What helps a business drive change and nurture innovation? Why do consumers pick/choose one service over another similar service? Businesses run on creating awesome customer experiences and unexpected delight.
This can be achieved with a design thinking mindset. Creating customer empathy and creating concepts/products which add value to people’s lives.
The Design thinking summit is Pensaar’s first step towards making design thinking a mindset in India. We were very excited when 270 people signed up. We selected 60 participants for the three-day workshop at IIM Bangalore.
The idea was to help the participants make design thinking a tool and a process they cant live without!
The summit consisted of three parts/days- Discover and Insights, Dream, Disrupt
Participants understood the importance of observation through a fun and engaging exercise - Creating a mobile balloon cover. Participants played three roles- Toy makers, Observer and Researchers.

  Day 1: Discover/Insights

Paparticipants built empathy with customers and gathered insights. Insights that inspire innovation
Self Realization Tool
Tracking progress is an essential aspect of the design thinking process. It is good to see visual progress and self reflect on the workshop at different stages.
Participants understood the importance of observation through a fun and engaging exercise - Creating a mobile balloon cover. Participants played three roles- Toy makers, Observer and Researchers.
This was a great way for participants to get to know one another. Toy makers improvised and created unique covers. We noticed that researchers took a theoretic approach and observers were more empathetic towards the toy makers.
Through the exercise it was clear that there is a merit in observing users in real life versus making conclusions through secondary research.
Introducing the topic
Finally, the long awaited topic for the summit was revealed to all participants- “Make Bangalore more sustainable: Create smart solutions to initiate change.” Sustainability is a very relevant and important issue that was used to help participants learn the tools of design thinking.
Deepa’s Interview
Observations are not enough! Interviews can be used to gain powerful insights! (If done correctly :P)
Initial Ideas/Quote Stimuli
To aid participants with generating insights the Pensaar team provided them with Quote cards, Customer Journey Lines and a Video.
Our team spent 10-15 days in the field interviewing people from different backgrounds about their thoughts on sustainability in Bangalore. This information was displayed as a stimulus to help participants gather initial ideas/thoughts.
  Empathy Map
Brainstorming leads to Hippo decisions and the loudest voice always wins. The participants were introduced to the Empathy map, an excellent tool that helps gather your initial thoughts/insights and think beyond what people are saying/doing.
Problem Statements
Words can be a powerful way of capturing thoughts and ides. Being able to define your problem statement is a great way to summarize insights and lead the way into ideation.
Core Customer Benefits
Defining customer benefits lets you identify the advantages your product will have over competing ideas/products.
How Might We
Day 1 ended with each team identifying their core problem related to sustainability, captured in a How Might We statement paving the way to ideation.

Day 2: Dream

On day 2 participants voted for their favorite How Might We statement and decided to ideate on a common problem-
“How might we come up with a waste management system that is easy, quick and convenient so that it becomes a habit?”
World Café Tool
Individuals are great at solving problems but it is proven that we are wiser in groups. The World Café Tool was a true delight. The participants moved to different tables brainstorming solutions for different team problems.
Narrowing 2x2
Coming up with whimsical ideas is always fun, but how do we narrow down and group ideas based on feasibility and customer feedback? Say hello to the narrowing tool.
Story Board
Once the groups had settled on a final concept, they were introduced to the storyboarding tool. Visualizing a concept can help teams explain their ideas to customers and find loopholes they had never noticed earlier.
Once the teams had their storyboards in place they had the opportunity to practice their interviewing skills talking to end users and experts on waste management. Visual cues and secondary research was handed out during different points of the day to help stimulate ideas.

Day 3: Disrupt

So you have a concept! How do you know it works? Assumption testing is a very important step of design thinking. It is good to get feedback from end users at every stage of the design process.
Identify Key Leap of Faith Assumptions
Each team identified three assumptions in their end solution. With these assumptions each team had to come up with a hypothesis around their final concept.
Test Assumptions
The teams designed experiments to test their assumptions.
Some of the teams had creative experiments around hypothesis testing. For example, One team that wanted to test- “People in IIM know how to segregate their garbage.”, asked faculty/students to help them pick up and trash a mixture of wet and dry waste. They were shocked to find that very few people actually knew/wanted to segregate their waste.
After assumption testing the teams refined and presented their final concepts to everyone.
One of the big successes of the conference was the give away memento. The Pensaar team designed laser cut puzzle pieces, which formed a bulb. Each piece had a caricature of one of the participants who attended the summit.
The idea was that each participant formed a part of the puzzle, which represented the design-thinking summit as a whole. We hope the mementos act as a reminder to participants, to stay in touch and use design thinking as a part of their daily life.
Design thinking can have a great impact on our daily lives and transform businesses. Designs excel when there is emphasis on the end user and this can be achieved with a Design Thinking Mindset.
Pensaar’s Summit was a fun and engaging way to spread the mindset of Design Thinking by creating a lasting community of design thinkers.
To hear from the participants themselves and learn about the design thinking workshop Phase 1, join us on August 26th at IIM Bangalore! We look forward to seeing you at the Design Conference, Phase 2.