An-Institut der Stiftung Weltethos
an der Universität Tübingen

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Learning from Digital Innovation: Design Thinking Class on Social Innovation

topview of creative agency business brain storm meeting presentation Team discussing roadmap to product launch, presentation, planning, strategy, new business development
DozentIn Dr. Ziad Mahayni  
Veranstaltungsart Online-Blockseminar, Masterveranstaltung 
Sprache Englisch 
Wochentag/Uhrzeit Sonntag, 8.11.20, 10:00-13:00 Uhr s.t. (Introduction)
Freitag, 13.11.20, 9:00-10:30 Uhr s.t.
Sonntag, 29.11.20, 10:00-15:00 Uhr s.t. (Workshop)
Freitag, 11.12.20, 9:00-10:30 Uhr s.t. 
Freitag, 5.2.21, 15:00-18:00 Uhr s.t. (Pitch) 
Further preparatory and coaching sessions will be coordinated with the innovation teams during the seminar 
Ort Weltethos-Institut, Hintere Grabenstraße 26, 72070 Tübingen 
Voraussetzungen/ Zielgruppe Aktive Mitarbeit, Selbstorganisation, Minimum Viable Product  
Leistungsnachweis /Prüfungsform ECTS-Credits Development of a social innovation as a „minimal viable product“ in group work, presentation of the results as a „pitch“.   6 ECTS 
Anmeldung To register, please send an email including your name, student number, address, birthplace and -date to Please also indicate your major concentration and how many semesters of study you have completed) 
Anmeldefrist 26. Oktober 2020 
Max. Teilnehmerzahl 20


The digital era has led to a fundamental paradigm shift in the way innovation is delivered. Along with this paradigm shift a whole new innovation tool set has been developed in the last decade. Just to name a few: design thinking, loop, sprint, lean startup etc. are methods which have proven to be very effective in designing new (potentially disruptive) commercial ideas and turning them into reality in a fast-paced fashion. 

In the seminar we will explore whether these innovation tools can be used just as well on social topics like poverty, homelessness, environmental destruction etc. (the students will set the priorities). The students will develop social innovation ideas and turn them into „minimal viable products“ using the design thinking methodology. We will end with a pitching session of those products. 


  • Eric Ries, “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” 
  • Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz, “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” 
  • Clayton M. Christensen “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail”