“A new breed of design leader can help companies unleash their business potentials by meaningful innovations.”

The SDIT (the International Master in Strategic Design for Innovation and Transformation) aims to prepare designers and managers for navigating and driving the current complex challenges, which means being able to:

  • Imagine meaningful innovations able to improve human wellbeing and to impact society;

  • Inspire colleagues and stakeholders to pursue strategic transformation;

  • Lead design projects activating virtuous employee engagement and breaking the culture of silos among different business areas;

  • Exploit the opportunities provided by digital technologies through the interplay between artificial intelligence and human intuition as well as big and thick data;

  • Stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets to activate and promote agile projects;

  • Organise the creative process to favour integration with operations.

The International Master in Strategic Design for Innovation and Transformation (SDIT)

Big corporations and consultancies need to strategically blend market innovation and transformation processes, specifically redesigning the internal mode to conceive new products and business models. To tackle such big challenges, companies are intrigued by skillsets that combine strategy and design.

Indeed, the role of designers in corporations has dramatically changed over recent years and it is still evolving. At the same time, companies are looking for managers well equipped with a design attitude as a powerful tool to blend client and stakeholder perspectives with market opportunities, to envision strategic directions that leverage emerging behaviours, new socio-cultural trends and the opportunities provided by digital technologies.

To meet these growing needs, POLIMI Graduate School of Management, the Business School of the Politecnico di Milano, and POLI.design have jointly developed the International Master in Strategic Design for Innovation and Transformation, an 1-year programme structured in four main content blocks. The SDIT intends to involve executives who want to combine an investment in knowledge with their work commitments. The SDIT aims to train professionals and executives in combining design attitude and abilities with classical analytical-managerial skills. This entails planning, coordinating, and implementing consistent design operations and processes to meet the design direction, the strategic framework, and performance targets.

This programme includes a combination of different initiatives: face-to-face experiences such as company visits to meet innovation and design managers, a cultural tour to witness the Italian evolution of design, and a visit to professional Labs of modern masters of design. Furthermore, during the Master course, candidates will participate in two Bootcamps: workshop sessions promoted by leading design-driven companies.

Top 10
in the world

Online MBAs QS Ranking 2023
and the Financial Times

Created in 1979 as “Master in Ingegneria della Produzione” (Master in Production Engineering), and transformed in 1986 in a Consortium between Politecnico di Milano and many Italian institutions and several leading public and private industrial groups - mostly large multinational corporations – today, POLIMI Graduate School of Management is a non-for-profit Consortium Limited Company. For more than 40 years, the School has been attracting graduates interested in a managerial career in business or in public administration, together with companies wishing to enhance their organisation and strategies.

Top 5
in the world

QS Ranking 2021

POLI.design is the non-profit consortium company founded by the Politecnico di Milano; together with the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano and the Department of Design, POLI.design forms the Design System of the Politecnico, an aggregate of resources, skills, structures and laboratories, among the most important in the world).
POLI.design is the postgraduate school in Design of the Politecnico di Milano that supports and completes the curricular paths of the School of Design, aiming at professional training and effective integration in the many areas of work in which the designer operates today.


A Master degree created to respond to a growing demand for design Managers and design Leaders.

The research mapping around 40 companies permits delineating the various “Design Manager” profiles that big corporations and design consultancies are looking for nowadays.

Regardless of the most recurring job positions (labeled as Strategic Design Manager, Lead Design Strategist, Lead Design Researcher, Design OPS manager, Design Research accelerator), a set of common traits emerges, illustrating the most required accountabilities in this scope:

Our best recipe for a Design Manager looks like this:

DESIGN ANALYST to synthesize the vast amount of user-research data to provide insights, opportunities, and conceptual frames to develop innovation trajectories.

DESIGN ACCELERATOR to guarantee that the design, strategy, and production guardrails are satisfied;

DESIGN BROKER to act as a mediator and connect organizational silos.

DESIGN MENTOR to create traction and facilitate around a design direction in employee and stakeholders;

DESIGN INTERPRETER to translate data and related insights into tangible and engaging user stories.

DESIGN HUMAN CATALYST to identify humancentered problems, establish and execute research plans across qualitative and quantitative user research.


Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Since the number of seats in class is limited, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Should the course become fully subscribed before the deadline dates, applications will close earlier.

Apply now