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SGSI 2018: Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience

If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing world, you will need to use both analytical and creative thinking, and work with others outside of your discipline in identifying and tackling complex problems. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to develop your design abilities towards these goals.

Monday, Sept. 10, 10 AM – 8 PM; Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Wednesday, Sept. 12, 8:30 AM – 6 PM; Thursday, Sept. 13, 8:30 AM – 7 PM; Friday, Sept. 14, 8:30 AM – 4 PM

(Light breakfast and lunch will be served daily. Dinner will be served on Monday and Thursday.)


  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program,
  • Mark Grundberg, Experience Designer, Teaching & Learning,
  • Nadia Gathers, Github
  • Matt Criscuolo, University of Delaware
  • Ryan Phillips,
  • Zack Jones, Dual School

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students in any discipline who have not previously taken a quarter-long course, as well as postdoctoral fellows, if space allows. Space is limited to 32.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Experiment with tools to increase your creative confidence
  • Learn design thinking as a methodology for framing and tackling problems in a creative and human-centered way
  • Explore and manage the dynamics involved in working in interdisciplinary teams
  • Explore connections between design thinking and your discipline


Practicing design thinking is a means to develop skills and mindsets that are essential in a rapidly changing world: identifying and framing wicked problems and human needs, combining analytical and creative thinking, and adopting an experimental approach to bringing ideas to life. Students will develop these skills and mindsets as they work in teams to take on a real-world innovation challenge.

This immersive and active workshop is designed for graduate students of all disciplines who have not previously taken a quarter-long course and are interested in exploring design thinking as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration. The experience will help students explore applications of design thinking to their own work, and they will leave better prepared to take advantage of quarter-long courses.

Overall, the experience will be a springboard for the students’ exploration of how creative individuals and interdisciplinary teams can drive a culture of innovation in diverse contexts, both inside and outside of academia.

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

“I gained skills I can put into action right away and made friends I’m already staying in touch with outside of SGSI.” -SGSI 2017 Participant

“A unique and intimate experience that explores a new way of thinking, teamwork and yourself” -SGSI 2017 Participant

“These very intense 5 days will likely prove to be a seminal event in my life.” -SGSI 2017 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • No work is required outside of class.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students
Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: