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On April 16th 2015 students aged around 17 to 18 from the Handelslehranstalt Bruchsal visited the SAP Young Thinkers Team and experienced Design Thinking in a half day workshop.

In a cool Design Thinking space in the international SAP training center in Walldorf the 28 students, 1 teacher and 4 Design Thinking Coaches worked in 4 teams on 2 different real-life challenges. The DT environment invites to cooperate, be creative and come up with innovative ideas and solutions while enjoying working in a very efficient and fun way.

The students were impressed by learning that 76% of chocolate is produced by SAP customers and 97% of world’s mobile subscribers touch SAP with their text messages. During the short introduction to SAP, they also got to know the options and actions of the Young Thinkers Program and an overview about the Design Thinking process. The short theoretical introduction was followed by a little warm up with a competition in “Rock Paper Scissors” which opened up the Design Thinking session.

The students chose 2 topics out of a selection of different real-life challenges, 2 groups found cool solutions for the daily parking experience of SAP employees, 2 other groups were very creative in helping a startup restaurant to attract customers.

They all were guided through the whole Design Thinking process applying different methodologies. One highlight was the Interviewing phase, were all students had the chance to interview SAP volunteers, who were impressed by the sophisticated way they have been asked about the topics. Last but not least all students created prototypes and presented their solutions as a team to the target audience.

Everybody was highly motivated and had plenty of fun as some of their feedback shows: “This is so interesting, I would love to do Design Thinking in school too”, “I am so surprised how much fun it is to find solutions in a different way”, “It was so much fun, thank you!”, “I’m impressed to see how even rather silent students do contribute very actively”, “It’s really exhausting to be active all the time nevertheless it’s so much fun!”.

And as a little Update: The customer with the restaurant already implemented the first ideas which is the best proof that students can make a difference to real life challenges.