Course Outline

Given that the course will be informed by design principles—which will directly involve students in a collaborative planning process of the day-to-day—the outline of the course is broad at this stage. Click through the slideshows below for a closer look at each phase of the course.

Prelude: Leadership Retreat

One of the most important features of the Transdisciplinary Leadership Program -- as one might infer from the name -- is the focus on training students for leadership not only during their senior year at Marin Academy but also for the world they will enter upon graduation. That process will begin with a late summer Leadership Retreat.

First Phase: Understanding Migration and Defining the Crisis 
First Phase: Understanding Migration and
Defining the Crisis

Before we dive into the complex and sensitive issues at the heart of our guiding question, we will begin with a series of readings and discussions about empathy, which is both a key competency for the course and a necessary skill for engaging compassionately with the stakeholders we will meet during the course. Each student will begin an empathy journal in which they document their process of exploring the myriad experiences of others that they will examine during the course.


The solutionary phase of the course will begin with a review of the fundamentals of empathetic design in preparation for our work with partner agencies. This phase of the course will also provide opportunities to collaborate with MA's Design Lead, Sachi DeCou, as we look for ways to implement strategies based in sound design principles.

Kate Canales and Gray Garmon, Design Thinking faculty for the Creative Community Fellows program, talk about the importance of empathy in solving problems and in staying connected to your mission.

Second Phase: Designing for Solutions