A key part of Life Design is the idea of “radical collaboration”, the bringing together of a diverse group of individuals with different experiences, skills, backgrounds and outlooks as a way to increase both the number and the variety of ideas that are generated. With many in-person workshops moving to an asynchronous virtual format, many students will find themselves ideating on their own or with a close group of friends and family with whom they remain in constant contact. While this is convenient, it is likely it won’t produce the sorts of wild or unexpected ideas that can be helpful in moving forward in new and innovative ways.
For students who are using Life Design during this time, I recommend they recruit a Virtual Ideation Team that can assist them in generating new ideas, reviewing prototypes, and serving as a general sounding board throughout the process. This Virtual Ideation Team might include:
Your Life Design Educator – or for non-JHU students, someone in your career office
Your academic adviser – or another university professional to whom you turn for academic and personal advice and counsel
A faculty member – someone who has taught you and who you know, regardless of whether they are in the same department in which you are majoring. If you weren’t able to connect with a faculty member in college a high school teacher can work
A family member – parents, older siblings, cousins, etc. Don’t’ necessarily be too concerned if they are working in a different field that the one which you intend to pursue
A peer – preferably someone whose perspective you value but which is very different than yours (i.e. someone in a different major, or who has a different career interest, or who has a different background/identity).
At least one alumni mentor – If you haven’t yet connected with an alumni mentor, set up an account at PeopleGrove and start building those connections. (For non-JHU students who might not have access to PeopleGrove, LinkedIn is an excellent to connect with alumni in your intended field.)
Who else might you add to your own Virtual Ideation Team?