Redesigning Recruitment at Bennington College

Using a human-centered design process, my team explored what it's really like to be a high school student moving through the process of choosing a college. Along the way we uncovered a series of powerful insights that led us to overhaul Bennington's admissions strategy—and turn its application from a selection tool into a recruitment tool. The result: 40% rise in applications, 50% rise in yield, and a dramatic increase in the academic quality (as measured by SAT scores and GPA) of incoming students.

Here's the story.


Building a Culture of Innovation at PepsiCo

 design thinking for culture of innovation 

A Fortune 100 company, much of PepsiCo’s success builds on the strengths it has developed in operations and marketing. (“We’re really a distribution company,” one senior leader explained. “We can get a cold drink anywhere in the world in 12 minutes.”) However, when CEO Indra Nooyi decided to push the company to an emphasis on healthy foods and beverages, she recognized how important it would be to build out PepsiCo’s innovation capacity. Nooyi decided to focus her culture-building efforts on those high-performing young leaders across the organization who could serve as change catalysts. That's where we came in.

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Teaching School Leaders a Designer’s Mindset at Harvard

design thinking at Harvard

Each year, Harvard draws together leading architects and educators from across the country and around the world to explore where the future of architecture might meet the future of learning—and develop blueprint-thinking for schools and school systems building the learning environments of tomorrow.

But what if you could teach people how to design the physical space of schools—in a way that taught them how to bring a designer's mind to each and every aspect of the learning experience? How might choosing where the walls should go help us practice reinventing the way we use time, or curriculum, or all the other parts that school is made of?  

For the past several years, I’ve partnered with Danish Kurani—whose work includes projects for Khan Academy, Google, and Denver’s Public Schools—to teach design thinking through practice in design doing. Over the course of an intense three-day immersion, participants cycle through the logic of the design process, digging deeply into their own beliefs about how we learn and hammering out a precise understanding of what they really mean by “student-centered learning” or what they really want from a “maker space”—defining clear, deep learning principles that can shape every choice they make as learning architects.


Strategic Planning for the City of Cambridge

Details coming soon.

strategic planning Cambridge city

 

Innovation: A Rough Guide

Written for Continuum’s prospective clients, A Rough Guide offers clients a glimpse inside a design strategy project—along with some principles to keep in mind while moving through the messy process of innovation. (Co-authored with Augusta Meill, former VP at Continuum, currently Executive Director, Agncy.)

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