What will I learn?


Emphasizing with those who irk you through community-based, indigenous leadership.

In moments of divisive, time-sensitive conflict and disagreement, interdependent community groups that are we-us oriented (dorms, project teams, community centers, etc.) often struggle to maintain cohesive relationships. Crafting Challenging Conversations is a project-based course where students can dive into the art of designing new products, services, or experiences for interpersonal conflict.

In this course, students can expect to unpack the components of strong listening, leadership, and effective cultural competency. Individual one-on-one conversations as well as indigenous forms of group-interviewing, known as Peacemaking, will also be explored. Using a 5-step design thinking process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test), students will explore the question, “How might we lead with community-centered approaches, rather than with independent, divisive reactions in moments of conflict?” At the end of the course, students can expect to have created a low-resolution prototype based on qualitative research that answers the identified How Might We question in a human-centered way.

Please bring your full self to class. Come dedicated to participating and interacting with your classmates as well as a willingness to embrace diverse perspectives.

Topics Include:

  • Framing your conflict to identify the real problem

  • Developing the skills and mindsets needed to learn from others who have a different perspective about an issue or topic you care about

  • Navigating the ambiguity conflict

  • Communicating deliberately to effectively articulate one’s own background, thoughts, perspectives, and emotions

  • Strong listening, leadership, and effective cultural competency.

  • Designing inclusive experiences; even when there are disparate viewpoints

Learn With

Teaching Team

Karen Biestman
Stanford Native American Cultural Center

Alex Scully
Product Manager, SAP

Kaipo Lucas
Product Manager, C3ioT

Carson Smith
Course Assistant