Meet Cari Warren, the Instructor for the Certificate in Design Thinking, and a champion of development and innovation. As Innovative Services Manager and later Customer Insights Manager at Delta Dental of Washington (DDWA), she has helped to create a culture where design thinking mindsets are utilized to help employees look beyond their four walls to solve problems. Since implementing design thinking as an innovation strategy, DDWA’s work has consistently started by curiously examining challenges and determining how to learn about their customers’ needs.
Cari has orchestrated and accomplished an expansive array of design thinking projects while working for DDWA. She has facilitated over 30 design sessions with numerous teams, focused on brainstorming and developing new solutions to existing problems, including designing DDWA’s audio and visual technologies in their new office space. Additionally, she co-facilitated three (3) different think-tank seminars with DDWA managers in which they identified potential products and situations that could jeopardize DDWA’s future. She conducted a design thinking session with aspiring professionals throughout the Spokane community where their work helped conceptualize and develop the Center of Excellence for Lean Learners in the community. Additionally, she partnered with Gonzaga University to help train WSDOT employees on design thinking strategies through an 8-month engagement; the content was targeted at evaluating and revamping their current leadership philosophy to create a solution which involves all individuals in the organization throughout their career. Cari believes that, by investing time into teaching design thinking to others throughout the community, organizations can experience positive transformation in their ability to solve problems on a large scale.