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The programme developed by the Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) is aimed at assisting people to develop creative thinking and learning. The organisation focuses on companies, schools, communities and individuals. A central component of the HFLI’s learning programme is ‘design thinking’. This is based on the following 6-step problem-solving model: 1) develop empathy – fully understand the problem of the people affected; 2) definition – substantiate the problem and bring it to a point; 3) develop ideas – gain a range of possible solutions; 4) create prototypes – implement a particular solution; 5) gain feedback – test the prototype, and, if necessary, ensure that it is further developed; 6) enable reflection – think about what has been learned. The advantage of this model is that it combines learning with specific areas of people’s lives and work, and prevents learners from getting tangled up in theories that have no practical implications.
HFLI sees itself as a place of lifelong learning. The institute includes four Henry Ford Academies, all of which base their teaching on design thinking.