Aspire Public Schools
In 2009, Aspire Public Schools, a charter management organization that builds and operates high quality public charter schools to prepare urban students for college, grew 30 points on average. To build upon these amazing results and further a culture of sustained innovation, Aspire hired Lime Design to teach the design thinking process to 200 school leaders at their 2010 Summer Leadership Retreat.
The workshop focused on two areas: learning design thinking and applying it to solve school-site generated complex problems. In the first session of the day, Aspire leaders worked on building empathy as they interviewed their peers and worked in collaborative teams to create a Superhero Teacher, synthesizing their individual strengths. Laughter and appreciation filled the room as each group shared their characters.
In the second session, Lime Design coached school leadership teams on how to use the design thinking process to reframe problems in ways that led to more innovative and need-based solutions for their school sites.
Below are some survey comments from workshop participants.
“Lime Design gave my school site a different way to approach problems; getting at the actual problem as we see it, looking for root causes, not just the symptoms/reactions.”
“Taking the ego out of discussions is what we needed. Design Thinking, if done correctly, solves that problem.”