d.School Malaysia brings back its annual Design Thinking Awards to honour design thinkers

d.school Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Lee Yew Meng highlights the importance of design thinking fundamentals in both private and government sectors. — Picture by Hari Anggara
d.school Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Lee Yew Meng highlights the importance of design thinking fundamentals in both private and government sectors. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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PETALING JAYA, September 25 — The country’s dedicated school of innovation and design thinking, d.school Malaysia, today brought together design thinkers from both the government and private sectors to compete for the Design Thinking Association of Malaysia (DTAM) Awards.

A total of 13 finalists were given five minutes each to pitch their manifestation of design thinking before a panel of judges in an exclusive storytelling session at d.school Malaysia office here.

Among the judges were Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Razak School of Government leadership development centre director Azham Zainal Abidin, Ancom Berhad marketing director Peter Das, General Electronic Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario, Accenture Malaysia management consulting manager Syahrul M. Azmi and National Institute of Public Administration deputy director Haizan Yusof.

The session was the penultimate stage before the official DTAM Awards ceremony, which is slated to take place next month.

Participants are given five minutes to pitch their manifestation of design thinking in an exclusive storytelling session. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Participants are given five minutes to pitch their manifestation of design thinking in an exclusive storytelling session. — Picture by Hari Anggara

The DTAM Awards, which debuted last year in conjunction with d.school Malaysia's six-year anniversary, celebrates the works and achievements of design thinkers who made significant changes in their respective organisations.

In its maiden year, the award was divided into two categories; namely DT Trailblazer Award, in recognition of individuals who have succeeded in influencing and shaping purposeful, user-centric outcomes in their organisations; and the DT Advocate Award for those who have propagated the values of design thinking and influencing the adoption of design thinking on a large scale.

This year, it also introduced the Design Thinking for Public Sector category to honour the public sector for their work.

Participants of the storytelling session together with the panel of judges at d.school Malaysia office. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Participants of the storytelling session together with the panel of judges at d.school Malaysia office. — Picture by Hari Anggara

d.school Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Lee Yew Meng said the addition is a prodigious attempt at honouring the application of  design thinking within various government ministries.

According to Lee, the finalists were selected based on an online public voting process via self-initiated campaigns on social media.

“The winners of each category will then be determined based on their five-minute pitch today.”

This year’s award received entries from a range of government ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office, International Trade and Industry Ministry, Education Ministry and Health Ministry.

The storytelling session also saw participation by individuals, major corporations as well as budding companies, including Sime Darby Property, Brunsfield International Group and Taylor’s University.

Speaking about the importance of nurturing design thinking fundamentals in private and government sectors, Lee said the design thinking model, which was adopted from Germany, is something that develops.

“Why is it that the West is seen to be more progressive than the East?” he asked.

“It’s because, from young, they are encouraged to think, but we are encouraged to obey.”

Lee also added that design thinking fundamentals are essential building blocks of innovation and needs to start from a young age.

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