Build the right future

Current methods to conceive and design products, orgs, incentives structures, etc, are destructive. They've led us to a societal and social dead-end. But: some pioneers have found a new way to design. They combine the passion of startups for measurement and technical excellence with a philosophical awareness of what's meaningful and precious for individual participants, and a sense of the social dynamics that unfold as systems scale.

With these new methods, you can make technologies that stay meaningful and alive, and that bring society together instead of tearing it apart.

One key distinction in the work of these new pioneers, is they know the difference between funnels, tubes, and spaces.

How it works

We offer three courses, taken in sequence.

  • In Unit 1, you develop an articulate, verifiable sense of what's meaningful for different people.
  • In Units 2 and 3, you practice designing for it, first at smaller, then larger scales.

Each course is about 5 weeks, meets twice a week, is instructor-led, and involves groups of six.

For an overview of our curriculum, see this 1 hour video. The course textbook is also free and online.

Unit 1
Nerding Out about Meaning

Next batch: Jan 2

Get info and a 10 minute application form.

$700Satisfaction guaranteed.

Unit 1: Nerding Out about Meaning — Structure and Curriculum

If you're making something meaningful, this course is for you! We get nerdy and specific about what people find meaningful. This helps with making intimate, meaningful things for your friends. But it helps even more if you want to make things that stay meaningful, even as they scale.

  • 1. Learn how social expectations and goals crowd out sources of meaning. Tell sources of meaning apart from other kinds of motives.

  • 2. Bring definition to values Break them down values into their building blocks, by understanding them as attentional policies.

  • 3. Communicate values concretely Capture and communicate sources of meaning using values cards.

  • 4. Transform emotions to values Learn to read your emotions, decipher a value that's missing in the moment, and convey that to those around you.

What Do Students Say?

Ryan
Stephany
Ari
Wiley

Our Team

Joe Edelman
Joe Edelman
textbook author
Joe is the entrepreneur behind the School for Social Design, and wrote most of the textbook. He coined the term “Time Well Spent” which was adopted as a guiding light in metrics by teams at Facebook, Google, and Apple, and has led to many product and ranking changes.
Ben Gabbai
Ben Gabbai
guide
Ben is a scholar of Talmud and Jewish Thought. He is hands-on about education, holding a B. Ed., teaching 4th grade and homeschooling with his wife. He enjoys reading other old books too, especially about philosophy.
Anne Selke
Anne Selke
guide
Anne has a background in organizational psychology, creative writing, game design, and design thinking. She specializes in tracing people's hard-earned wisdom and how they grow, and in tracking what practices work in what contexts.

Learn more

About the Program
Philosophical Background
History of the School
Compare with Other Design Methods

Unit 1
Nerding Out about Meaning

Next batch: Jan 2

Get info and a 10 minute application form.

$700Satisfaction guaranteed.