Design Thinking, a problem-solving approach centered around empathy, optimism, iteration, and collaboration, has seen increased adoption across businesses, governments, and universities in the past 50+ years. The author advocates for this method’s integration into K-12 education as a foundational part of the curriculum. Despite its prevalent usage among adults and the waning excitement, the author believes in the value of Design Thinking, especially in tackling complex, multidimensional problems prevalent in the 21st century.
- Design Thinking has grown increasingly popular, providing a model for solving grand challenges through collaboration, imagination, and empathy. Its principles fill a substantial gap in our traditional problem-solving approaches.
- Although adopted by numerous organizations like Google, IBM, Ford, and universities like Stanford and the University of Michigan, the author believes that Design Thinking should not remain exclusive to universities and businesses but should be democratized and standardized in K-12 education.
- Design Thinking addresses common obstacles faced by organizations such as siloed approaches, poor problem framing, and absent learning cycles. Its principles of collaboration, human-focused problem framing, and iterative approach can significantly improve problem-solving processes.
- The adoption of Design Thinking as a mental process can change our worldview. It requires the adoption of new values and ways of behaving, much like the Scientific Method.
- The COVID-19 epidemic is used to highlight how Design Thinking supplements the Scientific Method. While the latter diagnoses and treats the virus, Design Thinking takes into account the human experience, assisting in the development of sympathetic responses and remedies.