INTERMODAL EXA (2) - The Power of Feminine Design Thinking: Archetypes, Ambiguity, Abundance & Co​-​creation. Interview with two special guests from Stanford's d. School

by Holly Truitt, Elysa Fenenbock, Cosmin Gheorghe

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HOLLY TRUITT and ELYSA FENENBOCK are two fascinating thought leaders with a solid sense of humor and a very elegant way of assembling information, images and possibilities into a beautiful, wholesome puzzle.

The Expressive Arts department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) hosted on January 17, 2020 Elysa and Holly's Shuffle the Deck, a pop-out course out of the Satnford's d. School. Shuffle the Deck is based on using the model of Tarot cards to reimagine countless decks such as IDEO’s Method Deck.

Participants: Stanford students (Law, MBA) and CIIS students and professors (School of Professional Psychology - Expressive Arts Department).

is a social innovation expert who helps organizations catalyze community-based change.

is a former IDEO (and current Google Artist in Residence) designer who applies the medicine of creativity to projects at the intersection of design, art, and education.


Shuffle the Deck Workshop is:
- an opportunity for instructors, professors, teams to play with new content
- a way of teaching participants to play with new content, prototype and rapidly iterate;
- at the intersection of design thinking and design process and focusing on navigating ambiguity and designing one’s own work method.

“Card Decks are powerful analog tools that can help an individual or a team to playfully engage with design thinking and innovation process and concepts, leading to transformative change at personal or collective levels.”

The importance of the Pause:
- emergent properties are given permission to manifest themselves;
- it allows for synchronicity and recalibration;
- it allows for new alliances to merge – such as (for Holly and Elysa) the National Science Foundation;
- it is an inherent self-discovery process that happens when a team or a cohort designs and/or uses their own deck of cards.

Design Thinking is the art of asking/framing the right question. It is the question that is asked what opens the door for new ways of thinking and allows for innovation.

Learning to deal with constraints: distilling one’s inquiries and answers.

Identifying one’s own language to be used in design process.

Using a deck of cards to bridge the chasm between the archetypal and the modern world.

Figuring out the RIGHT TIME: there are times when is great to launch a new product, a new project, plant a new bunch of seeds and go sprinting forward and building and creating and iterating. And then there are times of hibernation. Times when you need to pause, as an individual or as a team in corporate setting.

Creating Change: there are people who know a change is needed, but they don’t know how to do it or they think they cannot do it, or they don’t have the courage to do it. But there are many other people who do not implement a change simply because they cannot imagine/envision that something different than what they are currently living is possible. It may be that they need to Shuffle the Deck.

Ambiguity = Transformation = Discomfort = Phoenix.
Well, then maybe it is worth learning to tolerate and integrate ambiguity. For anyways, transformation cannot exist without ambiguity.

“That is a Question that We Adore”:
Is there a Feminine and a Masculine Design Thinking?

Designing and Innovating from a place of abundance, synergy, collaboration and co-creation (as opposed to scarcity and bloody competition for the resources; Blue Ocean market vs. Red Ocean markets).

“The Feminine form is so invitational of collaboration. The best ideas emerge when we are collaborative and we set a table bog enough for everyone to be at, especially when it includes those who historically did not have a voice in terms of design.”

“Learning the Cycle of Design: too much sprint equals burnout. Making room for slow emergence of the Unknown.”


released January 22, 2020


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THE CULTURE INFLUENCER™ San Francisco, California

Cosmin Gheorghe is a Bay Area based consultant, coach, speaker and author. He has degree in Psychology and an MD in General Medicine. His work explores the ways in which Culture, Globalization & Technology influence human behavior, social and professional interactions. That includes choices, decisions, & relationships with peers, products & services. Listen-HaveFun & Achieve Your Global Potential! ... more

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