Designing AI to Cultivate Human Well-Being (Stanford GSB, Stanford School of Engineering)

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A multi-disciplinary cross-listed course focused on the goal to help build AI technology that effectively understands, communicates with, collaborates with and augments people. This class aims to expose (a) GSB students to deep learning and AI techniques focused human well-being, and (b) CS students to business thinking and design thinking, as well as frameworks and social science to better understanding human well-being and human-centered designs.

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Rethinking Purpose (Stanford, Stanford GSB)

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We assume happiness is stable, an endpoint to achieve our goal to chase. It’s not. Recent behavioral research suggests that the meaning of happiness changes every 5-10 years, raising the question: how might we build organizations and lives that cultivate happiness? Research suggests it is better to aim for meaning. In Rethinking Purpose, we explore how to rethink purpose in work and life. Students will hear from guests and take a field trip to see how Google has reconsidered purpose. Building on design thinking principles, you will create personal moonshots and a path to continue to find those moonshots over the life course. Lastly, we’ll map out how to use time in ways that would help build innovative teams, products, and ultimately lives that have meaningful, lasting impact in the world.

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Humor: Serious Business (Stanford GSB)

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There exists a mistaken belief in today’s corporate world that we need to be serious all the time to be taken seriously. But research tells a different story. In this course, we delve into the behavioral science of humor to reveal why it is a secret weapon in leadership (and life) to yield influence, fuel creativity, defuse tension, foster resilience, and strengthen relationships on your teams and with customers. You’ll learn tools and frameworks for understanding your humor style (hint: everyone has one), how to read the style of others, and how to harness humor styles to become a more effective authentic leader at work. You will leave this class with both a practical toolkit and a fundamental shift in mindset: navigating your life on the precipice of a smile. 

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Designing for VR/AR (Stanford GSB)

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Put on a headset or glasses, and you will be transported to an entirely different world. You could be moving through a business room in China, saving the world as a superhero, or following a girl through a Syrian refugee camp. As a medium, Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to be the ultimate empathy machine, connecting humans to other humans and nature in a profound way never before seen in any other form of media. In this class, we will draw on behavioral science and immersive experiences to shed light on the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Students will be given a foray into the applications of VR/AR in different industries, understand how the virtual world affects perceptions of self and others, and then reflect on these insights to incorporate these learnings into the real world. Note, the focus of this compressed class is not technical and will focus more on VR than AR. 

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Power of Story to Fuel Innovation (Stanford Center for Professional Development, Stanford GSB, Stanford School of Engineering)

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We all want to innovate, but how do we do it? You not only need a big idea, you also need people to create it and people to buy into it. Your big idea needs a story. Stories fuel innovation. They hold the power to transform listeners; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel or act. This interactive course covers the variety of roles story can play in an organization of any size, and why a coherent story is transformational for a new venture. What makes an effective story in business? When can you use stories in business? And how do you tell a good story that can be harnessed by social networks for impact? We will explore why story is at the heart of effective innovation and how story can be used to transform culture. By the end of this course you will have cultivated a new tool to use in driving innovation in your organization. 

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Sustainable Human Behavior (Doerr School of Sustainability, Stanford GSB)

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The goal of this class is to create a sustainable toolkit to cultivate positive habits for our future by building a sustainable self (habits to create a calm mind and healthy body), sustainable connections (tools to sustain thriving relationships) and a sustainable planet (a beautiful planet based on a vision of long term shared prosperity). We will discuss pioneering research on the three key pillars that make human behaviors sustainable and students will present a final project that cultivates positive habits for our future.

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