Design thinking goes beyond technology and business areas. DT is a very powerful approach for bring the innovation in social areas. Nonprofits started adopting it now. Actually, I think DT is most suited for solving social problems because here USER is the serious user who needs real help. Most importantly, most social problems can’t be solved in the conventional way because these require lot of money, effort and other complex eco system issues. So, these needs more creative, cheaper and simple solutions.
I am referencing here some of the examples where DT was used to solve social problems.
Design Thinking for Social Innovation – How design thinking methods solved the problem of clean drinking water in the Indian countryside.
Solar Energy in Rural Africa – There are 1.6 billion people world-wide without electricity. Mobisol set out to change this in rural Africa, using design thinking to create a sustainable and accesible energy source.
Proximity Designs – Proximity Designs is an award-winning, social enterprise based in Yangon, Myanmar. They design and deliver affordable, income-boosting products and services that complement the entrepreneurial spirit of rural families. Great example of design thinking at work!.
Design Thinking for Educators – How can educators use design thinking to improve learning in the classroom? This website provides you with resources for making the learning experience more creative.
Above are just few examples.
DT should be made as standard problem solving tool in all areas. And it should be one of the skill that needs to be taught to even college students.