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Molly Russell

Design Thinking & Innovation, 2018


I'm currently working at Freshfields, a law firm, as an innovation consultant, having previously worked as a lawyer specialising in dispute resolutions and sanctions advice. In this role I work with our practice groups and clients to identify opportunities, generate ideas, develop business cases and analyse and improve the way that we deliver for clients. Recently, I’ve been using design thinking on change management and legal tech projects.

I chose to study at the RCA after a colleague recommended the Design Thinking & Innovation masterclass. It covered more content during the two half-days compared to short courses at other universities, and it was important to me to attend a course in person, not online. The venues at the Design Museum and RCA added to the course’s appeal, along with the teachers’ and facilitators’ credentials and expertise.

I remember being wowed by the Design Museum, where the first half of the course was based. This environment really helped me to get into a good mindset for learning about design thinking as an innovation method. I was very excited to then spend the second half of the course in the Royal College of Art’s Senior Common Room. The space was perfect for collaborative projects and seeing the art on display was a real treat. The kind of learning environment definitely enhanced my experience of the course. Design thinking uses cross-pollination, so hearing about the problems, opportunities and solutions that fellow students had in other industries helped me to develop a good approach in a legal environment.

I also really enjoyed hearing from the diverse group of tutors and speakers that shared their expertise with us. Professor Jeremy Myerson from the RCA and Alex Newson from the Design Museum were brilliant. The course was well-paced, with time to reflect, so I came away feeling that I could remember and apply what I had learned.

Looking back, the most surprising thing about the course is how much it affected the way I approach innovation problems and opportunities at work. Although it was only held over two half-days, it was very impactful and helped to change the way that I think – I've been able to apply what I learned on the Design Thinking & Innovation course to my work as an innovation consultant, including leading mini design-thinking workshops internally and with our clients to help them develop new ways of working


Molly Russell
Molly Russell