Design Thinking Methods to Activate Co-creation Process Among Policymakers, Creative Industries and SMEs

  • M. MelazziniEmail author
  • S. Campodall’Orto
  • G. Carella
  • A. Vignati
  • F. Zurlo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 43)


This paper is based on the exploration of how design approaches to innovation can be learnt and adopted by policymakers in order to enable SMEs to co-create with Creative Industries. More specifically it aims to research how design experts from the academic institution can effectively train policymaker and R&D department of companies in embracing design thinking methods as a way to support innovation. In order to comprehend this process, CILab (a departmental laboratory of research from the department of design of Politecnico di Milano) conducted a series of analysis based on an empirical research project that involved a panel of European policymakers, SMEs and Creative Industries, developing a set of tools implemented with different methods and activities. This process of investigation through workshops and user observation were implemented during the Co-Create European project. In this paper, design thinking is considered as an approach to innovation characterised by the implementation of methods and tools coming from the design discipline (Kolko in Design thinking comes of age, 2015, [11]). The reason why policymakers and SMEs in Europe could benefit from the implementation of design thinking approach refers to the growing recognition of the effectiveness of Design thinking approach in promoting innovation. Co-creation is intended as the practice of developing meaningful solutions (products, services, systems and business models) through a more participative process with engaged company stakeholders, involved in collective creativity environments (Galvagno and Dalli in Managing Service Quality 24:643–683, 2014, [7]). In addition to the explanation on the validity of this approaches to innovation, this paper illustrates how to approach design process and co-creation involving a variety of stakeholders: activities are triggered by the academic world that train policymakers from public administration in order to make industries, from the creative and manufacturing sectors, to benefit from the process of activating new path of innovation.


Design thinking Co-creation Training SMEs Creative industries Policymaker 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Melazzini
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Campodall’Orto
    • 1
  • G. Carella
    • 1
  • A. Vignati
    • 1
  • F. Zurlo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DesignPolitecnico Di MilanoMilanItaly

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