Karthik Kumar is no stranger to Design Thinking. After majoring in Information Technology for his undergraduate degree, Karthik completed postgraduate work in Business Design, where he focused his studies on design thinking and entrepreneurship. After graduation, he was able to apply the mindset he developed in his studies to improve processes at Google as a Strategist. He credits his ability to empathize as a key skill which enabled him to increase revenue flow and customer happiness.

Karthik Kumar in a “former” life.

While he was happy with his position, “Design Thinking Action Lab,” opened his eyes to new possibilities and prompted him to leave to focus on his passion for Design Thinking. Upon interacting and collaborating with students from around the world, he was inspired by the vast array of perspectives which different people bring to the same problem, and realized he still had much to learn.

Though he has much to learn, he also has much knowledge to spread and is now doing exactly that as an instructor at Design for Change in India. Karthik spends his days teaching students the process of “feel, imagine, do, share,” a slightly modified version of the Stanford d.school’s “empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test.” He believes that it is very powerful to inculcate such thinking at an early age, to enable individuals to recognize challenges and effectively address them.

As part of the program, students from 8th grade onward choose issues which impact them and collaborate to identify and drive solutions. It is exciting to think that there is a growing number of people in the world who take action rather than shrug in helplessness when dissatisfied with the status quo, and we couldn’t be more proud of Karthik for helping to drive that change.