Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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About DesignWorks

DesignWorks is the Business Design Lab at the Rotman School of Management. Its mission is to catalyze a new generation innovation ready business leaders and organizations.

For any business that wants to thrive, innovation is critical. The challenge is how? The Business Design Lab teaches the tools and methods to drive innovation. We want our future leaders to design the context for growth and change. The lab works in partnership with organizations and leaders who are on the cutting edge of business transformation.

The lab is embedded in the student experience, providing programming and thought leadership both in and out of class. Through applied learning opportunities (e.g., industry sponsored projects) we challenge our students to put their Business Design skills to full use.

For our industry partners, we provide co-learning opportunities (e.g., working groups, learning projects, research) to tackle some of the most intractable business challenges. Drawing upon design thinking, strategy, organizational design and leadership the goal is to generate new learning to advance the state of the art.

What we offer

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Business Design - Applied Learning


(workshops, sprints, industry projects)


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Business Design Applied Research


(Organizational studies and experimentation)


What we do

Ground breaking learning initiatives help Rotman students build practice confidence in Business Design. These offerings complement the learning gained in the core MBA program (link) and Business Design major (link). Our applied research initiatives help the business better understand how to design innovative ideas and organizations.

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Business Design Training (MBA Students)

Bootcamp: Students are introduced to the principles and practices of Business Design. Participants learn the importance of stakeholder empathy, experimentation and strategy as it relates to innovation (duration: 3 hours)


Sprint: Student teams conduct a rapid deep dive into a current business / social challenge. Participants gain hands-on experience with a suite of Business Design tools (duration: 1 week)


Accelerator Series: Subject matter experts and practitioners share the latest thinking on the practice of innovation and change. They also provide an opportunity for participants to apply a new tool or framework (duration: 2 hours)


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Business Design Projects (student and industry)

Independent Study Project: Select students work on a live challenge with a sponsoring company. An integrated learning experience exposes them to the complexities of real world innovation and change as the learning experience shifts from the classroom and into the organization. Sponsoring companies gain exposure to a unique innovation methodology, new learning and talent (duration: 12 weeks)


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Applied Research projects (industry and researchers)

Organizational Study: Industry partners and academics engage in a co-learning study focused on advancing innovative practices and outcomes within organizations. The goal is to generate new learning through deep investigation and in-situ experimentation. (e.g., Innovation Assessment, Interventional Studies)


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