• Parsons at Open Campus is proud to announce the launch of a new certificate in Design Leadership for Business, a course of study that recognizes the benefits design solutions can offer leaders facing business challenges across industries. Those who take this course sequence will develop skills in design thinking methodologies and emerge equipped to lead innovation and implement creative strategies for inspiring new perspectives across functional areas.

    The Design Leadership for Business Online Certificate consists of five courses. Students planning to earn the certificate are encouraged to take Design Thinking Fundamentals as the first course and Futures and Foresight as the final one. Design Leadership and Management, Design and Innovation for Sustainable Business, and Economic and Social Context of Design may be taken in any order. Students must complete all five courses to receive the Design Leadership for Business Online Certificate. All courses are open to students who wish to enroll in an individual course. Courses are offered with maximum flexibility in mind and typically last six weeks or less.

    Course Descriptions

    Design Thinking Fundamentals

    Design thinking is a practice pioneered by top design firms like IDEO and used by some of the world’s most innovative companies. In this course, you learn the methodology and develop the mindset that will equip you to better understand problems, unlock hidden needs, and design groundbreaking innovations to address those needs. We cover every element of the design thinking approach, from empathy research to ideation to prototyping to getting user feedback and iterating with your designs. You will be able to apply your design thinking skills to your own professional field or discipline, as well as to everyday life.

    Economic and Social Context of Design

    This course surveys the broad economic and social context in which design leaders work. We examine salient phenomena and concepts such as automation, agility, and resilience and discuss how they affect business and design practices. Students develop leadership skills in selected topics that will enable them to influence strategic conversations within their organizations and their industries.

    Design Leadership and Management

    Designing for business is by definition a team effort that requires flexibility, adaptability, and vision. This course is about the theory, methods, and actions necessary to make ideas a reality. Students learn techniques for project management, facilitation, and the creation of viable business models applicable to both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial ventures.

    Design and Innovation for Sustainable Business

    The discipline of design has great power to shape our reality, and with that power comes great responsibility. This course equips design leaders with the tools needed to examine the social and environmental implications of design. Students address issues of ethics and sustainability through case studies and debates and develop their own approach to ethical and sustainable design leadership.

    Futures and Foresight

    Design is about imagining and proposing alternative future possibilities. If we cannot imagine it, we cannot design and build it. This class equips design leaders with futures thinking and forecasting skills necessary to simulate and strategically plan for a volatile and uncertain future. Students learn storytelling and immersive scenario design techniques that will propel them into the realm of science fiction to better equip them to make choices back in our present reality.

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