Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer

Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer

Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer

Senior Lecturer, UTS Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation

Session Title: "Humanising complex societal problems - The role of deep stakeholder insights in design"

Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney in the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation. Mieke’s research spans the fields of human-centred design and innovation in the public and social sector. She is particularly interested in the innovation practices that are required to address today’s complex societal problems.

In her role at UTS she is also responsible for the design and delivery of subjects for the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. Mieke holds a Master of Science in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft University of Technology, and a PhD in User-Centred Design from the University of Twente, both in the Netherlands.

Mieke's session

Design is becoming increasingly popular as an approach to address complex societal problems such as chronic health issues, climate change, social isolation and a growing elderly population. One element of design that is often applied in these social design and innovation practices is design’s human-centeredness. Many scholars and practitioners agree that a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of stakeholders are required to develop innovative solutions.

Empathy generating activities, real-life personas, and inspirational stories are just a few of the many methods and tools that are available to generate these insights. But what do we really mean when we talk about a ‘deep’ understanding? And how do these insights then take us to new and innovative solutions? In this talk I will shed some light on this question by introducing a model that distinguishes different levels of depth in human-centred design and innovation, and by showing how the deepest levels impact the generation of innovative solutions. I will illustrate this with case studies from the educational and health sector.

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