Course Description

1-Day Human-Centric Leading Workshop, February 2020

Washington, DC
February 4, 2020. Washington, DC.

This is a new course offered to leaders of design thinking.

Learn to use human-centric leading to boost your confidence in dealing with the contextual problems that tend to hamper design thinking and other change initiatives.

Human-Centric Leading (HCL) is a new leadership style that puts people at the center of decisions. HCL helps you navigate through commonly-experienced challenges such as distrust, pushback, project delays, interpersonal conflict, fear of failure, multiple stakeholders with multiple agendas (some are ego-motivated and others are team/silo-motivated), conflict, knowledge gaps and hierarchical misalignment that can dilute or block your effectiveness. All of these are symptoms of the same root-level problems, yet it is common to focus solely on the symptoms and become overwhelmed, instead of solving the core problems and create alignment.

By using HCL, you stay calm and grounded in face of these issues, creating trusting relationships and optimizing the contribution of each team member. For instance, imagine solving conflict through discussion, which is often not enough — you have to understand the context, how people think/feel and then move from reacting to responding. Another example, let’s say that despite your continued communication of the benefits of design thinking, one or more stakeholders still resist. A common way to solve this is to convince them at a logical level, yet the reason for their resistance can likely be related to fears or uncertainties, so their emotional needs must also be met. HCL equips you with a way to identify their needs and help meet them, therefore increasing the likelihood of turning their resistance into support.


Leaders of design thinking and change-makers who want to amplify their own influence and learn how to enhance the benefits of design thinking in their own organizations or with clients.


This introductory HCL course expands and deepens your effectiveness in applying design thinking inside your organization.

It is a hands-on, interactive leadership course that equips you with a new mindset that transforms the way you handle the challenges you face. It transports you from reacting to responding, which allows you to have more impactful and sustainable DT journeys.

You will use role play, dyad and group experiential exercises and discussions to identify your most effective mindset and how to use Human-Centric Leading to solve the specific challenges you face using design thinking.  As part of the course, the facilitators will contact you two weeks prior to the course start date to gather a list of challenges you are faced with, allowing for each participant to have a customized course experience.


  1. An understanding how to change your mindset using the Triads tool to increase your influence in both easy and difficult situations.
  2. A way to uncover what people need in order to help them behave in collaborative and creative ways.
  3. Some practice-time using the HCL tools called “Use Emotions as Data” and the “Basic Human Needs” to feel grounded and help solve the challenges you face.
  4. A pledge to yourself regarding one specific change you will make as a next step in your leadership journey.

Your main takeaway is a set of practical tools that can be immediately applied at home and work.


Throughout their 30-year careers that spanned across multiple geographies and verticals, Eleni and Shadi led strategic roles in corporations and consulting firms. They watched intelligent plans end up on shelves because the relevant implementation teams were neither present nor involved. Eleni and Shadi became frustrated with the overly focused attention on profits at all cost and the treatment of humans as replaceable costs, titles, jobs, functions or cogs in a wheel. In observing two general business trends, they noticed a path that mechanizes humans through systems-centric processes and humanizes machines that promotes ever-sophisticated robotics. The parallel path is a humanistic movement through which purpose and meaning are respected and sought.

Eleni and Shadi have made it their life mission to work with change-makers who want to humanize their workplaces, organizations and societies, which happen to generate higher profits in balance with humans/Nature.

Linked in profiles: Eleni Pallas (PCC, MBA, BS), Shadi Abouzeid (PhD, MSc, BBA)


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 set of design thinking tools, a certificate of completion, and access to the DT Academy alumni network.

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


2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20037

February 4, 2020
Language: English
Maximum participants: 25


Early Bird Ticket Price $700
until January 4th, 2020

Regular Ticket Price Price $ 780

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.

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