Our Methodology

Design Thinking: How Students Can Solve Problems Society is Facing

children studying

After years of experience in education and design, we believe...

  • Students don’t need to wait for some unknown time in the future to make a positive impact

  • Design thinking is a blueprint for student led social change

  • Design thinking cultivates and strengthens empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, teamwork and problem solving skills. 

  • Design thinking is the key to unlock a future children deserve 






The Design for Change Methodology







Gather Inspiration
Build Empathy
Analyze the Issue
Frame the Question
Brainstorm Ideas
Select An Idea
Develop a Plan
Get Feedback
Implement the Plan


Raise Awareness
Inspire Action

What is the Design Thinking process?

The design thinking process requires that students immerse themselves in the experience of those who are impacted by a particular social challenge. Students then identify the root cause of that challenge, redefine it, and brainstorm alternative ways to approach it - constantly making adjustments based on feedback and lessons learned.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a solutions-based, creative process used to address complex problems. Design thinking is rooted in empathy and driven by ongoing feedback, reflection and iteration.



Design Thinking Definitions

What is the Design for Change framework for Design Thinking?The Design for Change methodology is simple, four-step, student-driven framework to power Design Thinking in the classroom. The stages of this framework are Feel, Imagine, Do, and Share. Students build empathy and understanding of a particular social challenge. They brainstorm creative solutions. They, then, lead a change project. Finally, students reflect on their actions, seek feedback and share their story of change.



Why Design Thinking?

You are a designer. Educators design their classroom space, activities, lessons, and learning experiences for their students daily.

Your students are designers. Students have the same capacity for critical thinking, collaboration and creation.

Design thinking fosters changemaking. Through design-thinking, educators and students have the tools to investigate social challenges and create meaningful change in their local community.

Create a classroom of student-driven changemaking.




How Can I Get Set Up?

Introduce students to a social challenge. Consider the social challenges that are most relevant in your local community.

Engage students. Work with your students to consider the social challenges that are most relevant in your school and local community.

Select a social challenge. Provide students the opportunity to research the challenge and potential solutions, investigate statistics and conduct community interviews.

Engage community members. Help students connect with and involve the individuals who are impacted by the challenge, inviting them into the process to share their perspective.


Encourage action. Allow students to build action plans, test their assumptions and carry out their solutions.

Design is uncertain. DFC tools can help.




What Is Required Of Me?

Be optimistic. Design thinking requires an optimistic and solutions-driven orientation as students tackle challenges and face setbacks.

Seek feedback. The ongoing feedback of community members encourages students to adjust their approach and continuously increase the effectiveness of their solution.

Reflect regularly. Critical reflection allows students to make meaning of every step of the design process.

Capture everything. Capturing student insights and steps through the process, helps to solidify lessons learned.


Embrace messiness. Design thinking is often unpredictable because it is influenced by factors that are out of an educator’s control. Knowing this, educators are better equipped to maximize its potential.

Design is messy. The DFC framework can help.