TEDxTIU: Workshop on Ideation and Design Thinking

Author: Mika Arimoto
Editor: Tin D.


TEDxTIU is a recently founded circle this Fall in our campus, led by Saki Arimoto – a third-year undergraduate majoring in Business Economics.

As some people may have known of “TED”, to put it simply, TEDx is a program that aims to spread TED’s ideology throughout the world, encouraging the pop-up of numerous nonpartisan, nonprofit and independently run TEDx organizations in numerous communities. Here in TEDxTIU, they aim to create a platform where “ideas worth sharing” can be heard, starting from organizing events and workshops.

A workshop with Brittany Arthur

Date: Wednesday, 7th of October, 2020. Time: 8 pm JST

On that day lies TEDxTIU’s very first workshop.

Led by Brittany Arthur, the founder and managing director of Design Thinking Japan, host and producer of Business Karaoke Podcast, the workshop’s aim was to help participants understand Ideation and Design Thinking. There were 21 participants from multiple backgrounds and nationalities in this event, including myself.

The flow~

1. Chat box icebreaker

The workshop started with an Icebreaker as we started utilizing Zoom’s chat box function and exchanged social media accounts to stay connected. As Ms. Brittany said, it was extremely important for everyone to connect with each other, especially during the current situation. That was her motive behind the activity, so I simply followed and tried to note down everyone’s account in order to follow them. And everyone was also doing the same, which was refreshing to see for me.

2. Ideation and Design Thinking’s origin

As Ms. Brittany continued to explain the key concepts, I learned that in order to effectively practice design thinking, it is crucial to approach problems with empathy, which was rather interesting. She gave us a business general example about it. If you were to create or improve a product, would you simply do so basing on your understanding of the products or on the customers’ perspectives. A good option would probably be the latter. Thus, it can be said that empathy is the origin of Ideation and Design Thinking.

3. Quick applicational activity

After that, she helped us apply this approach in a situational problem which was about a student struggling to join a circle. We were required to think of a solution to the problem with the newly learned concepts and divide ‘empathy’ for the student into 4 segments: see, think, feel, hear. During the discussion of our own solutions, it was surprising for me to hear some of the participants’ answers may be potential approaches in recruiting TEDxTIU members in the future.

A screenshot at the end of the workshop

My thoughts and the others’

Thanks to Ms. Brittany’s wonderful presentation skills, the workshop was indeed engaging and fun. Overall, everyone was participative and enjoyed the experience. Here are some of their responses:

“The session was very interesting and informative, especially the concept of ideation through empathizing which was new to me. Looking forward to joining more events like these!”

“I really love the empathizing section! As a person who loves to read about psychology, I really liked the idea of getting people involved through empathy!”

I am glad for TEDxTIU that the first workshop was successful. It was informative, interesting, and I was even able to connect with fellow members. As a part of this circle, I look forward to more workshops like this. GOOD JOB to all the people who worked hard to make this event possible.