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Design Management: Leading the Way to a Brighter Future

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Collaboration in action

Design has the power to change the world.

We’ve proven it. However, only the most forward thinking leaders realize that creativity is the next competitive advantage in the arms race to being innovative in the era of social media and the global “experience economy”. Design Management—and more specifically Design Thinking—empowers us with the skills and knowledge to make strategic decisions that foster innovation and a culture of creativity.

On a more personal level, the Design Management MFA program at SCAD has provided me with opportunities to collaborate with highly diverse, multi-disciplinary teams and world-class clients. I also had the pleasure of earning a BFA in Illustration with a Minor in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. I am endlessly grateful for the versatile palette of skills this has led me to develop. My education has allowed me to become fluent in art and design, as well as business development, innovation, branding and strategy. I am an avid learner and always enjoy a creative challenge.

Design Management has prepared me for the real world by giving me the power of foresight. I truly believe any problem can be solved with the correct approach and strategic combination of Design Management methods. We hold the power to develop the products, services and brands of the future thatwill transform culture.

Two of the most impactful lessons Design Management has taught me—that I often wish I would have learned earlier in life—are the power of empathy and the importance of a systems thinking perspective. It is through empathy that we are truly able to put our differences aside—transcending personal biases— and reach a place of mutual respect and understanding. From a design perspective, empathy empowers us co-design innovative solutions for the true needs of people and positively impact their lives. Whether it be gaining insights from user group, or resolving an interpersonal conflict, empathy has proven to be an indispensible tool. On the other hand, systems thinking allows us to gain a holistic perspective, challenging us to reach beyond the boundaries of a “simple explanation” or a “simple solution”. I also believe approaching the design process with empathy and a systems thinking perspective—in the manner of Design Thinking—is our only hope for tackling the wicked problems that plague our world and hinder global prosperity.

This frame of mind is one that has forever changed the lens with which I view the world and my duty as a design manager and innovator. Empathy and systems thinking have been endlessly valuable in transforming my outlook on both my personal life and design career. Organizations such as the Design Management Institute (DMI) have an incredible platform from which to inspire large-scale change and create a lasting community of practice in the design world. This can be achieved by continuing to change the status quo, and by spreading a message of prosperity by means of collective impact.

Together we can design a brighter future.

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