Master in Barcelona

Master in Strategic Design in Complexity at Elisava

The Master in Strategic Design in Complexity combines strategic design, systemic thinking, sustainability and applied social sciences to devise new approaches in the field of business and social innovation.


The Master in Strategic Design in Complexity, fruit of a collaboration between Elisava and Kaospilot, combines design disciplines with other social sciences applied in response to the challenges of our time. It aims to increase graduates’ problem-solving capacities, in the business sphere and in any kind of organisational or community-based setting.

Kaospilot is the one of the world’s top design schools (BusinessWeek) and a world-leading business school (Fast Company), according to a number of different media. Kaospilot has operated at the intersection of design and business for many years, making a name for itself through the application of design principles in business and social areas.

Design has found a place in practically all aspects of life in society, and is no longer exclusively limited to areas related to crafts, art and architecture. In keeping with this trend, strategic planning, and its application, has begun to form part of the world of design, pushing forwards new hybrids and theories that cover areas like innovation, inclusive design, corporate design and strategic design, but also in areas like leadership, sustainability, systemic thinking, and company change and development, among others.

As the world becomes increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous), areas such as strategy design and the role of strategy in design are taking on increasing importance. This new master’s programme responds to the context of society’s growing complexity and the need for a systemic approach to problem-solving. This programme, therefore, aims to prepare a new generation of professionals by not only boosting their entrepreneurial skills, but also providing them with the design capacities they need to transform their initiatives based on the needs of the 21st century, which include anything from environmental issues to ethical ones.

With these contexts in mind, this programme promotes ethnographic and anthropological research, ideation and prototyping to devise new approaches in the field of entrepreneurial and social innovation. Students will gain critical skills based on design, while developing sophisticated perspectives on management and organisational strategy, financial and environmental sustainability, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical leadership.


The master’s programme provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to compete in the global market as innovative designers, specialised strategic designers and business developers.

In this regard, the programme introduces students to ways of thinking and doing within the area of strategic design, allowing them to learn from the latest research so they can develop their own practice, following systemic changes and addressing both critical business issues and a diverse range of social challenges. The themes we will be covering include planning and strategic thinking, complexity, future studies, learning scenarios, innovation, the market, business models, sustainability, leadership, organisation, understanding problems, human behaviour and systemic thinking.

The master’s is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide knowledge, methodologies and skills for approaching projects from a strategic design perspective.
  • To give an understanding of the disciplines of design and strategy, how they develop and interact.
  • To show students how to analyse trends and translate them into actionable ideas.
  • To understand the complexity of the challenges and developments found in systems.
  • To construct problem formulations and research designs.
  • To apply different methodologies in the construction of prototypes and propositions.
  • To create value propositions, models and strategies.


  • An understanding of what is implied in the design practice, in particular, strategic design, as well as the advantages and challenges a design-focused approach entails for organisations, businesses and social development.
  • An ability to apply strategic design methods and tools as an approach to describing and analysing problems in complex scenarios.
  • A knowledge of the methods for generating ideas, concept development and team building.
  • An ability to formulate and communicate strategic design-based business plans to stakeholders, within one’s own organisation or to communities.
  • An understanding and appreciation of different forms of leadership and their impact on strategic design.
  • An ability to analyse space for a strategic design based on market dynamics and a company’s value proposition.
  • An ability to describe innovation processes in a given organisation.
  • The management of multidisciplinary work teams based on strategic design principles.
  • viable and feasible solutions
  • through strategic design.

Professional prospects

There is currently a great demand for professionals in the area of design and strategy. Approaching ideation and the application of strategy from the field of design is an emerging concept, sometimes seen as having a function in the future of building bridges between organisational and business development, beyond products and services.

Graduates from this programme are well positioned to follow career pathways in the management of sustainability, innovation, social enterprise, strategic design and service design, and as entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries, organisations and professional fields. Students who are already working can apply what they learn to become “intrapreneurs” in their current organisations or move into new and emerging roles, such as change manager, head of innovation or lead design thinker.

We identify two basic professional profiles: “specialists in design and innovation” (marketing directors, R&D managers, industrial designers and product engineers, designers of multimedia solutions and services) and “coordinators of innovation and design process integration” (design directors, design managers, project managers, product managers, retail managers, brand managers, consultants for innovation in products and systems).

Some of the professional opportunities this master’s offers are:

  • Setting up a consulting firm
  • Business consultant
  • Business designer
  • Brand strategist
  • Content strategist
  • Customer experience designer
  • Design and innovation manager
  • Design strategist
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Product manager
  • Product marketing manager
  • UX strategist

Basic Data

Master’s Degree in Strategic Design in Complexity.
Awarded by UVic-UCC

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, Enric Bayó

September to July

(+€450 registration fee)

Financing and grants

ECTS Credits


Course Leader

Christer Windeløv-Lidzelius

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius is the director of Kaospilot, a professor at the Saint Paul Business School in Brazil and associate professor at the University of Arts of Stockholm. He has over 20 years experience in the areas of strategy, education, leadership and entrepreneurial initiative, among others.


Enric Bayó

Director of the Master’s Degree in Advanced Design Management, Strategy and Entrepreneurship of Elisava