10 students: Full-time MBA students + 12 students from Central Saint Martins including from MA Innovation Management, MA Narrative Environment, MA Industrial Design

Live challenge: Designing solutions relating to donations to Camden Food Bank


In this 12h half-elective , MBA students had an opportunity to explore approaches associated with design by trying out the main methods associated with ‘design thinking’ and ‘service design’. This was delivered through a ‘flipped classroom’ teaching model in response to a design challenge in which the MBA students collaborated with 12 MA design students from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

We took as our challenge encouraging more and more diverse donations to the Camden Food Bank.

Food donation point at UK supermarket

Students worked on mixed teams (MBA + MA students) and explored the drivers of change shaping food poverty in the UK, both macro and micro perspectives, using a range of online resources.


Students then worked together to undertake fieldwork, visiting food donation sites including in local supermarkets, offices and banks to explore how, when and why people donate to the collection points. Interviews with a range of people including potential donors and staff such as supermarket staff and security guards produced insights in donations to food banks.


Students then worked together to generate and visualise solutions to some of these challenges, with the aim of increasing more donations of the right mix of food stuffs, as well as more sustained engagement between donors and local food banks.


Built into this ‘design challenge’ was a process of iteration and peer review which gave students rapid feedback from others working on the same topic.


Intertwined with this ‘design challenge’ approach in relation to a social issue, the teaching enabled students to learn about the main principles, approaches, themes, practices and methods associated with design, and how different kinds of organisations and businesses are embedding this capability.