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Season 2 : Episode 15

Your New Life: Reframe, Redesign, Empathize

Aug 2021 ∙

Your New Life: Reframe, Redesign, Empathize

Have you ever dreamt up a new life? For many, now may be the perfect time to pause and take the learnings of the past 2 years to design think your way into a new perspective – and path. In today’s episode, we dive into a deep conversation about the exciting process of design thinking, serendipity, and the important and nuanced approach to creating empathy and understanding in the world with the help of technology.

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Featured in This Episode

Mona Patel is the founder of Motivate Design, a UX research, design, and staffing agency that helps organizations understand what their customers want and design better solutions for them. She is also the founder and CEO of Gray Zones, a series of live social experiments designed to reframe thinking and create more empathy, awareness, and understanding to complex social issues and topics. In addition to her work as an entrepreneur, Mona is the author of the books, Reframe and The Thing About Swings.

While Reframe shares Mona’s wisdom on evoking the spark of creativity anytime, anywhere, The Thing About Swings is a picture book that inspires people of all ages to question, dream, and design a better world. Mona joins me today to discuss the role of design thinking in transforming your life. She describes the power of asking “what if” and defines what design thinking means today. She shares the steps for using design thinking to redesign your life and reveals the different “excuse personas” that hinder us from transformation. She also discusses why empathy needs to be a business case before organizations can fully embrace it and highlights how we can cultivate empathy within ourselves.

“Design thinking is more like communication: once you understand the concept, you just do it and get better and better at it.” – Mona Pate

This Week on the Podcast

  • Mona’s childhood, her internship at NASA, and the power of asking “what if”
  • What design thinking means today
  • How to use design thinking to transform your life
  • Naming your excuse persona and identifying how you show up after things get harder
  • Founding Motivate Design and UXHires and how being able to sell gave Mona the experience to start a company
  • What’s new in the world of UX
  • Why people need to create and cultivate a portfolio if they want to get into UX
  • Why soft skills matter
  • What “gray zones” are and how the idea spun into Mona’s social experiment of the same name
  • How technology can play a role in addressing society’s empathy and compassion problem
  • Why empathy needs to have a compelling business case
  • Why empathy is a charged word
  • The difference between understanding someone and empathizing with them
  • Bringing design thinking, UX, and technology into empathy and compassion
  • The impact of research, sympathy, and storytelling as skills

Connect with Mona Patel

Motivate Design
Gray Zones
Book: Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think by Mona Patel
Book: The Thing About Swings by Mona Patel
Motivate Design on LinkedIn
Motivate Design on Instagram
Motivate Design on Facebook
Motivate Design on Twitter
Mona Patel on LinkedIn

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