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Design Thinking for Business Innovation

From Idea to Market – Take your Innovation to the Next Level with Design Thinking

Design Thinking for Business Innovation is an intensive program that will give you the skills to design new solutions that create value for the customer and your business. This 7-day program covers all the critical stages of innovation from idea to market entry.

You will explore and understand the framework of Design Thinking, see it in action and learn how to practically apply it to business models in your organization.

Design Thinking for Business Innovation is a joint executive program created by Aalto EE and ESADE Business School.

Why Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodology for practical and creative approach to solve business challenges. Design Thinking methods guide towards 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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By attending the Design Thinking for Business Innovation program you will gain a tool kit of new skills, ready to drive innovation and create value for your business and its customers.

Acquire a set of proven design tools to promote the early stages of innovation: capturing insights, creative thinking, ideation and prototyping
Improve your skills to add value through customer understanding and interaction
Develop skills for innovating in business models: from value creation to value capture and growth
Acquire skills to better lead unique and winning innovation projects
Increase your organization’s innovation capabilities with novel, effective approaches and methods


This program is for corporate leaders responsible for strategy, marketing, sales or innovation, as well as senior executives and managers who want to integrate cutting-edge creative practices into their business processes and corporate structures.

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 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 the assignments given by the faculty
  • learning by doing: step by step applying the design-driven innovation methods to business projects according the design thinking for 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

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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 program 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