Joint Design Thinking with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana


Last week, a group of students and instructors from the Chair of Information Systems at TUM visited Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana for a joint workshop on Design Thinking. Dr. Manuel Wiesche from the Chair of Information Systems conducted the workshop with students from TUM, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and KNUST together with Mr. Kwame Owusu Kwarteng, lecturer in the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at KNUST School of Business.

The topic of the workshop was Design Thinking in the context of cross-cultural challenges in en-trepreneurship and innovation. The participants got to know the basics of the Design Thinking methodology and were able to directly apply the methods by tackling real world challenges of companies and people in Ghana. Thereby, both Ghanaian and German students engaged directly with locals in Kumasi for interviews and prototype testing to gain a better understanding of the situation in the field.

In addition, the students were able to visit the Kumasi Business Incubator, where Prof. Samuel Yaw Akomea and Isaac Duodo welcomed the group. The Kumasi Business Incubator has support-ed more than 30 startups in recent years. As one entrepreneurship success story, the group visited Boomers, a local manufacturer of eco-friendly bamboo bikes who also supports young people in rural Ghana to develop skills and an income that will set them up for the future.

The workshop was part of a larger project on cross-cultural challenges in entrepreneurship and innovation that is conducted by the Chair for Information Systems jointly with the KIT. The project is part of the SUGAR network, a global network that brings together multidisciplinary students from different universities and challenges them to solve real world product development challenges. The trip to Gahana helped students from TUM and KIT to collect data for the design thinking challenge they tackle as part of this project.

The delegation from TUM was welcomed by Prof. Nathaniel Boso, Dean of KNUST School of Business, on behalf of KNUST. KNUST is Ghana’s leading technical university and a strategic partner of TUM as part of the TUM.Africa strategy. The strategic collaboration on the university level has been officially kicked off in late October this year by the universities’ vice-chancellors. KNUST and TUM have been connected through many years of collaboration.