AASYP Reset Upskilling Module – Lesson 1

45 minutes





Even if you are a little familiar with design thinking, hopefully this module can provide some fresh perspectives and tools that will inspire you to take action during the AASYP Reset but also beyond.

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving that is driven by human experiences and needs. It encourages you to focus on the people you are creating for, which leads to better products, services, and internal processes.

Where did design thinking come from?

Design thinking processes have been studied and tested by designers, engineers, architects and other creative professionals since the 1960s, however, it became much more popular in the 1990s through the work of IDEO and the Stanford Design School (d.school) in the United States. 

Since then, d.school, alongside many future-focused organisations and business schools have developed and refined design thinking processes and methodologies to equip their students and employees with knowledge and skills that suit specific contexts. 

For more information about the history of design thinking and to find additional tools and resources, check out IDEO

Why is taking a human-centred approach important?

Taking human-centred approach to problem-solving helps you to:

  • Reflect on your unique perspectives and experience 
  • Leverage your knowledge and skills to identify opportunities for change
  • Empathise with your community, as well as the problem you are trying to address
  • Develop a better understanding of the ‘big picture’ in a specific area or context 
  • Create a roadmap to guide you when you get stuck (this means that you can draw upon real experiences to inspire you and drive you to refine your idea)

Watch this short video to learn a bit more about why empathy is such an important skill when you are trying to solve a problem. 

YouTube video
Voice: Dr Brené Brown
Animation: Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne) www.gobblynne.com 
Production and Editing: Al Francis-Sears and Abi Stephenson

Activity: Getting on the same page

The design thinking process can also help you to increase your sense of self-awareness, as well as learn about others in your team. Grab a pen and paper (or perhaps a blank note on your computer or phone) and give the following activity a try!

1. Set a timer for at least 10 minutes and answer the following questions:

  • What motivates you?
  • What do you find meaningful?
  • What are your key skills, expertise and strengths?

2. Organise a time to share your responses with your team members.

What is the point of this activity?

This is one of many ways that you can learn a bit more about yourself and those you are working with before you start developing your idea. Especially for those of you who have been matched with people you have never met before, this is an opportunity to see what you may have in common, despite your different cultural, professional and social backgrounds.

Some things to keep in mind

  • There are no right or wrong answers and your values can always change and evolve.
  • Diverse perspectives and experiences are an advantage and a great opportunity to develop your intercultural awareness and cross-cultural skills.
  • A great idea will not become a reality if it only reflects what you are passionate about. You need to identify your skills and motivation that will enable you to follow through. It is important to recognise where you might need to learn more or where you will need to seek help from others. 

Any Questions, Comments, or Feedback?
Contact us

Let us know at reset@aasyp.org