Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving

Design Thinking icon.

About This Program

Solve complex business challenges and promote industry leadership with a systematic approach to creativity and innovation. In Design Thinking for Innovative Business Problem Solving, you’ll bypass artistic abstraction and use design as a practical, everyday process to spur innovation, organic organizational growth, and effective strategy implementation. In this certificate program, you’ll learn the best procedure for generating and testing concepts-one that combines brainstorming, visualization, and other right- brained thinking with traditional left-brained analysis.

Join Dr. Dan Fogel and guest Greg Jackson to learn more!

Program Details

  • Location: Wake Forest University, Charlotte Center
  • Duration: Winter Semester
    January 11 – March 1, 2018
    8 Sessions
  • Class Times: Thursdays, 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Cost: $3600
  • Early Registration Cost: $3500
  • Early Registration Deadline: December 11, 2017

Next start date: January 11, 2018

The Wake Forest University Certificates Program is an open-enrollment, non-credit bearing program. (See Certificate Eligibility)

 Download Certificate Overview

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What You’ll Learn

  • Learn how designers and artists use big-idea thinking to make faster and smarter progress toward their goals-and how you can do it,
  • Discover why traditional critical reasoning can actually increase the innovation risks and costs of problem solving,
  • Practice learning launches to make quick, meaningful decisions about moving new concepts forward,
  • Reduce the new launch unknowns to a concrete list of challenges you can solve with existing resources,
  • Generate new business offerings based on the needs and suggestions of your customers,
  • Identify the sweet spot of innovation-exactly when to launch new product or service ideas and outpace your competition.

    Who is this for?

This program is designed for managers and executives who want to bring their businesses to the forefront of innovation and more successful problem-solving. It’s especially helpful for those who need to lead teams and cross-functional units in problem-solving initiatives and next-level growth ideation. Also managers responsible for implementing strategy will get many skills from these sessions.

Certificate Eligibility

Certification: Participants successfully completing the work within the given course timeframe and attending all in-class sessions will be eligible to receive a Wake Forest University Certificate. We invite you to contact us with questions or for more detail.

The Wake Forest University Certificates Program is an open-enrollment, non-credit bearing program.

Program Prerequisites

Participants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Any requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the program director at

Certificate Course Details

  • Course Content

    • Session 1, 1/11/18
      Process and Mindset
      What is Design Thinking?
      Deductive, Inductive, Abductiive Thinking
      Choosing a Project; Design a Brief

    • Session 2, 1/18/18
      Getting Started With Some Focus
      Observe, Engage, Immerse
      Point of View
      What, where, who, when, how, how much, why
    • Session 3, 1/25/18
      Capturing Empathy
      Review Maps
      Story Share & Capture
      A Jazz Band Can Teach Us
    • Session 4, 2/1/18
      Imagine; Prototype and Test

      Make it Real
      Build to Think
      Types of Prototypes
      Biomicry as Design Principles
    • Session 5, 2/8/18
      Continue Prototyping
      Getting Physical
    • Session 6, 2/15/18
    • Session 7, 2/22/18
      The Launch!
      Learning from Markets
      Business Models
    • Session 8, 3/1/18
      Project Presentations

    Special Experiences

    • You will get a chance to work on a specific project and get feedback from the professors and other participants,
    • We will experience the arts: listen to a jazz band and discuss their process for making music, talk to designer and learn how he creates journey maps, talk to a person who uses nature as her design criteria, and hear from an expert storyteller about the power of stories in organizations,
    • Between sessions, optional experiences that enhance your skills,
    • Discuss several examples of using design thinking through actual case studies,
    • Each class period will provide time for you to work on your projects and get feedback,
    • Discuss your organization’s challenges with strategy implementation with an expert on strategy formulation and implementation.
  • Meet the Instructors

    Dr. Daniel S. Fogel, Lead Faculty. Dan Fogel is an Executive Professor of Strategy. He specializes in strategic management, especially innovation processes in firms, including those located in emerging and transition economies and in emerging industries.  Dr. Fogel received his undergraduate and master degrees from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He has held academic positions at the University of Houston, Tulane University, and the University of Pittsburgh and has been a senior manager at two oil companies and a hospital system. His international research and teaching had been conducted in several different countries in South America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. He was Dean of the International Management Center, Budapest, Hungary; Dean for the Czech Management Center in Prague, Czech Republic, and Associate Dean at the University of Pittsburgh and Tulane University. He was Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Institute for Industrial Competitiveness at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. He was Associate Dean Working Professional Programs, Dean of Charlotte Programs and Executive Professor of Strategy at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He is at Wake Forest University as Director of the Master of Arts in Sustainability and is the Graduate School Research Professor in Sustainability.

    His research and teaching areas are in environmental sustainability, global sustainable business and strategy including strategic change management and innovation for medium and large organizations. His current focus is on how organizations adopt sustainability practices and principles as part of their core strategies. He has published in behavioral studies, education, health care, psychology, sociology, economics, and management journals, and has written several book chapters, books, cases and popular press articles. His books include Managing in Emerging Market Economies (Westview) and Firm Behavior in Emerging Market Economies(Avebury); The Business of Sustainability , Law and Politics of Sustainability, and Measurement, Indicators, and Research Methods for Sustainability (all three with Berkshire Publishing). His current book is entitled Sustainable Strategy: A Natural Environmental Lens on Organizations and Management. (Routledge).

    Dan Fogel has consulted for diverse organizations, such as Duke Energy, Bosch, PPG, General Electric (Hungary and USA), Motorola (Brazil), City of Charlotte, KeyCorp, Lockheed Martin, Lucent (Brazil), TESS (Brazil), Carvajal S.A. (Colombia), McGraw Hill, Samsung, AT&T (Corporate), Parker Hannifin, Unisys, Keviep (Hungary), Timkin, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pfizer, Inc., Holiday Inn, Inc., Pennsylvania Blue Shield, Raleigh City Government, Tuscarora, TENNECO International, Wachovia, Bank of America, ELON University, and Wake Forest Medical Center. His awards include numerous research grants, multiple teacher-of-the-year awards, a Fulbright Scholarship to Brazil, the Winner of the Yoder-Heneman Award, and several times the Distinguished Professor Awards. Dan Fogel has served and is serving on Boards of Directors or Advisory Boards within the United States and abroad and is Chairman of EcoLens, Chairman of The EcoLens Network and Chairman and CEO of SP3.

    Letron Brantley is a business intelligence specialist and is passionate about the effective use of data to achieve competitive advantage.  “It is important for companies to be sensitive to the changing world around them so that they can adapt quickly before the competition.”  Letron brings his knowledge of BI to his working band, Jazz Revolution, where he has been able to out pace many competitors in the local and regional “band-for- hire” market.

    Band Leader | Jazz Revolution; Senior Data Integration Developer | Charter Communications.  Jazzin

    Michael Coe is currently Vice President of Corporate Reputation and Media at Duke Energy and is responsible for corporate media relations, social media, brand journalism, internal communications and executive communications. Michael previously served as senior vice president and senior partner at FleishmanHillard, providing strategic counsel and leading integrated communications campaigns for clients such as BP, AT&T, Dell and the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE). He focused on reputation management, media relations, crisis communications, stakeholder engagement, executive communications, strategic messaging, content development, financial communications and consumer product launches.

    His other work has also included Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, developing communications programs that raised awareness of renewable energy technologies and showcased innovations and educating key stakeholders on research breakthroughs occurring at the laboratory. He also coordinated public participation activities throughout Idaho for the laboratory’s Environmental Restoration program.

    Michael graduated from Weber State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

    Eric Gorman is owner/designer at Wily and a business strategist with Faster Glass Consulting, helping organizations apply design principles and practices in service to big challenges. Eric has worked as a designer and facilitator on design thinking projects domestically and overseas for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies (Coca-Cola, Michelin, Syngenta), federal and city government teams (USAID and the City of Charlotte), as well as prominent nonprofits and institutions (McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Kresge Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Knight Foundation). Eric’s skills include service and experience design, visual design, 3D sketching, ethnographic research, and facilitation. Previously, Eric worked as an urban planner for a multi-national engineering/consulting firm where he applied GIS, design visualization, and public engagement skills on high-speed rail, transit, bridge, greenway and highway projects.

    Eric earned a B.A. in Political Science (magna cum laude, with honors) and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (summa cum laude) from Florida State University.




  • Time & Location


    All classes are held on Thursday from 6:00-9:00 PM.


    Course will be held at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center in Uptown Charlotte: 200 N. College St. Ste 150 Charlotte, NC 28202

    Parking is available at no charge in the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center Parking Garage located on 5th Street and adjacent to the Wake Forest Charlotte Center.  (You may enter the garage from either 5th or 6th Street.)  Please bring your parking ticket in for validation.


  • Cost

    Cost: $3600
    Early Registration Cost: $3500
    Early Registration Deadline: December 13, 2017

    What’s Included

    • Some course materials are provided
    • Parking provided, in the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center Parking Garage
    • Coffee and light snacks are available
    *Additional course materials may be recommended for student purchase.

For More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please contact us.