SAMSONOWA & Partners conducted a workshop on the design thinking methodology for representatives of the Shvabe holding, aiming at creating concepts for breakthrough products in the field of elderly care. The workshop program included lectures by experts from Charité, Europe’s largest medical university, presentations by startups developing technological solutions in the field of supporting the elderly (Talea, Lindera, Patientus), and communication directly with older people and caring staff.

The participants learned how to develop a sense of empathy with users, how to create out-of-the-box solutions and their prototypes for testing with users. The final result of the workshop was completed concepts of products in the field of elderly care.


Ivan Ozhgikhin, Deputy general director of the holding “Shvabe”

“I believe that this workshop is very important from the point of view of developing new methods for designing especially civilian products at the enterprises with our profile. Taking into account the tasks and strategies that we have today, this is very important for us. We had specific expectations from the workshop: first, we had to leave with specific concepts for new products; secondly, people who are being trained should gain new knowledge in terms of approaches and methodologies for implementing these tasks. All these expectations were met”.

Elen Shagarova, Head of marketing of Shvabe

“I got endless pleasure from the process and the result. There were so many moments that were new, interesting and exciting for me. To feel the creative vein within yourself again is wonderful because in the daily work and routine there isn’t always a place for the creator. I liked the program of the workshop. It was dynamic, informative, everything was there for a reason. I believe that the greatest indicator of the success of a workshop or master class is the number of questions you have left and the desire to continue. I have this desire. The workshop changed my mind from the point of view of how I observed what metamorphosis occurred with my friends, colleagues, and this is the most important thing. Those people who were like in a shell, stuck in this absence of a creative component in their work, engineers, who work daily on a routine of numbers, precise measurements, suddenly reveal themselves from a completely different point of view and manifest not only their interesting professional qualities but also personal qualities. For me, it was a revelation. Regarding your professionalism, you are great, you are getting people, who are really difficult to get going, to move and it is worth a lot. Thank you very much!”

Roman Gorbunov, Head of civil engineering instrument development department of Shvabe

“For me it was impressive! I believe that we need to implement this methodology in our enterprises. As for the program, I saw a lot of new things, I learned a lot of new things, and I experienced one of those points in life when my mind changes a little. I hope that we will have a new approach to developing products and a new approach in considering products created by others. Such workshops within Shvabe Holding would be very useful for specialists, and this would enable us to develop new products and, consequently, earn more money. We must always look for a different approach and try to find it. Because very rarely decisions on investment are simple and correct, and a different approach saves money, brings profit, makes it possible to develop and create innovations. I have only positive impressions from the organizing team”.

Evgeny Plekhov, Director of the scientific design bureau of Ural optical and mechanical plant

“It was useful for me that for all four days I was immersed with the same team in the same context, I was able to completely disengage from the situation in which I am in Russia. After this workshop, I have formed a new look, formed new requirements for some processes and the environment. I want some things to irritate me, and what causes irritation should be corrected. From this point of view, I think the dive was perfect, the work was perfectly done. For Shvabe there need to be such activities, where they gather groups and teams with opposite professions and responsibilities. It is amazing that in our team today was a specialist in the field of procurement. It would be nice if a lawyer or an accountant participated in our team, for example, because we look at the same matters differently, and when this symbiosis develops, it shows the whole picture. This workshop expanded my mind, made it more open, and as they say in photography, the view became wide-angle”.

Elena Mikhaylova, Head of procurement department of JSC “MZ “Sapphir”

“I want to thank all the participants for this wonderful event! I received a lot of positive, as well as creative thoughts that I will apply in the future. Of course, the methodology of design thinking is important for Shvabe, and for all companies that aspire to a great future, constant development and prosperity, entering new markets. After the workshop, I will definitely use new practices, because it is these practices that will give us a powerful impetus to development and further prosperity. I want to note how coherent and well-organized the organizing team is, they set high goals and have high ambitions, and this inspires all participants of the workshop”.

Andrey Malkin, Head of the scientific and technical centre, Chief designer for civil instrument engineering of Lytkarinsky optical glass plant

“I decided to take part in this workshop because I wanted to look at design thinking, what kind of tool it is since we don’t use such a tool in our companies. Expectations were met by 100%. We have created a product that we will further develop. Perhaps it will change dramatically, that is, we will release something totally different on the market. The design thinking methodology is important for Shvabe, since we have a rather ambitious goal – to achieve significant success in civilian products by 2025, and this technique allows to launch a large number of needed products on the market in a short time. When I return to my work after the workshop, as the head of R&D I will use this technique in my company. Of course, I think that the staff will be happy to accept it. The main value of the design thinking methodology for us is, first of all, communication with the client, that we will know his needs and pains. I have only positive impressions from the workshop program because it really helps to create new products. The workshop began to push me towards a change of mind. I believe that such events should be continued, I am waiting for the continuation!”

Eduard Gibadullin, Head of promising areas of Shvabe-Moscow

“The most interesting thing about the training is that you made everyone think broadly, make quick decisions, concisely and meaningfully express their thoughts. I believe that the development and implementation centre should be one entity in the holding (it is necessary to create a single team and train it). This centre will receive the task, solve it quickly and then transfer the ready solution for production to the enterprises of the Holding. I would like to continue to take part in such events for the Holding. In particular, it would be interesting for me to take part in training on patent research. If there is any training on the topic: “How to defeat our bureaucracy,” I will gladly take part”.

Kristine Mkrtchyan, Export specialist of Novosibirsk Instrument-Making Plant

“Participation in the workshop is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the methodology of design thinking and learn from the experience of foreign partners. I would especially like to emphasise the stage of the design thinking process “Empathy”, which allows you to create a product that meets the needs of the market. Working in an interdisciplinary team allowed each of the workshop participants to demonstrate their ideas and contribute to the creation of an innovative product. I hope that the knowledge and experience gained will be successfully introduced into the business processes of the Holding and will serve as the basis for the effective adaptation of current business models, the introduction of innovations and the creation of competitive innovative products. ”