Innovation in Action: A Design-Thinking Laboratory (Honors Course)

The American College of Greece

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Innovation in Action: A Design-Thinking Laboratory (Honors Course)

  • Host University

    The American College of Greece

  • Location

    Athens, Greece

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Design

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    WP 1010 Introduction to Academic Writing

    WP 1111 Integrated Academic Writing and Ethics

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • US Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    A hands-on interdisciplinary course that introduces students to a fertile synthesis of Innovation Management theory and Design Thinking, a methodology that draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning to produce innovation in various business and social contexts. Bringing theory and practice together, the course will guide students to tackle a social, business, ecological, or cultural challenge of their choice through application of innovative problem-solving based on the principles of Design Thinking.


    This interdisciplinary project-based course aims to bridge the gap between theory and action through the use of Design Thinking, a formal method for practical and simultaneously creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions. Design Thinking constitutes an effective approach in generating innovation through early prototyping, formative feedback, and repeated iterations. The course is grounded on established research around Innovation Management and deploys Design Thinking as the methodology for actually generating innovation. Following an experiential mode of delivery, the course functions as a laboratory for innovation by providing a sandbox for applying Design Thinking applications.


    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate theoretical and practical understanding of core elements of Innovation Management theory and of Design Thinking;

    2. Critically evaluate the applicability of different models of Design Thinking in business, technology, the environment, and society;

    3. Demonstrate ability to combine systems thinking with imagination to generate creative solutions to problems in various business, cultural, and social contexts;

    4. Demonstrate awareness of Design Thinking as a vehicle of social innovation and as a new form of civic engagement;

    5. Apply Design Thinking through creative risk-taking and the use of a variety of technological tools.


    In congruence with the teaching and learning strategy of the college, the following tools are used:

    • Textual analysis, class discussion, workshop-style pair work and group work during class meetings;
    • Active student-centered teaching approach in the presentation of course material to engage learners;
    • Critical-thinking exercises and learning activities designed to help students acquire confidence and benefit from independent study;
    • Student presentations of learning material to encourage involvement in the learning process; Extensive instructor feedback on assignments and activities;
    • Individualized assistance during office hours for further discussion of lecture material, additional reading, and assignments;
    • Additional print and audiovisual educational material posted on the Blackboard course template.

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