Biases and bad habits often get in the way of innovation and positive change. In the Sullivan Foundation’s next Ignite Masterclass, Kaveh Sadeghian of the Center for Social Impact Strategy will delve into the core principles of design thinking, a process for solving problems in a creative, human-centered way.

Ignite Masterclass facilitator Spud Marshall will host Sadeghian in two sessions titled Design Thinking for Personal Growth + Social Innovation, both presented on Thursday, October 15. The first session takes place from 9:30-10:45 a.m. (ET), followed immediately by the second session from 10:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m. (ET).  All Ignite Masterclasses are free. You can register for the first session here and for the second session here.

Click here to learn more about Sullivan’s Ignite Masterclass series and upcoming sessions.

a photo of Kaveh Sadeghian

Kaveh Sadeghian

Sadeghian will introduce participants to the core principles of design thinking, creativity and social innovation. The session will explore why meaningful work is so hard to come by and how you can use design thinking methodology to identify and ultimately create opportunities that exist at the powerful point of intersection between your identity, values and the problems that weigh most heavily on your community.

Students in classes taught by faculty members from seven colleges and universities will also participate in this Ignite Masterclass session. The faculty members include Montressa Washington, Ph.D., of Shenandoah University; Melissa Nelson of Rollins College; Bruce Dorries, Ph.D., of Mary Baldwin University; Susan Conradsen, Ph.D., of Berry College; Melanie Bullock Harris of Elon University; Linda Feltman of Penn State University; and Valeri Werpetinski of the University of Illinois.

In the September-October 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Jeanne Liedtka, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, described design thinking as a “social technology” that “has the potential to do for innovation exactly what [Total Quality Management] did for manufacturing: unleash people’s full creative energies, win their commitment and radically improve processes.”

“By now most executives have at least heard about design thinking’s tools—ethnographic research, an emphasis on reframing problems and experimentation, the use of diverse teams, and so on—if not tried them,” Liedtka wrote. “But what people may not understand is the subtler way that design thinking gets around the human biases (for example, rootedness in the staus quo) or attachments to specific behaviorial norms (‘That’s how we do things here’) that time and again block the exercise of imagination.”

Sadeghian is the creative director and founding member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy and a faculty member for the Executive Program in Social Innovation Design. He designs and facilitates leadership development programs, leveraging leading practices in organizational psychology and design thinking to help impact leaders work more effectively and compassionately.

Sadeghian also consults for high-impact organizations and speaks at purpose-driven conferences, designing and leading interactive workshops that increase clarity, confidence and community. He has trained more than 4,000 impact leaders, and the online programs he helped design have reached more than 90,000 learners to date. Prior to co-founding the Center, Sadeghian was a change manager for Ashoka, where he managed the development, launch and expansion of a nationwide high school social entrepreneurial incubator program.

Throughout Fall 2020, the Sullivan Foundation will host weekly Ignite Masterclass workshops and networking sessions taught by social innovation leaders from around the U.S. Each class features an expert mini-lecture on a specific social innovation, followed by a chance to network with peers, Sullivan coaches and other social innovators. All sessions are designed for college students and faculty alike and are free to the public.

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