Innovation Lab: Design Thinking for Socially-Relevant Innovation

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

We see an increase in the need for socially relevant innovation: to boost our networks, activate our communities, and contribute to a healthier society. We invite you to join our ‘learning-by-doing’ lab, focused on getting things done for a project that matters. We aim to change the way you look at the world in a more opportunity-oriented and less problem-focused way. Enter Design Thinking: a creative, holistic, multidisciplinary approach based on strong fundamentals where co-creation takes central stage. To achieve this, we have set-up the innovation lab.

The didactical approach of this course may be quite different from what you would expect from a traditional module – with lectures with a written exam in the end. Instead, together with designers from the work field and an actual real-life client, we will guide you through a meaningful and valuable experience. 

During this module, you will visit and work with a real-life client and help them to innovate by focusing on user-experience and the merits of co-creation. You will learn by doing and explore different perspectives, while in the meantime being offered important academic insights. Our goal is to create an innovation experience for you with all of the pressures and demands of the real world. The module will help you integrate your current knowledge with new insights, step out of your comfort zone and develop the mind-set, agility and resilience one needs in today’s dynamic world. During this learning experience, you will receive intensive coaching from experienced coaches as you apply best practices to co-created innovation and service-design. 

This course is also part of the track: Innovation in European Business.


B28 day-to-day Utrecht 2023.pdf
Course director
Jens Gijbels, MBI


Jens Gijbels, MBI

Target audience

Students from all kinds of backgrounds (from Design, Business, Communication to Engineering, etc.) who believe innovation is key and who are curious to learn more about creative approaches to innovation and development of services in the (near) future.

Aim of the course

To provide students with an understanding of a design thinking approach and the application of innovation to the services area. On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Explain experience of services from a user’s perspective;
  • Understand and apply a service design process;
  • Use design thinking to develop innovative services;
  • Propose coherent strategies for designing services in ways that bring truly radical improvements from a users’ perspective.

If you are pursuing a specific learning goal, please reach out to ensure that we will meet your expectations.

Study load

105 hours of lectures/field excursions + assignments (incl. self-study).


Course fee:
Student fee:
Student fee
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

The Student Fee applies to all students currently enrolled in a Bachelor, Master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni' of any of these programmes. If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for the reduced student fee, please include this in your motivation.

Contact details


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
26 June 2023