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Human-Centred Design Thinking

Fall, Winter and Summer entry available

In our rapidly changing environment, leaders are asked to work on a wide variety of complex issues that are characterized by greater ambiguity, uncertainty, and stakeholder disagreement. In too many situations, issue resolution efforts fail largely because leaders, employees, and teams do not have a systematic approach to design thinking as they work on these complex problems and opportunities. This 3-day course on Human-Centred Design Thinking is based on Dr. David Weiss’ co-authored book Innovative Intelligence and his subsequent design thinking work. This course teaches participants best practices in human-centred design thinking, how to apply it to real issues and participants’ situations, and how to avoid thinking traps that can limit effective design thinking.

Course Learning Outcomes

This 3-day conference will explore the following:

  • What kinds of thinking skills are needed for complicated and complex issues?
  • How can you apply human centred design thinking skills to gain insight and discover innovative solutions to complex issues?
  • What are the traps to avoid that may limit effective design thinking?
  • What are real life examples and experience in human-centred design thinking?
  • How can participants apply these approaches to their work situations?

Who It’s For

Middle to Senior Managers of public and private sector organizations who are involved in complex issues and who would benefit from Human-Centred Design Thinking.

DAY 1 (9 am – 4 pm)

• Design thinking as a key driver of innovation
• Analyze the three intelligences essential for innovation
• Understand how leaders of innovation facilitate design thinking, how to apply it to real issues and participants’ situations.

• Analyze how to inspire through a focus on human-centred issues
• Design thinking self-assessment
• Gain insights through design thinking

• Apply design thinking inspire and insights to case examples
• Apply design thinking inspire and insights to participant case examples

DAY 2 (9 am – 4 pm)


• Analyze how to ideate using human-centred design thinking
• Apply design thinking ‘ideate’ to case examples
• Apply design thinking ‘ideate’ to participant case examples

• Group splits and each group visits one organization that is using human-centred design thinking
• Debrief the learnings from the site visits
• Apply ideas to personal case examples

DAY 3 (9 am – 4 pm)

• Analyze how to iterate using human-centred design thinking
• Apply design thinking ‘iterate’ to test and retest minimal viable options
• How to avoid thinking traps that can limit effective design thinking

Blockchain Business Model Development

Fall, Winter and Summer entry available

Decades-old Blockchain technology has gained considerable interest across professional sectors in recent years. To this end, Blockchain initially applied to record-keeping for digital currencies like Bitcoin, but today the technology has evolved to serve more broadly as a decentralized system for businesses. It is primarily because of Blockchain technology that the digital world of today has gone far beyond finance. Now, advertising, manufacturing, utilities, and healthcare, as well as other governmental and business sectors, use Blockchain-based applications for processing their transactions.

The course guides participants through Blockchain’s basics and their applications. By completing the program, participants will better understand the theoretical underpinnings of different Blockchain technologies coupled with current perspectives into industry regulation and standards. In addition, participants will be provided with different frameworks to assess whether Blockchain technology is the answer to the problems they are trying to solve, both during the in-class case studies and in the way they apply the technology to future business ideas.

Course Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to articulate main ideas about Blockchain technology, differentiate and assess the frameworks available, identity how they can leverage the technology to achieve efficiency and add value to their business or venture idea. The final report is intended to exhibit the participant’s understanding and application of these outcomes.

Who It’s For

The Blockchain Business Model Development course is for professionals seeking a deeper knowledge of the impact and applications of Blockchain technologies. The course is designed for entrepreneurs looking to integrate Blockchain into their business plan, or industry practitioners wanting to understand the current and future developments of this new technology.

For professionals who work in strategic, operational, or managerial roles, the course will equip them with the knowledge required to use Blockchain technology in innovative ways and with greater efficiency.

This program consists of three days of intensive training and one week of group work on a capstone project that consists of a white paper. Each training day is from 9 am to 6 pm. (8 hours+ 1 hour of lunch break)

Students are required to complete all the training days in order, as each day helps to guide the capstone project. The course will be offered on the weekends (Friday to Sunday). It is possible that this schedule will be modified based on user demand, or given that the course might run as often as four times a year, in subsequent cohorts.

The primary design of the program is for cohort-based in-person (Virtual/In-class) delivery, and we expect this to be the main participation mode. Individual modules may be offered online (pre-recorded).

Participants will be expected to spend 8 hours per day of intensive training (in-class) for the three days specified. Finally, they will have to complete a capstone project of their choice (approximately six hours of work), due one week after finishing the intensive course.

Project Management for Engineers

Fall, Winter and Summer entry available

Project Management skills are a critical core competency for most engineers and technologists. While they have always been an essential part of large-scale civil engineering projects, they are increasingly required as part of the daily work routine: designing new products, implementing new delivery systems, or integrating new technologies into an organization. For engineers, understanding the knowledge and capabilities will allow them to enhance their performance, improve communications and increase their impact. Project management skills are a baseline requirement for most engineers and technologists. In the past, most project management courses have been designed for dedicated project managers working on large-scale projects over several years.

This project management program leverages an existing, highly regarded, Schulich professional management program, but is designed exclusively with engineers and technologists in mind. It is specifically geared to those leading technology-based design or implementation projects, or for those directly involved in working on projects. The tools and techniques shared in the course will help technology entrepreneurs, project managers/participants and technology leaders develop the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to increase the likelihood that small and large technology projects are delivered on time, on budget and in line with stakeholder expectations. The joint Lassonde/Schulich program will expose you to many of the real-life challenges and issues involved in managing technology projects, while facilitating engagement with engineering and technology professionals, in an immersive and engaging experiential learning environment.

Course Learning Outcomes

The course complies with the requirements of engineering professional development hours (90) and prepares participants for PMP certification (if they wish). Participants completing the program will receive a certificate of completion which will contribute to their career development, and ability to impact their organizations.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the five main stages of the project management process: and how they interact
  • Be able to use the eight main project management documents to develop a project management plan
  • Discuss how constraints lead to project management trade-offs between; time, cost and scope
  • Identify and mitigate project (technological, operational, financial) risks
  • Understand the challenges of leading and managing technical project teams
  • Use the basic tools of project budgets and financial control
  • Understand how ethical considerations and stakeholder engagement influence the project.
  • Assess the key challenges of developing and implementing a real-life project plan

Who It’s For

Our target is engineers and technologists (usually graduates) who currently have some existing project management responsibilities or are about to assume them. They likely will have limited project management education and maybe lead their own engineering practices, or technology ventures, working in engineering consulting, or a large company or organization looking to develop new products or introduce new technologies to improve performance.

The course is designed in seven modules, over nine days, and is offered fully online with the possibility of some in-class sessions or an in-class option in the future. The initial version of the course will be run for two months (see prototype schedule) on Fridays and Saturdays. Each module is led by a different professional and highly regarded instructor, to bring their own unique experience to the learning environment.

There are five important design philosophies embedded in the course approach

1. Content is shared in a dynamic and engaging environment, with practical examples used to illustrate each aspect of the program.
2. At each stage of the project, participants are required to work in groups, use the tools discussed and share the challenges and benefits of deployment.
3. The program is practical, so that expert guests, with real-life experiences, will share their insights and lessons learned.
4. Participants will have the basic training that will allow them to subsequently complete the PMI certification if desired.
5. Participants will be required to develop a detailed project plan (and associated documents) for a real-life project that they, or another participant, are currently working

Innovative Skills: Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking to Solve Complex Problems

Fall, Winter and Summer entry available

The World Economic Forum ‘Future of Jobs’ report shows the primary competences we need today, and in the next few years. Innovation and Complex Problem Solving are at the top of the list. Over a third of all jobs, across all industries, will require these top skills. Here is the summary of findings in the report:

  • 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases, according the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years.
  • Respondents to the Future of Jobs Survey estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of up to six months, but that number is higher for those in the consumer industry and the health/healthcare industries

Half of us will need to reskill in the next five years, as the “double-disruption” of the pandemic’s economic
impact and increased automation takes hold and transforms jobs.

The vast majority of business leaders (94%) now expect employees to pick up new skills on the job – a sharp rise from 65% in 2018.

Course Learning Outcomes

The course will provide increased subject knowledge in all areas and varying degrees of increased competence in the individual course chapters.

  1. Complex Problem Solving – an understanding of complexity
  2. Collaboration – the development of a personal knowledge network
  3. Emotional Intelligence – an initiation plan to increase E.I.
  4. Creativity – competence in the basics of creative problem solving
  5. Critical Thinking – competence in the basics of critical thinking
  6. Leadership – Understanding the Leadership role in Complex Problem Solving

Who It’s For

Participants in Problem Solving and Innovation roles seeking to enhance their related knowledge and skills competence. Based on Lassonde PD target market, this course is tailored to 20–45-year-old

This course is in an e-learning format and is in 6 Chapters. The e-learning format requires students to progress through a series of tests and assignments before moving to a subsequent Chapter. 1. The e-learning format enables the student to be self-paced. Each Chapter will be about 40 minutes of video. The time taken for tests and assignments will depend
on the student. The course instructor is Peter Merrill.

The assignments will vary between individual activities and work in which the student is required to work with an outside group of people.

It is expected that during the course, participants will develop a community where they interact with and learn from each other (before, during and after the course). The course includes insights from global thought leaders, cumulative assignment & evaluations, and direct access to experts and communities.

Lassonde Professional Development Course Enquiry