Professor Dimo Dimov took part in the 2019 DRUID debate. Alongside Professor Roberto Verganti, Politecnico di Milano, he defended the motion on the merits of design thinking over traditional approaches for understanding innovation, strategy, and entrepreneurship.
DRUID is a research network where scholars from around the world exchange ideas about research on innovation and the dynamics of change.
Discussing the debate, Professor Dimov said: "This was an opportunity to reflect on several seemingly innocuous terms in the wording of the motion that we might take for granted: what is 'advance', what is 'major', what is 'design' as a type of thinking, and what is 'understanding'?
"We often advance by opening a new frontier, not by pushing along the well trodden path. Whether an advance is 'major' depends on the baseline: a step in a new direction can be a major milestone because of the new possibilities it opens up. Design, as a type of thinking, is forward looking: it focuses on what is not (yet), on the future as it could be, rather than on the past, on what already is.
"Finally, to know or understand something involves more than just knowing its name; it implies an ability to do something. Therefore, to know innovation and entrepreneurship is to be able to break away from the status quo, from tradition. Design thinking helps facilitate this process."