UVA Darden Professor Creates Guide to Design Thinking for the Greater Good With New Book, Online Course

By Jay Hodgkins

Social-sector organizations are facing “especially wicked problems,” according to University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Jeanne Liedtka, but her new book — Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector and new online course offered through Coursera will help the social sector discover powerful new methods to understand and address its challenges.

In Design Thinking for the Greater Good (Columbia University Press), co-authors Liedtka, Randy Salzman and Daisy Azer share 10 stories of the struggles and successes in fields such as health care, education and security and show how collaborative creativity can shake up even the most entrenched bureaucracies. The book provides a practical roadmap for readers to implement design thinking tools, which are well established in the commercial business world as a way to reframe problems, ideate solutions and iterate toward better answers.

The book will be available to purchase in stores on 5 September and is available for pre-order through online retailers such as Amazon.

Design Thinking for the Greater Good sets out to look at why design methods are even more powerful in the social sector,” said Liedtka. “Whether you work in education or health care or government at any organizational level, design thinking can help you truly understand the problem you are trying to solve, generate testable ideas and make small bets quickly.”

Liedtka has also translated lessons from the book into a new massive open online course, which will be offered online through Coursera starting in September.

A pioneer introducing design thinking to thousands of MBA students and leaders at organizations in the private, nonprofit and government sectors, Liedtka has developed several online design thinking courses. “Design Thinking for Innovation” is available online on Coursera and her four-course Specialization in Design Thinking and Innovation is offered through Darden Executive Education.

Liedtka will join Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for a Design@Darden reception at the Academy of Management conference in Atlanta on 6 August to discuss innovation, design thinking and the new book. Guests can register for the reception online.

“It is possible to find the best of both worlds: to think both creatively and critically,” said Liedtka. “Design thinking shows us the way. Designing for the greater good tells us how.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. 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

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia