Design Thinking Now


Design Thinking Now

Design Thinking Now is the next generation Design Thinking, incorporating an emphasis on sustainable, ethical solutions. Reshape your thinking, build your creativity and find better solutions to the complex issues we now face.

Rapid globalisation, population growth, the digital economy, climate action and the pandemic have all fundamentally changed the world we live in. Rightly so, people are demanding better inclusivity, accessibility, responsibility and empathy in the policies, products and services with which we engage every day.

We need more ambitious, creative, responsive and entrepreneurial thinkers and doers to rise to the challenges and opportunities of our constantly evolving world. Design Thinking Now will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools to be the one to drive change.

Delivered by industry experts, this course will immerse you in the four-step Design Thinking process: learning to ‘discover, define, design and demonstrate’ your ideas for addressing real, immediate and complex needs, and issues of your industry and society more widely.

This program is delivered by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.

What you'll learn

As the world changes, we too need to change. We need new ways of thinking and responding to increasingly complex challenges. The Design Thinking mindset looks for opportunities where others see roadblocks, and puts people and the planet central to creating a better world. Sustainable solutions, not just for environmental protection, but in the sense of long-term, valuable, enduring solutions are what we aim to discover – not quick fixes.

In this interactive online course, you will learn how to apply Design Thinking strategies to a complex challenge that matters to you. You will gain experience in critical thinking, empathy creation, consumer and stakeholder mapping, brainstorming, brainwriting, storyboarding and prototyping for impactful change.

By completion of the course you will have learned more than you imagined about your challenge and have developed a response to it that is viable, feasible, desirable and, most importantly, sustainable. Along the way you will have learned how to develop your creativity, how to collaborate, how to give and receive constructive feedback, and how to develop those innovative, creative solutions we all aim for. You will have developed an effective Design Thinking toolkit and a new mindset – both will become an invaluable part of your working and personal life.

Learning outcomes

Over 6 weeks you'll go through the Design Thinking process in detail, using the tools (which then become yours) and strategies that have led major organisations such as IBM, Apple, Google, Bank of America, National Bank of Australia, Unilever and Pepsi Co to embrace Design Thinking as a fundamental part of their organisation.

You will

  • Integrate the strategies of Design Thinking to judiciously interrogate a complex challenge or issue.
  • Identify and modify the specific strategies of Design Thinking needed to address a complex challenge or issue.
  • Understand both the theoretical and practical importance of considering the end-user in any solution-finding process.
  • Practice a self-reflexive approach to one’s performance and provide productive, constructive feedback to others.
  • Refine to a high level the employability skills of analytical learning and innovation; complex problem solving; critical thinking and analysis; creativity, originality and initiative; and collaboration and teamwork.


Who should attend

This course is designed for people who want to make the world a better place, who are excited by the possibilities opened up by change and who want to make a difference. You might be an aspiring entrepreneur, wanting to start your own business, or an intrapreneur, wanting to revolutionise from within your organisation. You might be a new graduate or an old hand; either way, you will benefit from the new strategies of thinking and problem-solving that you will learn in this course. It is designed for individuals from all industries.

Program fee


  • Monash alumni receive a 20% discount.

Program dates and times

  • Please contact for future dates

Digital badging

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be awarded a digital badge to share with your network. Find out more about digital badges.

Accelerate your qualification

This program has the option to complete the micro-credential version of Design Thinking Now. You can receive 6 credit points* of specified credit (award unit equivalent of DGN4500 Design Thinking Approaches) towards F6002 Master of Design.

*Maximum credit limits and minimum course entry requirements apply, see the terms and conditions page for more details

Find out more about the micro-credential here.

Custom delivery

Executive Education offers a 3-day Bootcamp version of this program delivered exclusively for organisations.
Contact to find out more


Associate Professor Gene Bawden is a communication designer and Head of MADA's Design Department. Gene's research and design practice embraces the confluence of the material, the visual and the spatial, and the narratives of belonging articulated in each. Specifically, he interrogates the design of Australian domestic spaces constructed as a prescriptive but highly charged representation of cultural belonging, social alignment and gendered expectation. His work reveals the historical context of Australia's gendered spatial alliances, and the rich interplay of semiotics embodied within the constraints of the country's Western-centric domestic milieu.

Gene is a member of the Faculty's XYX Lab, which affords him the opportunity to combine his knowledge of gendered spatial practices and his communication design expertise within collaborative research projects aimed at mitigating gender inequity in Australia's urban environments. Key to the Lab's methodologies is the facilitation of Design Thinking processes using bespoke material tools of enquiry. This is an area of investigation that is increasingly part of Gene's expanding area of material/spatial research; and manifests in his teaching through MADA's design curriculum and the Monash MBA and Global Executive MBA "Design Thinking" units.

Dr Julie Roberts, is an art historian and welfare officer by training but has worked in a range of different fields during the past decades, including as Coordinator, WIL Inter-country Project (Australia-Vietnam); Director, Social Enterprise Group (RMIT University) and Deputy Director, Social Innovation (CQUniversity). Since 2016 Julie has spent several months each year in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she volunteers with the micro-finance organisation En Vie. More recently she joined the CADA Foundation as their (voluntary) Engagement and Development Manager. The CADA Foundation is committed to bringing the artisanal work of Oaxaca and San Cristobel, Mexico, to the global market in a way that benefits the makers and protects their cultural ownership of traditional designs. At Monash University, she teaches Design Thinking into the Master of Design (Faculty of Business and Economics), the MBA and the Global Executive MBA.