These fifteen students are currently engaged in a rigorous program at the design school, which consists of company visits and digital talks throughout the year to put them in the business context. The aim of being in a business environment is to encourage, “Divergent thinking and analyze current design from different perspectives.” To further be placed in the business context, students are involved in live case studies in which they work on consulting projects that place design as the key to solving business challenges.

Opinno’s Daniel Sanz led the session by introducing the significance of innovation as the world experiences a digital transformation. His goal was to provide insights to the students to face design challenges head on in our ever-evolving and globalizing world. Sanz therefore described the different methodologies applied to our consulting projects:

Design Thinking

Design thinking focuses on the process of design over the end result. This process involves human centered techniques to problem solve in an innovative manner. Design thinking is accomplished in an interdisciplinary group setting so as to bring together unique and creative perspectives from varying backgrounds.

Lean Startup

The lean startup methodology seeks to accelerate the product development process through iteration. Rather than releasing a product to the market without feedback from consumers, the lean startup methodology requires that a product is tested and perfected until the customer experience is proven ideal. This methodology reduces risk and cost, while improving the overall user experience.

Agile and Open Innovation

Agile and open innovation is a methodology that embraces external innovative solutions. The purpose of external involvement, whether that be achieved by partnering with innovative consultancies or public institutions is to increase and improve internal innovation within a company.

In explaining these methodologies to the Master of Design and Innovation students, Sanz proved how innovation is a service provided by Opinno. These methodologies are therefore applied by Opinno’s team of consultants to systematically solve business challenges. Although the methodologies are structured, they allow great room for creativity and ingenuity.

The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Great fears and opportunities center around the discussion of artificial intelligence, and it was a discussion touched upon by Daniel Sanz and the Design and Innovation students from IED. Growing fears in the digital age are related to ethics and the potential for the labor pool to be replaced by machines. Our consultants emphasized that in order to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence, companies need to be ethical and responsible in decision making, which is why decision makers must be aware of the potential negative consequences artificial intelligence can cause on society, the economy, the environment, and the world as a whole.

In regard to job replacement by machines, the reality does exist and should be acknowledged, but only for jobs that are routinized and outsourceable or that include repetitive tasks. Positions that require emotional intelligence and people management skills are not at risk of being replaced. In fact, Forbes released the skills you need to succeed in 2020 and they are very much people-oriented, meaning neither a robot nor machine pose a threat. The students left the workshop enlightened and well-informed of the trends in innovation in technology and excited to continue their journey in innovation and design.