Design Thinking Institute

Save the Date

The 2019 Design Thinking Institute will take place from
Tuesday, June 18 - Friday, June 21, 2019.

Registration information will be available mid-January 2019.

For nine years, we have pioneered the teaching of Design Thinking to students. We are experts at creating hands-on, project-based, design thinking curricula. Come learn from experienced educators how to implement a similar program at your school.

This institute will enable you and your teams to efficiently create projects that will foster your students' Design Thinking skills, preparing them for the future.

Design Thinking is a collection of techniques and mindsets that enable people to identify underlying needs through empathy, to harness and develop their ability to generate ideas, and to actively seek feedback.

 Kim Saxe, Founding Director, Innovation Lab

Institute Overview & Outcomes

Photo of Design Thinking Institute

The Design Thinking Institute is an annual event dedicated to sharing Design Thinking practices and processes with other educators. Educators learn to investigate underlying mindsets with the intention of creating projects and facilitating collaborative community efforts for the benefit of an individual or cause.

Participants will gain a better understanding of how to create Design Thinking curricula and foster creative and innovative problem solving skills. Instructors will lead a handful of workshops on how to effectively design projects, analyze thought processes, and communicate the important underlying mindsets that surround Design Thinking. Leaders facilitate participants' initial work in creating curricula applicable to their environments and needs and create a collaborative community to share best practices going forward. Click here to learn about last year's Design Thinking Institute.

Nueva partnered with IDEO and Stanford's d.School to develop the first Design Thinking program and Innovation Lab (I-Lab) specifically for PreK–12 education. In response to a worldwide quest for teachers to integrate Design Thinking in school curricula, Nueva has continued to develop techniques, programs, and facilities for primary and secondary education.


First, you will experience Design Thinking in action through an introductory, hands-on activity. Then, you'll move into an extended real-life project, going into each aspect of the Design Thinking process in depth.

We will focus on advanced design thinking techniques and processes as well as give you hands-on time in our Innovation Lab.  You will also have the opportunity to hear from Nueva faculty and students about successful projects. Before the institute ends, you will have time and guidance to create curricula that also teach design thinking.


  • appreciation for the important mindsets underlying Design Thinking
  • deep knowledge of the process of Design Thinking
  • opportunity to talk with teachers about projects that they have created and taught
  • plans to make your vision a reality
  • ways Design Thinking can improve other aspects of your school
  • tips to bring your community and Board along
  • understanding of why Design Thinking is important

When is the 2019 Design Thinking Institute?

Tuesday, June 18 – Friday, June 21, 2019*

*This year there will only be one event


San Mateo Campus

Who is this event for?

  • Teachers
  • Curriculum developers
  • STEM and STEAM educators
  • Heads of school
  • Service Learning coordinators
  • Summer program directors and counselors


Registration Info

Registration cost is $1,500 per person and includes a curated binder of materials, daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and snacks), guest speakers, and a happy hour.

Travel Information

Both of our campuses are easily accessible from the San Francisco Airport (SFO). Prior to booking your travel arrangements, please ensure that your Institute registration has been completed and confirmed by email.

Directions to Nueva

From San Francisco:
Take the 101 South to I-280. Exit on Trousdale Drive in San Mateo County and follow Skyline Boulevard to 6565 Skyline

From San Jose:
Take the I-280 North to Golf Course Drive/Hayne Road in Hillsborough. Follow Skyline Boulevard north to your destination. 

For complete directions click here.

Contact Us

Please contact us Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Pacific Time, should you have any questions regarding your registration.

You may also call Desiree Viray, Executive Assistant to Associate Head of School at (650) 350-4540.

Meet the Design Thinking Institute Team

Kim Saxe

Founding Innovation Lab Director

"By flaring and focusing, people discover a path through complex, difficult problems, which transforms them into fearless and effective changemakers."