Business & Finance |
Northcott Innovation

Stanford business design experts heading down under for rare opportunity

Experts from the prestigious Stanford University will visit Sydney for the first time in March to deliver a pioneering Design Thinking for Social Innovation program for business professionals and leaders from the private, not-for-profit and government sectors.

Sarah Soule, Morgridge Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d. school), and Matt Rothe, a lecturer at the d. school, will teach participants about how to use design thinking to innovate their products, services and organisations.

“Design Thinking is a method that’s been proven to effectively address many complex business, organisational and social challenges, ranging from infant mortality to the delivery of health services,” said Kerry Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer of event organiser Northcott Innovation.


“Northcott Innovation has partnered with Robyn Lui from Social Change Collective to bring Matt and Sarah, two renowned Design Thinking professionals, to Australia so they can share their expertise with business professionals and leaders from the private, not-for-profit and government sectors.”

Ms Stubbs said she and Dr Lui decided to bring the experts down under after learning from them during a recent Executive Program for Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford.

“We found design thinking to be an incredibly valuable problem solving tool in our own organisations and a strong understanding of this process is almost essential for any business or organisation working in the innovation space and looking to remain relevant in an ever changing marketplace.”

Ms Stubbs said businesses and not-for-profit organisations have historically primarily focused on their organisational goals when developing products and services to meet the needs of consumers and the objectives of their organisation.

“In a world where consumers are exercising their right to choose more than ever before, design thinking puts consumers at the centre of the problem solving, product and service design, and development, processes.

“Design Thinking facilitates codesign and innovation, and offers the skills to reframe problems as opportunities that not only change organisations, but society as a whole.”

The Design Thinking for Social Innovation program runs from March 30 to April 2 at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, with a Masterclass and Executive Program on offer.

Entry to the course is competitive. To find out more information and register an expression of interest visit