Design Thinking Summer Institute, 2022

Design x Learning: Neuroscience, Culture, and Creativity

Too many of us never learn how to learn.  Too often schools emphasize knowledge regurgitation over developing meta-cognitive skills.  In this institute, we will take an experiential splash into helping students (and ourselves) build dynamic toolkits—using design, neuroscience research, and learning theories—to unleash their (and our) full learning potential.  

On day one, we will delve into what design is and how it can unlock new ways of learning.

On day two, we will expand our repertoire of approaches to learning, with a focus on the important role culture plays, and on creating an intentional cycle of observing, thinking, feeling, and doing.

On day three, we will apply these new approaches to our own work and test them with each other—and students!

Participants will leave the three days with new methods, tools, and mindsets to approach challenges and opportunities in their classrooms this fall.





Date: Tuesday July 19 - Thursday July 21

Time: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: $850

Location: Ursuline Academy
East Campus
4900 Walnut Hill Ln
Dallas, TX 75229

Registration deadline: July 15, 2022




Sam Seidel

Sam Seidel is the K12 Lab Director of Strategy + Research at the Stanford and co-author of Hip Hop Genius (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011 + 2022) and Creative Hustle (Ten Speed Press, 2022). sam speaks internationally about education, race, culture, systems, and design.

Sam has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. He has built and directed programs with and for young people affected by incarceration. As a consultant, sam has worked with leading national education organizations, including the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Big Picture Learning, and Jobs for the Future, as well as a spectrum of other clients on a diverse set of projects, ranging from redesigning a statewide juvenile justice system to working with the Rockefeller family to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Sam was the Director of Partnerships, Annual Reviews, and Student Leadership for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of student-centered school developers. Most recently, sam was the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory.

Sam graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education and a teaching certification. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia University's Institute for Urban and Minority Education, and a Community Fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is always learning.

Jess Brown

Jess is an organizer dedicated to creating education models where Black and brown learners can thrive [from cradle to grave].  As the K12 Design Fellow, Jess will be focusing on the intersections of learning, culture, and design. In the coming months, she will be co-creating tools and processes that foster relevant, deep educational experiences across learning environments. 

Throughout her career, Jess has worked in coalition with communities to dismantle barriers and bend the future towards equity and liberation. She has facilitated courses and workshops in out-of-school contexts from summer camps to activist spaces. She has also co-created programs and organizations that build students’ capacity and hold institutions accountable to equity, students’ wellbeing, and systemic change. 

Jess joins the K12 Lab team from Providence, RI where her work centered racial justice, K12 practice, prototyping, participatory design, and human-centered research. Most recently, she served as an Experience Designer and Student Experience Lab Manager at the Business Innovation Factory. She also served on the Rhode Island Commission for National and Community Service, working with her fellow commissioners to amplify service opportunities and address inequities within the state. 

She is a singer, aspirational doodler, and pasta enthusiast.



Jessica Brown and Sam Seidel are design educators. Jess and Sam have worked together for over six years, beginning in Rhode Island where they ran the Student Experience Lab, and led education design projects with students, educators, and philanthropic organizations. For the last several years they have worked together at the Stanford K12 Lab, facilitating design projects with college students and educators all over the world. Their goal is to bring imagination and energy to co-creating just and joyful learning environments.