On December 13, 2017, graduate students of International Communication at St. John’s University presented a variety of innovative projects they developed throughout a class in Design Thinking at a Graduate Symposium. The event was organized and moderated by Dr. Minna Horowitz, who led the Design Thinking class during this fall semester.
What is Design Thinking? It’s a collaborative and creative process to develop innovations, following five phases that are iterated until an idea is realistic and can be implemented. The five phases are: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.
In form of an ignite speech, Mia Ross presented a case study of the use of Design Thinking techniques at the creative organization Vice Media, applying the five-phase model as a research framework. Her presentation was followed by Neelesh Rastogi and Dr. Basilio Monteiro, who gave the audience food for thought with a speech on “Ethical Deliberation and Artificial Intelligence”. Their presentation arose critical questions, such as: “does our society really need Artificial Intelligence?”
The audience contributed to a lively atmosphere at the event, as everyone was invited to participate. Visitors could address comments or questions to speakers via sticky notes, and they learned more about students’ innovations through face-to-face conversations during pitch deck presentations that were set up in form of a research fair.
Finally, the Design Thinking workshop closed with elevator pitches by students that could be challenged afterwards by the audience with questions. Many great ideas were presented, challenged and through comments and questions from the audience they were collaboratively even further developed and shaped. Students showcased not only their creative thinking but also their ability to work in teams, scale up ideas, and they delivered convincing pitches.