UCLA PGP PRO Workshop: Design Thinking & Macroeconomics (16th & 17th Sept 2023)

In this first in-person module of UCLA PGP PRO, we will be focusing on design thinking and the aim is to liberate the participants from their fixed viewpoint on problem solving and empower them to effortlessly use design thinking in a range of contexts, even when the workshop ends.

We will also cover basic concepts in economics, mainly macroeconomics, to navigate through the pink papers easily. The key issues that will be covered are national accounting – income, consumption, and savings; fiscal policy – taxes, expenditure, deficits and borrowings; monetary policy – interest rates and inflation; financial sector – financial stability, banking, and non-banking institutions; and the external sector – exchange rates, imports, exports and foreign exchange reserves.


Dr. Charan Singh

Dr. Charan Singh

Dr. Charan Singh earned his doctorate in Economics from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He was a visiting scholar for more than a year each at Department of Economics, Harvard University and the Stanford Center for International Development, Stanford University. Earlier, he had studied from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; and Delhi University.

Dr. Charan Singh is currently CEO of EGROW Foundation and prior to that he was serving as the Non-Executive Chairman of Punjab & Sind Bank. He was full time visiting faculty and former RBI Chair Professor (Dec 2012 to Dec 2016) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India where he taught comparative monetary policy and policy issues in Indian economy.

Earlier, he was a Senior Economist at the Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC from August 2009 to November 2012 and Research Director (Departments: Economic Policy, Debt Management) at the Reserve Bank of India (1997–2009).

He is now serving as Director on the Board of National Housing Bank, Delhi and NABARD Financial Services Ltd, Bangalore. He is also Member, Governing Board at Policy Foundation, New Delhi; Member of Research Advisory Committee, BIRD, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development; Honorary Fellow, SKOCH Development Foundation; and Member of the Informal Advisory Group on Housing Sector Issues, IMF, Washington DC.

Pratyush Pillai

Pratyush Pillai

Pratyush Pillai is a Marine engineer by education, an alumnus of Tolani Maritime Institute. After designing oil rigs with Keppel FELS for close to 3 years, he plunged into the world of user-centricity and has spent the last 12 years working with advertising, branding and design agencies like BBDO, DY Works, Brand Ripples and Rickshaw Design, before joining TinkerLabs in 2018.

His roster of clients includes Kotak, Accenture, Homelane, Swiggy, Lifebuoy, Kapiva, Mother Dairy, India TV, Gillette, Amazon and Idea Cellular.

Behaviour Design, for him, is a delightful concoction – merging the macro, systemic lens of Design Thinking, with the chaotic and irrational micro decision-making lens of behavioural science.

At TinkerLabs, he has been part of a diverse set of behaviour design projects.

Social Impact
– Improving TB treatment self-management amongst vulnerable patients (Tuberculosis – KHPT)
– Redesigning the HIV treatment experience for sex workers & other high-risk groups (HIV – FHI360 & NACO)
– Getting the youth to choose condoms before emergency contraceptive pills (SRH – ABT, SHOPS)

– Improving the mass-recruit onboarding experience (Swiggy)
– Improving the holistic customer experience in a multi-stakeholder, well-defined SOP system (Homelane)
– Improving the employee referral programme experience (A global consulting company)
– Improving money-saving behaviour amongst the youth (GalGal)
– Increasing usage of a banking app for everyday transactions (Kotak Spendz)

– Corporate: Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, Firstsource, Here, Viacom18, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Cultfit, Piramal Group, Credit
Suisse, HP, Amdocs, Steelcase, HP, WNS, Godrej
– Academic: IIM Indore, IIM Udaipur, MICA, SPJIMR, NMIMS, Tezpur University

How Bad Design Feeds The Ego And Kills Intuition
A good problem statement is worth a 100 brainstorms

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pratyush-pillai-79a02a28/

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to

  • Move away from the practice of jumping into solutions and conclusions.
  • Structured approach to solve ambiguous, unclear challenges.
  • Learning and experiencing the tools and frameworks across each step of Design Thinking
  • Power of collaboration & co-creation in teams
  • Gain familiarity with the basics of economics, majorly the fundamentals of macroeconomics to conduct business in a more informed way.

Workshop Methods & Schedule

The sessions will be interactive and participants will be encouraged to ask questions. Hands-on exercises, examples and case studies will be used from a wide range of industries and markets.  Extensive lecture slides will be provided for all topics in addition to the readings and case studies assigned. 

The Suryaa Hotel

Hall – Crystal

New Friends Colony

New Delhi – 110020

09:00 am – 10:30am Introduction to Design Thinking X Behavioural Science
10:30 am – 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Solve the Right Problem
12:30 pm – 13:30 pm Lunch
13:30 pm – 15:00 pm Create the Smartest Solution
15:00 pm – 15:30 pm Coffee Break
15:30 pm – 17:00 pm Macroeconomics

09:00 am – 10:30am


10:30 am – 11:00 am

Coffee Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm


12:30 pm – 13:30 pm


13:30 pm – 15:00 pm


15:00 pm – 15:30 pm

Coffee Break

15:30 pm – 17:00 pm




Please email [email protected] for any support required with respect to the program, course or platform.