Every year in Dusseldorf, Germany, the city swarms with yellow. Yellow flags, yellow banners, yellow balloons. The yellow indicates that you might see lots of innovative and tech people walking around, going from workshop to a presentation to an after party. The yellow signifies that the Startup Woche (Startup Week) has commenced!

I was invited to lead a lightning workshop for design thinking. If you know me or read some of my other blog posts you’d know I love this, this is what fuels me. Especially when I get to share this with other cultures and nations because while I do it, I can expand my view! working with people in different countries allows me to get at least a glimpse at how they live and how they look at life.

This one was a short workshop designed to make the participants aware of what design thinking is, what are the mindsets behind it, and what basic tools they can use to perform it. Or perform research somewhere else, for that matter!

During the workshops, participants focused on designing a perfect wallet for their team-partners. We started with initial bias, explained how it works and how to get out of the funk, think more broadly. When going from stage to stage, the following tools were explained, performed, and supported:

+ Interview with “when, why, how” questions
+ Empathy map (abridged)
+ Problem Statement
+ How Might We questions
+ Silent brainstorming
+ Change of POV brainstorming
+ Sketching
+ Show Don’t Tell feedback
+ 6 thinking hats

As we skipped along the stages, the group opened up and raised many interesting questions. We ventured into dealing with clients who change their mind, with invalidated research, various prototyping tools (including the difference between pretotype and prototype, which I wasn’t aware of was a thing!), and more. The workshops turned into a prototype of a very lively way to engage people into participation.