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Design Thinking is a process and approach to solution seeking that the International Emerging Leaders Conference teaches in order to facilitate effective design for challenges of all kinds.

On Monday afternoon, the students had their first session of the Design Thinking process, called “Discovery.” After being assigned an environmental issue from one of the eleven presentations, the small groups split up to discuss amongst each other. Mrs. Boyd told everyone to discard any analytical thoughts and instead just lead a discussion. In Design Thinking, it is important to fully understand the problem and its effect on humans. The human-centered thinking process revolves around a main theme of empathy; relating to and focusing on the lives of people affected by these international issues leads to more effective and personal solutions.

“Talk less, listen more.”

-Mrs. Boyd

Essentially, the process of Design Thinking is to abandon any immediate solution-seeking inclinations, but instead to really communicate and understand the issue at hand. Experts in Design Thinking claim that any problem can be more effectively solved once it is fully understood and discussed amongst a diverse group of people. The international students will participate in five different Design Thinking sessions throughout the week.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

-Albert Einstein

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