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Design Thinking for Business Innovation Online

Boost Your Innovation Actions with Design Thinking 

This online program is based on our unique longtime program, Design Thinking for Business Innovation. It is crafted to enable you to acquire the understanding and tools of Design Thinking despite the challenging times of social distancing during the spring 2020. Together with Esade, we are now offering a new fast track on the topic, entirely online.

Design Thinking is an approach to innovation that is driven by deep user understanding, early prototyping, and iterative testing of the potential solutions. It is a practical methodology and process that guides the development of new, innovative products and services, processes, business models, and strategies.

The online program from Aalto University Executive Education and Esade Business School will give you a fast track to understanding and testing its practical and actionable methodology and show you how to make it work.

You will learn the focal concepts and methods of Design Thinking, and practice on your own using the methodology first-hand on a real innovation challenge from your organization.

Why Design Thinking?

In the times of affluence and complex challenges, a solely analytical approach to innovating can no longer bring competitive advantage. The Design Thinking process, which is also the methodology behind Service Design (Palvelumuotoilu in Finnish), combines and mixes analytical and creative phases for solving business challenges in a practical way. It helps you to enhance creativity and your organization´s capability to innovate. Design Thinking combined with business innovation methodology forms a powerful and actionable approach to innovation.

It is vital to leverage deep customer understanding to be able to cater to the ever-growing, varying demands of customers and users.  Design Thinking methods guide toward rethinking and reframing the challenges and acquiring new insights for idea development. The new concepts are prototyped and get validated by your customer. The Design Thinking / Service Design process and methodology can be applied to developing new, innovative products and services, processes, business models, and strategies.

Download Brochure Check the Original Program

Reframe your company’s challenges and transform them into business opportunities

Create solutions based on true customer understanding

Fast-track development by testing and validating your concepts


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.

Previous participants of the in-person program have been leaders of business development, marketing, sales, innovation, customer relations, employee experience, and general management from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.


This online program gives you a chance to immerse yourself into the topic fast and mostly at your own pace. You will meet and discuss with top experts in their field and an international group of peers. By attending the online 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 proven design tools to develop insights, creative thinking, ideation and prototyping in a practical workbook
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
Apply step by step the design-driven innovation methods to a real-life business challenge that you bring from your organization

Contents and Schedule

The Design Thinking for Business Innovation Online program will run May 26 – June 18, 2020.
The online program starts with a kick-off webinar and consists of self-paced work and scheduled webinars to support your learning during the four weeks. The 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. You will be asked to hand in a project proposal in advance.

The self-paced work includes 

  • Online video lectures divided into six modules, full duration 1,5 hours
  • Employing a workbook independently on a real-life challenge from your organization. This workbook will become a tool for you to apply to any future projects. 

The scheduled webinars, full duration 14,5 hours, include interactive

  • Kick-off webinar
  • Three online live lectures
  • Four online live group coaching sessions
  • Two online live peer-to-peer coaching sessions

Program structure

Six video lectures

Full duration 1,5 hours

Three online live lectures

Six online live coaching sessions

Four group and two peer-to-peer sessions

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.

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.

Tua Björklund

Dr. Tua Björklund is Professor of Practice and one of the founders of Aalto Design Factory, a multidisciplinary experimentation platform in Aalto University and 29 institutions abroad. Her research focuses on design expertise and advancing new ideas in organizations, building on her experience at Aalto University and at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University.

Tua Björklund has a comprehensive, human-centered view on what innovation efforts actually need in order to succeed in organizations. She teaches design thinking and innovation practices in three schools of Aalto University, as well at e.g. Aalto EE and Stanford Executive Education. Currently she leads the development of research activities in the Design Factory Global Network and manages several research projects investigating design thinking in Finland and in Silicon Valley. She is experienced in supervising design thinking development initiatives for companies in practice.

Tua Björklund holds a DSc degree in industrial engineering and management from Aalto University and a MA degree in cognitive science from the University of Helsinki.

Núria Solsona

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

Aalto Leaders' Insight

Program Fee and Registration

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