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Ideas to solutions in 90 minutes: Local organizations to co-host Design Thinking Workshop

Design thinking process graphic

Students, business representatives and community members are invited to a free Design Thinking Workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at CoLab, 312 S Barstow St., Eau Claire.

The event is hosted by the Destination Medical Center of Rochester, Minnesota; CoLab in downtown Eau Claire; and UW-Eau Claire’s Dennis L. Heyde Entrepreneurship Program.

Participants will learn the art of design thinking to address problems and create solutions in just 90 minutes. Design thinking is a process for creative problem-solving using a human-centered approach that includes:

  • Framing: understanding the current situation from a human-centered and empathetic point of view.
  • Ideating: conceptualizing and exploring ideas that might address unmet needs.
  • Experimenting: trying out ideas to learn more.

Participants will learn how to take an idea from a raw concept to a workable solution in a fast-paced, hands-on workshop. Those planning to attend are asked to register online.

The workshop will prepare participants to submit ideas that emerge through design thinking to the Destination Medical Center’s Assistive Tech Challenge, a pitch competition to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face. The Assistive Tech Challenge will be held on April 4, 2020, in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Assistive Tech Challenge will seek solutions to:

  • Alleviating barriers to employment.
  • Reducing the need for and/or easing the demands of direct support on care providers.
  • Developing social skills that better enable people with and without disabilities to interact and cultivate meaningful relationships.
  • Improving access to the community through public infrastructure.

More details about the Assistive Tech Challenge will be announced later this fall. Questions can be directed to