The Service Design Thinking is more than a usual lecture in your study plan.
You will learn what it really takes to be an innovator. You will receive education in the human-centric innovation approach Design Thinking, work in small but interdisciplinary and international teams on real business challenges over the course of nine months (September ’19 to June ’20). You will collaborate directly with mentors from your partner company as well as with fellow students from renowned universities such as the University of St. Gallen. Along the way, you will visit international destinations known for being innovation hotspots and will be on stage at innovation events that draw an audience of several hundred participants.
Below you'll find all the information you need to know for signing up to your personal SDT-journey!
The SUGAR Network is a global network that brings together students, universities and companies to facilitate the application of human-centered innovation and design through a new learning experience. Please find more information on SUGAR in corresponding section on this website.
Currently, the main focus of the SUGAR Network is the SUGAR Program. The universities of the SUGAR Network run a synchronized educational program, teaching the Design Thinking innovation approach to their students over the course of nine months.
The local instantiations of the SUGAR Program at the participating universities usually have individual names. Given the general focus of the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI) on (digital) services, the local name at KIT is the Service Design Thinking (SDT) program. Moreover, since the SDT program consists of one module and the module comprises of only one course, SDT program, SDT module, and SDT course are used synonymously.
We welcome applications from master students of all departments of the KIT. However, in terms of crediting the program for your study, we only have formal agreements for students studying Business Engineering (M.Sc.), Information Engineering and Management (M.Sc.) or Computer Science (M.Sc.) at KIT.
Nevertheless, we have had participants from other departments as well. In these cases, we worked our individual arrangements with the respective examination office.
The presentation dates 3, 4 and 5 are held either in Karlsruhe or at one of our university partners and each have a duration of one day.
Note: The attendance dates take place during the entire 9 months, i.e. also during the semester holidays.
You should plan with 2 days per week per student (including semester holidays) – depending on the project situation it can be more.
Within the framework of the SDT module, international student teams work on real innovation challenges of renowned partner companies. Each team is composed of 3-4 KIT students and 3-4 students from a foreign partner university (e.g. St. Gallen, USTC, Linkoping University, Aalto Helsinki, Trinity College, …). The teams are working on the challenge of their respective partner company for over 9 months (e.g. September 2018 – June 2019). The teams receive a contact person on the company side, with which they regularly exchange information on the project stand. To cover travel expenses and some purchases, each team gets its own budget. The teams are encouraged to organize themselves.
Throughout the program there will be weekly lecture-like teaching units, sporadic one-day workshops for the student teams in collaboration with the teaching team, as well as weekly coaching sessions of each team by a coach, called the Teaching Assistant (TA). Finally, as a teaching team, we occasionally engage in team coaching directly.
Methodologically, the program is based on the Design Thinking approach taught at Stanford University and applied internationally. To learn this approach, we run a Kick-Off event at KIT at the beginning of the program. Afterwards an international kick-off of the SUGAR Network takes place, which includes additional lectures on Design Thinking. Throughout the program, there are weekly classes (called LGMs). The teaching program is often supplemented by guest lectures. In general, the lectures are more interactive than a classical classroom lecture. To you, they may feel more like an exercises or seminar.
The teaching is done by the so-called teaching team (TT), which comprises of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Satzger, Niels Feldmann, Anke Holtmann-Plog, and Laura Kienzle.
The teaching team is supplemented by so-called teaching assistants. These are students of the previous years who will assist you with SGMs, preparation for presentations etc.
The program sounds like a lot of effort. Why should I take part?
Indeed, the effort for the program is not to be underestimated. But there are also some attractive benefits for you:
The selection process consists of three steps:
There are many criteria for the selection of participants. Of course, your grades play a role, but it is only one criteria among many. Your letter of motivation, your CV and, above all, your experiences and skills that are evident in these two documents are very important. We not want to include only brilliant students in the program, but also to put together teams that cover a wide range of skills. Finally, our impressions from the interviews are important too. The program includes intensive international teamwork. In this respect, teams need to fit together not only professionally but also personally.
The application is made via the KIT WiWi Portal and can be done until sometime around Mid June. Please check the KSRI Homepage for the exact dates.I want to be part of it!
You’ve got more questions? Well, here is what you can do: