Approaching the Challenge

Apply principles of design thinking and nudging

To address the challenge, you will use the steps outlined by the Stanford design thinking process.

You also will use nudge principles to foster behavioural change in citizens. This means that your solutions will consider subtle ways of influencing citizens, while enabling them to fully maintain their freedom of choice.

Please use the coming months to familiarize yourself with principles of design thinking and nudge economics. We have provided resources for you on each of these topics, to get you started:

Impact real world change 

The competition differentiates itself from traditional case competitions through emphasis on these skills:

Empathy and deep analysis

In conventional case competitions teams are assessed on their ability to quickly “crack” a case. The DT Challenge asks teams to dedicate more time and energy coming to understand the situation and those that will be impacted by their recommendations

Problem Framing

The DT Challenge asks teams to pay more attention than they typically would during case analysis to how a problem is framed upfront. From your upfront research you will come to a reframing of the challenge, which you will articulate using a “How might …” question.


In conventional case competitions teams have one shot at coming to a solution, which they present to the judges. The DT Challenge asks teams to build prototypes of  their solutions, respond to formative feedback on their prototypes,  and iterate their proposed solutions.


In conventional case competitions teams remain separate through the problem-solving process and the relationship between them is one of competition. In the DT Challenge teams still compete, but collaboration is required as well.  In fact teams are judged, in part, on the degree they contribute to all participants’ understanding of the challenge.


In conventional case competitions teams respond to a challenge that has been experienced by an individual organization. In the DT Challenge students work with community leaders to address a challenge of broader societal concern.