Convocation of the ‘Design The Thinking®’ Faculty Development Program

SRM Institute of Science & Technology, School of Design Thinking and Intellect come together to celebrate the Convocation of the ‘Design The Thinking®’ Faculty Development Program
First initiative of its kind in scaling the concept of Design Thinking across departments in SRM Institute of Science &
Chennai, India, 11 July 2023: The Design The Thinking® Faculty Development Program Convocation ceremony of
the Faculty of SRM Institute of Science & Technology (SRMIST) was held today as part of their Partnership with
School of Design Thinking and Intellect Design Arena. The Convocation highlights the graduation of over 165
faculty members of SRMIST earning them the position of ‘Master Trainer’, empowering them to take Design
Thinking to the student community.
The Design The Thinking® Faculty Development Program (FDP) aims at evangelising Design Thinking with an
academic flavour. The purpose of this FDP series is taking a step in creating a culture change in academic
institutions, beginning with the Faculty.

About the Partnership
In 2019, SoDT had anchored a unique three-day Design The Thinking® Faculty Development Program for a batch
of 25 faculty members. The impact of this session on the faculty’s way of thinking and approaching pedagogy
resulted in SRMIST, Intellect and SoDT signing the MOU in February 2020 with the aim to take Design Thinking
across all campuses, departments, faculties and students of SRMIST. Since then, SoDT has anchored six batches of
faculty members across various campuses, departments, and specialisations with an average of 25-30 participants
in each batch. 165 faculty members have actively participated in the program.
Faculty Development Program
The program not only introduced the concept of Design Thinking to the participants, but it also provided an
opportunity to use the various tools, frameworks and methodologies to use Deign thinking as a human-centric,
future focused problem solving approach – some of which included critical academic problems.
What is unique about the program is its emphasis on focusing on the most important aspect of Design Thinking –
the Design Mind. The School of Design Thinking’s approach is in two parts. The first is on Design The Thinking® –
proprietary approach that emphasises the need to understand what it takes to be a Design Thinker and then to
look into problems through “boundaryless thinking”. This calls for a Mindset Transformation. The second part is
the introduction to its unique Design Thinking process and associated tools and methodologies.
The outcome of this initiative is two-fold – both in line with SRMIST’s vision. The 165 trained faculty, now
designated as Master Trainers in Design Thinking, will take this forward to over 8000 students of the BTech and
MTech programs of the University as a mandatory Credit Course. The faculty members are considered ready to be
awarded the Certification, resulting from detailed evaluation that has included evaluation of projects done by the
faculty as well as a unique viva voce. Taking this forward, the Faculty will enhance the skill, capability and focus of

the students to look at all opportunities and challenges from a different perspective and apply Design Thinking to
find the right solutions and make it a way of life. In parallel, the program also equips the faculty members to
leverage Design Thinking in their lives.
The second outcome is on Syllabus and Pedagogy Design. The program has equipped the faculty to take a relook
and, consequently, reassess the way various subjects’ are designed and taught to students. Design Thinking has
immense potential to improve education from both perspectives – Teaching and Learning.
Mr. Arun Jain, CMD Intellect Design Arena and Founder of School of Design Thinking said, “Design Thinking
drives deep differentiation in one’s approach to design new solutions or to solve societal problems across multiple
domains. I am pleased that the School of Design Thinking has partnered with SRMIST to bring about change in the
thinking of students through their certified faculties. For the first time in the country, we are witnessing a premier
institute embarking on a mission that is on par with global academic standards when it comes to scale in mindset
Prof. C. Muthamizhchelvan, VC, SRMIST expressed, “We, at SRMIST, are at the forefront of many strategic
initiatives with the government, industry and other entities. Through and beyond academics, we work on trying to
solve larger problems that beset our nation and society. I firmly believe that Design Thinking, as a human-centric
approach to solving real-world problems, is a catalyst in aiding our approach to work on societal issues. I am glad
that through the School of Design Thinking, we have been able to enhance the capabilities of our Faculty and
make a lasting impact in the lives of the students.
During the program, Dr Anbu Rathinavel, Co-founder & Head, School of Design Thinking shared his
thoughts. “Design Thinking has immense potential in creating a positive impact between teachers and students –
especially in the arena of teaching and learning. At the School of Design Thinking, we have evolved a new
approach to bring design thinking as pedagogy in order to bring about mindset change in faculties and students at
the fundamental level. I am very happy that the senior faculties at SRMIST have adopted this strength of Design
Thinking, beyond a mere course, to explore the innate potential of the students and to create engaging learning
Prof. C. Muthamizhchelvan, Vice Chancellor of SRM Institute of Science & Technology and Mr Arun Jain, Chairman
& Managing Director, Intellect Design Arena Ltd and Founder School of Design Thinking, led the Convocation
ceremony, awarding certificates to the participating faculty members. The ceremony also witnessed the Release
of the ‘Faculty Adoption Manual’, a ready reckoner for the faculty and the ‘Student Workbook’ to gauge
students’ understanding and application of Design Thinking. These publications attempt to bring algorithms in the
mammoth exercise of taking Design Thinking to students across departments.
The ceremony was graced by the presence of Dr Anbu Rathinavel, Chief Design Officer, Intellect Design Arena, Cofounder & Head, School of Design Thinking, Dr S. Ponnusamy, Registrar, SRM Institute of Science & Technology
and Dr Shantanu Patil, Associate Director, Directorate of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Others who were
present included the Deans, Heads of Departments, Professors, other esteemed academicians of the University,
dignitaries from Intellect and the faculty of School of Design Thinking

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