Introduction to Design Thinking

Page Type
woman pointing to a sticky note on a board

Course Features

Revolutionize your problem-solving skills

Design thinking, a human-centered approach utilized by many of today's most creative and competitive organizations, helps teams from various industries and backgrounds produce the innovative solutions to compete in today’s dynamic world of work.

In our Introduction to Design Thinking course, learn how to leverage research, ideation, and prototyping to tackle even the hardest business challenges. Collaborate with industry peers and explore creative approaches to problem solving, while learning the basics of design thinking methodology.

This unique course embraces multiple academic perspectives (design and design theory, organizational behavior, and social psychology) to provide participants with a rich, hands-on learning experience where they attempt to solve problems from real-world business scenarios. This course is for any professional who wants to bring innovative thinking into their organization.

Introduction to Design Thinking can be taken as a stand alone course or as a prerequisite for the Executive Certificate in Design Thinking for Innovation.

Every course includes:

  • Industry-leading faculty

  • Collaborative learning

  • Research-driven results

  • Lifelong connections

  • Practical applications

  • Custom solutions

In Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving, learn how to leverage research, ideation, and prototyping to tackle even the hardest business challenges while collaborating with industry peers and learning from award-winning faculty. 

Program Details

Who should attend

  • Rising managers who want to lead innovative teams
  • Professionals who want to be exposed to a new way of solving problems
  • Leaders and teams who face complex challenges

What you will learn

  • Implement design thinking in your organization
  • Apply the research-ideation-prototype-test process
  • Develop innovative solutions to complex problems


Laurie Churchman portrait

Laurie Churchman, MFA

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Laurie Churchman is the principal of Designlore. She has 30+ years of corporate and non-profit design experience recognized by AIGA, Communication Arts, Creativity, and How Magazine. She brings design to community and civic challenges in Philadelphia, as well as writes curricula and teaches in Jefferson University’s MS in Health Communication Design. She was named an AIGA Fellow in 2009. Laurie has a BS from UD, an MFA from Yale and completed AIGA/Harvard Business School Design Leaders program.

Anna Fitzgibbon, MBA

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Anna Fitzgibbon is the Founder and Owner of OutGrowth. As an experiential education expert, Anna is a die-hard advocate for immersive programming and a re-imagined approach to professional development. With experience traveling and working in over 25 countries, she earned her MBA from The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and has a professional background in program development and facilitation (design thinking, corporate team-building and wellness, project-based learning, higher education), sustainable community development and co-creation, event management, and outdoor education.

nicole ja portrait

Nicole Ja, PhD

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Nicole provides innovative consulting that leverages human-centered design, as well as research and evaluation tools and techniques to build the capacity of people, organizations, and communities to create change. She holds an MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. Nicole’s research has focused on self-development, motivation, and social connectedness, and has been featured in Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Health Education Research, and Psychology Today.

Within the Design Thinking world, Nicole leverages the unique strengths inherent within people, organizations, communities, and systems, helping to identify untapped resources, unexplored territories, and new opportunities that unlock the potential for innovation. She engages stakeholders in human-centered approaches that help them move beyond routine patterns and ways of thinking towards an expansive mindset that includes playing with ideas and solutions and creating a plan for hacking growth and development.

As an Executive Education faculty at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Nicole teaches open-enrollment and customized workshops that include Designing Professional Change, Designing Personal Change, Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving, and Designing Wellness. Her teachings have also been offered as part of the Carey Business School’s Academy for Women and Leadership, as well as the Academy for Emerging Leaders. Email:

Danielle Piccinini Black, MPH / MBA

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Danielle Piccinini Black is the Academic Lead for Design Thinking for Innovation at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School—Executive Education, and Design Innovation Lead at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. She leads the development and implementation of design thinking research, workshops, and co-creation internationally to address emerging public health and business needs, and uses that experience to enhance her design thinking courses. Danielle holds an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger and South Africa. Click here to read her discussion on the benefits of utilizing design thinking as an empathy-centered approach to problem-solving. Email: