Design thinking or human-centred design is a manner of thinking and acting, which focuses on the person for whom solutions are designed and sought and on practicing open thinking. Today, design thinking is used to solve a variety of problems and challenges, from products and services to the management of organisations and communication and shaping one’s life. We started using design thinking this spring to help students choose specialties that suit them and shape their careers.
A couple of years ago, school graduates who wanted to study business and economics in Estonia had to choose whether to continue their studies in one of the five or six local universities or move abroad, but today, they can also acquire an education via hundreds of university e-curricula and thousands of microdegrees and courses,” said Age Rosenberg, coach and one of the initiators of the program.
Completing one’s university studies during the standard period of study is like a full-time job, which is why choosing the correct specialty is important in order to stay motivated throughout these years.
The Design Your Life program for prospective students includes rethinking the working and learning experiences of their lives (incl. upper secondary school) in the course of discussions, group work and individual assignments and setting goals for the coming years. The design thinking method uses worksheets, group work, discussions and the possibility to return to the problem formulating stage in the solution finding stage, so that suitable solutions are found for each participant.
The program was developed on the basis of the materials of the Stanford Life Design Lab and adapted to the Estonian market.