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14-11-2017  Applications are open for the Foundation Programme in Design Thinking 

Applications are now open for the Semester 1, 2018 Foundation Programme in Design Thinking for postgraduate students registered at UCT. Click on the button below to find our more about the programme and submit your application for this life-changing, future-definiing training.


10-11-2017  Fourth d-school Foundation in Design Thinking cohort graduates

Today is Friends and Family day at the d-school when graduates of our Foundation Programme in Design Thinking for postgraduate students,present their final project ideas to family, colleagues, supervisors and friends. The day marks the end of the semester-long programme with a graduation ceremony and celebration. On Wednesday 8 November was d-finals, the formal end of the programme where student teams present their proposals and hand over project ideas to the project partners on whose real world challenges, the students were trained.

Have a look at the latest d-stories booklet for information on the programme, and the students and their projects.


13-10-2017  Design Thinking Week

Applications are now open for our next bi-annual Design Thinking Week. If you're a student at any tertiary institution in South Africa, you are eligible to apply for this free introductory course in Design Thinking.

The  Design Thinking Week will take place at the d-school studio in Green Point, Cape Town from 4th to 7th, December 2017.

If you're keen to apply, click on the button below.

15-09-2017  Global Alliance

Yesterday at the d.confestival in Potsdam, Germany, the Global Design Thinking Association was formally established with founding members - including our own d-school (South Africa), as well as the HPI D-School (Germany) Genovasi (Malaysia), schools from Canada and China. and institutions, the London School of Economics and Open Lab (UK) - signing a letter of intent.

The aim of the alliance is for schools of design thinking around the world to collaborate and share knowledge. At a very practical level one this will inclusing sharing coaching and programme resources. Another key intent would be to create a global standard for design thinking while at the same time supporting the uniqueness of each and its locally relevant approaches.

Pictured at the signing is the d-school's director, Richard Perez.

14-09-2017  Team d-school  is at the 2017 d.confestival

Richard Perez, Keneilwe Munyai, Rael Futerman and Rob Kellas are attending the d.confestival in Potsdam, Germany. Follow us on facebook for news on their presentation happening on 15th September.

06-09-2017  Design  Thinking at the Roger Martin book launch

The d-school team did a short demo in Design Thinking at the launch of Roger Martin's book "Making Choices : The surprising path to inspired decisions at work and life." The launch was co-sponsored by Media24 and held at Nasdak pn 04 September 2017.


04-09-2017  Roger Martin and  "Making Choices : The surprising path to inspired decisions at work and life"

Tonight the d-school and Media24 cohosts the first official launch of Roger Martin's new book "Making Choices : The surprising path to inspired decisions at work and life" coauthored with Jennifer Riel and published by Harvard Business Review Press. Martin is visiting Cape Town as the guest of the Graduate School of Business at UCT, where he is delivering a two-day master class.

The event tonight will be held at Nasdak the rooftop venue above Media24 operations.


20-07-2017  New dates for the next Open Courses in Design Thinking

Please note that the dates for the next Open Programmes have been changed to the following:

  • 18 - 20 October, Johannesburg
  • 29 November - 1 December, Cape Town.

For more information you can click on the image below:


You can also read about our Open Courses under education programmes and submit an application here.


10-07-2017  Design Thinking Week

The d-school held its second Design Thinking Week from 3 to 6 July. This four-day training programme is aimed at students from tertiary institutions all over South Africa. Students came from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Eastern Cape), University of Johannesburg (Gauteng), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Western Cape), University of South Africa and the University of Cape Town (Western Cape). 

The outcomes of this four-day programme are:

  • Learning to apply the fundamental tools and techniques of design thinking to real world challenges.
  • Practise in working in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Learning to apply a human-centred approach to problem solving.
  • Learning to reframe a challenge in a multidisciplinary team.


03-07-2017  Richard Perez's debut as a guest columnist for Fast Company

The d-school's director Richard Perez is guest columnist in the latest issue of Fast Company South Africa. Click on the image below for the full article.


06-07-2017  Design Thinking Coaching Programme

The d-school's third training programme for coaches got underway in June. Applicants who made it through the first round of the application process underwent a one-day Fast Forward in Design Thinking. 

Following this six applicants were selected to join the d-school's coaching cohort on an intense training programme that ran from 26 June to 6 July.  The first part of this was a four-day coach training programme. This was followed by shadow-coaching on the Design Week course for students from universities all over the country. Coaches will go on to coach on the student programme under the supervision of the d-school's programme managers as part of their formal coach training certification.


15-06-2017   Design Thinking for future-ready leaders

The d-school's second Open Course in Design Thinking, held in collaboration with the UCT Graduate School of Business Exec Ed programmes has been running from 13 to 15 June. For more details of future open courses, you can check here.  


09-06-2017  Friends and Family Day 

The d-school celebrates the end of student programmes and student graduations with a Friends and Family Day.

This year foundation and advanced students invited colleagues, friends and family members to visit the d-school studio at UCT's Graduate School of Business in Green Point on 2 June to watch their project presentations and join in the traditional pizza and beer break-up celebrations.


07-06-2017  Foundation Programme project presentations

On d-finals day, 31 May, the Foundation Programme student teams presented their project ideas to the project partners Pick 'n Pay, the Health Foundation and Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.


05-06-2017  Celebrating d-finals with the inaugural Advanced Programme class

On the morning of 31 May the d-school's first Advanced Programme in Design Thinking graduates handed over their project proposals to Old Mutual's head of digital Jikku Josephs (seen front in the pic below). The handover followed the presentation of project ideas by the teams to Josephs and other invited guests from Old Mutual. For the duration of the 12 week programme the multidisciplinary student team had been immersed in Old Mutual's business context, setting up a typical design thinking space within Old Mutual's Digital Garage. Four of Joseph's team worked with the student team on two challenges identified by Old Mutual executives.



02-06-2017  d-stories

The d-school celebrated d-finals, the day that student teams present their project ideas to project partners on 31 May, followed by their graduation on 2 June with Friends and Family Day. This semester marked the launch of our first Advanced Programme in Design Thinking for postgraduate students who had already completed our foundation programme. You can read about the programme in our latest d-stories. Click on the image below.

22-05-2017  Applications are open for the next semester long Foundation Programme in Design Thinking.

Click on the button below to access the application form.

And you can read more about the programme here.

19-05-2017  Coaches Training Programme

The deadline for the next coaches training programme is approaching - 31 May 2017. If you're interested apply below. 

26-04-2017  The d-school has just published our first newsletter.

Please email the with the subject d-news to request being added to our d-news subscription database.

01-04-2017  UCT students gear up to innovate for the future

Over 30 postgraduate UCT students from different academic disciplines have embarked on a voyage of exploration which will equip them for a world of fast paced innovation and change.

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT launchesd its design thinking foundation course on Monday 6 March at the institute’s colourful headquarters at UCT Business School’s Breakwater Campus on Portswood Road in Greenpoint. The semester long courses take place twice a year, two days a week.

Design thinking is a methodology originally developed by industrial designers in the 1960’s that enables innovation and new outcomes in all fields of human endeavor from tackling poverty to improving government services to developing new human centered products and services for business.

Founding director of the d-school, Richard Perez explains that the training in design thinking “provides tools, a process, and ultimately a mindset, that equips practitioners to collaboratively develop human-centered solutions to challenges in contemporary contexts that are dynamic and complex.”

When implemented in daily life and professional work, the design thinking tools, process and mindset with which students leave the training, help them to develop a creative approach to problem solving and to contribute to a culture of innovation.

The d-school was founded in Cape Town in August 2015 with funding and academic support from Professor Dr Hasso Plattner-co founder of global business software company SAP AG and officially launched at the Graduate School of Business Breakwater campus on March 9 this year.

Professor Plattner initiated and funded the first academic programmes in design thinking at Stanford University in the USA  in 2005 and at Potsdam in Germany in 2009. This brought academic rigour to design-led innovation practice .

Last year the UCT d-school piloted the first academic programme of its kind in Africa with a group of pioneering students who learnt how to creatively confront real world challenges posed by project partners from the corporate, public and start-up sectors.

UCT’s d-school, as it is commonly referred to, is the only academic institution on the continent which offers academic training and capacitation in design thinking to university postgraduate students and the private sector.

This year’s group of foundation students come from a diverse array of countries and backgrounds, ranging in age from 28 years old to 47 years old from South Africa, the Congo, Italy, Portugal, Botswana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Camaroon, Spain, Egypt and Ghana. Their academic disciplines are even more diverse traversing Educational Technology, City Planning, Law, Social Policy, Economic History, Digital Forensics, Politics, Health, Geomatics, Neuroscience, Architecture, Geology, Geography, Journalism, Business Sport, Chemical Engineering, History and Marketing.

Dr Rael Futerman, programme manager in charge of the foundation course says this diversity of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds at the South African d-school distinguishes it from its sister schools in Stanford and Potsdam  and makes for rich  collaboration which is of great benefit to project partners and students.

For Dr Keneilwe Munyai, the programme manager in charge of the advanced programme in design thinking, the highlight of the course  is observing the transformation from when students arrive in the programme  to when they leave. 

“Students embrace working with people that they would otherwise never engage with because of disciplinary, cultural or language barriers. They work on challenges where they don’t have to be experts  and they learn to accept failure  as part of the journey.”

02-11-2016  Applications are open for our Foundation Programme in  Design Thinking -  Semester 1, 2017

If you're a postgraduate student currently registered at UCT and you would like to participate in our Foundation Programme in Design Thinking, please click on the link below to apply. You can also read about the programme at the bottom of this post.



28-10-2016  Applications are open for our 4-Day Introduction to Design Thinking 6 - 9 December 2016

We spoke about this a few days ago and now we're ready to launch our application process for the d-school's free Introduction to Design Thinking which will run from  6 to 9 December 2016.

We are looking for undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over the country who are interested in exploring creative ways of problem solving in a collaborative environment.

Click on the button below to apply. The deadline for applications is 11 November 2016.

27-10-2016  Fast Forward in Design Thinking for UCT Staff

The d-school is inviting UCT faculty and staff to a 1-day Fast Forward in Design Thinking on 21 November 2016. This is the first of a series of introductory 1-day programmes planned for staff and faculty in 2017.

This one-day fast forward is an introductory programme that will expose participants to the design thinking process, and several supporting principles, methods and tools.

During the day, staff will explore a design challenge in multidisciplinary teams of 5 - 6. They will take a human-centred approach to exploring and framing, developing, and finally proposing a design intervention. 

Please contact Dr Rael Futerman -

For more information click on the symbol below.


26-10-2016  Introduction to Design Thinking for students from all universities in South Africa

As part of our plans for an annual Design Thinking Week in South Africa, the d-school will be offering a free introductory programme in Design Thinking from 6 to 9 December 2016.

We are looking for undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over the country who are interested in exploring creative ways of problem solving in a collaborative environment.

We will be launching the application process for this course in the next couple of days. So watch this space.


25-10-2016  Class of 2nd semester 2016

25-10-2016  The d-school's diverse, inclusive student teams

The d-school has been fortunate to attract the diversity across all spectrums that is vital for the diverse, inclusive teams that are the bedrock of Design Thinking in practice. Here's a glimpse of the student demographics for our Class of 2nd semester, 2016.

21-10-2016  d-stories  Class of 2nd Semester 2016


19-09-2016  Exec Ed students introduced to some Design Thinking

16-09-2016  Join the d-school for an introduction to Design Thinking

Are you interested in being exposed to Design Thinking's design-led innovation model?  Would you like an introduction to the practice of design thinking?

The d-school team will be running a half-day Design Thinking Primer at the South Africa Innovation Summit in Johannesburg on Friday 23 September 2016.

And we'd like to invite you. See the invite below for details.


07-09-2016 Apply now for our open course in Design Thinking Practice

The d-school is offering a  3-day Design Thinking Practice course for leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to learn the design-led innovation methodology to break down silos, manage multi-disciplinary teams, and innovate in complex, fast-changing environments.

Click on the brochure for more information on the course. Or go directly to the application process by clicking on the Apply button.

02-09-2016 - New 3-day course in Design Thinking in Practice

Applications have opened for the d-school's first open course in Design Thinking for executives, leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Have a look at our information brochure for programme details and click the link to apply on the last page.

24-08-2016 News flash!

We’d like to announce that our first open course – a 3-day course in Design Thinking in Practice – has been scheduled for  2 - 4 November 2016.  The programme offers an immersion in design thinking for leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs seeking new ways of thinking, strategising and problem solving;  and wanting to develop techniques for silo-busting and for managing multidisciplinary teams in fast–paced, dynamic environments.  The closing  date for applications is 14 October 2016. Apply here.


Our second semester Foundation Programme in Design Thinking is well underway and postgraduate students on this programme have been just been introduced to the project partners who have submitted the real world challenges that the multi-disciplinary teams will work on over the next two months. 

In the meantime, we’d like to share with you this e-booklet about the pioneering programme in semester one:


Applications have opened for the second Foundation in Design Thinking pilot programme at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT. The deadline for applications is 10 June 2016.


The pioneering students on the first Cape Town d-school pilot semester programme for postgraduates, marked their graduation 0n 18 May 2016, with a presentation to project partners and the d-school team.

Cape Town d-school in the news :
Business Day Live
Cape Craft & Design Institute


d-finals with the pioneering postgraduate students on the first Foundations in Design Thinking programme.