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2019 SGSI Course Overview

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Explore. Experiment. Expand.

Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience

  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director, University Innovation Fellows program,

  • Colleagues from the and beyond

If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing world, you’ll need to use both analytical and creative thinking. You’ll need to work with others outside your discipline in identifying and tackling complex problems. This hands-on workshop helps you explore applications of design thinking to your own life and work, while developing skills that designers use to achieve the goals above.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline who are interested in design thinking as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration and have not previously taken a quarter-long course. This is not a product or service design class.

Bay Area Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems

  • Patrick Archie, PhD, director, Stanford Educational Farm, School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences

Are you interested in sustainable agriculture and food?  Through field trips to farms, this class looks at innovative efforts to transform Bay Area food systems.  We examine the challenges and opportunities in food and farming, both in conversation with thought leaders and through direct experience on local farms. Students are encouraged to connect with and learn from each other across disciplines through their shared interest in food and agriculture. For trips, students will need a sack lunch, water bottle, sun protection, layers, and good walking shoes. Be prepared to get dirty!

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline interested in sustainable agriculture and food systems who have not had the opportunity to explore these areas extensively through their coursework or life experience.

Designing the Professional: Addressing the question, "Once I get my degree, how do I get a life?"

  • John Armstrong, MA, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab

  • Chris Simamora, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab

  • Gabrielle Santa-Donato, MEd, life design studio lead and fellow, Life Design Lab

What do you want out of life after Stanford?  Wondering how to weave together what fits, is doable, and will be truly meaningful?  Join us for Designing the Professional. This course applies the innovation principles of design thinking to the "wicked problem" of designing your life and vocation in and beyond Stanford.  We'll approach these lifelong questions with a structured framework set in a seminar where you can work out your ideas in conversation with your peers.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows. If oversubscribed, preference is given to doctoral students near completion of their degree.

Energy@Stanford & SLAC: Energy Research for the 21st Century

  • Sally Benson, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Energy Resources Engineering

  • Arun Majumdar, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Mechanical Engineering and Photon Science

  • Tom Devereaux, PhD, director, Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES); professor, Photon Science, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Jumpstart your energy education at Stanford! Build your personal energy network and hear about current research from over 30 distinguished Stanford energy faculty and expert speakers. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs. Participate in an experiential group activity with your peers. Visit Stanford’s state of the art Central Energy Facility and take an optional half-day tour of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. This four-and-a-half-day course will allow you to build an interdisciplinary cross-campus community with fellow new students who share an interest in energy.

Audience: An energy background is not required. Incoming graduate and professional school students in any discipline are encouraged to apply. Because the early start of the Law School and the School of Medicine prevents new students' participation, continuing students from those schools are welcome.

Ethics & the Academy

  • Anne Newman, research director, McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

Who gets admitted to selective universities and why? Who should benefit from university resources? When controversies erupt, what values should guide their resolution? This course addresses enduring ethical questions on campus. By exploring the values (e.g. justice, equality) that underlie campus debates (about free speech, admissions, intellectual property, etc.) participants will gain insight into their role at the university, reflect on the norms that shape their training, and learn to recognize how campus policies reflect inherent institutional values.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Flourishing: The Art and Science of a Life Well Lived

  • Aneel Chima, PhD, interim director, Health and Human Performance

  • Frederic Luskin, PhD, senior consultant and lecturer, The Stanford Wellness Education Program; founder and director, The Stanford Forgiveness Project

This course explores human flourishing and how to practice it in an age of hyper-complexity and ever-accelerating pace. We will engage these ideas through research-informed reading, class discussion, and guided practice related to the psychological, emotional, and social factors that promote a well-lived life. Graduate students from a range of disciplines will learn how transform this learning from concept to lived experience.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Identity in the Classroom

  • Jennifer Randall Crosby, PhD, psych one coordinator, Department of Psychology

Do you want to understand how identity shapes the experiences of teachers and students alike?  Do you want strategies for connecting to your students? Do you want to skillfully facilitate productive disagreements in your classes?

This course combines discussions of research and writing on identity with the development of practical, thoughtful responses to real-world classroom challenges. Students will gain greater confidence addressing issues related to identity and an expanded toolkit of specific teaching strategies for student engagement.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of Career Communities–PhDs & postdocs, BEAM, Stanford Career Education

  • Arne Bakker, PhD, manager of Scientific Meetings, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Are you about to enter the job market for a faculty position? Get a jumpstart on preparing yourself and your application materials. This course is practical and experiential, involving practicing and editing. We will work on both written and oral parts of your job search preparation, including CVs, cover letters, research and teaching statements, and the job talk. Experts from across Stanford will present. An interdisciplinary class of peers will support you.

Audience: Open to advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars entering the faculty job market during 2019-20.

Leadership Laboratories

  • Evelyn Williams, MA, teaching professor, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business; faculty chair, Masters in Management Program

Stanford graduates are expected to be knowledgeable and talented, but also to demonstrate skill in communication and influence. Regardless of their field of study, alumni often find their ability to navigate change and interpersonal dynamics in the workplace is just as important as their subject matter expertise or analytical skill.

Through a series of experiential simulations and modules, Leadership Laboratories will teach students how to navigate complex, interdependent teams and organizations. Students will learn how to influence outcomes, motivate others, and build productive working relationships.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Making Sense of Race in the United States

  • Tomás Jiménez, PhD, associate professor, Sociology; director, Undergraduate Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE)

Debates about the role of race in American democracy are as prevalent as ever. Whether in police shootings of unarmed Black men, perceived security threats posed by some immigrant groups, or the climate on college and university campuses, race has proven a durable organizing category in American life.

This class goes behind the headlines to understand what race is and how it operates. As students engage with leading scholars each day, they are also invited to “get proximate” to the issues through field trips that bring these guest speakers’ academic work to life.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Public Policy Negotiation: Multiparty Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution

  • Janet Martinez, PhD, senior lecturer, Law; director, Gould Negotiation & Mediation Program, Stanford Law School

  • Brenna Marea Powell, PhD, lecturer, Law, Stanford Law School

  • Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-Residence, Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance

  • Diana Guzman, JSD candidate, Stanford Law School

As a professional, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else. You will negotiate with your boss, your colleagues, your assistant, as well as with other organizations, the public, perhaps the media, and so on. In doing so, you will communicate across institutional, cultural, linguistic, even national boundaries.

This course will help you develop an understanding of negotiation, as well as practical skills for collaborative problem-solving. The experience is highly interactive with simulations, small- and plenary group discussions, reflections, and feedback.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline interested in the public policy decision-making processes (particularly those who have not had a chance to explore these issues extensively through their coursework), as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows.

Stanford Ignite

Stanford Ignite is a four-week certificate program run by the Graduate School of Business that teaches innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. You will learn core business skills and experience working on a team to develop a business plan around a new product or service for an existing organization or a new venture. It is designed for non-business students. The cost of participating in Stanford Ignite is heavily subsidized for Stanford graduate students and postdocs, but a fee to such participants is still charged, given the intensive nature of the program. Note: Stanford Ignite does NOT take place the same week as SGSI. See the Ignite web page below to learn more.

For any additional questions, please email