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Empowering the next generation through design

It’s Your Move: healthy living by design

The rise of obesity and other health-related diseases is a worrying trend in Australia. It is increasingly important that children learn to take care of their wellbeing and adopt healthy behaviours for life.
Empowering the next generation through design

The ACT Government Health Improvement Branch tackled this challenge in an innovative way. It introduced a design thinking curriculum to ACT schools, to give students a way to approach complex problems, using health and wellbeing as the sample challenge.

The curriculum was developed by ThinkPlace in partnership with ACT Health, the Department of Education and Training, Deakin University and Ernst and Young. 

We worked with more than 80 students and teachers to develop lesson content. We also delivered engaging workshops to introduce them to design thinking tools and techniques they can apply in the future.

The result was a comprehensive design thinking curriculum that teaches students how to use design, innovation and entrepreneurship to identify and address health issues in their local school and community.

As Year 9 and 10 students progress through the semester, they experience different phases of the design thinking process – imagine, empathise, ideate, prototype and launch - through over 70 hours of lessons.

The curriculum is being applied throughout schools in the Canberra region, with expansion to more institutions in 2018.

Through the design thinking content, students and teachers are receiving the techniques, tools and mindset to improve the health of their schools. Learning about design is empowering students to be future health and social entrepreneurs in their communities.

This is an example of the UN Global Goals for Sustainability Development being enacted in a local context. The ACT Government is acting to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.

By working with students and teachers, and applying design thinking, we created a curriculum that is not just about health and wellbeing. It also gives students innovative ways of thinking about challenges like this, making them better-equipped to create positive outcomes in the future.

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