Design thinking is an approach to design that aims to introduce solutions that address real, as opposed to perceived, needs. It aims to solve difficult problems, to which no solution may appear to exist at first glance.
Design thinking is a highly user-centered approach. Contrary to traditional user-centered design approaches, which often rely on traditional means such as questionnaires for documenting user needs, design thinking aims to highlight user needs, experiences from using a solution, and feelings. Design thinking goes about this goal through a process of empathy, through which designers observe and understand the user, problem definition, where designers use the input from users and their own experience to accurately define the problem at hand, ideation, where designers introduce a rich pool of ideas that range from conventional to out-of-the-box, prototyping, and evaluation.
Design thinking may be deployed for solving both business and social entrepreneurship problems. It is important as most problems in the near future will be design problems, whether they are related to education, health, clean energy, pollution mitigation, natural resource management, climate change mitigation, and more.