Liz Chen is Design Thinking Lead at Innovate Carolina, the unit dedicated to innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Liz is also a co-author of The Experimentation Field Book, a practical how-to guide on rigorously testing assumptions and concepts. We talk about teaching and applying design thinking in higher education, and learn more about The Experimentation Field Book.
Listen to Learn About
- Innovate Carolina
- The Experimentation Field Book
- Design thinking and public health
- Design thinking in strategic planning
Liz is Design Thinking Lead at Innovate Carolina, the unit dedicated to innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She leads the interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Innovation for the Public Good and launched her team’s recharge center that allows grad student Design Thinking and Innovation Fellows to work on staff as part-time employees to support design and innovation projects with clients inside and outside of the university. Liz is also a co-author of The Experimentation Field Book, a practical how-to guide on rigorously testing assumptions and concepts. Liz is a former high school science teacher, tech nonprofit co-founder, and public health researcher.
[02:50] Getting accepted into Innovation Next as a grad student, a national innovation acceleration program.
[03:30] Completing her Ph.D. and becoming the Design Thinking Lead at Innovate Carolina.
[04:16] The changes Liz has seen in how design thinking is being used in research.
[04:54] Liz talks about a project funded by the EPA that she and her student team are working on, to reduce food waste.
[06:34] UNC’s graduate certificate program in Innovation for the Public Good.
[07:24] Divergent vs. convergent thinking.
[08:41] The challenges in using design thinking when many funding organizations ask you to pitch a “single solution.”
[11:15] Sharing what didn’t work is as important as sharing what did work.
[12:24] Innovate Carolina has consulting services, where grad students and fellows get to work on client projects.
[15:43] Liz talks about how Innovate Carolina’s infrastructure works within the infrastructure of the university.
[19:15] The Experimentation Field Book provides resources for readers to self-teach the process of testing ideas and assumptions.
[20:59] A Miro Moment.
[23:35] Some of Liz’s favorite tools from the book.
[25:45] The book’s five-step testing process.
[28:17] Using design thinking in public health.
[33:56] Three things Liz wishes people knew about teaching science at the high school level.
[39:29] The Experimentation Field Book is for anyone who is problem-solving or innovating.
[42:11] Liz and her team are helping with the work on UNC’s Carolina Next strategic plan.
[45:51] Dawan shares a little about his strategy design experiences at Ohio State University.
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