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What is "Design Thinking"?

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Staff Writer
Academy for Enterprising Girls

One of the major elements of the Academy for Enterprising Girls is the approach, which is based on design thinking. Young women participating in the program will be encouraged to cultivate their skills in design thinking, coding, business skills and STEM via self-paced online learning, or as part of an in-person workshop program.

Design thinking is a special process that helps us to solve problems based on the needs of people. It helps entrepreneurs carry out the right kind of research, create prototypes and test out products and services to uncover new ways to meet people’s needs.

It is a systematic way of thinking that allows us to develop ideas, and produce innovative solutions to problems we might want to solve, and it gets us to focus on who we are solving the problem for. And it can be applied across industries or sectors, providing people or companies with a flexible framework to develop solutions.

Empathy is a big part of design thinking - putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and thinking about how we can create better services, products and processes that will benefit others.

There are a number of differing design thinking schools, but generally design thinking follows a few key steps:
Empathise: Understand the challenge and your audience.
Define: Clarify the problem you want to solve.
Ideate: Generate ideas to solve the problem.
Prototype: Design your product or service for testing.
Test: Test your product and make any adjustments.

This five step process does not have to happen in a linear process. Steps can be repeated, or more than one can occur at the same time.

Design thinking will be incorporated across the nine online self-paced learning modules and the 50 workshops being held nationally in 2020.

Girls you teach may not be interested in coding or entrepreneurship now but may be a change agent of the future.

The Academy is a platform accessible to ALL young Australian women with engaging content aimed at developing an entrepreneurial mindset. The digital platform will combine newly created materials supplemented with existing industry resources all in one easy location.

The platform is not designed to replace any current curriculum but will include resources and tools for teachers to augment and support the teaching of the current curriculum. The program is designed to build entrepreneurship/innovation initiatives to support and aims to help teachers without adding to their workload.

We are calling on all educators in Australia, to encourage the girls they know aged 10-18, who have a passion for problem solving and the ability to innovate, to register for the Academy for Enterprising Girls. This will be another way you can influence the development of Australia’s future female workforce.

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