At OSCON next Tuesday evening, Michael Tiemann will lead a training session on Design Thinking. In a nutshell, Design Thinking is an approach to planning and problem solving that extends a familiar metaphor of “design” (as in graphic design, or architectural design), to, well… everything. I first heard the meme in connection with Stanford University’s d.school, and have watched it gain traction over the years. If you have any experience with Meyers-Briggs personality categorizations, I think of Design Thinking as an INFP approach to problem solving, while more traditional approaches are closer to ESTJ. (Which probably has a lot to do with why I find Design Thinking so appealing.)
Michael’s OSI blog has a good introduction to Design Thinking, with a recommended reading list to get you started. You might also be interested in the practical session Wednesday night, applying the Design Thinking process to planning the future of the OSI.