Open Programs
For Businesses
Open Challenge

Design the Right Thing

In Design the Right Thing Open Challenge you´ll deep-dive into the discovery phase of a real-world product design project and learn alongside a peer group from around the world under the guidance of experts and industry mentors. This challenge will enable you to design successful products because you know the real wants and needs of your users.

29th Aug - 18th Sep
(3 weeks)
2.5 weeks of engagement
+ 0.5 week for challenge submission
study module
Application deadline
22nd of Aug
Limited seats, apply early
Program fee
€1000 Free
Limited spots are available for free. Only pay €100 deposit, which will be returned as soon as the challenge is completed.
7 milestones

What You'll Gain

Successful and sustainable products are not only well designed, but also meet specific needs of the users. With
the help of user research methods (such as exploratory interviews or participatory observations) you will gain
insights into people's needs by observing user behaviour, asking the right questions, and acquiring user empathy.

Learn by doing
Experience real "learning by doing" in an international environment
Network and community
Engage your network and new global community to speed up your impact and get noticed
Receive guidance from industry leaders and mentors who are already thriving in successful careers
Grow your network with peers from around the world in a remote-first setting

What You'll Learn

The challenge is made up of seven milestones. Each of these steps has its own outcome and brings you closer to designing the right thing. By the end of the challenge, you´ll have conducted your own design research process and developed a well-designed problem definition based on the insights about your users. These creative competencies will help you to move to the next phase of your design project.

Milestone 1: Explore the problem space

In this milestone, you'll get familiar with your real-world case study topic (sustainable micro-mobility, sustainable consumption or, robotics). The introductory lesson on brainstorming methods will help you and your peers to develop an initial idea about which aspect of the problem space you want to explore.

Milestone 2: Develop your design research question

In this milestone, you'll dive into the discovery phase of a design project. With our lessons, you'll be able to identify the different phases of a design process and develop a guiding design research question.

Milestone 3: Gain desk research insights

In this milestone, you'll explore a new subject area, understand product environments and use processes, and identify potentials and problems. Our lessons will guide you in selecting suitable desk research methods, such as stakeholder mapping and environmental analysis, which you will conduct on your own. 

Milestone 4: Discuss your first finding (challenge discussion)

After conducting your desk research, you will present your insights to your peers and mentors. Backed up with their feedback, you will refine your design research question and insight landscape.

Milestone 5: Select your user research method

In this milestone, you'll get to know four key methods for user research and corresponding analysis methods to conduct rigorous research and gain valuable insights. You will decide on the appropriate methods to apply in your own research process.

Milestone 6: Conduct your research

Backed up with all the knowledge, you'll conduct your own user research and analyze it. You'll share your experiences in a discussion with your peers.

Milestone 7: Pitch your insights

In this milestone, you'll learn how to derive key insights from your research and condense them into a consistent problem definition. Finally, you'll summarize your whole research process, insights, and problem definition in a pitch presentation to experts and industry mentors.

Who is This Program For

Open Challenge participants come from a variety of different professional and experiential backgrounds. The common thread is that they all want to make a sustainable impact and further their professional development.

You want to become a...
Product Manager
Design Manager
UX Researcher
UX Designer

Open Challenges in a Nutshell

3-week online program
€100 tuition fee/refunded upon completion of the program
10–15h weekly workload
2.5 ECTS
Limited cohort of 25 change makers
3 challenge discussions per week
Starts on: 29th of  August 2022
Slack community

Upon successfully completing the challenge, you'll receive a digital certificate that can be shared with your personal and professional networks.

Open Challenge
Starts on
Aug 29th

Here are some dates to keep in mind
during the application process.

Application deadline (limited seats)
until 22nd of Aug 2022
Confirmation of participation
until 24th of Aug 2022
Challenge starts
on 29th of Aug 2022

The design of any meaningful solution starts with a well-understood problem. But evolution wired our brains to quickly react to challenges, jump to conclusions, and act based on often implicit assumptions. That’s why we, in the discovery phase, focus on methodically developing our understanding of the problem and its causes to identify the most promising paths toward a valuable solution.

Oliver Greuter-Wehn

Head of Product at ToU

"Getting a clear picture of the users’ needs is key for any successful product development process."

Markus Müller

Co-Founder at Stealth Startup

"Listen, observe, empathize and synthesize with your users — that’s where real innovation begins."

Gopika E.M.

Product Lead at TIER

As a user experience researcher, you have an important strategic function because you translate the needs of customers for product development and keep an eye on them in all design phases.

Lisa Nelhiebel

Product Designer at Taxfix

Daniela Peukert

Program Director

Dr. Daniela Peukert is Academic Program Director for the B.A. of Sustainable Product Management at Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences. As a product designer with a Ph.D. in Sustainability Sciences, she develops sustainable products that have a positive impact. She is an expert in design thinking and user experience research, as well as on the role of design for sustainability transformations. In her research, she explores design prototyping and material metaphors to foster integration and knowledge co-production within transdisciplinary processes and works toward a more-than-human-centered-design approach.

Frequently Asked Questions