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Guest Speaker: Kathryn Wessling, PhD, MAPP

Host: Kristin Keffeler, MSM, MAPP

Description: Birthed at Stanford, Design Thinking is a transformational human-centered creative process used by top innovators like Apple, GE, and Nike. It is a unique problem-solving technique in that people and their deep inherent needs are at the center of the innovation process rather than the final solution or skill set that we may provide. In our context this means, with some assistance at shifting mindsets, our client families become truly the experts in solving their own challenging problems as well as creating more innovative ways to do good in the world. During this thought leader call, we will be exploring how Design Thinking can be used as a tool by advisors to engage their client families to uncover creative, human-focused solutions to some of their most difficult obstacles. In this conversation, we will:

  • Identify how Design Thinking fits into the Wealth 3.0 paradigm asserted by Jim Grubman during the 2019 Rendezvous.
  • Define the five stages of the cyclical Design Thinking process
  • Explore why Empathy, the first stage, is one of the most important (and often under-appreciated) stages of this process.
  • Discuss how the Design Thinking process can be used effectively to help level the playing field in hierarchical families.
  • Demonstrate a practical tip to immediately use with your client families .

Introduction to Our Guest Speaker

Dr. Kathryn Wessling is a classically trained engineer from Georgia Tech with a deep interest in understanding human motivation and decision making. She has a background in design thinking, a graduate degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in marketing research from Duke University.

She has taught at the Wharton School, the University of Virginia, and numerous conferences on topics related to innovation, psychology, measurement, human-centered design, and psychological safety. She has advised hundreds of start-ups, consulted with Bain & Company, and prior to academia, served as an engineer at The Home Depot’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Kathryn’s volunteer work has taken her to Brazil to assist with river otter research, Uganda to promote mountain gorilla conservation alongside human development, South Africa to help maintain wildlife habitats, and Honduras to care for HIV+ orphans with Mother Teresa’s sisters.

Kathryn’s top character strengths are gratitude, spirituality, bravery, honesty, and appreciation of beauty & excellence. Her greatest joys are spending time with family, kayaking in the wild, prayer, talking with strangers, learning from failure, becoming more human and helping others to do the same.

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