Topic outline

  • Module 1: Introduction to design thinking in innovation projects

    In this module, we'll introduce design thinking in innovation projects and how it can look like in the context of technology organizations. You'll also get familiar with two innovation case projects we'll use throughout the course - Pilot Vision and Pilot Control at ABB Marine & Ports to see an example of how these principles can play out in industry. At the end of the module, you will be able to

    • recognize key features of design approaches in innovation projects
    • be able to explicate frames and reframe innovation challenges
    • name different benefits of design in an innovation context

    In each module, you will find a collection of videos and readings to study at your own pace. After watching and reading all materials, there will be a reflection task, application task and a feedback form to complete. (Please note that the folders are only visible after you register to the course via SISU or by e-mailing Prof. Björklund or Dr Rekonen to enrol you in the MyCourse space).

    Video materials

    Watch the case and teaching videos of the module:

    • 2 videos to introduce the Pilot projects and the role of design
    • 3 videos introducing design thinking and how problems can be framed and reframed
    • 2 videos to provide a deeper context for the Pilot projects at ABB
    (Some of the videos are spoken in Finnish - please note that you can turn on English subtitles from the CC button in Vimeo).


    Read three academic papers related to design thinking and innovation

    • Brown (2008), "Design thinking," Harvard Business Review. 
    • Björklund et al. (2020), "Integrating design into organizations: The coevolution of design capabilities," California Management Review.
    • Rekonen & Vanhakartano (2019), "The role of design in facilitating shared understanding in innovation projects," Design+ Organizational renewal and innovation through design.


    • Reflection task: Based on the videos and readings so far, which principles or characteristics of design thinking were used in the Pilot projects? Write a 2p reflection with at least 2 citations to each three reading papers. (See detailed instructions and questions from the submission box.)
    • Application task: Articulate three different frames for the Pilot projects using the provided template. (See detailed instructions from the submission box.)
    • Complete the module feedback

    Next module: Learning through experimentation

    • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
      Lesson icon
      Module 1 videos Lesson
    • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
      Folder icon
      Module 1 readings Folder
    • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
      Assignment icon
      Module 1 reflection task Assignment
    • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
      Assignment icon
      Module 1 application task Assignment