By Grace Beck, student writer
One of Hong Kong’s leading names in business, Stephen Wong (BA Marketing ’96), has stuck the delicate balance of problem-solving while innovating.
Wong, a Broad College of Business alumnus, is the CEO of Asia Miles, the rewards program subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airlines, and co-founder of Design Thinking in Action. Wong was recently profiled in Fortune magazine for his achievements in implementing design thinking to the airline entity.
Design thinking is a problem-solving methodology that prizes rapid prototyping and feedback collection. The two-day series of talks and workshops based in Hong Kong aims to build the bridge between business leaders and design thinkers.
Innovation at Asia Miles was “all over the place,” said Wong. Using design thinking’s approach to problem-solving, and using once-foreign terms like “ideation” and “empathy,” the company has a clearer understanding on process and projects. “They are thus able to tell each other: on this project, we are still at the understanding phase and it needs to move on to the ideation stage next, but on another task, we are already at the prototyping and testing stage. The process becomes very transparent,” he adds.
“Some people help the world by advocating for issues such as recycling. If I can help the world to be a little more efficient — by helping companies to not waste time and resources in creating solutions that don’t solve the problem — then it’s also creating value. That’s why I believe in promoting and preaching the benefits design thinking,” Wong said.