Sharing with Strangers

Fall 2015
Sat Oct 17, 10:00a – 5:00p
Sun Oct 18, 10:00a – 5:00p
Studio 1

Our most meaningful interactions typically involve those closest to us.  But every so often, we experience a deep – perhaps even transformative – connection with a perfect stranger.

Connection with strangers has been shown to increase happiness and wellbeing, yet we routinely ignore those sitting inches from us in trains, cabs, and college dining halls.   And trust among strangers remains an elusive key to scaling an economy of shared goods and services.

In Sharing with Strangers, we challenge students to create a world where seven billion strangers can connect more often, and more deeply – leading us to share our humanity and possessions alike.

In an intensive weekend, students will learn several empathy and self-empathy tools to foster interpersonal connections before developing their own set of tools.  Students will have several opportunities to prototype concepts for increasing the quantity and quality of strangers’ exchanges before bringing their ideas to life in downtown Palo Alto. Participants will leave the class with an ability to cultivate deeper connection and trust, as well as the satisfaction of meaningfully impacting a movement.

No previous design thinking experience is necessary.  However, an open mind, curiosity, and a willingness to be vulnerable are mandatory.

Accepting 16 students. Graduate and undergraduate students encouraged to apply. Apply here.

Teaching Team
Michael Ovadia, Doctoral Candidate, Environment & Resources, Stanford University; GSB MBA ‘10.
Jessica Semaan, Founder & CEO, The Passion Co; Former Head of Customer Love, Airbnb; GSB MBA ‘11.


Sharing with Strangers