UVA Darden School Launches Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation Online Program

22 June 2015

By Sophie Zunz

Darden Executive Education of the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation has announced the launch of a new online program, a Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation, which will begin in September 2015.

Led by Darden’s world-renowned faculty and built on cutting-edge insights from one of its research Centers of Excellence, the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, this series of courses teaches the tools as well as the leadership skills needed to manage teams and apply tools in a way that lead to more successful innovation efforts.

“Design Thinking is problem-solving method used to fuel innovation and organic growth and we created this Specialization because the students who had taken our project-based class wanted more,” said Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka, a pioneer and expert in design thinking who has written or co-authored the books Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers and Solving Business Problems With Design: 10 Stories of What Works. “They were excited; they were accomplishing a lot and wanted new tools to go back and tackle new problems. They wanted to know how to extend their skills and become innovation leaders within their organization. This specialization is going to allow us to go deep and to add another level of mastery on top of the basics of design thinking.”

The Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation online program is comprised of four courses, each lasting five weeks, and is designed to empower the participants with a systematic approach to innovation. Upon successful completion of the four courses, students will earn a specialization that demonstrates commitment and competence in leading design thinking and innovation efforts.

The four courses are:

In addition to the online classroom experience — videos, readings and assignments — mentors will facilitate conversations and classmates will give and receive feedback on the engaging and practical assignments. Participants can take the courses as part of a team or as an individual. Students will be able to keep in touch with peers long after the courses are finished through several networks that will provide ongoing information and resources to course alumni.

“Offering this new Specialization demonstrates our ability to deliver exceptional education leveraging online technology,” said Scott Snell, senior associate dean for Executive Education. “By offering this capability we will broaden Darden’s global reach and make the Darden knowledge conveniently accessible to people across the globe, fueling our mission to ‘improve the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge.’”

The courses are powered by the platform provider NovoEd, and are available to individuals and groups across industry who want to apply design thinking to solve their problems and advance their skills in leading change. Find more information about the fees and content on our Specialization home page. Registration is open now. Darden Executive Education is provided by the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia