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Design Thinking: Using creativity to solve real problems

In our volatile and fast-moving world, we need solutions that solve real people's problems. Katharina Ehrenmüller knows which methods can be used to create so-called "human-centred innovations". The foundation for this is always creativity - the superheroine of problem solving.

katharina ehrenmueller
manuel grassler

Katharina Ehrenmüller uses design thinking to show companies new ways of finding solutions to real problems faced by customers and stakeholders. As an innovation expert at Pro Active, she supports companies in transformation processes and thus creates fertile ground for innovations. "Katharina Ehrenmüller is convinced that "for innovation to happen, you need the right attitude and people who know how to establish systems in companies that make innovation possible. That is why she is not only a passionate service designer, she also passes on her concentrated knowledge and experience as a lecturer at various universities. The Innovation Agent Academy (IAA) was created in cooperation with CREATIVE REGION LINZ & UPPER AUSTRIA and Pro Active, the second edition of which is currently taking place.

Creativity with method

As facilitator of the Innovation Agent Academy course "Human Centered Innovation & Design Thinking", Katharina Ehrenmüller brings together what belongs together. In the 6-month course, 14 participants from corporations and the creative industries learn to use methods and tools that enable them to design thinking processes and develop new business models through creative approaches. But not only that, they themselves become facilitators of such processes and can thus drive innovation. Both the creatives and the participants from the business world benefit from the interdisciplinarity and the colourful mix of backgrounds. On the basis of a real task for Volkshilfe Upper Austria, they develop ideas and first prototypes on how to inspire even more people for re-use fashion. Second-hand fashion is in fashion and Volkshilfe is looking for innovative ways to create even better access for people. The ideas are analogue, digital or hybrid, but always "human centred". Because the need for a counterbalance to fast fashion is a real human-centred challenge. "In order to find solutions, the participants use concrete creative methods beyond the usual brainstorming," says Katharina Ehrenmüller, explaining how creativity can create something new. The aim of the course is to internalise innovation processes and to use the method sets in their own companies to generate solutions to problems and suitable prototypes.

For Katharina Ehrenmüller, the decisive factor in innovation processes is: "Only through human-centred solutions can real added value be created. Unfortunately, there are plenty of solutions to problems that have to be invented after the fact with a lot of communication effort. This is exactly what she gives the participants of the Innovation Agent Academy supported by KAT.


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The Innovation Agent Academy is supported by Kreativwirtschaft Austria & WKÖ.


Photos: Manuel Grassler, Katharina Ehrenmüller, Verena Kroupa/Creative Region, uxindo/unsplash