Design Thinking and Innovation Certificate Program

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About Design Thinking and Innovation

Design Thinking is a holistic, human-centered way to tackle the challenges of today's increasingly automated business environment. Design thinking methodology and tools integrate higher order thinking skills like problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration to align with customer expectations and differentiate an organization from the competition. Design thinking brings together key in-demand skill sets that are essential to innovation and bridge the gap between technology and the human experience.

Harvard Business Review explains, “There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.” While design-led companies that foster creativity enjoy a 1.5 times greater market share (source), 71 percent of organizations that practice design thinking report it has also improved the working culture on a team level (source).

CEPE’s Design Thinking and Innovation Certificate program is a hands-on, practical program designed to add value and drive impact now and in the future. Participants will explore topics like anthropological observation, ideation, story listening, storytelling, and using the Business Model Canvas. Instructors will focus on the iterative process of prototyping, user testing and re-testing, and building multidisciplinary teams that pool their unique knowledge. In this certificate program, students will also learn how to optimize and customize tools and strategies for their specific industries and sectors. By diving deep into the user experience, design thinking students will become intentional and empathetic in their innovation, better understand their customers and assess their needs, innovate radical solutions, access untapped potential, and stand out from the competition.

Certificate Snapshot

Courses are delivered remotely, with a blend of virtual live sessions and self-paced activities.

Twice per year (Winter & Summer)


Four, 1 week long classes (workload for each class is 15 hours).

Full certificate cost: $2,196

Course Schedule     Register Now

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CEPE has very knowledgeable instructors with lots of 'hands-on' learning. It's great to know that the content we are learning is truly applied to real life situations in the workforce.

- Amy Day

Who Should Attend

This certificate program is ideal for professionals who want to explore the principles of design thinking and apply them to challenge assumptions, reframe real-world problems, and think outside the box to explore more creative and human-centered solutions.

What You’ll Learn

Upon completion of this program, students will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Develop skills of empathic inquiry and define innovation opportunities with attention to a specific business challenge;
  • Understand the human-centered design approach to the design thinking process;
  • Understand the impact that communication has on design thinking and the innovation process;
  • Develop design and analysis skills that enhance organizational performance.

4 Required Certificate Courses

Courses may be taken individually and in any order unless otherwise noted. If pursuing the certificate, all courses in the certificate program must be completed within three years. A recommended sequence is below.

  • DT401: Design Thinking Fundamentals
    • This course shows participants how to apply a design thinking process to their organizations to create innovative products and services.
  • DT402: Human-Centered Design
    • Taking a human-centered approach, this course will follow the design thinking process of user research, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, problem identification, ideation, prototyping, testing, and implementation.
  • DT403: Narrative and Communication Design
    • In this course, participants will unpack the components of strategic communication, communication challenges and strategies for working in interdisciplinary teams, and communication strategies for supporting the innovation process and stakeholders.
  • DT404: Business, Product, and Service Innovation
    • This course covers product and service innovation techniques and methodologies in parallel, followed by business model analysis and design.