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Learning expert Victor Saad coming to Pullman for guest lecture, workshops

Closeup of Victor Saad.
Victor Saad

Experience Institute founder and CEO, Stanford University lecturer in design, and Forbes’ 30‑under‑30 awardee Victor Saad will present “The Future of Work and Learning” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Washington State University SPARK G‑45 classroom-in-the-round, an event that is open to the public at no charge.

With sponsorship from the President’s office, the Advisor Learning Program, Student Involvement, Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors, and ASCC, WSU arranged for the educational innovator to visit campus for the lecture. He will also lead two workshops for WSU employees and students:

  • “Designing your work: Preparing for the shifting landscape of education and employment,” a continental breakfast for on‑campus employers of students from 8:00‑9:30 a.m. in Northside Café, with online registration; and
  • “How to use a Leap Kit to design learning through short-term experiences” for academic advisors and student ambassadors and leaders from 1:00‑3:00 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom, with online registration.

Equipping for the future

“All three events are being offered in honor of Professional Development Month, and Mr. Saad is an exceptional educator, community builder, and author who will help us become better equipped to educate and hire the next generation of employees,” said Judy Hopkins, internship coordinator in the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC). ASCC is a department within WSU Undergraduate Education.

“Mr. Saad believes that to prepare for change in the workplace or classroom, you don’t need to become an expert but you do need to embrace the power that comes from being a learner—someone who sets goals and ideas in motion, who leans in to the value of project learning. When you think like a learner, it’s easier to inspire others to learn by creating a culture of curiosity, exploration, and bias toward taking risks to move into new territories and make changes.”

Leap kit maps at workshop

The map portion of one of Saad’s company’s products—leap kits—will be used at the afternoon workshop, said Hopkins. The Experience Institute received a Core 77 Design Award in 2016 for a notable design education initiative for the product. Saad was the co‑creator and designer of the kits, which feature a set of design tools to use in completing 90‑day learning projects based on actualizing goals and passions.

Saad as innovator, achiever, author

The now thirty-something is a native and current resident of Chicago. In 2012, he designed his own master’s degree program after quitting his current job to explore the intersection of business, design, and social change by completing 12 projects in 12 months. He called it “The Leap Year Project” and his international experiences culminated with staging his graduation at a local TEDx and publishing a book of stories focused on the power of learning through risk.

He later launched the Experience Institute, which he describes as “an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.”

At Stanford, he’s part of the engineering school team; his task as a lecturer in design is to “help students reimagine their learning through experience.”

Saad authored “The Leap Year Project: Learning to Risk and Risking to Learn” book in 2013, and co‑authored with David Kelley “The Shapeless Shape,” published in 2018.

Find more information on the lecture and workshops, and to sign up for the workshops.

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