Academics

Designing Thinking For Social Entrepreneurs

Course Number: GAFL 500

Social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders need an experiential methodology that equips them to do work that is adaptive and delivers value.  In a world filled with societal challenges that are complex and ambiguous, a problem-framing approach that embraces a systems perspective is essential. Design thinking is a problem solving methodology that is a critical tool because it is human-centered; values qualitative research merged with quantitative metrics; and applies prototyping of services, processes and experiences.  This course is structured for students to learn design thinking principles experientially.  Students will arrive at the class with their own social or “wicked” challenge to address.  This course is ideal for working professionals in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship sectors, wanting to apply a robust methodology that yields innovative insights and actionable results.


Learning Outcomes: By the end of the class students will have learned:
•    Basic principles of design thinking
•    Persona development and mapping
•    Framing and defining the actual problem and questions to address 
•    How to develop and test a prototype for a service, process or system
•    Initial model and plan for an actual project to execute and carry forward in their work environment. 

Semesters Offered

Instructor: Natalie Nixon
Course Section: 021
On-Campus Day(s): Friday
On-Campus Time(s):

Fall 2017 on-campus meetings will be held on the following Fridays and Saturdays from 2-5:30pm: First session: September 8 & 9, October 13 & 14 Second session: November 10 & 11, December 1 & 2

Online Day(s): Monday
Online Time: 8:15pm - 9:15pm
Course Description:

Social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders need an experiential methodology that equips them to do work that is adaptive and delivers value.  In a world filled with societal challenges that are complex and ambiguous, a problem-framing approach that embraces a systems perspective is essential. Design thinking is a problem solving methodology that is a critical tool because it is human-centered; values qualitative research merged with quantitative metrics; and applies prototyping of services, processes and experiences.  This course is structured for students to learn design thinking principles experientially.  Students will arrive at the class with their own social or “wicked” challenge to address.  This course is ideal for working professionals in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship sectors, wanting to apply a robust methodology that yields innovative insights and actionable results.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the class students will have learned:
•    Basic principles of design thinking
•    Persona development and mapping
•    Framing and defining the actual problem and questions to address 
•    How to develop and test a prototype for a service, process or system
•    Initial model and plan for an actual project to execute and carry forward in their work environment.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu