Design Thinking in Viña Del Mar

For the past few days I have had the privilege of being part of the Sausalito Sister City delegation to Viña Del Mar, Chile. Although I do not live in Sausalito, I am honored to be an adopted sister of this group.

The Sausalito team is committed to supporting and mentoring a group of women entrepreneurs, who are part of AGEP – a women's business association sponsored by the Chilean government.

On Wednesday, I led a Design Thinking workshop, which was expertly translated into Spanish Jan and Paulaby Paula Tejada, the founder of Chile Lindo in SF. We walked the ladies through the process of Design Thinking, and they loved it! In this workshop, the ladies get into groups of two and interview each other about their needs (in this case, for a wallet). Then they design a wallet for the other person; show them sketches; get feedback, and create a prototype. At first, there seemed to be a lot of questions about the terminology. For example, how do you translate, “what does your wallet mean to you?”

But, the ladies rallied and cheerfully interviewed each other about their needs and usage patterns for their wallets. Then, they developed concepts; discussed them with each other; and were ready to make their prototypes. This got the creative juices flowing!

Everyone was hard at work for 12 minutes as they created prototypes using paper and stickers and pens that I had brought from San Francisco:

Hard at work Making prototypes

When they were done, they shared their concepts:

Wallet w GPS to find ninos

Marisa created a wallet with buttons that activated GPS connectivity so her user could know where her children were at any moment.

Wallet w multiple covers for fashionJimena designed a wallet with several covers, to color-coordinate with her user’s fashion of the day.

Wallet w multiple parts


Patricia's wallet had multiple parts that easily came apart for various usages.




The lesson was a hit! The designs were very creative and offered a lot of variety.

Proud of finished prototypes

At the end, many gals commented that they looked forward to using this Design Thinking methodology to enhance their businesses

A lovely day! Charming women. Great cross-cultural communication. And, lots of business potential! It was truly an honor to be able to participate. I’m looking forward to continued mentoring opportunities with this group.

4 thoughts on “Design Thinking in Viña Del Mar

  1. Diana James-Cairns

    Your design thinking seminar reminds me of the years of concept testing and the amazing products that came out of it. Made me miss the days in product marketing. I love that you are transferring this skill to women in Chili.


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