This paper documents implications and opportunities for the design profession offered by the rise of the knowledge society and digital economies. Within this we show the value of applied design thinking in the creation and delivery of business development and facilitation. Two case studies document the design and delivery of contrasting consultancy projects where the design of problem solving frameworks (rather than conventional facilitation of events) resulted in new understanding and business development. These approaches were underpinned by a common conceptual model that describes our philosophical underpinning for the application of design thinking across disciplines both within and beyond traditional areas of professional design engagement. Finally, we discuss the implication for design practice of using design thinking as a mode of interdisciplinary interaction and co-creation of problem solving approaches between designers and others (rather than an activity just for designers) which represents a step beyond conventional participatory design approaches.