Moonshot and Five Bold Steps as Future Design Thinking Methods in Superweek


Superweeks are part of RUN-EU activities and NHL Stenden at Leeuwarden was hosting the 4th Superweek. This spring’s Superweek drew inspiration from its predecessors, but we facilitators wanted to also include something new. Both tracks, pedagogical development and Design Factory Bootcamp remained, but then we wanted to dig a little bit deeper and include more free discussion with experts and colleagues. Based on the feedback, this really paid off! More free time for networking was wanted and I couldn’t agree more! The best ideas and collaboration are built during unofficial meetings, around the same lunch or dinner table or whatever meeting point you can think of. 

The main task for the Design Factory Bootcamp track was to help other RUN-EU partners build their own Design Factory (DF) and get new insights for current Design Factories. There are currently two DFs under RUN-EU umbrella, and they are located in NHL Stenden (Blokhuispoort, ”The Jail”) and at HAMK. And we already know, there is more to come! We wanted to start our week purely thinking and designing DF future. As a tool we used ”Moonshot”. 

Moonshot is a tool for crazy ideas and dreams, and we wanted to look far forward and practice. The timeframe at this stage is 30-50 years, so far away in future. It will be interesting to see how many predictions come true and how quickly. We have a saying inside Design Factories, that if you open your mouth and say things out loud, they usually happen. Maybe it’s all about those people, who are interested in working in Design Factory atmosphere, most of us are very proactive and speed up from zero to hundred in nanoseconds. Moonshot is a nice and fast tool to imagine your future. In Moonshot Mission we usually define our Status Quo first. After that, at least I, advice my students to go Desirable Dream and go crazy. Make yourself and your team enthusiastic. When we have our goal, it’s time to think, how we are going to make it? What are our Obstacles, Social, Financial and Environmental Impacts, who are your Fans (who are you taken with you), and what is your Purpose? What happens if you don’t make it? In an ideal situation we would have made a prototype and tested if it had worked. 

When we defined our Moonshots, it was time to go concrete. During the week we also used other design thinking tools. Via Cover Story Vision -canvas we still laid like broccolis few moments in the future and designed our DF news cover page, what will be released after 10 years. Some of us will be in Forbes cover and some will host 6th Superweek in a row, where students try to solve the world’s water problem. Some Design Factories are working as independent universities.

5 Bold Steps Vision -canvas took us finally back to the real world and all parties created Vision Statement for their future Design Factories. We also needed to clarify our Supports, also Challenges. At this point we were very close to an action plan. To ensure all participants’ actions, instead of traditional presentations, as a wrap-up we made videos for our own institutions, where we stated why Design Factories are needed, and what are their benefits.

The whole week was fruitful for all parties. We as facilitators got inspired by others and I hope vice versa. At least feedback was speaking on behalf of this. Let’s go and build more Design Factories, they are much needed!


Sanna-Maaria Siintoharju, Head of Valkeakoski Design Factory

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