Design Thinking Innovation Manager

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA - CHAPEL HILL   Chapel Hill, NC   Full-time     Education
Posted on February 23, 2023
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Design Thinking Innovation Manager

Position Number: 20053502

Department Description:  
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IEED) leads the University in its goal to uncover and unleash the vast innovation potential of faculty, students, staff, alumni and stakeholders. IEED works with leadership across campus to set strategy, provide central services, establish and foster partnerships, and garner resources to support the University’s innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development agenda. UNC-Chapel Hill is generating ground-breaking ideas through research to become a leading fundamental and translational research university. IEED uses a federated model to strengthen the innovation ecosystem that consists of an extensive network of University-facilitated programs. This network of students, faculty and staff are working together to tackle the most challenging problems in North Carolina and the world.

Equal Opportunity Employer:  
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Position Description:  
The Design Thinking Innovation Manager will serve as a member of Innovate Carolina’s Design and Public Innovation team to deliver human-centered design training and project execution. This role will also manage the day-to-day operations of the design thinking practice while serving as a mentor to graduate student Design Thinking Fellows.

- Plan, facilitate and lead design thinking workshops, trainings, design sprints, and innovation engagements for Innovate Carolina.
- Consult with internal and external teams to define project scope and opportunities to bring human-centered design into their work.
- Coach and manage a team of graduate student Design Thinking Fellows in the planning and delivery of design thinking projects.
- Support the operations of design thinking services through proposal creation, project tracking, client management, and invoicing.
- Partner with Innovate Carolina’s Marketing and Communications team to promote design thinking services.
- Coordinate the student experience for the Graduate Certificate in Innovation for the Public Good (CIPG) which includes recruitment, selection process, curriculum support, community-building and career activities/events, and certification of completion. CIPG is the pipeline for all Design Thinking Fellows.

Essential Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:  
At least 3 years of relevant experience in design thinking practice including creating, leading, and managing design thinking trainings and/or projects. Experience leading strategy, transformation, or innovation projects, conducting qualitative research (e.g. stakeholder engagement) and ability to distill complex problems through structured, insightful, and data-driven analysis into insights and takeaways.

Trained in design thinking methodology and demonstrated success with design thinking in practice is a must. Experience with facilitation and design thinking tools in digital workspaces/digital whiteboards. Excellent program management skills as well as the ability to set priorities, self-organize, manage multiple tasks, pivot based on the needs of the organization, and work with others to achieve common goals. Effective written, visualization, and verbal communication skills. Proven ability to engage with senior leaders and design solutions to meet project needs. Demonstrated ability to work in an entrepreneurial, collaborative fast-paced environment.

Education Requirements:  

Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required (or foreign degree equivalent); for candidates demonstrating comparable independent research productivity or comparable background in independent academic or instructional activities, will accept a relevant Bachelor’s degree (or foreign degree equivalent) and 3 or more years of relevant experience in substitution. This experience may be related to the direction/oversight of programs that focus the academic and research resources of a higher education institution towards community or regional issues.

Qualifications and Experience:  

Advanced degree preferred (MBA, MPH, MPA/MPP, MEd, PhD, etc.). Knowledge of human-centered methods and processes required to support design thinking engagements in a variety of contexts including strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship and higher education. Prior experience in the public, private or non-profit sector with supervisory experience a plus. Passion to make the world a better place.

Quick Link for Direct Access to Posting:

Posting Open Date:  02/21/2023

Posting Close Date:  03/21/2023

Open Until Filled:  No

Office of Human Resources Contact Information:  If you experience any problems accessing the system or have questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (919) 843-2300 or send an email to
Please note: The Office of Human Resources will not be able to provide specific updates regarding position or application status.