Designing Innovative Public Health Solutions (DIPHS) is an interdisciplinary, project-based course, taught for the first time in Spring 2011 at the University of California, Berkeley. DIPHS teaches students about systematic methods to drive innovation in public health programs and interventions. The course integrates design thinking, ethnography, systems thinking, creativity, and critical thinking – all in the context of public health.
As part of the core curriculum, the course brought in guest lecturers from a diverse set of institutions, including the California HealthCare Foundation, Toyota do Brasil, US Health and Human Services, the New York Times, and Pixar. This semester, eight project teams worked with domestic and international organizational partners to work on real problems that were expected to have meaningful impact.
It is the only such public health course that we know of in the nation. Dean Stephen Shortell highlighted the course in his 2011 commencement address, describing all eight projects and indicating that the course is “the way we will move ahead.”
This book illustrates the course and its outcomes.