Launch Reception of Unleash! Empowered by Design Thinking – Unleash

Launch Reception of Unleash! Empowered by Design Thinking

October 6, 2018

The Chief Executive stressed in the Policy Address last year that design thinking should become a problem-solving capability and a new way of thinking that promotes value adding and interdisciplinary collaboration. In pursuant of this policy directive, the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) has launched a new “Unleash! Empowered by Design Thinking” programme.


The launch reception invited distinguished guests including Mr Edward Yau, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development and Tom Kelley, Partner of IDEO, global design company.

Professor Eric Yim highlighted in his opening address that design thinking would be the key to solve complex problems nowadays, “Globalization, technological advancements and longer life spans are creating new challenges for our careers, businesses and society. These unprecedented and complex problems require a new way of thinking, new solutions and new ways of working. This is where design thinking comes in.”

Mr Yau said that the government has started to integrate design thinking in its work, including a training programme for civil servants and redesigning of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s venue booking system. He believed that ‘design thinking is a structured process to help the government engage and understand what different stakeholders need.”

Tom Kelley, Partner of IDEO, believes that design thinking could facilitate the growth and development of different sectors in Hong Kong, “Design thinking is about understanding the real need through a human-centred process. The key is empathy, experimentation and storytelling. With design thinking, we can make big change with small experiments and paint a picture of the future we hope to create!”

“Having practiced design thinking for 30 years, people ask me about the secrets of design thinking. Design thinking is not just for fun, it can make great impact in the world. It breaks down complexity into simpler things,” said Tom. “Design thinking is a mindset that encourages creativity and critical thinking, and it will continue to be an influential trend,” he added.


Mr Yau also believed that design thinking could help SMEs stand out among competitors within a fast-changing marketplace, facilitating enterprise transformation. He also echoed the Chief Executive’s remarks in her video with Tom Kelley, “the government was glad to lead by example and encourage businesses, educators and NGOs to use design thinking as a problem solving tool and a method of thinking.”

Dr. Edmund Lee, the Executive Director of Hong Kong Design Centre, concluded by saying that “design thinking is not for designers, architects, as Chief Executive mentioned in the Policy Address. The Hong Kong Design Centre will continue to grow this creative mindset and spread this to schools, teachers, our kids, enterprises and business leaders, so please continue to support us.”