Idean Leadership Series

Idean Design Academy: Anticipating the Empathy Economy

How you can unlock the ROI of being human

You already understand and use design thinking, and you know perfectly well that empathy is the foundation of every design thinking framework. But are you using empathy to its full potential? We’ve all heard again and again that creating understanding is the magic tool that helps us truly solve our customers’ problems. Empathy, however, is that essential life skill that we all assume we know, but that we rarely have an opportunity to study.

You know empathy involves unearthing peoples’ latent needs and desires but how, exactly, do you do that? How can you take your personal empathy skills to the next level? And how can you leverage empathy to put different options in context, make better decisions and create breakthrough brands, services, products and organizations?

Join us at Idean Leadership Academy’s 2-day course ‘Anticipating the Empathy Economy’ for an immersive look at empathy – how to develop it at a personal level, how to create a culture of empathy, and how to future-proof your company through empathetic strategies. This course is designed for leaders who are familiar with design thinking methodologies and are looking for a deep dive into advanced empathy skills training.

  • Creative environment

  • Challenge yourself

  • Graduation ceremony

2-Day Program

This design leadership intensive provides two days of practical hands-on learning and skill advancement:

Day 1: ROI of Design Thinking | The Empathy Economy – Theory and Practice

  • Understanding the current Empathy Economy landscape and its ability to transform your business potential
  • Clear ways to proactively identify and prevent the risks associated with lack of empathy
  • Leading by example: exercises to understand and re-write your personal biases and anti-empathy habits

Day 2: Future-Proof Your Vision With Empathy

  • Systems for using empathy to envision and create rock-solid future value propositions
  • Scalable, sustainable methods to ideate and test future concepts against your company’s critical KPIs and end-users’ goals
  • How to earn and maintain trust by elevating your organization’s purpose and value, with transparency and consistency

The most important thing when designing experiences that [involve AI or machine learning] – is empathyMary Lukanuski — Director of Design, Autodesk
  • Mary Lukanuski, Director of Design at Autodesk:

    "The most important thing when designing experiences that involve AI or machine learning – is empathy."

  • Iran Narges, Director of Service Design at Capital One:

    "Empathy is hugely important in my work. The concept of understanding and listening to other people is universal and critical."

  • Ben Matthews, Director of Design at Adobe Spark:

    "Empathy is just inherently part of our culture."


  • Michelle Trudo

    Director of Idean Design Academy, Idean

    Michelle leads the Idean’s Design Academy with a blend of years of industry and academic experience. She is passionate about facilitating design thinking practices, training, and education for design teams and business leaders. Michelle believes design teams and business leaders can align and drive better customer experiences with measurable outcomes by practicing design thinking methods.

  • Chuck Hildebrand

    Insights and Education Lead, Idean

    Chuck is the Insights and Education Lead for the Idean Design Academy. She draws on her experience as an experience researcher, strategist and educator to help people dive into design thinking with gusto so they can quickly see its effects in their work and in lives. She is always hunting for ways to weave practical empathy into systems and interactions so that people feel supported, understood and, ultimately, triumphant.

  • Marije Pothof

    Senior Strategist, Idean

    Marije is one of Idean’s business design strategists and consumer psychologist. She loves to create winning concepts based on consumer needs to support revenue generation in highly competitive B2C and B2B markets. Marije believes that in order to gain trust today your brand has to act upon your consumers’ aspirations; allowing you to stay relevant, and inspire your organization for the right ‘transformational’ behavior change.


Questions? Email us

Thoughts From Idean Design Academy Alums