Master in Strategic Design in Complexity

The Master in Strategic Design in Complexity combines strategic design, systemic thinking, sustainability and applied social sciences to devise new approaches in the field of business and social innovation.

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The Master in Strategic Design in Complexity combines strategic design, systemic thinking, sustainability and applied social sciences to devise new approaches in the field of business and social innovation.


Master’s Degree in Strategic Design in Complexity.
Awarded by UVic-UCC


Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, Enric Bayó


September to July


(+€500 registration fee)
Financing and grants

ECTS Credits




Field trip

Fees are not included

The Master in Strategic Design in Complexity, fruit of a collaboration between Elisava and Kaospilot, combines design disciplines with other social sciences applied in response to the challenges of our time. It aims to increase graduates’ problem-solving capacities, in the business sphere and in any kind of organisational or community-based setting.

*Kaospilot is one of the world's top design schools (BusinessWeek) and a world-leading business school (Fast Company). Kaospilot has worked on the intersection of design and business for many years, implementing design principles in business and social areas.

Design has found a place in practically all aspects of life in society, and is no longer exclusively limited to areas related to crafts, art and architecture. In keeping with this trend, strategic planning, and its application, has begun to form part of the world of design, pushing forwards new hybrids and theories that cover areas like innovation, inclusive design, corporate design and strategic design, but also in areas like leadership, sustainability, systemic thinking, and company change and development, among others.

As the world becomes increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous), areas such as strategy design and the role of strategy in design are taking on increasing importance. This new master’s programme responds to the context of society’s growing complexity and the need for a systemic approach to problem-solving. This programme, therefore, aims to prepare a new generation of professionals by not only boosting their entrepreneurial skills, but also providing them with the design capacities they need to transform their initiatives based on the needs of the 21st century, which include anything from environmental issues to ethical ones.

With these contexts in mind, this programme promotes ethnographic and anthropological research, ideation and prototyping to devise new approaches in the field of entrepreneurial and social innovation. Students will gain critical skills based on design, while developing sophisticated perspectives on management and organisational strategy, financial and environmental sustainability, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical leadership.

During the Master's degree, there will be two 4-day field trips in Berlin and Aarhus. Their aim is to give a broader view of "ways of thinking" and "ways of doing", as well as to promote self-awareness, teamwork and networking. 

The master’s programme provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to compete in the global market as innovative designers, specialised strategic designers and business developers.

In this regard, the programme introduces students to ways of thinking and doing within the area of strategic design, allowing them to develop their own practice, following systemic changes and addressing both critical business issues and social challenges. The themes we will be covering include planning and strategic thinking, complexity, future studies, learning scenarios, innovation, the market, business models, sustainability, leadership, organisation, understanding problems, human behaviour and systemic thinking.

The master’s is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide knowledge, methodologies and skills for approaching projects from a strategic design perspective.
  • To give an understanding of the disciplines of design and strategy, how they develop and interact.
  • To show students how to analyse trends and translate them into actionable ideas.
  • To understand the complexity of the challenges and developments that occur in systems.
  • To construct problem formulations and research designs.
  • To apply different methodologies in the construction of prototypes and proposals.
  • To create value propositions, models and strategies.
  • An understanding of what is implied in the design practice, in particular strategic design, as well as the advantages and challenges a design-focused approach entails for organisations, businesses and social development.
  • An ability to apply strategic design methods and tools to describe and analyse problems in complex scenarios.
  • A knowledge of the appropriate methods for generating ideas, concept development and team building.
  • An ability to formulate and communicate strategic design-based business plans to stakeholders, within one’s own organisation or communities.
  • An understanding of different forms of leadership and their impact on strategic design.
  • An ability to implement strategic design taking into account market dynamics and company’s value proposition.
  • An ability to describe innovation processes in a given organisation.
  • An understanding of change as an opportunity and an ability to translate this into desirable, feasible and viable solutions.
  • The management of multidisciplinary work teams based on strategic design principles.
  • Public speaking and giving presentations.

There is currently a great demand for professionals in the area of design and strategy. Approaching ideation and strategy from the field of design is an emerging concept, considered as one of the future roles in building organisations that are able to respond to any unpredictable future.

Graduates from this programme are well positioned to follow career pathways in the management of sustainability, innovation, social enterprise, strategic design and service design, and as entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries, organisations and professional fields. Students who are already working can apply what they learn to become “intrapreneurs” in their current organisations or move into new and emerging roles, such as change manager, head of innovation or lead design thinker to advance towards new roles, including those responsible for change, innovation or future management.

We identify two basic professional profiles: “specialists in design and innovation” (marketing directors, R&D managers, industrial designers and product engineers, designers of multimedia solutions and services) and "integrators of innovation and design processes" (design directors, design managers, project managers, product managers, retail managers, brand managers, consultants for innovation in products and systems).

Some of the professional opportunities this master’s offers are:

  • Business designer
  • Business consultant
  • Brand strategist
  • Content strategist
  • Customer experience designer
  • Design and innovation manager
  • Design strategist
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Product manager
  • Product marketing manager
  • UX strategist

Find out the rest of the Masters and Postgraduates Executive.

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius
Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius

Director of the Master's Degree in Strategic Design in Complexity
Enric Bayó
Enric Bayó Elisava

Enric Bayó

Executive Masters and Postgraduates Coordinator