• The DSIL Course Vision


    The DSIL story begins with an idea. This idea came from an entrepreneurial woman sitting in her home in Japan. While teaching at a University undergrad students there on the subjects of social innovation and innovative business practices, she wondered what would happen if people who had more power and pull were engaging in this learning. Her hope was that that group may have the means to implement this knowledge faster to catalyze positive change in the world. How might the practice of these themes also move people, companies, and communities further, in ways we never imagined?


    She spent long nights building out her idea, sharing it with everyone she met, and inviting others in to help her in creating the DSIL Course. Soon, a small dedicated team built out a prototype and hurled the call for applications out into the world. That was in May 2014. In a span of 4 weeks, 400 applications flooded in and the idea was validated- a world of practitioners were waiting, open, and ready to learn for the exciting new skills set of design thinking and innovation- especially through a socially minded lens. In the inaugural year, the DSIL team had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people and connect them with inspiring communities around Southeast Asia. The team became even more dedicated than before- and some even moved across the world to continue to integrate the course and make it even more meaningful and accessible to all. The second year and third year paved new pathways as the connections between the DSIL community of Alumni, who deeply care about what's going on in their communities and the places they work, were connected with each other and other organizations and for-profits- changing the old way of doing things and leaning into some big and very important questions: How might we design social solutions and business better? How might we design together with people who are not like us? How much might we change the way the world works to make it a more livable place (healthy place, equitable place, happy place) if we do these things daily?


    The DSIL team works hard to practice what they teach - they are collectively and constantly listening to and working alongside the communities that the course participants engage with during their time in South East Asia. The DSIL story is a generative one. New stories, new people, new places and constant opportunities for more dialogue and experimentation lead us to where we are now- launching our 4th year of the course in Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.


    Since launching DSIL Course as a social enterprise in October 2014, the applications have increased to over 1000 from all continents. To date, there are 111 alumni from 45 countries and they are up to some amazing work. This year the DSIL Course is expanding to find more individuals and companies keen to continue the learning from dedicated socially- minded leaders working together in all sectors around the globe.

    DSIL Course Philosophy

    +We hold with us that 80% of the global population lives on less than $10 a day, 40% lack access to sanitation services, and 4.4 billion people do not have internet connectivity (DMI 2014).


    +We are empowered by the different practices of design thinking is a powerful methodology for complex problem-solving across all sectors.


    +We believe in the possibility and aggregate impact that can be made by local leaders in collaboration with business.


    +We recognize the unlimited value of all experiences and perspectives at a table of innovation.


    +We know this path, when taken by courageous leaders, will calibrate the many broken structures facing our rapidly changing society and ultimately increase the quality of life for hundreds of thousands.


    +We believe that thoughtful education is the fastest way to enacting this change.

    DSIL Course Approach

    Our course pedagogy is centered in learning by doing, and doing together. We design the course to include emerging knowledge so we are focusing on what's now, to 'train up', accelerate capacity, and build 21st Century skills so individuals leave ready to contribute to the transformation and new leadership needed in the work set before us a rapidly evolving global society. In terms of sustainability, profits generated by the DSIL Course are re-invested into DSIL Global programs, including scholarships for future DSIL Course participants and grants for DSIL Course alumni, in order to provide greater access, training, and opportunities for impact leaders around the world.