This Summer, Trade a Cubicle for a Tree House

June 23, 2014

Are you “vacation deprived”? According to a 2013 study by, Americans only used 10 of their 14 annual vacation days. That’s twice as many unused days off as in 2012. While the restorative powers of a good, long vacation shouldn’t be ignored, there’s also something to be said about creatin...

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Some ideas about creativity from LEGO and Vermeer

May 26, 2014

I just had one of those serendipitous moments on a trip back from London to San Francisco (see my recent post). Instead of working, I took the chance to catch up on some recent movies. Unexpectedly two of them ended up offering some powerful lessons about creativity.   The first was the The LEG...

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5 Tips to Getting Hired by Design

May 14, 2014

Design thinking doesn’t just apply to creating memorable products, services, or experiences; it can also help you land a job you love. Just ask my colleagues Duane Bray and Lauren Wallins who, along with a global HR team, help recruit, support, and grow IDEO’s incredible talent pool. I spoke with t...

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Why You Should Plan for Serendipity

April 30, 2014

If you’re a busy professional like me, chances are your calendar looks a lot like a Tetris board. Every minute of every day is accounted for. Some hyper-organization is necessary, of course. How else would business get done? But on a recent trip to Chicago, my colleague Aaron Ferber reminded me of t...

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How Design Can Save a Reputation

April 15, 2014

A few months ago, I wrote a post about five technologies in need of design makeovers in 2014. I’m happy to report my colleagues at, working with a group of NGOs and health and tech industry collaborators, have taken a shot at redesigning the most newsworthy item on that list, and the one wi...

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What’s Next in the World of Making

April 3, 2014

Does changing how you make things change the way you live? The answer is “yes,” according to Made in the Future, an experimental project I collaborated on with some colleagues at IDEO Boston. The Made in the Future website recently launched and it explores how today’s innovations in maker technolog...

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How to Become a Social Innovator in 7 Weeks

March 28, 2014

We say we practice human-centered design at IDEO, but what does that really mean? Our friends at +Acumen and have designed a free online course to answer that question. Open to anyone anywhere in the world—no prior design experience needed— the class is called “Human-Centered Design for Soc...

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3 Must-Watch TED Talks

March 14, 2014

For three decades, three big red letters have signified an annual forum for the creative and forward thinking to share groundbreaking ideas. From revealing the first Apple Mac in 1984 to Jamie Oliver’s heartfelt plea for a Food Revolution in 2010, TED has been one of the best platforms in the world ...

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If You Build It...

March 7, 2014

Blocks. Legos. Forts. Kids are natural builders. But most schools don't offer such hands-on learning. They offer sitting at a desk and listening quietly. That's a shame, because there's no better way to learn than by doing. Designer-activist Emily Pilloton gets this idea in a big way. The founder o...

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Why Daydreamers Will Save the World

February 24, 2014

Daydreaming has a bad reputation. Just think of any classroom scene on TV where a teacher is chiding a child for staring out the window during class. Traditionally, those kids have been thought of as slackers, but, according to a recent report on education and entrepreneurship for the UK parliament ...

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