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NEW! Design Thinking: Client-Centered Solutions

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with Thomas Wendt
Thursday, October 3, 2019
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee $135, includes light refreshments throughout the day (lunch will not be provided)

Borg Warner Conference Room, Tompkins County Public Library,
E. Green St. at S. Cayuga St., Ithaca (driving and access directions below)
Presented by the Human Services Coalition
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library

Design thinking is a solutions-based approach to problem solving. Focused on humans, it is designed to help you understand people’s needs first – then create effective solutions to meet those needs. By focusing heavily on empathy, the process encourages you to consider the real needs of real people impacted by your programs.

The design thinking process allows you to question problems, assumptions, and implications. It enables you to re-frame problems in human-centric ways, create lots of ideas, and utilize a hands-on approach to problem solving through experimentation, prototyping, and testing of ideas.

It is a healthy “middle ground” of problem-solving —it is not just emotion and intuition, nor is it just data and analytics; design thinking is the perfect mixture of both.
Thomas Wendt, trainer, author, and expert in human centered design, will be your guide as you learn this creative, cuttingedge approach to program design and performance improvement.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • The fundamentals of design thinking, including key principles and phases of the process
  • How to use tools such as problem framing, ideating, and prototyping to help create human-centered solutions
  • How to transition through the stages of the design thinking process
  • How to apply design thinking principles and methods to your specific challenges that drive creativity and innovation
  • Expect to spend 70% of time on activities, 15% on lecture, and 15% on reflection/discussion.
About the Presenter:

Thomas Wendt is an independent design researcher, facilitator, and author based in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

His client work focuses on early stage qualitative design research, co-design, and service design. He helps organizations strengthen their design capabilities through workshops, training programs, and consulting. Thomas has worked with clients ranging from large companies to not for profits and activist groups. He has written two books, Design for Dasein and Persistent Fools, both of which explore the politics and philosophy of design while making a case for design practices that
lead to more resilient, equitable futures.

Thomas speaks at conferences across the world and is published in both academic journals and practitioner publications. He also enjoys wild food foraging, tending his gardens and food forest, backpacking, cultivating mushrooms, and making herbal medicine. He explores the local ecology as much as possible, usually with his dog Sadie close by

Registration and Payment

Register online at If you are unable to register and pay online please call 607.273.8686 or

Cancellation Policy

All registration sales are final – we are unable to refund or transfer fees onto a different workshop for missed sessions.  At times a workshop may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other issues. If this occurs, we will post the cancellation on our website:, email all registered participants, and refund any prepaid fees. If you plan to walk-in, please check our website for the most up-to-date information prior to attending.


Limited scholarships are available to agencies whose non-profit board and staff members cannot attend without one. To request a scholarship, email: in advance of the workshop.


Coffee, other drinks, and snacks are provided at all workshops; lunch is not provided. Attendees at sessions in the Borg Warner Room may leave and eat lunch on the beautiful Ithaca Commons.

Special Needs

Please notify us if you have any special needs; the Coalition wishes to make its workshops accessible to everyone.

For the comfort of everyone, HSC workshops are fragrance free. We appreciate your cooperation.

Parking and Directions

The Coalition is a United Way agency

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