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We successfully hosted a Design Thinking workshop for the Tongji University School of Software Engineering in the DT Space Shanghai on Saturday, October 25th 2014. 26 students & a professor from Tongji University joined Nico Leclercq, Sophia Xiang & Wen Shi from the P&I Agile & Design Thinking China team, as well as Josie Guan from the SAP University Alliance on that day.


After participating in a DT training during UA’s Train-the-Trainer Workshop in Ordos this August, Prof. Hongming Zhu from Software School, Tongji University wanted to adopted this methodology as an innovative course training for all the students from various enterprise clubs. So Josie approached Nico to quickly form a team and work out a proposal for a one-day workshop at SAP.

Briefing with 4 “DT Ambassadors” with Nico from the Agile & Design Thinking China team. Short warm-up game with students outside.

In the morning, 24 students were divided into 4 teams, and 4 “DT ambassadors” among the participants were nominated to observe the workshop more in details, take notes and give feedback. The four teams then began working through the six steps of DT: UNDERSTAND, OBSERVE, DEFINE, IDEATE, PROTOTYPE, TEST, under the coaching of Josie, Sophia, Wen & Nico.

DT Workshop: Agenda, OBSERVE & DEFINE phases


Presentation and award to the winner group


After the 8h-rush, everyone was inspired and active to tell about their feelings and experience, having all enjoyed the crazy tempo group working really much. Here are a few testimonials captured from the students onsite:

  • “Today’s DT session changed my way of thinking – I never collected and combined ideas this way before.”
  • “As a programmer, I used to be told what to build. This workshop made me realize that analyzing requirements is also part of my work.”
  • “I loved the way we exchanged ideas during the session. I found it amazing that ideas which seemed wrong and crazy at the beginning turned out to be very
  • “SAP”s reputation with students is that is a “retirement home”, a comfortable and slow-paced company to work at. This workshop shows that it this image is wrong
    and that SAP is an innovative and inspiring company. I am looking forward to working with you again.”

Moreover, feedback from 4 DT Ambassadors was also very impressive.

  • “I will change my mind, change my way of thinking! I tried to use DT method in recent project discussion, which turned out to bring more creative ideas and be
    more efficient. So I really appreciated this amazing and valuable experience and learning opportunity provided by SAP! ” --- Jin Cheng Xin
  • “Just open your mind and write everything you can think about! After that, discuss everything and then pick the right idea. In my opinion, only by doing this can
    we have an effective and all-round discussion.” --- Liu Hao dong.
  • “I used to influence others’ thinking – and after today I think that this might have prevented better ideas to come out. We do not need a ‘Superman’ to come up
    with the solution – every idea is worth listening to!”--- Hu Xing
  • “One thing that I learned is a new thinking method, allowing to solve problems more easily. Another learning is that only by teamwork – instead of individual work
    – can we come up with the best solution.” --- Xu Ming Hao

To sum up, this whole day workshop was really successful given that it not only gave SAP more insights about how to reach students through enterprise clubs, but also changed the image of SAP among students, made it a more attractive company to work with. Besides, it did help students understand what DT is about and impacted their way of thinking and brought solutions to the challenge which students committed to implement at university.

At last, we would like to extend a warm thank you to the ADT Team & Tongji University to make our first cooperation such a success. And with the valuable suggestions from the club members, we will build a better club with Tongji University in the future.

Josie Guan, SAP University Alliance

6th November 2014