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.
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.
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.
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.
Stories can be a powerful tool for persuasion and leadership. Traditionally, business people persuade using only the left side of the brain, or reason. However, persuasion occurs, just as much (if not more) through emotion. By developing the right side of the brain, engagement can be better built through “uniting an idea with an emotion.” A critical tool is storytelling. In this seminar, we will illuminate the power of story in business by revealing the key elements of storytelling, elucidate the power of the verbal as well as the visual, and discuss how storytelling helps build brands and organizations. The goal of the class will be to Understand what are the four more important stories to tell in business, and learn how to create a story bank; a repository of stories that you will use as a leader. By creating powerful stories and then communicating them in your own way, you’ll see how brands, careers and businesses can gain momentum.
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.
“Building Innovative Brands” is a hands-on-two-week exploration of how bold brands are becoming ever more open, participatory, experiential & experimental. Inspired by provocative real-world examples and industry guests, diverse student teams will employ design methods to envision compelling new experiences to enhance a particular brand they have examined. This fast-paced, project-based class will integrate methods from the d.school, marketing courses and psychology courses. It is created for fearless individuals excited to roll up their sleeves to create innovative brand experiences.
Our world is changing at an incredible pace. We’re in the middle of a commerce revolution that is consumer-driven and technology-enabled. Consumer expectations have risen. They want to be inspired by engaging, meaningful experiences, and they want to engage with people and brands that have compelling, data-driven, and authentic stories to share. But how do you develop that story? Storytelling has always been a significant part of history, but the means through which the stories have been told has evolved with each civilization. From the oral histories, to the works of scribes, to newspapers, television, and now the Internet, personal narrative has been used to communicate the events of the past. Digital media now combines tradition with technology and allows us to tell stories through voice, text, images, audio, and video. The immersive workshop is structured around three key principles: (1) know your goal, (2) craft your story, and (3) prototype to learn. You will be a part of an ultra-faced paced design sprint to come up with a compelling story about a brand or person of your choosing, and design the story to be leveraged across digital media.
What we think drives our happiness often doesn’t. So what does? And how can knowing this help us create strong brands and companies? Understanding happiness is crucial to building successful relationships, products, and organizations. Yet recent research suggests that our definition of happiness is often confused and misguided. In this class, we explore new data on happiness, focusing on: re-thinking happiness (a happy you); designing happiness (a happy company); spreading happiness (a happy brand). Students will work together to use an iterative design-thinking approach to understand our own definitions of happiness, uncover what really makes us happy (vs. what we think makes us happy), prototype solutions/products to increase our happiness, and design happy companies and brands.
“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” Stories are all around us. Stories move us, make us feel alive, inspire us to be more than we would be otherwise. As famed screenwriting coach and author of the screenwriting bible, Story, McKee says: “Story is not only our most prolific art form, but rivals all activities—work, play, eating, exercise—for our waking hours. We tell and take in stories as much as we sleep—and even then we dream.” Despite our love for stories, most of us leave stories to “storytellers” – fiction writers, journalists, and film makers. But we all have this skill. We simply need to hone it. The question is – how can we hone it? In this seminar, we will break down the basic elements of storytelling, elucidate the power of the verbal as well as the visual, and discuss how storytelling helps build brands and organizations.