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Innovation delivered via design thinking

Design Masterclass

The Design Masterclass (DMK) has been one of the most significant design education programs in Estonia. It has fundamentally changed both the public’s and industry’s understanding of what design is.

Enterprise Estonia (now Estonian Business and Innovation Agency) has named this program as their most successful and popular development program.

Since 2018, the same trio has been behind the content, organisation and development of the DMK program: Design Minds, Brand Manual and BDA Consulting. The big picture goals have remained the same but the duration, intensity, methodology, tools, workshop formats have been constantly upgraded and developed according to the feedback of the participants and the change of the surrounding economic environment.

Design managers have been one of the most important success criteria of the program and today have a strong influence on the Estonian business landscape. They are personal mentors and supervisors selected from among Estonia’s top designers and consultants. They help company teams better understand the essence of design and design tools. They personally lead the design process and, if necessary, push it from behind.

Dozens of companies have changed their operating principles, business strategy, structure, work culture and product development process (if one existed before the program). The winners of the last years – Factory Seven (, Dipperfox (, Artproof (, Baubauwall ( – have launched completely new products and services on the market, which all started from the DMK program. The same applies to dozens of other companies that did not make it to the top in the fierce competition.

Indirectly, the DMK program can in turn be considered the godmother of several other private and public sector development programs. Dozens of teams from the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Agriculture and Food Agency, the Health Fund, the Ministry of Rural Affairs and other state institutions and agencies have completed the public services development program.

Thanks to the DMK program, the companies and design managers that have participated, the meaning of design has changed. An ever growing number of company owners and managers have learned to understand design as a discipline, mindset, and strategic toolset to grow their business and competitive advantage. Knowhow of design thinking as well as implementing design as a business development tool in Estonia is, today, world class!

Masterclass moments

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