The Design at Business Community: Fostering design mindsets in large organizations

Deepa Iyer
Experience Matters
Published in
3 min readNov 20, 2018


Accelerating Design Thinking across large organizations worldwide by connecting the catalysts is the key credo of the Design at Business Community. Founded by SAP, Nestlé, and Philips, about 6 years ago, the community currently has members from more than 130 organizations and 700+ members worldwide.

What is the community about?

Design at Business is a network of Design Thinking practitioners and change agents from large organizations who come together as a community to share best practices, stories, experiences and learnings as they transform their teams to become design led. It is a global community of practice with active hubs in North America, Europe and India with very young chapters launching soon in Israel and Brazil.

Why join the Design at Business community?

The Design at Business community serves the needs of our members at both the organizational level and at the individual (employee) level. Organizations join the community to learn from other large organizations on adopting and scaling design mindsets and skill sets. Individuals from these organizations join us to learn from peers from other companies who share similar challenges and gain insights and inspiration for daily work.
For example, you might wonder, how do design mindsets manifest in a team? A couple of years ago, a small subset of the community pondered this exact question and decide to put together an artifact that aimed to answer it. Over a period of more than half a year, the working group met in person and online and drafted the “Mindsets of a design-minded Intrapreneur” that not just includes the mindsets of a Design Thinker, but also organizational enablers and detractors of those mindsets.

Community Activities

The community has three strategic pillars on which it functions: connect, skill up and co-create.

Connect: we strive to connect like-minded change agents at quarterly regional events and an annual summit. Our most recent event in North America was held in San Francisco Oct 2–4 and hosted by Wells Fargo. We had 24 participants from 11 different companies. The topics included hands-on sessions on innovation maturity in large organizations, moving from concept to reality and retaining design talent. Read a blog on Medium summarizing the primary topic at the event- innovation maturity absorption written by one of the participants to learn more.

Skill-up: we organize cross company coach camps and unconferences for our members to gain deep knowledge and skills as coaches and facilitators. To learn more about our last unconference, read the post on Medium.

Co-create: working groups formed by small subsets of the community to solve shared challenges, create meaningful outcomes and share it back with the broader community. Curios to see our work? Download the mindsets of a design-minded intrapreneur and skill sets of a design-minded intrapreneur to learn more.

Connect with us

Do you want to stay connected, join the community or join us at the next meet up or unconference? Contact us on our social media channels:




If you are interested in joining the community, please apply with your LinkedIn profile and experience with Design Thinking and design doing, by messaging the Community Manager on our LinkedIn group.

About SAP Design

SAP Design is creating a consistent user experience for the SAP Intelligent Suite. By putting people at the center of the development process with innovations like the SAP Fiori design language and SAP CoPilot, the conversational enterprise assistant, we empower users and improve peoples’ lives by making work delightful.

For more information, visit the SAP Design homepage.



Deepa Iyer
Experience Matters

Deepa Iyer is a Sr Design Program Manager at LinkedIn.