We are being perpetually held in a liminal or in-between state right now, whether you just graduated or have passed retirement and are into your encore career. Please join us to gain some tools on how to navigate your way forward in the face of great ambiguity.

Gabrielle Santa-Donato ’09 has worked at the Stanford Design School and Life Design Lab for the last five years. She teaches classes to all ages on how to use the problem-solving techniques of design thinking to design your life and career. She started and runs a global movement and training program, the Life Design Studio, to bring life design to universities around the world. Dartmouth was one of the first 14 universities trained in the program in 2017, and is now part of a global community of 150 universities strong.

Using the design thinking process as our guiding framework, we will spend three interactive, experiential sessions designing our futures.

Before You Begin: Prepare your at-home life design kit

Nice to Have: A journal, 8.5" x 11" paper, writing utensil

Extra Bonus (if handy; no need to buy new): Post-it notes, fun colored markers or other writing utensils, old magazines/images

Session 1: Empathize and Define

What is this whole life design thing about? Session 1 presents Life Design 101 and covers the empathy and definition stages. By exploring your own personal work and worldview and reflecting on what brings us energy and engages us, you will be well positioned for Session 2.

Session 1 pre-work 

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Session 2: Ideate

Session 2 introduces the art of brainstorming. You will create three different versions of your future using visual Odyssey Plans.

Session 2 pre-work

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Session 3: Prototype and Test

Session 3 will teach you how to test versions of your future self and decide which models inspire you the most. Get ready for a transformational experience!

Session 3 pre-work

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Additional Resources

As you continue your journey, you may be interested in the following resources:

  • For more about Gabrielle, her work and services, visit her website.
  • Gabrielle integrates her own winding and challenging journey of finding her way with life design ideas and tools in this podcast. Also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
  • Want to dive deeper into Prototyping Your Life? Check out Gabrielle's webinar for the Harvard Alumni Association.
  • For more information and resources on the work of the Life Design Lab at Stanford, their classes, and the university training program, the Life Design Studio, click here.
  • More information on the Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life books and associated worksheets and resources.
  • The Life Design Lab's YouTube channel features an animated series on Designing Your Career and more.
  • Gabrielle's talk for Outwild Online offers a one-hour Zoom recording on Life Design 101.

About Gabrielle