Course Description

2-Day Foundations of Design Thinking October 2019

Los Angeles, CA
October 23-24, 2019, Los Angeles, CA

This intensive 2-day course on October 23-34, 2019 will give you an in-depth level of understanding of core Design Thinking principles, key tools & terminology. The learning method for course is hands-on, ‘Learning-by-Doing,’ and takes you through the arc of the design thinking methodology as you address a real-world design challenge. You will learn a selection of Design Thinking tools during the two days including: stakeholder mapping, personas, customer journey mapping, challenge reframing, service scenarios, value network mapping, and prototyping which can be applied to designing the customer/employee experience, products, and services.


On the first day, we will go through a short and interactive introduction to Design Thinking. What is it, where does it come from and why now? What are the challenges? What are the main ‘schools of thought’ within Design Thinking? What are some real-world case studies of Design Thinking in practice? Where can you find more information?


The major part of the two days, however, will be spent doing hands-on work as you work in small teams tackling the challenge. This ‘learning by doing’ approach is at the core of Design Thinking. You will learn to use a set of ‘tools’ that are foundational to the Design Thinking methodology. Of these, customer journey mapping will serve as a core activity for finding solutions to the challenge.


Stakeholder mapping provides you with an overview of the ‘ecosystem’ that you are exploring. Stakeholders are people, teams or organizations that directly or indirectly exchange ‘value’. The exchange of value is used as the basis to explore the underlying services, products or experiences provided by the stakeholders.

Personas are used as the basis for customer journey mapping, modeling the humans that you are designing for. Understanding the objectives, behaviors, and attitudes of people is very important for developing improvements or innovations around the services provided.

Customer journey mapping allows us to further step into the customer’s shoes. These ‘customers’ could be people or companies who are purchasing your products, services or experiences or they could even be your employees. It shows us the customer’s perceptions and the larger context in which we play a part at the different stages of their journey. It allows us to immerse ourselves in their world and gain a better understand of their reality. Customer journey mapping helps us to answer questions like:

What are our customers really trying to achieve? How are they trying to achieve this? What do they use and in what order? Why do they make the decisions they make? What are they experiencing and feeling as they reach their desired outcome? This qualitative design research tool will provide you with customer insights to improve the customer’s experience.

Service scenarios are used to visualize how a future-state service will be experienced from a customer point of view. Simple visualization techniques are used to tell the story of the proposed solution from the persona’s perspective.

Value network mapping creates insights into the different types of value that are being exchanged between key stakeholders. Using this tool, you can think through what stakeholders are centrally involved in the new service, what they contribute to making the service work for the persona, and what value they get in return.

Prototyping is a simple but extremely powerful way to work out important details of a concept. A low-resolution prototype allows you to test a service concept in a ‘low tech’ environment with relevant stakeholders. A prototype can be created using simple materials, like cardboard or Lego, and it can be presented by simply explaining how it works, or even by acting out a scene.

As part of the course you will receive a set of Design Thinking tools and templates that you can start using on your own challenges.


Marc Bolick  leads the US office of DesignThinkers Group, working to help clients find creative solutions to complex problems and to embed design thinking as a strategic advantage in their organizations. He uses his combination of technical, business and creative skills to help organizations ask the right questions, and find innovative answers through the service design thinking methodology. With over 20 years of experience in various aspects of product and service design, Marc has worked in a variety of sectors and clients including Cartier, Bacardi, General Electric, Michelin, SAP, Coca-Cola, Qualcomm, Bank of America, Master Card, the US Agency for International Development, the US Food and Drug Administration, and a variety of early-stage companies.

Ezequiel Williams is a business strategist, service designer, ethnographer, and innovation consultant passionate about helping organizations better understand their customers and create offerings that people want and drive brand loyalty. He works with leaders to solve complex problems using a combination of design thinking, anthropology, and business tools to create value for organizations’ customers as well as their employees.

Steven Chaparro is a keynote speaker and a culture design strategist. He is passionate about helping creative organization transform their workplace culture through co-creative design. His diverse background spans various industries including architecture, real estate development, financial services, and government innovation.



Our main objective is to provide you with hands-on tools that you can apply immediately to your work.

As part of the training program you will receive a fundamentals handbook, a certificate of completion, and access to the DT Academy Network online environment.

We strive for nothing short of a transformational experience for participants. You will acquire a deeper knowledge of core design thinking tools and methods, a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and overall professional & personal growth.

About this Event



725 S. Figueroa St

Los Angeles, CA


October 23-24, 2019
Language: English
Maximum participants: 30


Early Bird Ticket Price $ 1,650
until September 23, 2019.

Regular Ticket Price Price $ 1,900

Your registration includes morning and afternoon snacks, lunch, and beverages throughout the course.

A certificate from DesignThinkers Academy is awarded to participants who successfully complete the course.

Discounts available for multiple people from the same organization, non-profits, educators and government organizations.


Sign up now