International Design Thinking workshop for university managers

International Design Thinking Workshop For University Managers Birmingham, UK
Date and time
26 - 30 Nov 2018 (9:00am - 3:00pm)

Birmingham City University



Booking Information

Travel and accomodation details are listed on the booking page.

Deadline for application is 26th August 2018.

For more information, please email

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Design Thinking Approach for an Interdisciplinary University logo

What is the international Design Thinking University (DT.Uni) Workshop for?

The ERASMUS+ DT.Uni project is coordinated by Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (UMCS) cooperating with seven HE partners. Birmingham City University, through the institute for Creative Innovation, are leading on developing a new toolkit for HE managers to support design-led thinking approaches.

Within the context of the ERASMUS+ project DT.Uni we are pleased to invite you to participate in a five-day-workshop in Birmingham, UK.

In this workshop we want to support participants ability to think in a more divergent and creative way, using a range of DT tools and techniques to help them to develop their knowledge and skillset around DT. The workshop will skill-up participants to enable them to apply DT techniques into their day to day work within their own institutions. The workshop will apply and test didactic material for Design Thinking processes that you and your colleagues could apply to your work within a managerial context.  

The didactic material for the DT workshop will be collated within an e-book as a resource for managers and will be a research output for this project. It will be adjusted and improved with your feedback after each step of the workshop and after the local DT Workshop. By the end of 2018 the e-book will be published. An open source licence will allow free access and provide the presented Design Thinking methods to managers in academia and other interested parties.

Who will participate?

Design Thinking is a way to look with fresh eyes at issues which engage us all as managers in our university lives.

There are many demands on the HE system:

  • Complexity – increasingly problems will be solved by interdisciplinary working across subject areas
  • Scarce resources and balancing these between teaching and research
  • The need to design educational experiences for the next generation to embrace individuality and meaning through studying and working

To develop skills to address these demands, the Erasmus + Design Thinking University Project is running a five day session on design thinking aimed specifically at managers in European universities.

This will focus on the tools and techniques needed to tackle the demands of these so called “wicked problems” which are common challenges across European universities.

The location will be on the BCU campus including STEAMhouse a purpose built facility to help tackle challenges and foster inter disciplinary working

The five days will be a way to network with like- minded people in both management and brokerage roles in universities in how to work and learn together to develop solutions

Delegates will participate in practical hands-on workshops where they will practice co-design of solutions including:

  • Problem definition
  • User profiles and user journeys
  • Developing prototypes
  • Access to a range of Design Thinking tools and techniques, enabling them to gain experience of using them and to better understand how these can be used within their own university

Delegates will also benefit from participating in a range of informal events, study visits, presentations, networking sessions and other activities which will further support the development of DT practice, skills and knowledge.

Delegates will Delegates will also have access to the e-book for Managers which will outline the tools and techniques used during the workshop.

The workshop will enable participants to share experiences with other key personnel at the faculty level and/or in a central university role.

The training will enable delegates on return to their institution to involve other colleagues in how the principles of design thinking can be effectively applied at the university level.

Who should attend?

  • Participants should be a manager within a higher education institution – managing – people/team or services – for example a Course Director managing a team of Academics/ students; A service manager – e.g. managing an IT team or other central service department; a Dean/Principle with senior management responsibility
  • At least four participants of each partner university within the project and further interested researchers/academics. The total sum of participants will be approx. 30 people.
  •  Be able to attend at least four of the five days of the workshop
  •  Be willing to share the learning from the workshop with colleagues back at their own institution


Birmingham City University   

With around 24,000 students from 80 countries, Birmingham City University is a large, diverse and popular place to study. Our courses, state-of-the-art facilities, first-rate staff, and focus on practical skills and professional relevance is producing some of the country’s most employable graduates.

We put £270 million into the regional economy and support thousands of jobs in the area. We're investing £260 million in our estate, including a major expansion of our city centre campus at Eastside, providing students with an enviable range of facilities, including STEAMhouse phase 2.


STEAMhouse is a unique new space for innovation generated through interdisciplinary collaborations. Powered by Birmingham City University, STEAMhouse offers free workshops and events for businesses which support participants to share and develop their ideas with experts from many different backgrounds, creating a point of intersection between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths (STEAM); alongside co-working, co-making spaces, technical support and grants to support prototype development.

See campus directions.