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Design Thinking for Business: From Basics to Advanced Practice

The Power of Design Thinking to Solve Complex Challenges

Harness the power of design thinking to boost your ability to tackle complex, customer-centric business challenges and address impending threats. Explore creativity, design thinking, and innovation for businesses.

Benefits of studying IESE’s Design Thinking for Business Program

#2 in Executive Education 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School
Because we’re number one and you will also explore the following topics:

  • Customer centricity. Learn how cross-functional teams can coalesce around customer needs to build a shared understanding of purpose and clear user-centered focus.
  • Novel solutions. Explore new approaches and design thinking strategies to solve customer-centered problems in a wide range of business contexts.
  • How to use design thinking impact to turn risk into opportunity. Learn how to turn obstacles into new business opportunities by engaging your team and leveraging their unique talents and perspectives. Explore succesful design problem solving examples..
  • Better results at lower risk. Create and implement customer-centric solutions with business impact, faster and more effectively.

The “Design Thinking for Business: From Basics to Advanced Practice” Program’s content will be structured in the following way:

The first block of the design thinking executive program focuses on the need for novel approaches like design thinking to catalyze strategic transformation and bridge the gap between dramatic change and positive corporate outcomes.

In the second block, participants will explore the power of design thinking as a problem-solving approach and its ability to simultaneously serve both customer and corporate interests. By combining concrete tools and techniques, design thinking offers organizations an in-depth understanding of end-user needs, while enhancing managerial competencies to solve human-centered challenges.

Theory comes to life in the final block, which features numerous examples of real-world design-thinking applications in a range of corporate contexts.

  • Corporate Transformation: Navigating Complexity
    Explore to develop a design thinking in business strategy: Strategies to integrate design thinking into corporate decision-making frameworks and guidelines to address threats head-on.
  • Hands-On Exercise: Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation
    An engaging simulation to acquire an up-close understanding of distinct phases in the design-thinking methodology.
  • Uncovering Needs and Generating Opportunities
    Insights to develop a deeper understanding of customer interests by discovering latent needs and focusing on the original challenge.
  • Concept Validation
    Prototyping and experimentation to test ideas and learn from them quickly.
  • Design-Thinking Applications
    Apply key learnings to dissolve crisis situations, design and develop new customer-centric initiatives, redefine business models and apply strategic problem-solving.

You can view the program’s format and learning map here.

Is This Program Right for You?
The “Design Thinking for Business: From Basics to Advanced Practice” program is highly beneficial for managers responsible for business development, transformation, customer centricity, talent management, strategy implementation, customer service, strategic projects and innovation initiatives.

The faculty of IESE’s Design Thinking Program is composed of professionals who are involved not only in teaching but also in research and in the business world.

Joaquim Vilà | IESE Business SchoolJoaquim Vilà (Academic Director)
Professor of Strategic Management
PhD in Strategic Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Master’s in Organization and Strategy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Certified Design Thinking, IDEO and Experience Point
IAP-Harvard Business School on Design Thinking
Xavier Camps
Growth and Digital Transformation Consultant
Executive Master’s in Business Innovation, Deusto Business School
Executive MBA, EADA and University of Stellenbosch Business Schools
Philippe Delespesse
Founder partner, Inteligencia Creativa & Binnakle Innovation Games
MBA in Business Administration, Solvay Business School
Alejandro Lago
Professor and Head of Operations, Information and Technology
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
Master’s in Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
Elisabeth de Morentin
Global Services Concept Lead, Roche Diabetes Care
Professor Design Manager, Istituto Europeo di Design
Master’s in Design Thinking-Integrative Thinking, Illinois Institute of Technology
Scott Paterson
CEO and Founder, Adventuring Ventures

Senior Lecturer, California College of the Arts
Master’s in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University
John Pourdehnad
Professor of Complex Systems Leadership, Thomas Jefferson University
Founder and Principal Consultant, Systems Wisdom
Former Associate Director, Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement of the Systems Approach, University of Pennsylvania
PhD in System Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Methodology and Format
IESE’s blended programs accelerate growth and boost business performance through a strategic and seamless interplay of highly engaging online and onsite content.

This program comprises two online modules and a three-day on-site module on IESE’s campus in Barcelona. All modules deliver an engaging, high-impact learning experience by interweaving a strategic blend of academic methodologies, including the case method, lectures, expert-panel session, exercises, best practices and a design-thinking simulation.

Kick-off | Online
June 7, 2023

You can view the program’s format and learning map here.

Admission Process & Fees
The admission process entails a three-step process:

  1. Complete and submit the online application.
  2. The Executive Education Department will email you to acknowledge receipt and provide further details on program dates, pre-program academic materials and bank details to submit payment.
  3. Proceed with the payment of the program’s fee. This is an essential requisite to access the pre-readings and participate in the program. Two weeks before the start date, participants receive an email with a user name to access the IESE Virtual Campus and pre-readings.


Full Blended Program:

  • General fee: € 5,350
  • Alumni fee: € 4,815
  • IESE Alumni Assn. members: € 4,548
    Executive Education Certificate fee: An additional 5% discount on the general or IESE Alumni Association member fee.

The program fee is tax-exempt and includes academic materials and most meals during the on-campus module. Travel and accommodation expenses are not included. Please contact us about discounts for IESE graduates, Alumni Association members, corporate agreements and multiple registrations from the same company.

The program includes preparatory coursework, which participants will receive with sufficient lead time. Payment is required in order to access this material.

Please consult our cancellation policy. Places are limited and filled in strict order of registration.

Participants in the on-campus Barcelona edition can benefit from special rates at the following hotels: AC Victoria Suites (Marriot) 4*, Sansi Pedralbes 4*, Abba Garden 4*, Meliá Sarriá Barcelona 5*, Upper Diagonal 4*.

Payment Details
We accept payments by credit card or wire transfer.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received within 20 days before the program start are subject to a fee equivalent to 25% of tuition. IESE reserves the right to cancel this edition or modify dates up to 20 days prior to its start. IESE is under no circumstances responsible for travel expenses incurred. Participants should consider travel cancellation coverage in the exceptional event that the program is cancelled or if they are unable to attend for personal or professional reasons.


Blended: Online & Barcelona

Kick-off: June 7, 2023 (online)
Module 1 (online): June 14, 21 & 28, 2023

Module 2 (BCN campus): July 4 – 7, 2023
Post program session: October 4, 2023


Focused Programs
Sonia Sainz | Associate director
(+34) 93 253 4220
How to arrive




  •  Companies with corporate agreements with IESE: discount of up to 20%.

    Discount on multiple applications, for individuals and teams: up to 25% for groups of four or more people.

    The more focused programs you take, the more benefits you will receive: you can get discounts from 5% up to 15%.

    Contact here the Focused Program team to find out conditions and more details.

  •  Special price for alumni: 10% discount.

     Special price for Members of the IESE Alumni Association: 15% discount. Recommend 2 participants and each one will also get 15% off.

    Loyalty card: IESE alumni or members who take more than 1 program annually will accumulate discounts of up to 30%.

    Contact here the Focused Program team to find out conditions and more details.

  • Entrepreneurs.

    Executive women.


    Contact here to find out more about the scholarships’ criteria and admission process.

  • If interested in obtaining Executive Education Certificate:

    Complete, at least, 4 Focused Programs, in English or Spanish, within three years. The 4 programs must total a minimum of 12 days of learning.

    In addition to earning the IESE Executive Education Certificate, you will enjoy a series of other exclusive benefits:

    Professional guidance with an IESE adviser.

    5% discount on any future Focused Program.

    Possibility of becoming a Member of the IESE Alumni Association, which delivers a broad array of exclusive benefits. Discover here how to make the most of the membership.

Focused Programs Portfolio | IESE Business School


#1 in Executive Education 2015-2020 by Financial Times | IESE Business School

#2 in Executive Education 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School
#3 in Open Programs 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School