A spiritual corporate awakening: Transcending beyond traditional corporate philanthropy with design thinking

Ledia Andrawes, Adela McMurray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the spiritual corporate awakening that is taking place at the intersection of design thinking and international development. The content is relevant to designers, development practitioners, donors and any other actors involved in the design of new futures for marginalized populations in developing country contexts. Consolidating an in-depth literature review with applied field experience, we explore how greater social accountability and participatory development is achieved through new partnership models between design thinking firms and more traditional international development organizations. Theory is demonstrated alongside real-life examples and vignettes written from a practitioner's insights. The narrative of experiences from Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania present reflectionswhich were documented over a period of 18 months. These are comprised of readings, combined with observations and conversations with people working in design thinking and international development in these countries. These insights were gathered through manual analysis of the applied case studies and provide a frame for future research in this emerging area.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopment-Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: Locally Led Initiatives in Developing Economies
EditorsDima Jamali, Charlotte Karam, Michael Blowfield
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351284363
ISBN (Print)9781783534814, 9781783534807
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • design thinking
  • spiritual corporate awakening
  • development practitioners


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