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Tackling Inequalities with Design Thinking


Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

*Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes. For the latest updates regarding corona virus, please check this link.

Topics: Income inequality, gender inequality, racial inequality, disability and inequality, educational inequality, intersectionality, diversity.
Disciplines: History, economics, gender studies, race studies, educational science.

  • Public speaking (incl. pitching);

  • Applying the method and mindset of Design Thinking;

  • Collaboration;

  • Interviewing;

  • Generating Solutions;

  • Project-based working;

  • Societal awareness;

  • Reflecting.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.


This course provides you with a theoretical background to tackle a societal challenge. You will engage in discussions with invited guest speakers from both the academic and the professional field.
Next to the guest lectures, you will join forces in a small group to work on a specific challenge from a societal partner. This way, you will tackle a global problem on a local scale, with the aim of making a difference in the real world.

Challenges might include: how might we make the university more inclusive? How might we support teachers in providing inclusive education? How do we increase equality in education? How might we make financial security not defined by gender?

Using the method of Design Thinking, you will analyse the situation, brainstorm about possible improvements and prototype solutions in dialogue with the relevant stakeholders. At the final meeting, you will present your solution to the societal partners and your peers.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • apply the methods and mindset of Design Thinking to a societal challenge;

  • work constructively in a team while navigating uncertainty;

  • pitch a solution to a societal stakeholder;

  • recognize the challenges of tackling inequalities in practice;

  • recognise structural inequalities when they encounter them;

  • discuss inequalities in a constructive manner;

Programme and timetable:

The 13 mandatory sessions of this class will take place from 17.30 - 20.00 on the following Tuesdays:

Session 1: January 31
Session 2: February 7
Session 3: February 14
Session 4: February 21
Session 5: March 7
Session 6: March 14
Session 7: March 28
Session 8: April 4
Session 9: April 11
Session 10: April 18
Session 11: April 25
Session 12: May 9
Session 13: May 16

Wijnhaven, room 2.17, Campus The Hague

Reading list:

Literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Seminars: 11 x 3 = 33 hours (participation is mandatory);

  • Literature reading: 4 hours;

  • Peer review: 6 hours;

  • Societal challenge: 10 x 6 = 60 hours;

  • Design Thinking reports: 4 x 5 = 20 hours;

  • Final reflection essay: 17 hours.

Assessment methods:

Assessment will be based on participation, reports, reflection assignments, group work and the solution presented to stakeholders.
Students can only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.
The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration. This course will also use MS teams as a collaboration environment

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 31 October 2022 up to and including Sunday 20 November 2022 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.

Marlies van der Meer: