Design Thinking seminar April 24 in Kansas City to help spur business innovation

What happens when you put some highly creative architecture professors in a room with some intensely quantitative business professors and ask them to solve a problem?

Design thinking.

This hybrid approach to problem solving is the focus of a new interdisciplinary executive education seminar taught by faculty members from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School and the College of Architecture.

“Design Thinking and Innovation,” presented in cooperation with KC America’s Creative Crossroads, will be held from 7-9 a.m., Wednesday, April 24 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sam Chun, PhD, senior lecturer in management practices at Olin, and Bruce Lindsey, dean of the College of Architecture/Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, will discuss simple tools to accelerate visualization and enhance one’s ability to express creatively, communicate new ideas and spur innovation.

“We are taking advantage of how different disciplines within the university approach and solve problems,” says Panos Kouvelis, PhD, senior associate dean and director of executive programs at Olin.

“Design thinking has been popularized as a transformational way to solve problems,” he says. “Architects and artists approach problems in a very creative way. At the same time we would like to approach problems in a creative way, but within a business context. We want to find the synergy between the two ways of thinking.”

“Design is a process for discovering innovative solutions to solve complex problems within dynamic contexts,” Lindsey says. “Business is nothing if not dynamic, and innovation is the competitive landscape.”

For more information on the event, visit the executive education site.

Washington University in St. Louis offers its highly-ranked EMBA program in Kansas City. Launched in 2010, the program addresses key management issues such as developing organizational leadership; operating strategically in global and emerging markets; creating a culture of innovation; and generating sustainable, profitable growth.

An information session will be held May 2 and a program preview June 15. For more information, visit