Episode #923 Bill Burnett: Designing Your Life

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Moe and Bill Burnett talk about design thinking and the power of reframing problems.


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Bill Burnett

Executive Director Stanford Design Program View Full Profile

Designing Your Life

In the March issue of Fast Company, I stumbled on an article about Stanford’s “Designing Your Life” class that further reinforced why traditional academia lacks the type of real world practically that’s absolutely necessary for this generation to advance- both in life and in business.  Built around the fundamental principles of designing thinking, the course was launched in the spring of 2010 as an experiment by William Burnett, director of Stanford’s design program, and his associate Dave Evans, who co-founded the gaming giant, Electronic Arts and led the design team of Apple’s first mouse.  Not surprisingly, the class has been wildly successful, not only because it equips students with a design thinking tool kit that will forever change how they approach life’s challenges, more importantly, it leaves them with a clarity about how they can ‘go out into the world, effect change, and be leaders.”  

Life’s big questions aren’t age specific, still for an aspiring college student, training yourself to be creative helps you see the interrelationships between you the person, your beliefs, and the best ways where you can make a positive contribution in the world.  I was fortunate to speak with professor Burnett about what the rest of us can take away from his course, and what you’ll discover is bound to get you excited about your next chapter.  

Here’s what we discuss:  

  • Life’s big questions and how to approach them

  • Design thinking - 25 years later

  • The character building skills necessary for leaders to excel today

  • Why passion is overrated and destructive

  • Three design thinking principles to take with you everywhere

  • How you can use the design thinking methodology to train yourself to be creative

  • The power of reframing


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