Billiard balls on display - drawing by Lisa Van Dusen
Founder, IDEO and Stanford d.School
David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Stanford d.school talks with First Person host Lisa Van Dusen about his mission to help as many people as possible regain their creative confidence, the universal applicability of human-centered design and the importance of play. He reflects on his summers growing up in the Midwest; his friendship with Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass; and his very early desire to become a school bus driver. Read More
This sculpture, tucked in a corner of Camilla's garden serves as a memorial to her father.
Founder & CEO of Savitude
Camilla Olson defies the norms. She relishes taking on big challenges and has a proven record of overcoming them as a successful serial entrepreneur. Olson talks with Lisa Van Dusen about what motivates her: solving big, consequential problems, creating companies, building teams and championing women —- ideally all in combination. Read More
Actually, in Silicon Valley, some people check the "other" box on standardized forms. Maybe the category on those dreaded forms that confounds you is ethnicity or gender or even age (you might feel like a different age than you technically are.) For me, that category is "occupation" or "profession". I just don't fit into any of the standard options. Pretty much ever. My TEDx talk on the The Joys of Otherhood is about just that. Read More
Actually, in Silicon Valley. "Are you somebody? That's what someone asked my father when he and my mom were at the Apollo 11 space launch at Cape Kennedy in Florida on July 16, 1969. Read More
My first political act of the 2016 election season was to create a drawing for an “Election Collection” featured at the big box stores nationwide. Back in February, when the notion of Trump as a serious candidate was still far-fetched, I drew a picture of Trump’s hair. My ace greeting card maker/marketer friend, Lynn Felter of Across the Line submitted our card for consideration with the caption, “We Shall Overcomb” and it was actually selected for distribution as part of an Election Collection. I suggested that they change the background from red to blue when I reviewed the artists’ proof. They did. Read More
Actually, in Silicon Valley. On a recent neighborhood walk, I experienced a rare sighting in Palo Alto.
A Trump lawn sign.
I imagine that there are more Trump supporters in Palo Alto than one might suspect. What’s noteworthy to me, however, is our neighbor’s willingness to be transparent. While my own views could not be more opposite, on one level, I admire their courage to display views that are so clearly in the minority here. Read More
Actually, in Silicon Valley, some engineers do still work with their hands, some people appreciate the beauty in broken things and some people help each other for free for the fun and good will of it. Here's a story of how that happened all at once for me.
One of my guiding beliefs was best articulated by our son, Ben, at age 10: "Not perfect is perfect. Perfect is not perfect." I was hanging a bulletin board in Ben's room and doing that thing where you keep tilting it back and forth slightly - skewing a little too much to one side and then the next, never quite getting it level. Finally, Ben calmly uttered those words. I took a medium deep breath, as if to mostly acknowledge that he was totally right and just how ridiculous my pursuit of the perfect had been in a situation without much import. My Virgoian tendencies were overplaying. We were done. I felt better and Ben's bit of 10-year-old wisdom stuck with me. Read More
Co-founder and Chief Facilitator of the Stanford Red Barn Leadership Program
Jacqueline Hartman talks with Lisa Van Dusen about how horses can illuminate the truth and ultimately, the best in people. Read More
Jeff Dean's special Google ID Badge for the Deep Neural Networks Team, complete with steel cable and brain.
Senior Fellow at Google Research
Try Googling "Jeff Dean jokes" and you will find many results — they seem to have a life of their own. While both flattered and a little embarrassed by this April Fools joke that keeps on giving, Dean is actually quite serious about his work. Read More
Journalism/English teacher, Education Innovator and Author
Esther Wojcicki has been attending high school for more than 31 years and can't imagine not going to school every day. Being with her students is what fuels her, she said. And something must be happening there because one of her biggest challenges is to get the students to leave. Read More
826michigan's 2015 student publication, which features twenty Huron High ninth-graders and class of second-grade students from Mitchell Elementary. The students produced the collection of bedtime stories—they wrote the stories that they wish they'd had when they were younger. Each of the stories has been thoughtfully illustrated, with input from the student writers, by a different artist, including Caldecott winners. Available for purchase here Read More
Founder of DreamCatchers and Ph.D. candidate in behavioral science at University of Cambridge and Stanford University
Caution: being near Sarah Mummah can cause healthy habits to form because she believes that if you can change people's behaviors, you can change the world. A self-described minimalist, she runs, writes and eats vegetables. Read More
Founder of Racing Hearts and Speech Pathologist
Armed with a matter-of-fact cheerfulness and her fellow Palo Altans' willingness to help, Stephanie Martinson, a part-time speech pathologist at the VA, mom and founder of Racing Hearts, is on track to save a lot of lives. She talks with Lisa Van Dusen about her journey. Read More
Fresh pen and watercolor illustrations by Lisa Van Dusen accompany Laurie Hunter's poetic words full of memories, objects and oddities from nature and the made world. And there's room at the back for the reader to capture his or her own memories, observations and oddities. Objects & Oddities sparks joy. Available for purchase here. Read More
Dean of Religious Life at Stanford University
The Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw talks with Lisa Van Dusen about having arrived on the Stanford campus this fall as the Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies after a four-year stint as Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She just might surprise you. Read More
President of the Northern Sierra Partnership
Blake, a MacArthur Fellow and Palo Alto resident, describes her work as "wrangling" her collaborators to protect the Northern Sierras from Mount Lassen to Lake Tahoe. Read More
Terradex CEO and Environmental Engineer
Bob Wenzlau, pioneer recycler and compost champion is now focused on what's under our workplaces, schools and homes that is known to be harmful to our health. Through his Palo Alto-based environmental information company, Terradex, Wenzlau developed a web application called What's Down as a kind of "Yelp for the environment." Read More
Founder of Club Academia
In this "First Person" interview, Lisa Van Dusen talks with Shilpa Yarlagadda, a 2014 graduate of Gunn High School in Palo Alto and founder of Club Academia, a video tutorial website that promotes "education of the students, by the students and for the students. Read More
New York Times Writer
In this "First Person" interview, John Markoff, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times senior writer and author, talks with Lisa Van Dusen about growing up in Palo Alto, covering Silicon Valley for more than 30 years and his current interest in artificial intelligence and robotics -- the "next big thing. Read More
CoFounder of the Carbon Zero Institute
Elton Sherwin, former cleantech venture capitalist turned accidental climate change entrepreneur talks with Lisa Van Dusen about his efforts to hunt down the most practical ways to make the planet "net zero" in carbon emissions by mid-century Read More