Kathy Davies

Season 1 - Episode 17

This episode of Main Street Moxie with Kathy Davies explores design thinking as a method for moxie. Life design is a way to get unstuck in your life by ratcheting up the curiosity, creating opportunities for incremental action, and understanding your life is a process that involves collaborating with others. There is a “team” in “I”! It also reframes failure into opportunities to learn. Oh, and did we say it’s super fun? What’s not to love?!

Kathy is the Managing Director of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University. She leads a team of Fellows who teach the popular courses Life Design Courses to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students each year. Her team has trained 258 universities globally to use the life design processes on their campuses and will reach more than 300 schools by the end of 2022. Kathy founded and leads the DYL Consulting business, and beyond Stanford consults with universities and tech companies to bring product design tools and life design practices to their teams.

She spent the first 20 years of her career as an engineer in Silicon Valley, leading technical projects and teams. Her early work focused on Internet of Things (IoT) devices and machine tools at D2M. Inc, a small engineering consulting company. At D2M, Kathy led a team developing the world’s first Internet Radio.

After D2M, she explored the startup world, developed heart surgery tools at Cardica Inc, managed engineering teams at nLighten Technologies, and consulted independently. She has earned five patents through her ideation and technical problem solving. Kathy’s medical device and engineering process chops then led her to Arena Solutions, an engineering software company.

It was while working at Arena that Kathy began to teach Product Design at Stanford. She later joined Stanford full-time as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Fellow at the Life Design Lab. Kathy’s focus shifted from the use of design thinking as purely a product development tool to its use in human thriving. While she has used her engineering and teaching to build products and change lives, she uses design thinking and life design to build a better world.


Stanford Life Design Lab
Designing Your Life: The Book
Designing Your New Work Life: The Book


Social Links

Facebook: @d.life.stanford

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