MAINZ Complementary Skills Workshop: "Design Thinking and Agile Work"

Intensive 2 day workshop 24th - 25th January 2019
Exercise based learning from 09:00 am - 05:00 pm
12 participants maximum MAINZ seminar-room 03-122

Design Thinking is trending, and so is everything “agile”. But what do these terms actually mean? Design Thinking is first and foremost a systematic creative process for interdisciplinary teams to solve “wicked” problems. These problams focus very much on human beings and their needs and motivations, and they deal with radical innovation. Agile work on the other hand describes principles of flexible planning and effective work, enabling you to implement your plans with constant feedback for improvement. The skills associated with this training can be applied alone or in a group setting, which also makes them highly relevant when working in a team.


 What you will learn

  • Tools and methods of Design Thinking and Agile Work
  • Principles of systematic creativity
  • A design process of systematic creative thinking
  • Tools to be used individually or in a team to understand users and their problems, find the right questions, generate and evaluate ideas and develop solutions
  • Principles of agile thinking and working
  • Simple tools that help organizing your work, so that found solutions can be implemented sucessfully


How you will be able to behave after the workshop

  • You will abstain from blocking your own creativity with certain thoughts and beliefs
  • You will understand the connection between human needs and desires and successful innovation
  • You will communicate with others in ways that sustain and support creativity
  • You will structure and phrase your own tasks in a way that makes sure you will follow up on them
  • You will understand basic principles of an agile work approach and how to apply them


What makes it important?
Coming up with original ideas and implementing working solutions to challenging problems is a key qualification of the modern world. It is not limited to creative areas or invention, but a skill required of every academic and every employee. The two subsets of skill are the creative part – how to tackle a problem and come up with ideas – and the follow-up: implantation. That is why principles, tools and processes that support these two skills are in high demand and have developed rapidly over the last two decades.


 How you will be working during the Workshop - Workshop Framework

Throughout the workshop, professional input from the trainer will alternate with practical written exercises and group discussions of relevant issues. There will be plenty of room for your questions and reflection in between.

Throughout the first day, you will understand the Design Thinking approach and process in detail, mostly through interactive presentation and group exercises. At the end of the process, you will start working on your own real publishing projects, which will be the focus of the second day. You will develop your existing ideas and concepts using rapid prototyping and principles of agile work planning.

Input from the trainer will usually be a combination of speech, presentation, flipchart and video. Most of the work sessions will take place in small groups, with each group member providing creative input and critical feedback.


Who should attend - Workshop Participants

This workshop is most useful for students who already have some writing/publication experience (in any language). This experience may cover abstracts for conferences, single-author or co-authored papers, progress reports for examination committees, proposals for theses/projects/grants, etc.

Participation is recommended if you often face “fuzzy” challenges or problems that you have to solve, be it in an academic or professional environment, and if you work individually or as part of a team.


Your trainer – Profile + Experiences

Daniel Barth majored in Chinese studies at the University of Munich and spent two years abroad in China. Through a one-year program at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich he received training in user centered innovation (Design Thinking) and entrepreneurship.

He co-founded the company creaffective GmbH in 2013 and works globally as an Innovation Coach, supporting international companies and educational institutions through consultation, facilitation and trainings. He is also experienced in facilitating self-organized teams using the methods Holacracy and Sociocracy 3.0. In addition, he was trained in non-violent communication and SCRUM.