Defining 'design thinking' is difficult because it's full of hype and everyone claims to be doing it. Since it means everything-that-designers-do-today, it basically means nothing. It's generally agreed that it's an interventionist approach (i.e., generative and concerned with improving something) and systems driven. It's a way to move into and potentially through wicked problems.
Here's a definition: 'Design thinking is its own mode of analysis – one that focuses on forms, relationships, behavior and real human interactions and emotions.' - Idris Mootee
From Mootee's 2013 book (this excerpt is probably all you need), here's a list of answers design thinking can address:
- How a product, service, system or business currently lives in an ecosystem.
- How people interact with the above and the nature, frequency and attributes of that interaction
- How the different elements in the ecosystem relate to one another and if any systems-level impact exists.
- What other ecosystems exist adjacent to your ecosystem.
- How new insights may be gained by looking broadly at communicative events within these ecosystems and how they fit together from a systems perspective.
- What the key characteristics and patterns of behavior of new relationships are when viewed from a systems level.
- What the patterns of people’s information behaviors are and how to map them visually to make sense of them. [this last one seems very specifically built around a certain kind of design thinking domain, e.g., a web application]