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Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Come with A Problem – Leave with A Solution
Boost Your Business Potential with Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a framework focusing on solutions instead of problems. The Design Thinking for Business Innovation program from Aalto University Executive Education and ESADE Business School will take you on a seven-day deep dive into its practical and actionable methodology and show you how to make it work. 

The Design Thinking outcomes can be measured by quantifiable factors, such as reduced cost of failure and improved innovation adoption rates, increased sales and entering new markets, but also by how it changes our mindsets and perception regarding understanding how to create customer value.

The program will challenge your mental models to discover opportunities that already exist within your organization. It gives you the tools and skills to innovate new products and services that create value for your business and customers.

Why Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodology for the practical and creative approach to solve business challenges. Design Thinking methods guide toward rethinking and reframing the problems and acquiring new insights for idea development.

Design Thinking helps you to enhance creativity and capabilities to innovate. Design Thinking combined with business innovation methodology forms a powerful and actionable approach to innovation. The approach and methodology can be applied to developing products, services, and organizational practices.

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The program is designed for corporate leaders and executives responsible for strategy, marketing, sales or innovation. Participants are open-minded and share the goal of integrating cutting-edge creative practices into innovating their business processes and corporate structures.

Profile of previous participants is leaders in business development, marketing, sales, innovation, customer relation, employee experience, and general management from Europe, Asia, Africa,  South America, Central America, and North America.



By attending the program, you will gain a toolkit of new skills, ready to drive innovation and create value for your business and customers.

Acquire a set of design tools and develop skills for innovating services, products and business models
Quantify value propositions and increase the effectiveness in sales and marketing
Conceive and execute agile strategies that link innovation to growth
Acquire skills to better lead unique and winning innovation projects
Quickly develop powerful prototypes by using a step-by-step process: capturing insights, creative thinking, ideation and prototyping

Customer Experience

Design Thinking for Business Innovation has been a popular program and received great feedback. Find out what the participants say about the program. 

Contents and Schedule

The Design Thinking for Business Innovation program will be held in Helsinki, Finland and Barcelona, Spain during an intensive study period on May 22-30, 2019.

The program starts with an online module two weeks prior to the event days. This virtual kick-off will get you started with the program content as well as with the project assignment you will be working on during the program. The kick-off module is an integral part of the program and will require about one working hour per week during the two weeks.

The seven program days in Helsinki and Barcelona include different kinds of sessions and activities such as

  • lectures from experienced faculty members that are top experts in their own special field
  • interactive discussions
  • group work according to the assignments given by the faculty
  • learning by doing: step by step applying the design-driven innovation methods to business projects according to the design thinking for the business innovation process
  • learning from others: experienced business practitioners from different industries or branches will present how design thinking is used in their organizations


Key Instructors

Mikko Koria

Mikko Koria is Professor of Design Innovation and Director of the Institute for Design Innovation in Loughborough University London, and Visiting Professor at Aalto University.

Dr. Koria has a career that spans over twenty-five years of professional management, practice and research in the private, public and the third sectors. In the last years, Mikko has directed his efforts to the field of innovation and related capability management, design and management research and international development projects. He has done research, lectured and taught widely in the fields of design, culture and business studies at various universities and faculties in Finland, China, Japan, Brazil and the UK.

Lotta Hassi

Lotta Hassi is a lecturer of innovation in the department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences at ESADE Business School.

She has over 10 years of experience working in the fields of innovation and design, as an entrepreneur, consultant, researcher and lecturer. At ESADE she works in several multidisciplinary innovation projects that bring together research centers, companies, and universities from different disciplines.

Luis Vives

Luis Vives is the Associate Dean of the ESADE MBA, Director of the Multinational MBA and Associate Professor of Strategy and General Management at ESADE Business School.

His research focuses on the creation and development of innovative business models.

Dr. Sampsa Hyysalo

Sampsa Hyysalo is Professor in Co-Design at the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland.

His research focus is on longitudinal studies of designer-user relations in technology projects. His research orientation is multidisciplinary, science & technology studies, innovation studies and collaborative design being his main fields of reference. He received his PhD in behavioral sciences in University of Helsinki and his docenture in is user-centered design of information systems in University of Turku. Hyysalo was awarded the Academy of Finland 2010 Prize for Social Impact of Research.

Tiina Aarras

Tiina Aarras is the Designer in Residence at Aalto University School of Art and Design.

Núria Solsona

Núria Solsona is a Service Design Consultant, Academic Collaborator at ESADE Business School, and Professor of
Practice at Aalto University.

José Manuel Perez

José Manuel Perez is the CEO of Product Lab, and Academic Collaborator at ESADE Business School.

Program Fee and Registration

Program Fee

The fee for the Design Thinking for Business Innovation program is € 7,200 (+ VAT).

We offer an Early Bird fee of € 6,500 (+ VAT), valid until February 28, 2019. From March 1, 2019, onwards the fee is € 7,200 (+ VAT).

The program fee for Aalto EE and ESADE alumni is € 6,500 (+ VAT).

The program fee includes learning materials, lunches, and coffee breaks during the program days. The fee does not include travel expenses or accommodation. VAT is applicable to private persons and Finnish companies.


Register for the program by April 22, 2019.


Program start