The challenge

Client: Ministry of Public Administration / Administration Academy

Duration of the training: 3 day in-person

Since 2019 we have been designing and delivering Design Thinking training for public servants from various ministries and public organisations as part of the trainings. trainings aim to increase awareness of the importance of innovation in the state administration, increase competences for creatively solving challenges and designing solutions using different methods and approaches.
The challenge we faced was how to design a learning experience that would motivate and encourage participants to learn new methods and at the same time enable practising design thinking. With the awareness that design thinking cannot be completely mastered in such a short time, we wanted to make the training as useful as possible for the participants.

What we did

We designed a training session that is a mix of theory, practice and reflections. Our main goal was to give participants the opportunity to try out and experiment with Design Thinking methods and tools in a safe environment.

We achieved this by including activities from applied improvisation that introduce playfulness and help participants relax. Public servants were put into groups and guided through a short Design Thinking project, following the process from problem exploration and redefinition to solution development and prototyping.

The training includes fieldwork, group and individual work, the use of diverse methods for effective co-creation and space for transferring experience and knowledge to the challenges they face at their work.

Outputs & Outcomes

The results of the training are prototypes of solutions that the participants co-created in groups and individual plans for applying design thinking in practice (made by each participant for themself).

After the completion of the training, the participants spoke about increased motivation to face challenges at work, about being equipped with new methods, tools and ways to co-create and creatively solve problems, about establishing new relationships with other public servants, and even about discovering their own biases and their personal preferences.

Participants who took part in the training also more often decided to cooperate with external experts in the field of design thinking and attended further similar trainings.

We have prepared a short booklet* where you will find an overview of the design thinking mindset, process and a selection of methods and tools. *Only in Slovenian for now.