Catalyst shows you how to use Design Thinking to enable agency. It is a practical course of 4 workshop sessions over two weeks designed to assist individuals to work through the nature of a challenge they want to address by following a design thinking process. As part of the course, you will work in teams, and can select either to bring along a challenge you want to address, or you may work as a team on a challenge offered by another participant.

Using the structure of design thinking for the sequence of the course is useful because Design thinking is about believing we can make a difference, and having an intentional process in order to get to new, relevant solutions that create positive impact. Design Thinking gives you faith in your creative abilities and a process for transforming difficult challenges into opportunities for design.


Course $1400 + gst


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Product Description

What to expect during Catalyst:

Our first Catalyst course ran from February 10th– 20th in 2014 (images above).

Catalyst is a sequence of 4 workshop sessions over 2 weeks, with short tasks to do in between, so essentially this means you’ll have two weeks to work through a challenge yet only 4 of those days will require your attendance at workshop sessions.  The short tasks will happen in your own time outside of the workshop.

The sequence in a nutshell occurs as follows

Stage 1: full day + half
Awaken Agency
  • Intro to context for change
  • Speakers; challenge, choice, change
  • Write your own challenge – choice – change + select team
  • Review the Challenge + Prepare for research
During 2-3 days away from course:2 hour task in your own time
Research + Gather inspiration

Stage 2 full day                           
Insights + Imagine/Dare to Dream 
  • Capture Learnings from your research findings
  • Define the insights + Frame Opportunities
  • Generate Ideas
Stage 3 full day                           
Imagine + Experiment
  • Refine Ideas
  • Create prototype
  • Build strategy for Design testing /feedback
During a week away from course  3-4 hour task in your own time
Design Testing (gather feedback)

  • Test your design prototype with intended users, and facilitate Feedback conversations
Stage 4 half day + lunch
Plan the Evolution
  • Share lessons from Design Testing + Track Learnings
  • Adjust strategy + Plan the next moves forward
  • Celebrate with a wrap up lunch!

You can use Design Thinking to approach any challenge            

Design Thinking is a structured approach to generating and evolving ideas. It has distinct phases that help navigate the development from identifying a design challenge to finding and building a solution. It’s an approach that relies on your capacity to engage with something new, be willing to explore, experiment, observe carefully,  interpret what you observe, be intuitive, and develop ideas that respond to what you’re learning.

The process of design thinking gives structure to the stages of creating change. It starts with research, then engages in interpretation of the insights you gather, generating creative responses to your insights and then experimenting, testing your design on others, evaluating and evolving your ideas.

During catalyst, you’ll discover what is possible if you embrace experimentation and allow yourself to:

Embrace your beginner’s mind.
Have an abundance mentality.
Start with, “What if?” instead of “What’s wrong?”
Step out of your zone of comfort and learn from and with others.
Collaborate with others

For any questions regarding the course- please use the contact details below


  1. out of 5

    The most valuable part of the Catalyst workshop was learning the ability to think laterally about an issue and come up with an outcome that was completely different than I originally imagined

  2. Jed Gunn says :
    out of 5

    The most valuable part of the Catalyst workshop was having a structure for the process of design thinking so that the creative and challenging elements were in a context of the overall process- this allowed me to go with these elements more easily

  3. Theresa Brown says :
    out of 5

    The most valuable part of the Catalyst workshop was Experience mapping and the importance of revisiting this several times throughout the design process

  4. out of 5

    The most valuable part of the Catalyst workshop was that it enabled shared creativity and some risk taking while applying a fairly rigorous process for understanding and developing a response to a problem. This helped us to arrive at an unexpected and exciting way to approach the issue.

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