Mastering Innovation & Design-Thinking - Winter Session

Mastering Innovation & Design-Thinking course banner

Mastering Innovation & Design-Thinking is also being offered July 9-11, 2018

Highly successful companies, such as Apple, Virgin, Toyota, and others, innovate continuously because of their culture of Design-Thinking. When done right, this thinking links inspiration and passion to execution and delivery—positively affecting every facet of the product and service.

For you to be successful at work, you need to know how to think like a designer when approaching an engineering task, especially when working within a team or leading a team. By applying a design-centered approach you’ll be able to conceive of radically innovative solutions, deeply understand who your real stakeholders are and what they care about, create vision that gets buy-in from senior management and colleagues, avoid hazards, and create solutions that people love both emotionally and intellectually.

Using a 10-step design process and a 3-step vision creation and communication process, you’ll experience the design process first hand in this interactive class that will expand your thinking and help you and your teams create more powerful solutions. You’ll learn how to create materials that align technical and non-technical audiences, understand the vital importance of the psychology behind how people interact with technology, how to manage creativity, and how to assess the effectiveness of your solutions.

Earn a Professional Certificate in Innovation and Technology

Mastering Innovation & Design-Thinking may be taken individually or as a core course for the Professional Certificate Program in Innovation and Technology.

Lead Instructor(s): 

Joel Schindall
Blade Kotelly


Jan 23, 2018 - Jan 24, 2018

Course Length: 

2 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

Registration for the January session is closed. Registration is still open for the July 9-11 session.

Participant Takeaways: 

  • Understanding and applying a 10-Step Design Process
  • Distinguishing between incremental innovation and radical innovation when creating new solutions
  • Researching and understanding the complex network of stakeholders involved in any project
  • Rapidly creating and refining a vision for any product or service using a 3-phase approach to align technical and non-technical audiences
  • Understanding and using the psychology behind human-machine interface
  • Effectively understanding if your end-users will be delighted by your product or service

Who Should Attend: 

This course is targeted for design engineers, research engineers, project engineers or managers, product engineers, members of the technical staff, applied scientists, and research scientists. Professionals in other areas who believe that design-thinking would be valuable in their careers are also welcome to attend. The course may also be of interest to those who supervise early-career professionals and those in academia (e.g. engineering and science graduate students, and post-docs).

Due to the broad nature of the material and the broad nature of design-thinking, professionals at various levels in their career may find the tools and techniques taught in this course valuable.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops or tablets with the ability to create PowerPoint or Keynote presentations are required for this course.

Program Outline: 

Day One Sessions

  • The 10-Step Design Process: an overview of the design process and group exercises
  • Innovation & 10 Design Principles: Understanding the origin of innovation, evaluating design principles
  • Small Group Design Exercise 1: Interactive design exercise: game design, evaluation of design
  • 3-Phase Vision Creation: Learning to articulate design in phases, K-Scripts, State Tables
  • Optional Evening Photo Scavenger Hunt in small groups: Photos to be presented in class on day two

Day Two Sessions

  • Decision-evaluation and critique: Evaluation exercise, critique techniques
  • Small Group Design Exercise 2: K-Scripts creation
  • Psychology & Branding: Understanding the social-psychological aspect of interface design and learning to interpret the brand
  • Creativity Through Analysis & Open/Closed Thinking: Understanding how to develop innovative ideas through ethnographic research
  • Stakeholder Analysis: Understanding how to map the complex network of beneficiaries
  • Usability Testing & Wrap-up: Formal methods for usability testing and methods for rapid notation and analysis

Course Schedule: 

View 2018 course schedule (pdf)

This course meets from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Tuesday, followed by an optional scavenger hunt activity, and 9:00 am - 5:30 pm on Wednesday.

Participants’ Comments: 


"Never took such a dynamic course like this."


"This class is very dynamic. It's easy to stay connected to the class, even after almost 10 hours of class. The teacher provides a lot of examples from his own experience and demonstrates high knowledge about the topic. In addition, they [are] successful leaders and an inspiration."


"Everything exceeded my expectations. The organization was brilliant and the content was very deep ..."


"MIT Professional Education courses are the best in its class."


"The instructors provided us relevant practical assignments while they were teaching the theory. This helped me a lot to learn completely while in the class."



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.

Listen to Blade Kotelly describe the course in 3 parts - Part 2 | Part 3


Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (50%) 50
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (50%) 50

Delivery Methods: 

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (50%) 50
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (50%) 35


Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (95%) 95
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (5%) 5