Fueling Creativity in Education Podcast

Season 7

Beyond Steps: Nurturing Empathy, Reflection, and Co-Design in Education with Morgan Vien

How can we raise more awareness to human needs and wants when engaging students in design thinking activities?

In this episode of the Fueling Creativity in Education Podcast, hosts Matthew Worwood and Cyndi Burnett sit down with guest Morgan Vien, Co-Founder and CEO of Design for Emergence, to explore the power of design thinking and liberatory design in education. They dive deep into the principles of design thinking, emphasizing the importance of problem finding, generative solutions, and understanding human needs. Morgan shares insights on the emergence strategy approach to change, highlighting the significance of setting conditions for emergence and reflecting on system goals.

The conversation delves into the challenges of implementing design thinking in the classroom, with Morgan discussing the limitations of solely teaching procedural steps and the importance of empathy, reflection, and co-design. She also shares her experiences working on projects with the Mira Fellowship, focusing on cultivating conditions for Stoke – a feeling of anticipation and capacity. The conversation broadens to explore the concepts of liberation and liberatory design, stressing the need for self-awareness, addressing inequities, and co-defining collective liberation and power dynamics.

Throughout the episode, Morgan provides practical examples and insights on how to apply design thinking and liberatory design in education, whether it’s redesigning high schools or creating collaborative spaces. They also discuss the importance of conducting user research, deep empathy work, and actively listening to those impacted by the problem. Overall, this episode offers valuable perspectives on fueling creativity and driving change in the education system through the power of design thinking and liberatory design.

Power in an eco system does not mean you are suppose to solve all the problems yourself. It means your are suppose to be in a relationship with the people that you lead, and understand what the problems are like for them.

Featured Guest

Morgan Vien is the co-founder and CEO of Design for Emergence (D4E). She is a systems change designer and facilitator who brings catalytic energy to her work. Morgan has a vision of the world as a place of equity and humanity. She hosts opportunities for people to gather in discovery and design so that they can navigate complexity and create collective ways forward. Using emergent and liberatory practices, she holds space for people to step into their power and exercise radical imagination in making sustainable change. Beyond Design for Emergence, Morgan is a designer with the Stanford d.school and Liberatory Design Faculty at the National Equity Project. She has coached and designed with the Teachers Guild x School Retool at IDEO, been a Deeper Learning Coach with Envision Learning Partners, and incubated ideas with the Mira Fellowship. Morgan was the principal of an arts-integration, expeditionary learning school, a founding teacher in Oakland’s New Small Autonomous Schools movement, and is a member of the board of trustees at Design Tech High School.

Episode Debrief

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