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D-School Leading Project on Stanford’s Future

On April 15 this year, I attended a very interesting seminar as part of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education’s Digital Future, on “Learning and the Life Course.” One of the panelists was Sarah Stein Greenberg, Managing Director, D-School, Stanford University, who talked about a project led by the D-School on the future of Stanford–and how it could better serve its various constituencies in the future.

I took a few notes that I thought i would share with you, as it might give “food for thought” and be a basis for some questions we might want to ask during our upcoming session at D-School next week.

You can also visit to see some more information on “@Stanford: Reimagining the Future of Learning/Living on Campus”

Here are a few notes I took on Sarah’s presentation:

o Year-long project at Stanford—Imagining the future of learning/living on campus
o Four scenarios they have examined: (1) Paced Education; (2) Purpose Learning; (3) Axis Flip (balance of skills and knowledge); and (4) Open Loop University (“alumni” term would go away, and be replaced by “members”)
o How to break the mold of traditional 4-year model?
o May 1 and 2: Experiential taste of Future Stanford
o Open Loop University: [This is the one scenario I found most interesting]
• Age blind admissions
• Six years distributed over your life
• Taking time off would no longer carry stigma
• Students would ‘loop in’ later in life to pivot careers
• On-campus learning sharpened by real-world perspectives
• Mentoring would play a bigger role as paths diverged
• The ‘late start’ advantage?
• ‘Alumni’ become….

As most of you know, Stanford is one of the world’s leading universities and has many, many more applicants than they can accept–even though the cost of tuition (and especially when you add in room and board) is VERY high. In this context, I find it very interesting that Stanford is still looking ahead to the future and realizing they need to do things differently–for the sake of its students and for Stanford to continue to be a leading university–so it will be interesting to see how this D-School project helps shape Stanford’s policies for future change at this great university.

Stanford´s DSchool

d.School – Link: Check out the d.School here – the comments below are taken directly from their website. There will be more on the D.School at some other time. 

The is a hub for innovators at Stanford. Students and faculty in engineering, medicine, business, law, the humanities, sciences, and education find their way here to take on the world’s messy problems together. Human values are at the heart of our collaborative approach. We focus on creating spectacularly transformative learning experiences. Along the way, our students develop a process for producing creative solutions to even the most complex challenges they tackle. This is the core of what we do.


In a time when there is hunger for innovation everywhere, we think our primary responsibility is to help prepare a generation of students to rise with the challenges of our times. We define what it means to be a student broadly, and we support “students” of design thinking who range from kindergarteners to senior executives. Our deliberate mash-up of industry, academia and the big world beyond campus is a key to our continuing evolution.



// FYI: We will be getting an introduction to the d.School by my associate Mike Shanks who teaches and collaborates with David Kelly — the d.School founder.

FabLab a Stanford – and other interesting places

Stanford University´s Fab Lab

FabLabAtSchool-1Check out the Fab Lab at Stanford University, and keep coming back to review other websites and places of note. As we get this blog going, it will be a place for posting and sharing insights but also websites, forums, projects, and places of potential interest for visits.

From their website:

FabLab@School is a world wide growing network of educational digital fabrication labs that put cutting-edge technology for design and construction – such as 3D printers and laser cutters and robotics – into the hands of middle and high school students.

It’s a place for invention, creation, discovery and sharing, a space of inquiry where everyone learns and knowledge gets integrated into personal interests and daily life.

FabLab@School, which is embedded in technology, permits the acknowledgement and embracing of different learning styles and epistemologies, engendering a convivial environment in which students can concretize their ideas and projects with intense personal engagement.

Getting ready for the coming workshop



In just about a week we will meet at these stairs in front of the Stanford University Campus, as a beginning of our workshop. Here, we will begin to develop a week-long story not only about Stanford but — actually much more — about the roles of universities and knowledge hubs in processes of social change and innovation. Our specific target with the workshop will of course be our own institutions — where they are — as well as those themes and concerns that we understand we share.

Be that as it may, please make sure to go through the various instructions tat you find on this website. It is a very simple website, and we will only be using if for this workshop. On the other hand, it is also nice to have such a website to look back to after we are done, as a means of documentation but also as a means of sharing an agreement as to what we achieved and what to make of it in the next steps ahead.

There will be a series of posts on this blog from myself and from Vidar — both practical and more discussion oriented. But right now it is a Sunday night, and there is good reason for doing other things than programming up a website.

More on this later. Just know that the site is there and that it can be used.