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  • Writer's pictureAteneo Intellectual Property Office [AIPO]

AIPO holds Creative Thinking Workshops for Areté Sandbox Residents

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Last March 26 and June 3, 2022, the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO) in partnership with the Areté held two batches of Creative Thinking Sessions for the Areté Sandbox Residents.

The first workshop was held online and was attended by (3) three new Sandbox resident groups while the second one was held onsite and was attended by (2) renewing groups together with a representative from Areté’s own Makerspace Laboratory.

Photo: Creative Thinking Workshop Participants - Batch 1 (Online)

Photo: Creative Thinking Workshop Participants - Batch 2 (Onsite)

The main objective of these workshops is to introduce the Design Thinking methodology in the residents’ approach to addressing the needs of their stakeholders regardless of what stage their respective projects are currently in. Specifically, the workshops aim to 1) help the participants anchor their innovations on actual users and industry problems; 2) to develop the ability of participants to solve problems using the design thinking process; 3) to build the participants’ creative confidence; and 4) to help participants in getting feedback for their prototyped ideas.

Popularized by Stanford University’s d.School, Design Thinking is a human-centered design process that develops solutions for the problems humans encounter. It is applicable to anyone and in any industry imaginable.

Photo: Mr Steve Chaves discussing different Ideation Tools

The two workshops were led by Mr Steve Chaves of AIPO’s Ideation Support Group and was assisted by his teammates who served as breakout facilitators. The sessions each started with an introduction to Design Thinking and its importance to the innovation process. It was followed by a discussion of each of its 5 stages: Empathize; Define; Ideate; Prototype; and Test. For the second batch, the AIPO Director, Dr Jon Fernandez, gave a talk on Value Proposition and the importance of product-market fit.

Photo: Dr Jon Fernandez discussing the Value Proposition Model

Towards the end of the two sessions, the groups were able to produce low-cost and low-fidelity prototypes of their solution specific to their defined “How Might We?” (HMW) Question.

Some of the outputs include a medical interpreter tool, a smartphone based obstetric tele-mentored ultrasound, a guideline in creating sustainable stagecraft, a teacher volunteering system, and a paleolithic diet restaurant plan.

The AIPO and Areté hope to see these prototypes become successful and reach their target users. The two offices will continue their collaborative efforts in intersecting human-centered design with innovation and art to ensure that the outputs their clients produce put the very people they are looking to serve at the heart of the process.

If you are interested in learning more about the Design Thinking problem-solving process, feel free to send us a message at For more information about the Areté, the Sandbox program, or the Makerspace Laboratory, you may reach them at


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