Global Program Manager
Erik is a designer, improvisor, coffee lover and Swede, who has now found his home in the ever-changing nexus of creativity and social change that is the d.school. Here he serves as the Program Manager for our global efforts, pursuing ways for the d.school to impact how individuals and organizations around the world discover and utilize their innate creative potential.
Originally from Sweden, Erik arrived at Stanford in 2012 for his Master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering, and spent most of his time magnetically drawn to the d.school — a place that allowed him to not only identify and understand important problems, but also provided an opportunity to move towards creatively and collaboratively solving them. Since that day he has been oscillating between thinking (philosophizing about just and sustainable economic and educational models) and doing (creating immersive learning experiences in design, creativity and improvisation both inside and outside the traditional classroom).
In the two years of Erik’s MS&E program at Stanford he managed to take six d.school classes and was later on a teaching assistant for five of them. At Stanford, he also discovered the art of improvised theatre and was a performing member of the campus improv troupe, the SImps, for two years. On top of that he helped teach the beginners class in improvisation in the Theatre Department. After graduating in 2014 he joined the d.school full-time as a Teaching Fellow (2014/15) focusing on creating new curriculum for the application of design thinking in public policy, as well as teaching and developing classes on design, improv and storytelling with colleagues from the English and Theatre Departments. Recently he has shifted his focus outwards: exploring how learning happens out-in-the-world and creating ways for even more people around the world to build their creative confidence.
Erik loves people (he once lived in a dorm where he shared a kitchen with 18 people), radio (his dream job is being Ira Glass on “This American Life”), and his two younger brothers (who he describes as progressively more intelligent, athletic and attractive versions of himself). He is an enthusiastic yet still inexperienced rock-climber obsessed with good coffee. Here is a map of his favorite coffee shops in San Francisco.
In future years, he hopes to return to Sweden to change its schools for the better and run a socially-minded design consultancy. If that doesn’t work out, he will just start a combined bakery and hostel with his mom and dad.
Erik lives in San Francisco, CA, in a small room with a view.