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Climate Activism By Design with David W. Johnson, Stanford Lecturer, Lawyer and Writer

In this interview, Corinna connects with David Johnson, a professor who teaches Design Thinking courses at Stanford University's D-School (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) and Negotiation at Stanford School of Law. They discuss his journey from law to design thinking and climate activism.

As he says, we need a billion climate activists -- but we're not going to get them -- so he has crafted a solution to help create the change we need. David proposes a new system by which we can capitalize on the network effect and create a "greenprint" that will turn small groups of well intentioned activists around the world into a force of nature that can create real and lasting change -- with the goal of preserving and protecting our home planet.

About David Johnson:

David Johnson is a lawyer, writer and professor. He teaches Advanced Negotiation at Stanford Law School, and Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. Across the last 20 years he has also practiced law in Silicon Valley, primarily as General Counsel for tech companies and, most recently, a non-profit foundation. His client list included some of the biggest names in science and technology: Apple, Caliper, Google, McKesson, Sankyo Pharma, and The Computer History Museum.

Last year, during sabbatical in Singapore, he wrote a keynote article for the Singapore Academy of Law, Design for Legal Systems. Now back at Stanford, David is working on a book applying design thinking to climate change activism, working title: Climate Activism by Design. In addition to writing and teaching, David is an avid skier and sailor, and a diligent but decidedly average tennis player.


Works Mentioned:

James Gleick's Chaos: Making A New Science:

Grady Booch on Object Oriented Design:

Paul Hawken's Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation (coming Sept. 14, 2021)

Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Time Stamps:

00:00 Introduction
03:45 From Law to Design Thinking & Climate Activism
06:02 Design Thinking -- What is it?
08:36 People And Groups As Catalysts For Change
13:26 The Challenge Of Unintended Consequences
17:41 Creating Networks Of Activists To Create Change - A "Greenprint"
25:08 Voting With Your Dollars
28:17 On Regeneration and Paul Hawken's Work
32:49 Is Social Entrepreneurship Becoming Mainstream?
34:57 Advice for Activists
41:08 What We Can Accomplish
43:05 Our Role In Creating Change
46:46 Call To Action

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