Design Thinking Program

Safeguarding Volunteering

The Innovation Series

Design Thinking Program

Youth Volunteer Army


The Design Thinking Program is a 12-month program that supports leaders in the volunteering sector to be bold in their actions, learn and grow from failure and build solutions through rapid prototyping and person-centred design.

Through the program, Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) are encouraged and supported to think and operate differently to build a more sustainable and flexible volunteering sector.

The program:

  • helps volunteer organisations to adapt their operations after COVID-19, to effectively recruit, support and manage a more flexible workforce, and
  • embeds leadership and resilience in the volunteering sector by supporting people within VIOs to approach challenges and problems differently through an action learning process.

Volunteering Tasmania is using a design thinking framework to support and embed innovation and creative ways of approaching the future of volunteering across the sector. This process encourages the sector to consider and test new solutions to old problems through practical trials of innovative projects/initiatives.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a creative problem-solving process, with humans at the centre of the design. This process is often applied to complex challenges within an organisation, community or society. Design thinking is a shift in mindset, it’s about experimental learning, adapting a beginner’s mindset.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki


The process of design thinking uses the following stages to build a solution that is desirable (for people who will be affected), viable and feasible:

Empathise: conduct research to fully understand and empathise with your end-user.

Define: bring all your research together to define what the real problem is for your end-user.

Ideate: generate a number of bold, crazy and creative ideas.

Prototype: build quick, real and tangible prototypes for a range of your ideas. These will help test potential solutions in a low-risk way with end-users.

Test: trial the prototypes with end-users to map the results and learn what hasn’t worked and why. Then the prototypes can be discarded or changed.

Are you interested in participating?

Have a look at the Project Overview document (located in quick links) for more information about the program, time commitments, expectations and activity.

How to apply

There are limited places available on the Design Thinking program, so you will need to submit a short application to be considered for selection. Complete the application form (located in quicklinks) and email it through to

More information

Find out more about design thinking here:

Questions? Please contact

This program has been funded by the State Government

Volunteer Connect

Volunteer Connect is a national volunteer referral system which connects volunteers and organisations. It allows people to search for a new volunteer role and for volunteer-involving organisations to advertise for and recruit new volunteers.