Design Sprint for Corporate Innovation

Instructors: Rajiv Ball, Sam Ha

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an interactive, highly dynamic and deeply experiential approach to leading user-centric innovation in a corporate setting. During the course, students will learn a structured approach to innovation that combines best of breed of design thinking, innovation strategy, leadership and entrepreneurship. The bulk of the fieldwork will take place at THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam ( and THNK facilitators will guide students through the field work. THNK’s curriculum draws on multiple schools of thought, including design thinking, systems thinking, entrepreneurship and business strategy.

The class will focus on one client and business issue. A more detailed briefing will be provided before the fieldwork trip to Amsterdam. Before visiting the Netherlands, students will conduct background research based on the brief. While in The Netherlands, students will learn to use design thinking techniques to generate new insights and ideas. Students will also connect several times with executives from the client company, ultimately pushing their ideas into concepts that will be pitched to senior executives. They will have an opportunity to debrief and reflect on their learnings when back from The Netherlands.

Sign-up Process

This course is dual listed with the Full Time MBA Program. Participation in this course is restricted to students enrolled at Haas. Attendance at the pre-departure class session and posted in-country dates is mandatory. Please check your availability for the dates prior to bidding because once you are enrolled in the course you will not be allowed to drop the course.

Enrollment will be done via the Bidding Process. Once you are enrolled in Design Sprint in a Bidding round or in the special Add Only round you will only be able to drop the course via the Exception Request process and only for compelling and emergent reasons.

*Students who sign-up must commit to participate fully in the program. DO NOT SIGN-UP IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO MAKE THE IN-CLASS DATE AT HAAS AND THE IN-COUNTRY WORK DATES.*


Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to/from the program location, lodging, and obtaining and paying for any required visas. In most cases in-country travel such as transportation to/from the business meetings, and transportation between different cities on the program’s itinerary, will be covered by Haas. Although it is possible that some meals will be provided, students should expect to pay for their own meals and all incidentals while traveling with the program.

Students are required to be in-country for all instructional days and actively participate in the program per the itinerary. Students who wish to spend additional time in-country are encouraged to do so either before or after the mandatory programming and instructional days.

Health & Safety Issues

Travel overseas, especially to developing countries and emerging markets, may expose participants to health and other risks different from those that they face at home. Although we will do our best to make participants aware of such risks and will make efforts to minimize risks, the ultimate responsibility lies with the participant. Students are advised to check with the Centers for Disease Control and the US State Department for information on health and safety issues.

Each participant must obtain, at their own expense, any vaccinations, inoculations or other medications considered appropriate for a prudent traveler to the destination(s).

Each participant must register themselves and obtain a free trip insurance policy with the University of California’s Office of Risk Services at least 30 days prior to travel (click on UC Away).  This policy covers students for emergency medical evacuation to the United States. This is a requirement for participating in Design Sprint for Corporate Innovation. Evidence of registration must be provided to the EWMBA Program Office in advance of the program departure.