Learn Design Thinking

Student Programmes

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.

This course will help you:

Project partner

All our programmes are rooted in providing real world problems to our student’s learning journey. Our project partners come from various sectors such as corporate, government, non-profit, local and international organisations. We view our project partners as a core part of our business. Being a project partner means that you will have the ability to tap into young and bright minds, experience the real-time process and benefits of design thinking through methodology and insights gained from user research, conceptual ideas generated through-out, final conceptual prototypes from the students.


UNICEF Africa and their African Drone & Data Academy work in Kenya and Malawi

UNICEF and the Government of Malawi are spearheading the use of drones and data for development and humanitarian purposes. In June 2017, they opened the first drone testing corridor worldwide as a technology-friendly environment for local and international drone companies to test their solutions. The African Drone and Data Academy: The African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) aims to be a centre of excellence that will dually equip young people in Malawi and the African region with necessary 21st-century skills while strengthening the drone ecosystem for more effective humanitarian and development response.

The current challenge:

How might we leverage existing tools and tech to build climate change resilience for African communities affected by climate change.

Entrance Criteria:

  • All students are required to attend a compulsory 2-hour onboarding session which will take place the week before the start date (date tbc).
  • Students must commit to attending all six days of the programme.
  • Students must be prepared for 4-6 hours of asynchronous teamwork and preparation that will take place outside of the programme’s online space.
  • Students are expected to attend D-scovery sessions
  • Students must be aged between 18 to 35 years old. 
  • Only registered students from the listed partner universities may apply for this programme.

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 Mural 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



  • UCT Students in their final year of undergraduate study; or
  • UCT Students who are currently in their postgraduate studies; or
  • UCT Students who graduated in 2022 (undergraduate or postgraduate).



Course Dates:

2024 dates TBC

Next Application Deadline:

30 June 2023

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