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Design courses launched to support business innovation

22 June 2018
Open courses boosting business innovation through design
The University of Sydney, with the support of the NSW Government, is delivering two open online courses to help businesses and entrepreneurs embrace innovation and grow through design thinking.

Funding from the Department of Industry’s Boosting Business Innovation Program will allow aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to enrol in two University of Sydney courses on business innovation.

Led by Associate Professor Eric Knight from the University's Business School, and Associate Professors Martin Tomitsch and Cara Wrigley from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, the two massive open online courses (MOOCs) will be open to all members of the public thanks to $1.5 million funding from the Department’s Boosting Business Innovation Program.

“The MOOCs reflect the University’s innovative approach to learning and are an example of our commitment to teaching the skills needed to thrive in a world that is rapidly changing,” said Professor Pip Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education).

Professor Pattison will open the industry breakfast on Monday 25 June, where Executive Director of Industry, Trade & Investment at the NSW Department of Industry Kylie Bell will officially launch the new MOOCs; 

Entrepreneurial managers will learn how to bring design thinking into their corporate strategy in the five week course taught by Associate Professor Eric Knight, Dr Carla Harris and Christopher Murphy.

Dr Harris completed the course as part of her MBA at the University of Sydney, during which she developed an app to keep track of retirement savings called Longevity. The app is an example that came out of the University’s close relationship with Swiss Re, explained Associate Professor Knight who is also the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research – Enterprise & Engagement).

“Our students confront the challenges faced by truly pioneering companies and develop customer-centric prototypes as part of the course,” said Associate Professor Knight. “We’re guiding our students through real-world projects and using the live experience to get closer to clients, end users, and technology investment.”

The second course will also run over five weeks and will focus on how design thinking can be used for strategic and innovative advantage within a profession.

“We are at a really interesting point in time, where design is becoming a capability enhancing skill. There are aspects of design as a process that are no longer limited to design professionals,” said Associate Professor Martin Tomitsch, Chair of Design at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

“Anyone can think like a designer. Through our new online course, we aim to make some of these insights openly available to everyone.”

Designed by Associate Professors Martin Tomitsch and Cara Wrigley, the second course will feature case studies and interviews with industry professionals from Atlassian, Design+Industry and Wunderman-Bienalto.

Both courses are free but there will be a minimal fee to receive a certificate of completion.

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