More than 40 Bitkom members participated in a design-thinking workshop orchestrated by the Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC) at AppHaus Heidelberg. The goal of the one-day workshop was to provide insights into design thinking methodologies and demonstrate how a design-led innovation approach can address cognitive computing challenges.

Bitkom, Germany´s digital association, offers a variety of membership services to companies. Founded in 1999 as a merger of individual industry associations, Bitkom represents more than 2,300 companies in operating as part of the digital economy, among them 1,000 SMEs, 300 start-ups, and big global players. These companies represent a spectrum across telecommunications, software and IT, internet services, manufacture hardware, and consumer electronics.

The DCC team started the day with a keynote by Michael Byczkowski, Head of the DCC’s Customer Design Engagement, talking about the value of design, how to enable user experience design at SAP, and which related services SAP offers.

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Afterwards, participants were introduced to the design thinking process by working along Leporello – a tool used to learn the methodology. They worked in groups of six, supported by five design thinking coaches. The design challenge – “How can cognitive computing resources make my personal learning experience more productive?” – sparked a variety of great ideas. For example, one of the working groups developed a personal digital learning assistant using glasses and earplugs; it was a solution that delivered “knowledge to go.” A highlight for everyone involved was the presentation of the different prototypes using a product box.

Mathias Weber, Chairman of the Bitkom focus group for cognitive computing, called the day “perfect.”

“Many of the participants have stopped by to express their appreciation!” Weber said. Overall, everybody was excited to learn how to apply design-thinking methods for business innovation. While innovation does not happen in one day, the workshop successfully introduced the methodology to the group and let participants experience the value of design first hand.

Many of the companies that participated have huge opportunities for digital transformation laying ahead of them. Now, they are better prepared to apply design-driven innovation and have it be the key to their success!

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