Regardless of our best laid plans, it’s often the ideas and events that we least expect that end up mattering to us most. This has never been more true than in today’s chaotic, highly uncertain world. Serendipity–looking for one thing and finding another–is increasingly recognized as an organizing principle of personal creativity, adaptive teams, and discovery in user experiences. Yet how can we plan for something that by definition is unpredictable? How can we prepare for the unpreparable?
Thor Muller has the answer, and it’s “planned serendipity.” In his half-day workshop on “The Eight Skills of Planned Serendipity,” Thor will demonstrate a set of eight concrete, attainable skills that allow us to increase the appearance of chance in our design practices, make unlikely connections, and take action on the ones that matter. Planned serendipity draws from fields as wide-ranging as neuroscience, modern art, agile programming, drug discovery, and progressive education to create a practical framework for luck.
Since 1995, Thor has founded five companies, and launched over two dozen web applications and sites. He was the co-founder of Rubyred Labs, a web development agency specializing in social networks, and Trapezo, a Web service for syndicating content. He was also VP of Digital Media at Frog Design, the world renown product design firm, where he founded its San Francisco-based Internet practice.