Originally founded as the Wharton Design Club in 2012, the club’s mission was to bring awareness to a new trend in the business world – design thinking – and to educate students, faculty, and professionals on why it is important, how it can be used, and what careers integrate design and business.

With our new name, Wharton Innovation & Design, we recognize that design and design thinking are ultimately tools for driving innovation in both new and established organizations. Innovation has many definitions, but we like this one:

“Innovation is significant positive change.”  – Scott Berkus

Innovation is about creating new opportunities for growth, whether that’s by instituting new processes, designing new products and services, or changing your organizational structure. If you like to solve problems, and you strive to do things better; then you are an innovator, and you should join our club.

So, what does design have to do with it?

Many people, when they hear the word design, think: “I can’t draw.” But design doesn’t have to be about artistic talent. In fact, design according to Miriam-Webster:

transitive verb
1 :  to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan :  devise, contrive

Design is about creation, and it is a powerful tool for innovation.

Design thinking is a problem-solving process that centers around human behavior. Starting with design research, the process begins with a deep understanding of the user or customer. Teams use this understanding to generate completely new and fresh ideas, create simple prototypes, and test them in situ with real users. The result can be a whole new way of doing business.

Still skeptical?

Here are some great examples of innovation and design coming to life within some of our favorite companies...

Apple | Steve Jobs on Design

Airbnb | How design thinking transformed Airbnb from a failing startup to a billion dollar business

Capital One | Why Capital One is banking on experiementation

PepsiCo | How Indra Nooyi turned design thinking into strategy