This report details four case studies that illustrate design thinking in action, outlining different facets of design thinking as employed by social sector organizations. In these cases, we highlight the issues that design thinking addresses, offer specifics of the processes implemented, and outline observed benefits and lessons learned.


Engaging Frontline Employees at HHS
Imagine the innovation potential, both in terms of reduced costs and improved service, of engaging employees at every level to search for opportunities to create better value for citizens. Improving Solution Quality at the


Good Kitchen
Using the tools of design thinking to develop deep insights into both users and employees helps teams reframe possibilities to open up new areas of inquiry, as demonstrated by the local Danish government’s work to improve nutrition for the elderly.

Aligning Diverse Stakeholder Groups at the FDA
Creating change in the public sector often involves engaging and aligning multiple stakeholders who have differing missions and perspectives. Finding innovative solutions in such an environment can be fraught with difficulty as various worldviews often paralyze progress and/or result in the selection of sub-optimal “lowest common denominator” solutions.

Fostering Experimentation and Change at MasAgro
Often in the public sector, working toward a greater good involves inducing people to alter their behaviors—to adopt healthier lifestyles, prepare more carefully for air travel, or stay in high school instead of dropping out.

Read more about each case study.