New challenges require new ways of thinking.  Old business and entrepreneurship text-book examples might not be relevant anymore and, what is more, they are not enough to inspire or to help generate ideas for solving emerging challenges. New tools should be used in order to tackle new problems and get to the core of a challenge we are facing. One of those tools is “Design thinking instrument set” issued by Design Elevator. This new product is a set of cards that helps individuals, entrepreneurs, organizations, educators and students to efficiently solve various problems in a creative manner by improving processes and services and focusing on the real needs of the consumers or service users. Each set of cards contains creative and practical tasks for both individuals and teams. Tasks are explained with schemes and illustrations.

Design thinking emerged as a creative problem solving method for designers, but is now used also in various other fields. This thinking method involves 5 main steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test stage. Throughout all of these stages elements of many different disciplines are used, such as organizational learning, psychology, economics and others. This interdisciplinary method puts its main emphasis on the customers and their needs. Design thinking proves to be useful not only when planning to introduce new products, but also when forming policies, developing new services or simply when facing challenges in the decision-making process.  By using this thinking method one can challenge existing assumptions and explore problem areas by involving in the process also consumers that the production or services are targeted at.

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Design thinking method and the new “Design thinking instrument set” can be very helpful also for social entrepreneurs – by focusing on the needs of consumers and the society, social business owners can go through the stages of design thinking and explore new solutions for existing challenges. While there are few instruments created for this thinking method for English-speaking users, “Design thinking instrument set” is created for Latvian-speaking audience.

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