitive Advantage
  3. The Design Thinking Process Overview: harness the designer mindset and uncovering unmet challenges
  4. Inspiration through empathy and qualitative research
  5. Lab 1: Research Design and Observation Tools
  6. Field Research: Interview and Observation Techniques
  7. Lab 2: Storytelling  Session: Interpretation, Analysis and Synthesis of research (insights and HMW)
  8. Creativity, Spaces and Ideation Techniques
  9. Lab 3: Team Brainstorming and exploration and design of spaces for brainstorming
  10. Rapid Prototyping Techniques + Feedback Wall
  11. Lab4: Design Prototypes and Learning Journeys: Evolve ideas and prototypes through user feedback and constructive criticism?
  12. Pitch Party and Team Finalization ?
  13. Implementing DT in Your Organization and Team (Spaces, Skills and Culture)
  14. Final Presentations