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Recently, there were two Design Thinking workshops conducted for students of Ukrainian universities.

First of them was conducted on Saturday, 26th of October for students of biggest technical university of Ukraine: NTUU-KPI. SAP University Alliances sponsored and organized this event.

It was decided to play the DT-game with the 1st year students whose clear and open minds always welcome non-standard challenges and don’t notice limitations. Design Thinking is a relatively new topic for IT students who are mostly focused on technical aspects. So they were very interested in absolutely new area to them.

Despite most of the participants are technical people they were interested in solving problems that were not directly related to computer programming. There were several teams and one of them worked on how to improve food service for students. They identified several crucial needs and insights and suggested reasonable solutions. One solution was to preorder components for sandwiches via a mobile application and then create a sandwich by themselves during a break between lectures. This would make food cheaper to the students. Also, that solution would give enough flexibility for students who have difficult schedule.

Another team worked on a problem of someone who has an expensive car but lives in a criminal district. The goal was to protect the car. The team came up with an interesting solution of having a metal cupola with a remote control that could be installed on a parking lot.

The participants were very impressed with a way how the workshop was conducted. As students, they were accustomed to have long lectures and they really enjoyed a dynamic format of the workshop. Also, the participants enjoyed playing warm-up games like “I am a tree” and “The egg exercise”. The second game was extremely interesting and caused a lot of positive emotions. All teams were able to protect chicken eggs dropped from 5th floor. One team managed to construct a small parachute.

Traditionally, we had “I liked, I wish” session that showed great interest to such events and desire to have them in future.

The second workshop was conducted as a part of the UniversITy conference held on 9th and 10th of November. This conference was organized by Ukrainian branch of the AIESEC. AIESEC is an international youth organization that helps get new experiences, develop skills and personal qualities through participation in the organization of projects and international exchange programs. AIESEC brings together active young people from 113 countries around the world. Members of the organization – it is the students and graduates, who every day are developing personally and professionally towards the development of themselves as leaders who want and know how to change the world for the better. AIESEC believes that developing the professional skills and personal qualities, and gives young people the opportunity to influence the future of the world.

SAP Ukraine was one of partners of the conference and presented “The Wallet project” Design Thinking workshop that took 2 hours. Similarly to the first workshop, participants showed great interest to a new topic. They were highly engaged and demonstrated very creative thinking. One of the most impressive ideas was to design a wallet changing its color depending on owner’s mood. There were several ideas on how to combine modern smartphones with a wallet. Some participants paid attention to security of a designed wallet proposing several ways how to protect it. Another interesting idea was to design a wallet having plugins for different things: coins, cards, banknotes. Customers would construct their wallets based on their needs.

Overall, the participants have demonstrated high interest to the workshop. Many of them have shown good soft skills presenting their solutions. The “I liked, I wish” session was similar to the first workshop and revealed that the participants liked the workshop and would like to have similar events in the future.

Based on the feedback collected during both workshops, Ukrainian students have highly enjoyed Design Thinking workshops and have demonstrated creative thinking. They also showed great interest in Design Thinking and SAP asking questions personally and via social networks like LinkedIn afterwards.

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