There are five key elements of the design thinking process that mentors can exploit for high impact. Where and how they can help.
1. Human-centered. This principle starts with empathy and focuses on research to really understand people-clients, customers and users.
2. Creative and playful. The mentors have to create an open, playful atmosphere. It is critical to fuelling creativity. It allows mentors to teach the entrepreneurs how to frame the problem in a new way, look at it from different perspectives and consider a variety of solutions.
3. Iterative. Once mentors during the mentorship realize that the entrepreneurs have come up with a final solution for the social challenge, it’s important they keep the eyes of mentees open for possible challenging and reframe the social problem. They should insist on testing, iterate, test and testing again by the entrepreneurs.
4. Collaborative. Mentors should be creating multidisciplinary teams with the entrepreneurs and their stakeholders and encourage different viewpoints in the co-creation. Working with these groups in a flat hierarchy is a must.
5. Prototype driven. The mentors know and stimulate the mentees to know how to use the prototypes and how to communicate and test the data they have collected in the prototyping stage. All of this allow for the sharing and gathering of and collect feedback, which will make the impact management of the social solution more effective.
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