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RSM2524H – Business Design Practicum

General Information


Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Business Design (c)
  • Health Sector Management (r)
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (c)
  • Social Impact & Sustainability (r)

Instructor Bio

Dr. Angèle Beausoleil is the Assistant Professor of Business Design and Innovation and Academic Director of the Business Design Initiative (BDI) at the Rotman School of Management. Professor Beausoleil brings deep industry experience to her teaching of design methodologies for business innovation to MBAs, commerce students and industry executives. A former communications designer, marketer, strategist and innovation lab executive, she applies her 25+ years in private and public practice to crafting high impact teaching and learning experiences. With a PhD in Innovation Pedagogy, she leads research on innovation process design, navigation and management. Dr. Beausoleil is also a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


This course is delivered as 2-hr weekly studios/workshops plus additional online tutorials over 12 weeks. It is designed as a flipped classroom, and will offer hybrid learning (in-person and online sync – based on provincial and university guidelines).

Course Mission

This practicum course is aimed at students who are interested in understanding design’s role in business innovation and applying design principles and methods as marketers, strategists and consultants. This 12-week course builds upon RSM2523 (BD Fundamentals) and prepares students for their design-infused and/or design-inspired careers. It involves a series of interactive sessions focused on a consultative business design project with an industry sponsor. The learning objectives are:

  • active practice of Business Design (4-step method): using management frameworks, ethnographic methods and design techniques to find, frame and solve problems;
  • experience sustained curiosity, empathy and creativity to find needs, reframe problems and offer customer-centred solutions to the industry challenge sponsor;
  • in consulting teams, design and conduct qualitative research in field and online to gain insight; and,
  • articulate and offer a novel and relevant solution to the sponsored challenge.

Course Scope

The course focuses on using human-centred design (aka stakeholder-cenred design) methods and developing a strategic and creative mindset to navigate the uncertainties of business innovation. This class offers an in-person and online studio, and field-based learning experiences and discussions with a real business challenge sponsor. It involves a combination of instructor-led, peer-to-peer and team-based learning and knowledge exchange. This course will expose you to uncertainty, while encouraging you to creatively and collaboratively solve business problems.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Individual ParticipationOngoing20%
Four Individual ReflectionsClass 2, 4, 6, 820%
Individual Workbook SubmissionsOngoing20%
Group Design Brief/Research PlanClass 510%
Group Business Design Solution Report + PresentationClass 1230%

Required Resources

You will be required to use an e-workbook(possibly purchase the printed version if available).

Required readings and supplemental materials will be provided on Quercus.

Last Updated: 2021-06-17 @ 11:40 am