Partnership with the MIT Alumni Association

Designing Your Life Workshop Series
Jan 14 - Empathize and Define
Jan 21 - Ideate
Jan 28 - Prototype and Test

MIT Club of Northern California in partnership with the MIT Alumni Association presents:

Designing Your Life in 2021 with Gabrielle Santa-Donato


Ready for a new year yet? Thinking about a refresh or a new start for 2021? 

Join us for an exciting 3-part alumni career seminar that will teach you how to use the problem-solving techniques of design thinking to begin to intentionally design your own life and career. Gain new tools to navigate your way forward using the design thinking process as a guiding framework.

 The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment.  The DYL process is a framework that shows us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are.” [Burnett, W., & Evans, D. J. (2020). Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life.]

These three (3) interactive, experiential sessions will be virtual and will contain interactive exercises, introduction of content, and small group discussions.. Each session builds on the next. To receive the intended learning outcome, we strongly recommend attendance for all sessions.  Registration is exclusive to MIT alumni only.

What you can expect: 

Session 1 (1/14/21): Empathize and Define:

What is this whole life design thing about? Session 1 presents Life Design 101 and covers the empathy and definition stages. By exploring your own personal work and worldview and reflecting on what brings us energy and engages us, you will be well positioned for Session 2.

  • Session 1 pre-work to be assigned

Session 2 (1/21/21): Ideate:

This session introduces the art of brainstorming. You will create three different versions of your future using visual Odyssey Plans.

  • Session 2 pre-work to be assigned

Session 3 (1/28/21): Prototype and Test:

This session will teach you how to test versions of your future self and decide which models inspire you the most.  Get ready for a transformational experience!

  • Session 3 pre-work to be assigned

Sessions will be taught by Designing Your Life master facilitator, Gabrielle Santa-Donato. For the past 6 years, Gabrielle worked as a lecturer and fellow at the Stanford Life Design Lab. There she created and managed the Life Design Studio - a training program for bringing life design to universities around the world. She currently works on the Learning Team at Airbnb.

Additional Resources:

  •       Designing Your Life book builds on the original Designing Your Life classes at Stanford.  You can pickup or reference this for additional learning!
  •         For more information and resources on the work of the Life Design Lab at Stanford, their classes, and the university training program, the Life Design Studio, click here.
  •       More information on the Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life books and associated worksheets and resources.
  •       The Life Design Lab's YouTube channel features an animated series on Designing Your Career and more.


MIT Alums:

If you just renewed your membership, the system requires 24-48 hours to update and recognize new members. For events within a day of renewal, please email to verify membership and receive a direct link to registration.

Event Closed

Date and Time

Thursday, January 28, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM PT

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Virtual Event

Primary Contact

Patricia Liu

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