Summer Course in Design Thinking for Business Transformation


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The Summer Course in Design Thinking & Business Transformation is geared towards professionals who are interested in defining, shaping and implementing innovative strategies in their fields of expertise to bring added value for their companies.

The concepts of problem solving, creativity, co-creation and customer value are becoming crucial in any business strategy, helping to leverage new opportunities for growth, optimize business processes and build strong ties with the customer. Design thinking comprises a set of processes and work structures where people are the focus, fostering the development of key solutions in collaboration with all stakeholders.

The course intends to provide an experiential learning incubator, where every day an intensive workshop is held regarding a specific topic to apply key concepts and Design Thinking tools.


  • Gain better insights into existing/future customers
  • Understand customer needs/problems and wants/emotions
  • Enhance company value by identifying and acting on new opportunities efficiently
  • How to lead teams through the creative process
  • Distinguish between experience phase and implementation phase
  • Prototype fast to clarify concepts and get valued feedback
  • Validate and sell the ultimate story to stakeholders


Action. Reflection. Learn.

This intensive course is built as an experiential learning incubator: each day starts with an intensive workshop on the day’s exploration topic that allows the participant to get a deeper understanding of Design Thinking methods by relating those key-concepts and tools to that experience. The structure of the entire workshop itself is built on the divergence/convergence principal.

Learning outcomes for the program are:

  • Embed the notion of action/reflection/learning when facing challenges in a project as well as in work processes.
  • Gain an experiential understanding of design thinking concepts, tools, and methodologies.
  • Be able to apply these concepts in various contexts.
  • Redefine/frame problems and needs.
  • Identify design and business opportunities through a holistic view.
  • Implement design thinking concepts to create a viable product or service.
  • Identify, understand and transmit your findings to appropriate stakeholders.

Student profile

This Professional Summer Course is designed for professionals working in Sales, Human Resources, Innovation, R+I+D, Marketing, Communications, business development, Design, and Management departments willing to work at a strategic level.

Course Coordinator

Each Summer course program content and syllabus has been designed by the appointed course coordinator, a specialist in the subject, together with the Master area Academic Department. The Course Coordinator also plays an active role in assisting to incorporate professors and developing relationships between companies and institutions in order to create links to the course program.

Mercé Graell

Her interests and work in the research and professional practice include co-creation and human-centered design innovation methodologies. Since 2010, she is a design manager and lead designer at Designit, an international strategic design firm.

In academia, she has been an adjunct professor in Ohio State University and Sinclair Community College, where she is in the design advisory committee. Currently, she coordinates and teaches in the Design Management Master and, in the professional programs in Design Thinking &CoCreation and Service CoCreation Design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Barcelona. She is also a faculty member of the Human-centered innovation institute, h2i.

Nicolas-Emmanuel Leblanc

With a background in both entrepreneurship and arts, his interests have been focused on the creative process and its applications. In Canada, he was the founder of a digital media company, as well as part of the board of directors of a startup incubator and adviser for the member companies. He is currently an independent business consultant in Barcelona where he has taught workshops business modeling, customer development, finance for startups, and presentation skills in Barcelona Activa, Barcelona Centre for Design, the IED as well as various corporate clients. Previously, he worked for Alcatel Mobile Phones in Paris, and later as a freelance advertising music producer in Paris, New York, and Mexico.

Last updated Apr 2020

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About the School

The IED Barcelona is a workshop for conducting analysis and research applied to material culture, a focus it is destined to develop increasingly in the future.

The IED Barcelona is a workshop for conducting analysis and research applied to material culture, a focus it is destined to develop increasingly in the future. Read less