Learn Design Thinking

Academic Student Courses

Design Thinking in Afrika

The Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika at UCT in partnership with Ashesi University and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, American University in Cairo’s Center for Learning and Teaching in Egypt, and the University of Nairobi, Department of Art and Design in Kenya are inviting students who are under the age of 35 from these specific institutions to apply for this exciting, interactive, and unique online programme in Design Thinking. Participate in a competitive, trans-African challenge and gain exposure to real-world problems, advancing the critical thinking skills that are so desperately needed in solving the problems of our world today.

This gives students the opportunity to work within diverse African teams, sharing knowledge and learning from and with each other on real-world challenges alongside key industry partners of the Hasso Plattner Foundation.

Design thinking exposes and directly builds the capabilities of students in what the World Economic Forum terms the Four C’s, i.e. Critical thinking; Creativity; Communication; and Collaboration. This ‘tacit knowledge’ is being recognised as the key missing ingredient across the board in potential employees navigating the new job market. The world is constantly changing, and the design thinking mindset is to find ways to collaboratively navigate this turbulent, yet exciting, new terrain in new human-centered, and innovative ways.

As part of the programme, the project partner announced for this year’s event is the UN Global Compact, a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General which provides a framework for developing a more sustainable and responsible business. Today, the UN Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Over 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 local networks are involved. The UN Global Compact acts as a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Their mission mobilizes a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. With direct access to authoritative guidance, training, tools and support, along with global reach and multi-stakeholder connections, the initiative enables businesses to achieve their sustainability objectives.

This course will help you:

Entrance Criteria:

  • Commit to attending all six days of the programme.
  • Be prepared for 4-6 hours of asynchronous teamwork and preparation that will take place outside of the programme’s online space.
  • Attend D-scovery sessions
  • Be aged between 18 to 35 years old. 

Minimum Requirements:

  • A stable internet connection of at least 4Mbps speed. You can check your internet speed at Fast.com
  • It is preferable to connect using an uncapped Wifi connection such as Eduroam to avoid unnecessary data charges.
  • A desktop/laptop computer with Webcam/computer camera is required (no mobile phones permitted) for online collaboration.
  • Good microphone sound quality
  • Use of either Firefox or Google Chrome web browsers is required to run the programme’s software (see below).
  • Access to Zoom software. Free downloads are available, or the program can be used online.
  • Access to the Miro app. Technical requirements for the software can be found here and should be checked before attendance to avoid delays in joining the programme. 
Programme Requirements: 

American University in Cairo

  • AUC undergraduates in Junior, Senior, or Grad Senior standing; or
  • Recent AUC alumni of three years


Ashesi University

  • Students in their final year of study; or
  • Students who completed their studies in 2021 (undergraduate or postgraduate).



  • Students in their 3rd or final year of undergraduate study or currently within their postgraduate studies and students who graduated in 2021 (undergraduate or postgraduate).


University of Nairobi

  • Aged between 18 to 35 years old



  • Students in their final year of undergraduate study at a tertiary institution within South Africa; or
  • Students who are currently in their postgraduate studies at a tertiary institution within South Africa; or
  • Students who graduated in 2021 (undergraduate or postgraduate). 

Course Dates:

2023 dates to be confirmed

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