Building Creative Culture in Organizations

Spring 2017
CSRE 223
8 Consecutive weeks; beginning April 10
Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:20*
4-5 Units
Letter Grade & Local Orgs

***Please note, we will be visiting partner organizations off campus on Wednesdays during class. Therefore, we would strongly encourage students to plan their schedules including extra travel time to and from Stanford. All organizations should be within a 30 minute drive to campus.


When you take a class in design thinking, you walk away confident in your creative skills and fluent in the design process. However, when recent graduates (re)enter the workforce, they quickly become discouraged by the stagnancy of company cultures. They see the need to trigger and sustain change through design thinking, but don’t have the understanding of organizational psychology to do so.

Students will spend half of their class time at the and half of their class time at organizations across Silicon Valley, ranging from startups to large enterprises. The course is highly experiential. You will be working with an interdisciplinary team to tackle an organizational challenge. Through empathy interviews with employees you will learn to identify facilitators and barriers that organizations face when they transition to human-centered and design thinking culture. You will design and test interventions that will help them enhance their creative culture.

In this class we will build four abilities of design thinkers, namely communicating deliberately and knowing your audience well, building and crafting intentionally in order to design interventions that fit the organizational culture, navigating ambiguity of creative projects and how to reach out and earn from other people and diverse contexts.

Come ready to unpack the biggest challenges of creative teams, explore interesting companies, connect with engaging thought leaders, and reflect on the future of work.

Accepting 16-20 Graduate & Undergraduate Students. Beginner design thinkers are encouraged to apply
Apply here by March 10

Teaching Team
Alex Scully – Design Strategist, SAP
Laura Pickel – Curriculum Designer, SAP
Anja Svetina Nabergoj – Lecturer, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design & Associate Professor University of Ljubljana