Design Thinking Academy Pop-up Classes to focus on active listening and collaboration

Design Thinking Academy Fellows pictured teaching the design thinking process to the Grand Valley Advertising Club in October 2018.
Design Thinking Academy Fellows pictured teaching the design thinking process to the GVSU Advertising Club in October 2018.
Image Credit: Bernadine Carey-Tucker

Active listening and collaboration are two essential elements to comprehend in order to fully utilize the design thinking process. Two upcoming workshops presented by Grand Valley’s Design Thinking Academy will aim to teach these skills to faculty, students, and the community.

Pop-up Classes will take place February 28 (collaboration), from 6-8 p.m., and March 14 (listening), from noon-2 p.m. Both workshops will be held in AuSable Hall, room 1112, and facilitated by Steve Seward of Seward Consulting.

“The workforce requires individuals to work both independently and interdependently to resolve problems in various workplaces,” said Seward. “These sessions are designed to provide strategies and ideas to help people navigate the complex work of collaborative teams focused on common outcomes.”

David Coffey, Design Thinking Academy director and professor of mathematics, said that participants will learn essential skills for working effectively in teams to creatively solve problems by paying active attention to what people say they need and want.

“Collaboration across boundaries is a fundamental mindset associated with design thinking, but, unfortunately, it is not something we do effectively, which is why employers consistently talk about wanting folks who have skills associated with collaboration,” said Coffey. “Listening is a key component of the empathy phase of design thinking and it is also a learned skill that we don't often pay enough attention to in our teaching.”

Both Pop-up Classes are open to Grand Valley student, faculty and staff, as well as the community. To register, visit the Design Thinking Initiative website.