Design thinking can be a particularly valuable tool for social entrepreneurs. Sometimes, our passion is wasted on ideas that, for reasons that may never be entirely clear to any of us, wither away. The obstacles to adoption may be too high, the end user may not fully understand the solution, or the problem may have been wrongly framed in the first place. Design thinking offers a way to discover the right problem and a way to overcome the obstacles to adoption before the solution is final.
Solutions, whether they are products, services, processes or teams, that have come about through design thinking are more likely to be adopted quickly, because they have been created with the end users in mind. When it comes to social problems, time is of the essence. Take the case of the baby warmers: 20 million low-birth-weight babies are born every year; 450 die every hour.
Design thinking is not easy. It requires constant creativity and the willingness to adapt on the fly. Even people who have been practicing design thinking for years need the rigor of the process.
The human-centered focus, and the rigor and creativity required to maintain that focus over the entire course of the work, sets design thinking apart from other methods of problem solving. In the hands of social entrepreneurs, design thinking offers a better chance to solve the world's most pressing problems.