Design Thinking

Design Thinking: A People-Focused Approach to Defining Problems

Design thinking is a term that is often defined from a bird’s eye view. It’s been called a “framework for innovation”, and a “human-centered” approach to solving problems. But at street level, design thinking is simply about taking a challenge with people at its core, and asking “what would a designer do to solve this?”

Today, design thinking has been re-purposed from the product development cycle to financial services, insurance, education, and even human resources. The classic design process is distilled into a creative problem solving tool, where the first step is defining the problem to be solved.

This workshop will deconstruct the first steps in the design thinking process, and empower participants with a richer understanding of the activities, tools, and mindset inherent to implementing holistic, people-focused solutions in their organizations.

Instructor Bios


Design Thinking: A People-Focused Approach to Defining Problems

  • Peter Kotsonis

    As founder and principal at STORYLINE, Peter is a thought leader and passionate advocate for accelerating customer understanding. He has a proven ability to bridge research, design and branding in order to achieve business objectives. Bringing a rare balance of social understanding and design thinking to programs of various scales, Pete is able to bring clarity to ambiguity and provide the direction and inspiration teams require to take action. At STORYLINE, he serves well known innovators such as 3M, Bose and Philips as well as companies from a variety of industry verticals. Prior to founding STORYLINE, Peter managed foresight, trends and people research at Philips Design in Atlanta, Georgia, conducting ethnographic studies and facilitating ideation workshops across consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, healthcare and toy industries. He was an Experience Design Strategist at Dell in Austin, Texas, where he revitalized Dell consumer brands and led the experience design team for XPS gaming, including the management of participatory game research with Blizzard Entertainment. Prior to that Pete was a Design Strategist at Altitude, Inc. where he led multi-disciplinary design research efforts in North America, Europe, and Japan within consumer, medical and industrial domains. He has produced product designs for Disney, Baby Einstein, and began his career in design ethnography while working at Tupperware in Orlando, Florida. Pete brings valuable perspectives to people research, gained from leveraging not only a background in product design with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology (BFA), but also training in observation, social action, and interpretation from studying Drama at Roger Williams University prior to entering the field of experience design. 

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