1. September 11, 2014
    What if the story replaced the wallet as an introductory design project?

    What if the story replaced the wallet as an introductory design project?

    The wallet ain’t what it used to be.

    This past week I conducted two design thinking workshops. Both were what we call DP0 or “design project: zero” exercises centered around the re-design of the wallet. The wallet project is a 90-minute exercise where participants work in pairs. It is meant to serve as an introduction to design thinking, providing participants with the vocabulary and basic concepts.

    The wallet project gives individuals an opportunity to take an otherwise basic and more or less universal object and see it anew — in light of another person’s needs. Unlike the gift-giving or breakfast exercises (both introductory design-thinking exercises that start with a focus on experiences) the wallet project starts with a focus on an object.

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  2. September 8, 2014
    A display from the Stanford 2025 exhibit this past spring. (Emi Kolawole)

    A display from the Stanford 2025 exhibit this past spring. (Emi Kolawole)

    The Stanford magazine has a feature in their latest issue on a year-long project conducted at the d.school to design the future of living and learning at Stanford. The project culminated in four prompts: open loop university, axis flip, paced education and purpose learning.

    You can read more about Stanford2025 on our site dedicated to the project. In the last prompt — purposed learning — students would be called on to choose a mission rather than a major. So, for example, rather than say you were majoring in international relations, you would say your mission is to improve the state of communication and collaboration across cultures.

    Stanford Magazine, along with the d.school is collecting these missions on Twitter and on Facebook via the hashtag #Stanford2025. So, let us know what your mission would be! We’re already seeing some awesome missions (yes, I submitted one of my own) on Twitter as well as some lovely feedback on prompt. We look forward to collecting more. Continue Reading

  3. September 6, 2014

    I just finished my first week as a d.school fellow, and my mind is sparking. From the morning talk by d.school Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg, to discussions with Custodian of Growth and All Goodness (a.k.a Director of Fellowships) Justin Ferrell, to the chat with Editor-in-residence Emi Kolawole and Storytelling and Media Curriculum Designer Seamus Harte on telling better stories, and an awesome master class on improv by d.school and Graduate School of Business lecturer Dan Klein that stroked the raw human in all of us – I find myself asking: Why isn’t all education like this? Fresh, disorienting, frustrating, funny and real. I want to dwell in this space for all of eternity. And maybe I will.

    2014-2015 Fellows at the Gates of Hell, which is actually a really fun place.

    2014-2015 Fellows at Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”, which is actually a really fun place.

    And (I slay you, “but”), d.school Academic Director and Professor of Engineering Bernie Roth will be disappointed in me. What he said kept me up at night. The disappearing act I’m supposed to perform on my problems? It’s not quite happening. Do I need to go to Burning Man to get there?

    So, at the risk of revealing humbling gaps in my evolution – what’s wrong with problems? I actually … like problems. I don’t even have to dress them up as “opportunities” to want to hang out with them. I mean, don’t solutions and ideas depend on problems for their existence? Aren’t they an important step on the path to revelation? If something is going to keep you up at night, don’t you want it to be something that sets you on fire?

    Alas, it’s only my first week.
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  4. September 3, 2014

    If you’re asking yourself, “What’s a mix tape?” I have successfully dated myself.  It was 19 years ago that I started at Stanford the first time, and yesterday it was back to school again. When my daughter Elaine started kindergarten a couple weeks ago, the whole family went to send her off and take a picture together. Therefore, she also insisted that we take a picture for my first day at school as well. Here it is…


    (Stanley, Sam, Eve, Elaine, Tyler)

    The thoughtful d.school fellows orientation program that Justin and Susie have put together remind me of the mix tape analogy because it is really a “best of” Stanford experience. To my d.fellow cohorts, even Stanford students seldom have the chance to sample classes from so many of the d.school community. It has been both humbling and exciting to join such a talented d.fellows group. Thanks to everyone who have been so welcoming. Two days in, my only fear is to not take full advantage of this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to a great year.


  5. September 3, 2014
    Here's #1... (Emi Kolawole)

    Here’s #1… (Emi Kolawole)

    Update: If you are wondering where to keep track of my progress, check out my twitter feed (@emikolawole) and the hashtag #DailyNote.

    Original post: Raise your hand if you write in your journal every single day.

    You can’t see it, but my hand is down.

    I don’t write as consistently as I would like, nor do I capture my insights as often as I believe I should. So, I’ve decided to try a new project where I write one idea, a thought, a joke, something on one sticky note every day and share it. The goal is to try and create a more consistent form of idea capture within my own process, and provide an opportunity to capture my ideas and observations within tight constraints.

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  6. September 3, 2014

    What if, instead of waiting until the end of your design work, you intentionally captured your story throughout? How do you go beyond daily journaling or the occasional photograph?

    The d.school fellows are here, and Wednesday afternoon we presented them with some methods they can use to capture their stories. The “we” in question is made up of Seamus Harte and me.

    We want to help the fellows seamlessly tell the story of their learning and innovation process. Here’s the first version of our point-of-view (POV) statement, which is subject to change based on feedback:

    How might we capture the insights and learnings of innovators in process?

    That also means we need to share our own process. Here we go:

    Yesterday, Seamus and I met for about two hours to nail down the various ideas we had each come up with during time on our own. We then had a massive whiteboarding session, which produced this:

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  7. September 2, 2014

    “Go forward not back.”

    That’s what d.school co-founder George Kembel told me when we discussed my imminent return to Fidelity this past June. The conversation came after my memorable 10-month-long experience as a d.school fellow. During that time, I both took and taught classes, worked on a Fidelity project and collaborated actively with members of my fellows cohort.

    Shortly after our fellows launch day, I returned to Fidelity and re-assumed my role leading design thinking in Fidelity Labs. Since my return, I’ve taken time to reflect on what I’ve brought back to my team and, of that, what has had the biggest impact.

    (Fred Leichter)

    (Fred Leichter)

    But, before I present those findings, it’s worth sharing one more insight George helped me realize:

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  8. August 7, 2014

    The d.school fellowship program helps restless experts grow creative and resilient organizations, to accelerate systems-level impact in their areas of expertise. We’re thrilled to announce the upcoming arrival of eight fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. The early- to mid-career leaders come from sectors including education, health care and product design. This year’s d.school fellows are: David Clifford, Yael Cohen Braun, Jae Rhim Lee, Susan Dix Lyons, Jason Mayden, Tim Shriver, Michael Tubbs and Sam Yen.

    d.school fellows 2014-2015

    The fellows design and scale their own projects by using the resources of the d.school, Stanford and the Silicon Valley community. They participate in an immersive experience during the academic year, which includes a residency period to learn design thinking and organization design, mixed with active periods in the field to prototype new ways of working.

    Here are the 2014-15 d.school fellows:
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  9. August 6, 2014
    #DTK12 Summit gathering

    Attendees gather in the Atrium at the d.school for the #DTK12 Curriculum Summit. (Emi Kolawole)

    We’re live-blogging the #DTK12 Summit here at the d.school! Hit the refresh button on your browser to see the latest updates!

    The d.school is host to a number of events throughout the year. Today and tomorrow the K12Lab Network is hosting the #DTK12 Curriculum Summit — a two-day gathering for educators here at the d.school.

    We’re following the event on Twitter via the hashtag #DTK12, and our own media curriculum designer, Seamus Harte (@seamusharte), is tracking the event, prototyping storytelling methods to capture the behind-the-scenes process. We also recommend following these accounts throughout the day: @K12Lab, @mpelochino, @kkrummeck and @SparkTruck.

    We’ll be posting his updates here on the whiteboard. In the meantime, to all of our attendees, have a wonderful conference, and welcome to the d.school!

    Day 2 update: Welcome back everyone! We hope you’re having a great day today. We wanted to highlight that we’ve announced our EDU fellows for the 2014-15 academic year! We’ve also seen some incredible insights from attendees floating over the hashtag. We’re pulling a few tweets and contributing some of our own.

    Now, without further ado, on to the activity of #DTK12 Summit: Day 2!

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