Design Thinking, Innovation Creativity Nova Scotia



Design Thinking is an iterative process that moves you from understanding the problem to testing and implementing creative solutions in 5 steps demonstrated in the image below:




“A human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Tim Brown, Co-Founder of the approach.  



Design thinking is a unique, creative, collaborative problem-solving method that generates innovative and effective solutions. 

“I found the design thinking challenge to be extremely useful. I did not realize that empathy was such an effective tool for defining a problem and developing possible solutions.”
– Matthew Reid, Design Thinking workshop: Doctors & Digby.
  “Design Thinking / NextLabs has provided me with a framework for understanding and designing my business goals, and provided me with tools for understanding my business from a client-centred perspective.”
– Derrick MacEachern, Owner Five Star Wellbeing

Examples of how design thinking GENERATES solutions for Small & Medium – sized Businesses:
(click images for details)

Manufacturer minimizes the risk for product development. Owner uses empathy to increase morale in the workplace Converting online traffic to increased sales after discovering an unexpected determining factor



WHAT we offer: 

Apply Design Thinking to your business
*Applications now open for 2021*learn more
Design Thinking training for your team:

  • Design Thinking Training 
  • hands-on, interactive, engaging
  • 1, 2- or 3-day options
  • customized – for a challenge you are currently facing, to ensure it is relevant to your context
  • designed by educators, according to principles of adult learning 
  • includes an extensive digital toolkit 
  • WIPSI application guidance 
Dive Deeper into Design Thinking: 

  • We lead Design Thinking processes so you and your team can find innovative solutions for your challenges. 
  • 2 – 5 days, together or over several weeks, depending on your needs and the challenge 
  • engaging diverse stakeholders and team-members
  • includes an extensive digital toolkit
  • WIPSI application guidance 


Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre celebrates 30 years of successfully supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits in Nova Scotia. Since our inception, we have focused our practice in consulting, business counselling and facilitation on custom approaches.  Approaches that truly serve the people involved with them – the basic underlying notion of Design Thinking: to use processes and find solutions that are human-centered in their design.  

The Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre is well-positioned to provide Design Thinking services, our staff are well-trained and bring years of experience in Design Thinking to the table.  

Previous successes: 

We have successfully delivered trainings for government staff, supporting them in communicating with the public more effectively. We have also facilitated Design Challenges for post-secondary educational institutions such as Nova Scotia Community Collages (NSCC). We regularly deliver programing for students based in Design Thinking, allowing future generations to experience this innovative approach. In March 2019, facilitators guided a group of students in solving challenges for Nova Scotia’s manufacturing sector at our yearly Start it Up Event in partnership with the Valley REN. In 2020, we started offering NextLabs, a program for local businesses wishing to learn the process by applying it to their business.

“It is an excellent way to really clarify what problem you wish to overcome or solve for your business. This process facilitates creativity and a wide lens that can really help you identify how and where to place your resources. Tom and Anne are absolutely invaluable to this process and created a space to question, explore and innovate.”
– Nextlabs 2020 Participant

If you would like to hear about our work or speak to past clients, please contact us at 1-866-654-4499.