Our Design Innovation Approach

Phase 2 of our strategic planning process is founded in the ideas of human-centered design and design innovation.

Facilitated by faculty, staff, and students from CU Denver’s Comcast Media and Technology Center (CMTC) and Inworks Innovation Initiative, our process calls for creativity, openness, mindfulness, adaptability, empathy, and freedom to explore radical and impactful ideas. 

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Design Innovation Process

Design innovation has been used successfully by the CMTC and Inworks teams across hundreds of co-creation projects worldwide. This interdisciplinary, innovative approach blends the mindsets, methods, and languages of design thinking, engineering design, systems thinking, and business innovation.  

The core design innovation process follows four steps through which we explore, create, and select the very best concepts to carry us forward. This process will be featured most prominently with the vision teams in Phase 2. Each team will:   


Discover: Identify and understand opportunities and needs by collaboratively co-creating with stakeholders. Key questions in this stage focus on understanding our community’s experiences from the individual’s point of view.   

Define: Analyze stakeholders’ needs and insights to reframe and develop concise and compelling opportunity statements. This stage engages mindfulness of others’ perspectives and values. 

Develop: Ideate and model concepts based on identified opportunities before evaluating and choosing winning concepts with the highest desirability and potential impact for stakeholders. 

Deliver: Develop prototypes and test concepts with users and determine the new ways to move forward, extracting the key visions, strategies, and catalysts. 

diagram highlighting our design innovation process