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Podcast episode

EP91 – Negotiation and Design Thinking with David Johnson of Stanford

In Economics Explored EP91, David Johnson of Stanford speaks about his work and teaching on Negotiation and Design Thinking (e.g. David’s Stanford course Negotiation by Design: Applied Design Thinking for Negotiators). David provides some great insights into how design thinking can help improve our negotiating skills. As part of this discussion, host Gene Tunny and David reflect on how better negotiating skills, gained through design thinking, could help us solve important economic, social, and environmental challenges. Toward the end of the episode, David talks about a book he is currently writing on Climate Activism by Design.

Other links relevant to the conversation include:

Designing Online Mediation: Does “Just Add Tech” Undermine Mediation’s Ownmost Aim?

Negotiation: From Boardroom To Bedroom with David Johnson

d.school resources

About this episode’s guest

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.

He has testified before Congress and the California Assembly on law and technology issues. He has conducted dozens of trials and appeals, including two state Supreme Court arguments. His client list included some of the biggest names in science and technology: Apple, Caliper, Google, McKesson, Sankyo Pharma, and The Computer History Museum.

In 2007 David completed a JSM in Law, Science and Technology. His thesis explored design methods for software and their potential application to systemic environmental issues. In 2014, David wrote, produced and delivered the world’s first free online course on Negotiation to some 5,000 students in 47 nations. General Electric thereafter licensed the course for a four-year run in their executive education program, “Brilliant U.” 

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.

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