Sparking Innovation with Design Experiences

On day 3, Josefine and Tirsa discussed Design Thinking initiatives and projects for sustainability.

Skåne is in the southern part of Sweden. Tourism in Skåne works toward sustainable initiatives in the region in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Their vision is to lead the destination so that it becomes part of the solution, not the problem.

On day 3 of X Design Week, we were also joined by Josefine Carlsson, Head of Nature Tourism, and Tirsa Ramos- Pedersen, UX designer at Tourism in Skåne, who discussed Design Thinking initiatives and projects for sustainability.

Skåne is in the southern part of Sweden. Tourism in Skåne works toward sustainable initiatives in the region in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Their vision is to lead the destination so that it becomes part of the solution, not the problem. Their initiatives also focus on community buildingand addressing societal issues to make the destination more attractive for both the local community and the tourists.

The speakers began by introducing their reflection on the innovation and how it could be part of problem-solving in the tourism industry. To Tourism in Skåne, innovation is being proactive, not reactive. It is the intersection of introducing new ideas, taking actions and adding value. Josefine and Tirsa explained that open innovation should be a human-centred initiative that involves different stakeholders and brings in diverse perspectives and competencies. Innovation should be a method to look at challenges and evaluate what the problem is, who is affected by it, and who can contribute to solving the challenge.

Josefine and Tirsa then introduced the Project Footprint to the XDW audience, a campaign unlike other initiatives in Tourism and Travel. The project focused on addressing sustainability challenges at a national park by employing Design Thinking. The speakers explained that with the pandemic, travel to popular nature spots increased leaving a negative impact on particular areas. To address this problem, Tourism in Skåne ran initiatives focused on the future of tourism and sustainability, specifically how they could communicate with visitors and change their behaviour at the destination.

Tourism in Skåne ran a seven-day innovation camp with ten volunteers interested in the topic. Luckily they received a lot of interest from people willing to be part of the project with a vision to improve the destination. It was important to Tourism in Skåne to have diverse backgrounds and perspectives contributing to the project.

They employed a Design Thinking model, introducing the challenge to the volunteers and working with them to generate ideas on how communication with visitors could be enhanced to affect travel behaviour. Josefine and Tirsa commented that it is important to be open to the challenge, openly accept it, and continue learning and developing. To make the process easier, they introduced team-building activities and workshops for volunteers to bond and introduce ideas.

Josefine and Tirsa explained that there will always be a crisis, from a pandemic to war, so the industry needs to have the toolkit to address the challenge and not sink under the water. To conclude, they mentioned that experience is what teaches you. In addition, no process is the same, so moving forward, organisations must constantly validate internal processes and results.


Key Takeaways

1. Tourism in Skåne introduced a novel way to look at sustainability issues at the national park, a solution unlike other campaigns based on the pillars of design thinking.

2. To Skåne, innovation is key, and it involves doing something new, implementing it and adding value.

3. Every process, every problem solving is different ad has to be looked at in a dynamic way.

4. The project has shown that innovation in addressing challenges engages locals and triggers their interest to contribute because they share a common belief and shoe commitment toward the destination where they live in.

Published on:
June 2022
About the contributor

Tirsa Ramos-Pedersen


Tirsa is a UX Designer from Tourism in Skåne and has process led multiple innovation projects. The projects range from nature tourism, waste and one-time-use articles at drink festivals and helping meeting facilities think innovatively because of the pandemic. 

Josefine Carlsson


Josefine has worked within tourism and marketing for 7+ years at Tourism in Skåne. As Head of Nature tourism Josefine leads a variety of projects connected to sustainability and human centred design, such as the innovation camp: Project Footprints.