Young people are hungry for tools to address the problems they face, and are passionate about making a real difference in the world.
This past quarter, I taught a course on creative problem solving at Stanford University d.school. The students learned how to reframe problems, challenge assumptions, connect and combine ideas, work on creative teams, and how to share their ideas in a compelling way. Their term project allowed them to stretch their imagination as they redesigned the experience of going from prison to freedom. Here is an article about the class, and a short video that captures the students’ experience.
I taught this class with Aleta Hayes, and the project was done in collaboration with a remarkable organization called The Last Mile, run by Beverly Parenti and Chris Redlitz. I am so appreciative for the access they gave us to San Quentin State Prison, and continue to be inspired by the men who are dedicated to rebuilding their lives.
This project reinforced the fact that students are deeply interested in tackling meaningful problems. We should be tapping into their vast stores of energy to solve the most pressing problems of the world.